Were you prepared for your first nursing job?

  1. 1
    HI! I am a master's student in nursing education and have been a nurse for 30 years. I was wondering if I could get some feedback from newly graduated nurses who are in their first jobs. I would like to know if you feel your nursing education prepared you for your first job as a registerd nurse. What deficiencies do you feel schools of nursing should fill in order to better prepare you? Looking forward to hearing your ideas and problems you have faced. Thanks so much! Eileen79
    MauraRN likes this.

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  2. 20 Comments...

  3. 0
    I would be glad to help you as soon as I actually find a job, right now I am just frsutrated with my nursing school for not trying to help us at all in the job search. I am a graduate of May, 2009. But once I get a job I will def post on this thread. GOODLUCK!
  4. 2
    WOW, I just stated my first job as a ASN, RN, August 11. This is my second career. I am 40yrs. old.

    I really wished that my instructors would have made us learn some of the medications that might be used when testing in each subject. I really didn't learn the medications from clinical, even though we HAD to put them in our Care Plan. I wasn't taught be classification. Still having trouble trying to figure out what they are. Like you have ALL the time in the world to look up meds at work."ya right" I wish and I try too.

    I really wished the test questions would have been more like the NCLEX, even though I passed it the first time. I felt thoses questions made you think.

    I wished we would have had a Math question on every test, at least one, even the simple ones make you think.

    I wished I could have acutally followed a RN for the day during clinical learning how to organize the day each clinical I think I would have learned more. On what to except when I got a real job. I thought just having "one" patient during the clinical day wasn't helpful, it is hard for the instructor to be with each student to be able to do different things. Lot of waiting, going on.

    The real world, you go to do a task and get called away to do something else and then try to remember what you was on your way to do just a minute ago. Because you know have 3 - 4 pts. to take care of.

    Not, sure what else to cover. Make it more like the real world and NCLEX at the same time. I know that is hard. As much hands on as possible for the students.

    Tina, new RN
    DolceVita and Eileen79 like this.
  5. 0
    I had a great experience in the school I attended.

    We were fortunate to have excellent, high quality instructors who loved their jobs and sharing their knowledge. Our exams were all NCLEX style.

    Clinicals were a great learning experience as we were fortunate to be in a teaching and magnet hospital and the staff appreciated having students on their floors.
  6. 3
    I second the idea of shadowing a nurse. Depending on the kind of nurse you get paired with, some of my classmates ended up being glorified techs. Nothing wrong with that, and we were happy to pitch in, but it really did not help us transition to being the nurse. Maybe it should be more of a transition over the course of the program: start off shadowing the tech (no hands on care for one shift), then assist the tech, then take a certain number of patients to care for, then shadow a nurse, then assist the nurse, then take a certain number of patients and do the nursing care for them. It would be a progressive way of learning and gaining confidence and experience. It kind of goes along with the watch one-do one-teach one method of learning procedures, but it would be applied to nursing overall.

    I also believe students need experience finding, reading and interpreting doctor's orders, and calling docs as well. This is a skill just as much as learning to put in a foley or start an IV.
    Last edit by Purple_Scrubs on Nov 6, '09 : Reason: for clarity
    skyvortex01, MauraRN, and Eileen79 like this.
  7. 0
    I am on my 4th week on the floor, and I feel my school prepared me very well both in the classroom and clinical area. I just need to continue to improve my time management skills, but that's something that can't really be taught, just comes with experience.
  8. 0
    Quote from IndyMitchell
    The real world, you go to do a task and get called away to do something else and then try to remember what you was on your way to do just a minute ago. Because you know have 3 - 4 pts. to take care of.
    Tina, new RN
    Wow 3-4 pts..??!!

    I WISH. We have 5-7 pts regularly and I'm also a new grad < 6mos out.

    All the best,
  9. 1
    I feel that IV starts are a deficiency I have experienced.
    DolceVita likes this.
  10. 1
    I just started my first job, so I'm not sure yet, BUT, based on what I'm expecting, I'd say my program was overall pretty good. We did start out doing tech work and gradually went on to shadowing, then doing more little by little while supervised. Eventually we got our own patients, mostly during preceptorship. Plus we got a huge variety of clinical sites and experiences, including small and large hospitals, community clinics, outpatient surgery, youth psych facilities and nursing homes.
    We did get a good bit of hands on experience too, but no one ever really made sure each student got sufficient practice on each individual skill. Some people hardly ever got IV experience and some got tons. Others never touched a foley catheter, etc . I think there should be check offs each quarter/semester or some way of ensuring students stay in practice.
    Also, we didn't have much by way of pharmacology either. I only really know drugs that we used regularly in clinicals, but not much more than that. I feel like if we had been forced to learn classifications, we would be much better off!!
    Eileen79 likes this.
  11. 1
    Did my nursing school prepare me for the real world of nursing? NO!

    No one talks about all the politics, the backstabbing, the gossiping, the staffing issues that goes on in nursing. NO! You are just feed the "nursing shortage" all throughout school and how you will be able to "land a job" without any problem, while you spend countless hours working on careplans with colored pencils and preparing powerpoints the instructors have no interest in.


    When you get out of nursing school and can't start an IV, but can tell someone about every nursing theorist there is, then something is wrong with that picture.

    And what purpose does it serve to get your pt info the night before? In the real world, you walk in cold, you have no idea who you gonna be assigned to or what's gonna come through the doors for that matter.

    Did nursing school prepare me for the real world of nursing? HA!
    Ambitiouz likes this.

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