What would you do ROOKIE?
For my fellow new grads! The UN-EMPLOYED ones! I thought this would help take your minds off the crap we go through daily. My hope is that you don't forget everything you have learned before you actually get to use it. 'Cause I can't remember half of my drugs! Enjoy.
So you have worked hard, very hard. The past few years have been gruesome. You have suffered, rejoiced, cried, failed, shook it off and got back up, succeeded, endured countless sacrifices and accomplished the dream! The sleepless nights, missed meals, special occasions you regretfully sent back with I O U s are now over. Congrats! A pat on the back from your closest supporters and you back to the real world.
Time to get a job. You start applying to every job that matches your new title of nurse! You start off on the internet. Day in and day out, from sunrise to sunset, the applications process seems endless. You have filled out so many by now, you're exhausted from just the site of a listing. You know, time is against you. As now, you're trying to find short cuts to get through this application, just to get to the next one, in under the 45 minutes. Your patience is being tested.
Fast-forward a few months still no job. You decide to change your strategy and pursue your dream job on foot. Door to door, you march, resume, and license in hand. You've polished up your interview skills, and break out your Sunday best, and you're only going to fill out the application. You are determined to make a great first impression and try to snoop out the inner workings of this organization you hope to be employed by. You make contact with of dozens of DONs, meet what feels like hundreds of directors in HR, all regretfully explaining to you, that your new grad status makes you more of a liability then an asset. In fact, you've heard that special phrase "6 months to a 1 year REQUIRED" so many times it makes filling out another application seemingly pointless. You're starting to sink even further.
You re-evaluate your financial status once again, cutting back even more from an already stretched paper thin budget. Now, getting to and from these potential employers sites are starting to take an unexpected toll. With every passing day, you see money going out of your pocket with no end in site. You have even renew your licence's first cycle, and still no job. It's as if you had broken a mirror and been given 7 years of bad luck, and fate, was out to get you, determined to make this phase of your life suck, I mean really, suck.
During school, you heard of talk of a nursing shortage. It was everywhere, littered in news articles, posted on billboards, you couldn't get through a day without seeing some advertisement to become a nurse, promising a future with limitless opportunities to make a difference in the lives of people, who needed you. Even you professors dazzled you with stories of their adventures as a young up and coming nurse. Now, you question your professor, wondering why they didn't forewarn you, of these kinds of roads blocks, back when you might have been able to better prepare yourself. Now, you scold and scoff at the lies, the media has fed the public, you know, your truth!
By now, your mind has started to wander, straying from the path of nurse, to searching for a job, any job. You can't stay unemployed any longer, you got mounting bills well past due, and more importantly mouths to feed. Just when, you gave up and are about to accept that dead-end, go-nowhere job, the phone rings. It's that employer from a small nursing home you don't even remember applying to. Your adrenaline kicks in and the four corners of your body start to tingle, as you attentively listen to that DON arrange a time and a date to meet. You agree and hastily start to prepare.
Finally, the shot you've been waiting for. Hundreds of online applications rejected, dozens of nursing home applications with not so much as a call back to thank you for applying. All the while, reassuring yourself that none of that will matter, if you ace this interview and land this job. You've got very little time to research, so you start online. It's an hour drive, one way, you justify it, as it's only an hour, you have heard of worse, then you discover something shocking. This nursing home got a 1/2 a star rating. You didn't even realize they gave half stars! You dig a little further and find an article written last year about this particular nursing home, being cited and fined with heavy violations from the state. As well as one of the biggest ongoing investigations the Department of Children and Families have conducted in recent years. You think to yourself, this couldn't be, there must be some grave error or type-o, here. You double check the name, the address, even the DONs' name, it all matches. Oh my god! This can't be, you naively accept it at face value and figure they have resolved their issues and argue it can't be as bad as it seems.
The big day is here, interview time. You arrive early and center yourself with a few deep breaths and try to relax by making conversation with the receptionist. She politely informs you that the state is in the building and that your interview will be cut shorter than normal. In the middle of her ramble, your eyes flash a glance at a figure in the distant doorway. It's a young woman in the suit, with a badge. Her stroll is composed and with intention. It must be the state, you think to yourself, as an alert patient aid, interrupts your gaze. She pauses your conversation and asks the receptionist for a census, for her wing. You make eye contact and try to get a bigger picture of what's really going on today. You see fear in her eyes and a look that can only say one thing, "run, don't look back, just turn around, and run!" it's clear, she hiding her terror.
The receptionist, hands over the census then informs you, that the DON is ready for you. The interview went quick, there wasn't much time and it was rattled with interruptions from all types of staff members. You get a sense that the DON is an unforgiving woman. Her sink or swim attitude, was more fit for a military outpost than a healthcare facility. Even more displeasing, was the apparent lack of senior mentors and an abysmal 2 day orientation, which left you speechless. She, even gave you a nick name "Rookie". You find it very inappropriate and unprofessional but shake it off and continue. Despite the uphill battle, none of that mattered, the DON has made her decision and that all important, offer. The words filled you with excitement, the kind of bliss, a person can only feel on Christmas morning. The wage isn't much and to be honest you were expecting more but as a new grad you justify it. You cheerfully start to ponder all the things in your life that will change.
