1. why did you choose nursing as a career? I never had one defining moment. I became interested in health related fields after taking a psychology course in high school
2. what year did you enter nursing school? actual nursing courses, Jan. of 1999; did pre-reqs at a community college prior to that
3. what was the name of the nursing school you attended? Riverside School of Professional Nursing (1999-2001,diploma), Virginia Commonwealth University (2004-2005, BSN)
4. what type of nursing program was it? (diploma, associate degree, BSN, etc) see above
5. what made you choose that nursing school and program? The Riverside program was the only one that had classes on nights and weekends. I need this schedule since I was a single Mom working PT. For my BSN, I chose VCU because of the convenience of mostly online and meeting only once per month, that and several other people I know had been through it and recommended it.
6. describe your first year in nursing school for me--Stressful because of time I had to spend away from my son-he was only 4 months old when I started. It kind of messed with our "routine". As far as classes, not as hard as I expected. Hated math for meds, as I have never really been good at math. Although I do understand the logic behind the math for meds.
7. where you happy with your experiences in nursing school? why or why not? For the most part yes. Had one instructor that was a bit challenging as she was new and second guessed herself a lot. The only thing I complained about every semester was that being on nights and weekends, there were some clinical opportunities that the traditional day classes got to experience that we did not. Also, since the hospital had an IV team (and they were not part of our clinical experiences), many of us, myself included, did not get to start any IV's while in school.
8. where there any particular prominent health issues or discoveries at the time? I can't honestly remember unless you want to count the "aftermath" issues of 9/11...Anthrax, grieving...
9. what was the healthcare environment life? As I see now, many things were driven towards patient satisfaction; a lot of building renovating going on
10. what were the common health issues of the time? SARS, Flu, issues after 9/11
11. is there anything else you would like to share with me about your experience as a nursing student?
While there were some hard times, I really enjoyed being a nursing student. I enjoyed my classmates and my instructors. And I did have some really good clinical experiences. Overall, it was pretty good!
12. can you share with me your career as a nurse? where are the places you have worked? why did you pick those places? tell me about your first job, what was it like as a new nurse? worked as a medical asst at a ambulatory surgery center while going to nursing school. Was hired as an RN upon graduation and still here! I like the hours (no nights/weekends/holidays) and the benefits. Pay is not that great but better than some privately owned offices. I am the "pre-assesment" nurse reviewing surgery charts pre-op, and work in pre-op/PACU as well as in the front office seeing patients and fielding calls. Started in the ER as labor pool about 6 months after graduation for extra money but also to learn how to take care of sick people. Working in the surgery center, all of our patients were pretty healthy.
13. did you further your nursing education? if yes, where and why? See #3---got BSN for personal goal and plan to go for Masters for family nurse practitioner (although my goal is to teach). Just sent my application off last week!
14. tell me how the healthcare environment has changed over your career? Not too much since I've only been a nurse for 5 years
15. tell me about your most memorable experience as a nurse? was it a positige or negative experience? why? In the ED, there are many "memorable" experiences and patients! In the office, well it was actually when I was a medical asst but it can apply to nursing! Let's just say I learned about patient privacy and not talking about your patients in public the hard way!
16. has your career met your initial expectations when you chose it as a career path? why or why not? So far, yes. I believe you get out of it what you put into it. I had hoped to be making a little more $$ by this point but being in an office FT versus a hospital...well, the pay is usually lower, but the benefits and hours are better.
17. if you could change anything in nursing and health care,what would it be? why? There has to be a better way to attract and retain staff (re: in the hospital). Increasing salaries...that would be a start!
18. is there anything else you would like to share with me about yourexperience as a nurse? I do love being a nurse. There is so much flexibility in what you can do..... office, hospital, schools, teaching, desk work or clinical.