Moving back stateside


Surprise orders to move back to the States from Italy. Now I can work as a bedside nurse again.


I am looking at this surprise of moving back to the States earlier than anticipated. This makes me both happy and sad. I do love the community here in Naples, Italy. What I am analyzing is how my day-to-day life will change.

Before moving to Italy, I lived in San Diego and worked many different nursing jobs. I worked in the hospital, at an infusion center, and at an outpatient surgery center. My spouse and I coordinated care with the kids and it felt like we would high-five to switch as one came home from work and the other left.

Moving to Italy forced me to be a stay-at-home mom/spouse. This was the first time post-college graduation that I did not have a job. After a few months, after I adjusted to day-dwelling, my eyes were opened.

For the first time in my life adult life, I understood what a weekend was and how different it was to actually see my spouse every day. This was the first time that we ate dinner together almost every day. I was shocked. I finally understood why people said doing shift work is hard. I finally understood why people were excited for the weekend.

As a nurse, I always enjoyed working weekends because it paid more, and gave me free time during the week when things were not as crowded. The first time I went to Costco after 1700, I was overwhelmed by how many people were there. I like to go to the grocery store around 1000 on the weekdays because I feel crowded when more than three people are in the same aisle as me. So, I enjoyed working nights and weekends as a nurse.

Now, I have learned to appreciate this time I have with my family. My spouse is home on the weekends, and the kids are not in school, and we can do things. This may seem like common sense to other people, but for me, this move to Italy forced this lifestyle on me and I admit, that it is special and valuable.

Now I am looking at this move back to the States. My priorities have changed. I want to make sure I have a balance between doing what I love and working as a nurse, and still having family time. I now understand why people work Monday through Friday during the day when the kids are at school. I now understand why a lower weekend requirement at the hospital is a retention opportunity.


I am not applying for every job that I find interesting. I am not going to fill up all my waking hours with working as a nurse. I am going to figure out a happy balance between getting to do what I love and spending physical time with the people who love me. This may mean a different type of nursing, part-time, or per diem, or not working 12-hour shifts. This will be an experiment worth figuring out.

I am looking forward to it because I have reassessed my intentions and have different priorities.