Just accepted, many questions/need advice..

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    Hey guys-

    I was accepted into my # 1 choice nursing program a few days ago and will be starting this January. It is an ASN/ADN program and I went this route since I have a B.S. degree already.

    I am super happy and thankful as you can imagine, but I am also somewhat nervous about the future. Many new graduates are struggling to find their first job after many months of having been out of school, so this is something that concerns me for the most part.

    Overall I guess I simply want some guidance on the things you wish you knew before entering nursing school and how to better yourself to land a job after graduation. I have a B.S. in Public Health, I am not sure if this will even make a difference once I finish nursing school in helping me to land a job, I am trilingual and I have also been working as an EMT-1 for AMR and plan to do some while completing nursing school. I also will work super hard and try to pass everything with great grades.

    What general advice can you guys give me for my concerns? How can I make myself more marketable during my nursing school phase? I live in Central California (Between Bakersfield and Fresno).

    Thanks in advance guys,

    Ed
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Hey Ed.

    I was in the same boat as you will be. I have my B.S. in Public and Community Health, and went for the ADN. For me, employers didn't give a crap if you had previous degrees--only if they were nursing-related. I am sure your EMT will help out for sure. I didn't have any problem finding a job (I actually turned my first job offer down), but I did move from Maryland to Texas after graduation to be with my husband (military). It really depends where you live. My friends in Maryland who graduated in July with me, about half of them have jobs while the other half is still looking.

    The only thing I will say is that everyone told me that I would not have a life, and that I'd be studying my life away, but I didn't find that to be true. I did an accelerated program and got my ADN in 13 months (it even had breaks in between). It was much more difficult that my four-year degree combined but if you really are into the material, it isn't bad at all. Especially towards the end of the program, you'll have so many, "Ahhh, that explains a lot" moments. I really enjoyed the program and I wish you the best of luck!

    I was amazed at how much nurses had to know! And no one will understand how much you do during a shift if he/she is not a nurse already...that is my two cents Congratulations again!

    Good luck in California...I hear it is rough finding jobs there. If you can get a part-time job in a hospital as a Patient Care Technician or something similar, that will help you get an "in" into the hospital, make you a better nurse, and make nursing school better since you'll probably see more hands-on and different situations as a tech than as a student.
    TXJP likes this.
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    I am guessing they don't have accelerated BSN programs near you? Thats what I did as like you I had a BS first. Mine was in Health Science. A health educator. I was able to get my BSN in one year (not including the pre-reqs--though I didn't have to take any of them since I had them because of what my prior degree was--most in my class didn't) But overall I have (in 7 years) found that about 90% of the time they didn't give a hoot about my other degree. It has helped sometimes. I guess it depends on what area of nursing you go into as far as using your prior degree.
    What peice of advice I can give is what I give to all starting nursing school. Don't wait till the end of your program to by NCLEX Review/Question books. Buy them a the beginning. Use the questions to study for each area as it is taught--specialty areas, systems, etc. I found even from the start my instructors used many of the questions from these books right on the exams. Sometimes word for word and sometimes really close--maybe the multiple choice answers switched around. Read the questions, then they give you the rationale for why the correct answer is the correct answer and why each of the others is wrong. Read all of it. I found that really helpful. They were trying to get us ready for HOW to answer the NCLEX questions. To get used to the format and style. I got that tip from a nurse/friend and used those books to study for my NCLEX to and took that friends advice to get my hands on every question I could to prepare--it worked, I passes first try with 75 questions and I didn't find it all that hard.
    Good luck to you and enjoy. --oh and record classes you find harder--if the instructor will let you. You can listen twice and take further notes the second time through. I did this for pathophysiology.....my teacher was brilliant and gave more info each class then I could absorb and/or write down. So I listened to her lecture twice! lol
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    Definitely work as a pct or an aid or do an externship during your breaks or part time. Some new grad orientation programs look for that when they are accepting you at the facility. Also being an aid/pct/extern will get you contacts within the facility, because as we all know it is about who you know sometimes!.

    Good luck
    diamondmeadowsRN likes this.
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    I just wanted to comment on the not finding a job portion of your question....
    Fist of all you have experience as an EMT which is a plus. When it comes to people not finding jobs, do not think about that. It could be numerous reasons as to why the select individuals are not finding positions. I personally know poeple that went to the same exact place for interviews and one was told we r not hiring while the other was asked for a second interview. Being confident, having great communication skills and posture and presence goes a long way even before you sit down to sell ur skills and experience.
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    first off congrats on getting accepted into the nursing school of your choice! I really wouldn't spend a lot of time worrying about the job market right now, it's hard to predict where it's going to be in 2 years from now. It never hurts to make good connections though. If you have a clinical facility your really enjoy, talk to the nurse recruiter or nurse manager and let them know when you graduate and how much you enjoyed your clinical experience with them. Let them know when you graduate you are interested in obtaining a position with them. It never hurts to make yourself known and make some good contacts!


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