You're an Alternate- Pt. 2




I had just gotten the email from Children's Hospital Colorado telling me that I was an alternate for a position in the nurse residency program

I read the email sitting in a Starbucks as I took a study break from my NCLEX (nursing boards) quizzing break.
You don't know what a good study break is until you stop studying for the biggest test of your life and find out you're second choice. Anyway, I digress. As I sat freezing in the overly air-conditioned coffee shop (y'all know what I'm talking about), I went through all the stages of grief that one goes through when they're told they're second choice.

Stage One- Denial

They sent that email to the wrong person. They meant to send it to the OTHER Sarah, not me. Easy mistake, I forgive them. I should email them back and tell them they've got the wrong person.

Stage Two- Anger

How could they not choose me?! Somehow, in the two weeks since my interview, I had convinced myself that my less than polished answers were better than they actually were.

Stage Three- Acceptance

Welp, I guess I didn't get the job. Maybe I shouldn't even bother studying anymore for these dumb boards.

Stage Four- Rejection 

I don't WANT to be an alternate. I just want to either know YES or NO. None of this in between business! Not knowing is worse than a NO; I'm going to email them right now and tell them that I REFUSE the offer.

Thankfully I got talked out of sending them a refusal email. Not that I actually had anything to officially refuse.

So, here I was on July 1st, with the potential about not knowing about my future for yet another month.

I tried my best not to think about it. Thankfully I had some things to distract me like...

My boards....



TWO awesome bridal showers thrown by my lovely mamacita













And yet MORE wedding preparation.




And I bought my first Iphone. Nevermind the fact that I still didn't have a job to pay for said Iphone.



So, finally on July 29th, came the phone call I was waiting for. I don't remember much of what was said, but I do remember the lady telling me

"Sarah, I would like to offer you a position in the New Graduate Nurse Residency Program at Children's Hospital Colorado."

Say what?! Maybe my interview answers and made up quiz answers weren't so bad after all!! Maybe my pathetic nervousness during the interview was enough to make them remember me. Or maybe they remembered laughing during my interview. Or maybe, it was the mighty hand of God.

A week later I started the job and the more I talked to my fellow peers-now-turned-colleagues, I humbly realized how much I didn't deserve the job.

My credentials and experience were no where near those of the girl who had done her senior practicum in one of the top pediatric intensive care units in the nation, or the girl who'd attended nursing school at Duke University, or the lady who already had a Masters of Science in Nursing (but was still considered a new grad-figure that one out!), or the girl that had already worked at Children's for several years.



Almost all of my fellow 35 or so colleagues either came from out of state and had quite impressive resumes, or were in state and had either worked or done their senior practicum (a huge advantage) at Children's Hospital.

So, why did I get the job? I don't know.

But I DO know that God Almighty was working on my behalf to give me this job, and this story is a perfect example of how we deserve NOTHING, and yet our Faithful Father chooses to LAVISH us with more than we could ever imagine.

During nursing school, there were incredible levels of anxiety among my classmates about jobs. It seemed as though every.single.day we heard or talked about how it was impossible to get jobs. How all these people we knew who'd graduated last year still couldn't find jobs. How you were never going to find a job unless you were a CNA in a hospital (which I wasn't).

I constantly thought and worried about how I would manage to beef up my resume just enough to get a job. I wasn't a CNA at a hospital and was always debating whether or not I should apply. I always felt like I needed to volunteer more, get better grades, and try harder. Nevermind the fact that I already didn't sleep much.

If I only knew that God would take care of me.
If I only knew that God would put me in the right job. Regardless of my resume.
If I only knew that God would continue to bless me, despite my doubts of His faithfulness.

If I only knew and truly trusted God's everlasting faithfulness and God's goodness, I would have saved myself much anxiety, worry, and doubt. 





If someone asks me how I got the job at Children's, I don't really have a great answer for them. But I am confident in knowing that I was given the job at Children's for a very specific purpose, for a very specific plan, and....


....for such a time as this

You're an alternate- Pt. 1



I was sitting in my living room one morning when I got a call telling me that I'd gotten an interview for a spot in the Children's Hospital Colorado Nurse Residency program. I sat there slightly stunned. I had debated not even applying for the program, and now I had an interview. "Well," I thought, "I can go with it I suppose".

I spent hours making my nursing portfolio, hunted down some professional clothes, and prepared as many interview questions I could find on the miraculous invention of Google.

This interview was composed of 2 panel interviews (3-4 people sitting on each), and then a written test. My handsome husband (then fiance) man dropped me off, and two hours later I emerged thinking to myself, "Well I'm glad that's over with. I better start looking for some other jobs."



Let me highlight a few prime examples of WHY I figured I had botched the interview.

Example #1

One interviewer asked me "Sarah, tell me about a time you have failed."
Now the best answer would have been something clinically related that I could have beautifully crafted into a story that explained how I'd failed, but in the end learned and succeeded. Instead, all I could think of was:

"Well, uh, this past March my fiance got into the church choir and I didn't."




Well there was a fantastic answer. My 2 million mistakes in nursing school, and all I could think of was the church choir?! I rambled on and on, and somehow transitioned my church choir story to one about how I accidentally gave a patient a medication that my nurse had already given her.

Not only was the story about double dosing my patient something that never actually happened to me, I'm sure the transition from church choir to medications was just beautiful.

Example #2

They asked about a time I had had a conflict with a colleague and what I did to resolve the conflict. Oh good, I had a GREAT answer prepared. But once again, all that came out was:

"Well, uh, this girl didn't help in our group project, and we felt that it wasn't fair, so we reported her to our clinical instructor."

I'm sure I expanded on it a little bit more, but the above statement is something most 5-year olds say on a daily basis ("That's not fair! I'm telling!) Once again, perfect answer gone wrong.

Example #3

The written test... Oh the written test.

Ten questions that I had absolutely no idea on. I used every single inch of space to write... mostly trying to cover up the fact that I had NO.IDEA. on most of the answers.



Most of the questions I answered, "I would go and look it up and report back to the family." If I had put that on an exam in nursing school, I wouldn't have passed nursing school.

I drove away from the hospital fully expectant that I would receive a "Thank you for applying but unfortunately..." email in a couple of weeks.

I jetted off to Haiti the very next day (another story to come!), spent 10 days on a medical mission trip down there, and came back to find an email in my inbox that said:

"Dear Sarah. You have been chosen as an alternate for the position at Children's Hospital Colorado. We will notify you of your status before July 31st."


I was an alternate... well, now what?

Click here to find out how the story ends!
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