For the experienced nurses... - page 2

by mindyjo15 5,376 Views | 30 Comments

My question is for the experienced nurses out there! I am wondering if any of you can think back over the years and come up with just ONE thing that you know now that you wish you would have known when you first started out as a... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from klone
    I would have gone right into a BSN program immediately upon graduation, rather than several years later.
    I second this! I did to back to get my BSN but I was a little complacent going back. I got comfortable on my old floor but I always knew I needed to go back. I tell all ASN's to immediately enroll in a BSN program. I said right after you take NCLEX enroll in school for that next semester.

    Also, knowing that I didn't have to settle for a job I didn't like. I'm going for a non-nursing degree but l looked at all my options while deciding to go back for another bachelors. I can use my nursing degree with technology. So knowing that there are non-healthcare fields out there that allow you to use your medical experience too.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
  2. 0
    I did my ADN and then went back about five years later. I rather enjoyed working first, gaining a lot of experience and then looking more closely at the theory/management etc. I felt my experience helped me really engage in the BSN information. However, I guess a year or two on the floor could get you the same feeling.
  3. 4
    2 things I would have done differently:

    I would have gone back for my BSN sooner.

    I would have insisted on having help lifting. I herniated a disc only a couple of months out of school which has plagued me for 13 years.
    Sugarcoma, Gold_SJ, joanna73, and 1 other like this.
  4. 1
    I don't have a lot of experience yet, but don't be afraid to delegate. Yes you've been a tech on this floor for 10 years, yes you probably are better at a lot of things than me, but I have four patients in a busy ER and I need help, and that is your job. I learned quickly to not hesitate to ask the techs for help. I used to feel it showed I couldn't do it all on my own, but no one can! And if those techs that got sarcastic with me for being a new grad don't like taking orders from the new kid on the block...welp, they can go back to school and get the same degree I have. Don't get me wrong, I'm not above helping a pt on and off a bedpan, or cleaning up an incontinent pt, but sometimes I have too much else on my plate.
    RN_BSN09 likes this.
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    prioritize ! you are the nurse dont let order of care be dictated by which pt or family member has the biggest mouth!
    RN_BSN09, Sugarcoma, SoldierNurse22, and 2 others like this.
  6. 1
    Agree 100% with previous comment. Get your Master's on a PT basis while you're still young and energetic. Go for Nurse Practitioner if you like the clinical end rather than the theoretical. However, aside from more education my biggest single regret is having stayed working one 1 unit for 20 years. Loved it and that's why I stayed...made great friends and everything was 'hunkey dorey'. BUT comfort isn't everything and I should have gotten a more varied clinical experience. At age 50 I took a giant leap into another clinical area, straight days M-F, but I am not happy because the job is "boring". Now I feel stuck because of a very limited clinical background.
    Go for the challenges along the way. Stay a couple of years and no more on one unit.
    anotherone likes this.
  7. 1
    Great for you!!! You are in for the ride of your life and it will never be dull. First and foremost remember being able to work with others is very important. Sit back and observe others and listen, wait for them to come to you and you will find that making friends and good connections with the best of the best will be easier. Be kind to yourself and know that what you see on the job is not the whole world. After seeing illness on a constant basis day in and day out you might start to feel sorry for others and start to give yourself away bit by bit... Nurses are giving by nature and I have watched first hand how it's starts slow and before you know it your you are making all kinds of sacrifices in your own life. Nursing is a job, not a life style. There are people that are healthy and happy everyday and that is what you need to keep in mind. It has been my experience that nurses are taken advantage of in their personal lives in part because of their giving nature. Stand up for yourself and learn to say no. You need to protect your health both emotional and physical. One other thing... you will need to move beds that was a big surprise for me.
    RN_BSN09 likes this.
  8. 0
    Get as much education as you can. Experience will always come, although some hospitals will offer tuition reimbursement but when you get to the MSN level it does not really help as much.
  9. 3
    Hmmmm...

    Nurses are not like on tv. We rarely become one big family. Be friendly, but don't get too involved. That way when the backstabbing starts, you don't feel 652 different types of betrayal.

    You can't save em all. You can't change the world. Just do your work, leave it there when your shift is over, go home and relax.

    Don't sign up for any and all overtime because the money feels great after all those years of Ramen noodles and KD as a nursing student. You will burn yourself out.

    Don't let the occasional failure destroy you. Use it as a learning opportunity.

    Being fired from a job can turn into the best thing to happen to you, ever. Even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.

    Follow up with recruiters when you send in an application, heck, show up to the hospital and go speak to them. Take names. They'll probably tell you to apply online anyways, but then you can followup and say 'Hi, we met blabla days ago, I am calling regarding the application I sent in, etc.' They might be more inclined to hire if they can put a face to the name.

    Don't assume that other people do their jobs like they are supposed to. Sometimes you need to be breathing down someone's neck for them to get things done (ie employers and documentation to start)

    Teamwork is SO important. Anytime you have free time look around to see if anyone needs help. Because when the poop hits the fan, those are the people who will give you a hand (well, probably lol).

    Don't get too comfortable, get any training that is being offered. That all looks REALLY good on a resume.

    Sometimes you need to trust your instincts. They might save your butt and save a life.

    If the vital signs look off, take a look at the patient first before you panic and call a code. Sometimes it's just the machine...lol.
  10. 3
    Well, my advice won't help you stand out in terms of interview process but for what it is worth here is my list of what I wish I would have known:

    1. Whatever ratio they quote you add two!
    2. Never trust a coworker who says "the docs are aware"
    3. How to assemble and know when to use the different types of O2 equipment. Nothing makes me angrier then showing up to a rapid and finding a patient on a mask at 2L.
    4. The first year of your life as a professional nurse will be brutal in the best of circumstances, find a vent buddy now!
    5. Never ever be afraid to say I don't know or I need help!
    6. Don't sweat the tasks of nursing! We train family to place foleys, do trach care, etc. Spend your first year growing your assessment and critical thinking abilities. Proficiency with tasks will come with time.

    And finally what I found to be the biggest surprise of my career: Many healthcare workers really could care less about taking care of the patient. Docs won't answer calls, yell and scream or ignore your concerns. Management that is fully aware of the horrible working conditions, fellow RN's who ignore or who don't understand critical changes, aides that attempt to bully their way out of certain tasks......these same people will throw you under the bus without hesitation and attempt to make things look like your fault. Be clear and concise in your communication! Be prepared to advocate like crazy for your patient! Be prepared to be the bad guy!

    Welcome to nursing!
    anotherone, RN_BSN09, and proud nurse like this.


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