Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Running hurdles, and jumping though hoops

My last post has generated a lot of hits--people from known locations (here's a shout out to the readers in Lebanon, NH, Wilmette, IL, and Minneapolis, MN: I know who you are!)--but who the heck is reading from Sweden and Tulsa, OK? Honestly. . . I'd love to hear from you.

Anyway, I'm hanging in there, gathering my artillery for my appeal. I have 3 weeks to assemble it. Well, now I'm down to 2 weeks. For those who are curious, my main argument is going to be drawing attention to the fact that they interpreted my degree to be a 2 year degree, and not a 4 year degree. I also did not include my master's degree curriculum as a part of my nursing application, as it was most pertinent to my midwife application. But I will not make that mistake again. They want paperwork? They're gonna get it. . .

From the sheer numbers I've seen, I think Norwegian nursing students do spent more time in actual clinicals than I did as an undergraduate nursing student, ahem, 15 years ago. But, is it really necessary to spend 8 weeks in an old-folks home, turning patients, assisting with bedpans, giving bedbaths, making beds? And, did my years spent providing 1:1 patient:nursing care to micro-preemies with arterial lines, blood pressure medicines, total parenteral nutrition, high-frequency ventilators, the tiniest urinary catheters you've ever seen. . . did this not give me a little bit of credibility in their eyes? Does that experience mean nothing to them? Or do I really need to jump through the hoops of wiping old people's butts for 8 weeks to prove my worth?

Erik is the optimist, and I am the pessimist. So, it's very hard for me to not worry about 2 months from now, 6 months, 2 years, 5 years. . . and just enjoy what's happening right now. I feel like there is a lot riding on my ability to work (and most importantly earn) as a professional here.  Mastering the language is a huge hurdle that I am willing to tackle, but getting more hurdles thrown in my way is so discouraging. 

And no, the irony of the fact that I was once a 100m hurdling superstar* is not lost on me

OMG: was that really 20 years ago?
*My words, not anyone elses. . . 


  1. Awesome throwback picture!! :)

    Good luck with all your hoops, I so know how you really is the pits.

  2. Hey, I did the hurdles too! Not that I have photos to prove it.. trying to remember my fastest time..? But I think we already discussed that.

    Hope all goes well for the appeal. Hang in there. I can't imagine going back to wiping butts of octogenarians is really beneficial for anyone.

  3. Wow, great photo! Unlike you and Ellen, I did not run hurdles. I'm with Erik - once the confusion (on their side) about your degree and experience is cleared up, I'm sure they'll change their recommendation.

  4. Hi Emily!
    My name is Erin and I am that reader from Tulsa,OK. My husband and I just got married this past May and he is actually from Norway. I enjoy reading about the experiences of expats who are living in Norway because we have been contemplating moving to the Stavanger area, where my husband is from, in the near future. I am actually a nurse and one of my concerns has been whether or not I could continue to be one in Norway so I definitely found it worrisome that they did not initially accept your application. You will have to keep us updated on what happens. I am sure everything will work out in the end.

  5. @ ebc123: Very cool! Thanks for the comment! I'll definitely be keeping you updated on the nursing license. Feel free to contact me directly if you ever have questions about relocating.

  6. Uff, det hørtes ikke gøy ut i det hele tatt. Det kan være et tøft møte med byråkratiet...

    Det hele blir ganske så ironisk med tanke på alt snakket om "eldrebølger" og mangel på helsearbeidere, men. Alle reglene og hindrene en må gjennom har nok kommet av en grunn som i utgangspunktet skal komme samfunnet til gode, men når det får sånne følger som i ditt tilfelle er det klart at det ikke gagner noen - ikke deg, og ikke Norge.

    Jeg håper virkelig at saksbehandlerne ser saken din med nye øyne når du nå får sendt inn en anke. Send så mye papirer som du kan, det norske byråkratiet _elsker_ papir.

    Mange lykke til!! :-)