The DON graciously walks you out toward the reception area, but is swiftly stopped by the young woman in the suit, almost, as if it was a coordinated effort by both parties. Being as professional as you can, you shake firmly and introduce yourself, proud to state your name and title. Furthermore, explain that you're a new nurse and considering employment at this facility. She smiles and calls you "Rookie". You find that phrasing odd, even, the way she said it, just didn't seem right. She a fixes her stare, in an attempt to search for signs weakness in your character, deceivingly invites you join her tour group. Unbeknownst to you, you have just entered a game of cat and mouse.
As the tour guide babbles about the highlights of the establishment, you take note the young woman's name and badge, she's from the state alright. The woman's badge say lead inspector, she explains, she earned that title, of lead inspector by uncovering massive violations during her inspection of this facility last year. You can't help but notice this young woman has a bold, obnoxious, authoritative attitude. You imagine, a school child who never got to play pin the tail on the donkey. Now, she all grown up, and really ****** off. It's an attitude that could only have developed during a very deprived childhood. It's as if, she owns a dart board in her office and regularly takes aim at young inexperienced nurses. Then, an epiphany, you snap back to reality. With your quick wits, your one-step ahead of her, and kindly excuse yourself, falsifying an appointment that needs your attention.
As you leave the group, the DON and the lead inspector both exchange a glance , both smile and wave goodbye, oddly at the same time, oddly with that same smile. You can't be sure and try not to read into it, but your gut tells you different. As a heavy knot forms in the pit of your stomach, you take a minute to start your car, thinking about, that phrase, "rookie ". You can't help, but, wonder, What to do now!Last edit by Joe V on Apr 4, '13
3Apr 4, '13 by laceym, ADN, RNWhat a nightmare! I graduated Dec 12 and now have my license. Not only do I have 'rookie' attached to my resume but I also have a DUI along with it. The searches for a job cause mental anguish and I feel like I wasted 4 years of my life. If this article had me in the interview, I would not take the job and continue to search-not having a nursing job is just a stressful as having an unsafe nursing job in my opinion.2Apr 4, '13 by twinmommy+2, BSN, RNEww that just gave me cold chills lol.3Apr 4, '13 by PRICHARILLAisMISSEDWOW! I'll be honest with you, man, if it's all that's being offered right now I think you should just take the job, but continue looking on the side.2Apr 4, '13 by MullyAwesome!!!
Great writing. Chilling indeed.
Get that 6mo - 1 year and go where you want is what I say!0Apr 4, '13 by JeanOfAllTraitsGreat writing!
Have you considered looking into health care systems that have new grad positions. More and more university hospitals are running nurse residency programs to help new grads get experience and grow in the profession. Your first job can have such a big impact on if you even stay in the nursing profession. I am sharing a research summary with my employer to hopefully see then develop a residency program or at least change the way they orientate new grads. We've become a revolving door of staff.1Apr 4, '13 by SuzieVNI'd JUMP on it. Chaos is my forte. In fact, that's exactly what I'm looking for, anywhere in CA, if anybody know of such a place.0Apr 4, '13 by SuzieVNOther than the drive- no way, that's ten hours a week (and extra week every month!) of unpaid time. I'd rather move.1Apr 4, '13 by NewBeginningTorn on this one. On the one hand, I say go with your gut. You clearly feel something is "off". The fact that you were labeled "rookie" does seem terribly unprofessional and shows a lack of respect from the DON....and this is BEFORE YOU EVEN START! Yet, this could also provide opportunity! I always tell myself i could do anything for a year. If you could hang for 6 months, more doors will be opened! If it's the ONLY offer, and you aren't seeing much movement in hiring in your area, I guess I would say jump on it.2Apr 4, '13 by kimmiecooRun as fast as you can from this 'position'. I took a similar position knowing many of the 'faults' of the facility firsthand from my daughter who had worked there for 6 weeks. I lasted 2 weeks and ran screaming from there almost straight into insanity. Trust me, be patient and something that will not cause a mental breakdown will become available. Good luck and God bless.0Apr 4, '13 by elprup[QUOTE=JeanOfAllTraits;7262552]Great writing!
Have you considered looking into health care systems that have new grad positions. More and more university hospitals are running nurse residency programs to help new grads get experience and grow in the profession. Your first job can have such a big impact on if you even stay in the nursing profession. I am sharing a research summary with my employer to hopefully see then develop a residency program or at least change the way they orientate new grads. We've become a revolving door of staff.[/QUOTE
Sadly, there are very few of these programs. Somebody could make alot money if they figured out how to train us new/old grads, get us experience, and then place us.1Apr 4, '13 by PrayeRNurseYou worked hard for that license and should want to keep it. Turn down the job and use it as a life lesson for the family that doing what is right may hurt but that is what your family does....What is right. Keep looking. I am right there with you as a new grad. After being told by a DON that they do "short-cuts " on meds during an interview I had to decided if I took the job and did unsafe nurseing or walked away. I walked. I am a nurse and that means I do what is safe for the patient.0Apr 4, '13 by plumbtricianI am almost halfway through an ADN program. Every hospital we visit for clinicals is hiring new grads. You can do it.
I love your writing.Last edit by plumbtrician on Apr 4, '13 : Reason: forgot a sentence
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