Well, I am guessing you could use me?!? I have been a nurse for 9 years but my education is as follows: I became an LPN 9 years ago, then finished an ADN program in 2006, and then completed a BSN program in 2010. Considering I just finished the BSN program last year and completed the ADN program 5 years ago, perhaps I am a candidate to answer your questions???
1. Yes, I believe I was adequately prepared for my job in nursing school. Nursing school only provides you with basic knowledge and gives the student certain critical thinking techniques. Upon graduation, I felt comfortable knowing how to seek guidance and where to get information, which I believe is the basis of nursing education.
2. What was most valuable to me as a new nurse in practice was the guidance of highly experienced and skilled fellow nurses. I was extremely lucky to be hired into a step down unit right out of school with a group of coworker nurses who offered nothing less than 20 years of nursing experience each, and all were very willing to dump their knowledge and experience into the sponge nurse brain that I had.
3. I believe I have answered this question in answer 2.
4. Evidence based practice is large in any nursing area. In the ER where I work, research about changes are continually being reviewed. Wait times, faster processes, patient satisfaction, and continuing education are some examples of evidence based practices that are evident in my practice area.
5. I completed my BSN in 2010, and was an ADN before that. In the ER where I work, and on my rotation, I am the only nurse who is prepared with a BSN. The other 3 nurses who I work with are very skilled nurses. Being a prior ADN prepared nurse, I would believe that my answer to this question could be potentially biased in response. However, overall, I believe the care provided by me, a nurse with a BSN, is highly comparable to the nurses I work with who hold associate degrees. The only practice area that I have found that ADN curriculum lacks is in the management area. I am the charge nurse on our rotation, and I have sometimes found myself explaining and educating the ADN's regarding certain management or leadership decisions that I decide on. As for clinical knowledge and practice, the care provided by ADN's is equivalent to that of the BSN prepared nurse.
6. Yes, I have found a mentor in my profession. My mentor is a nurse who has been in practice for 49 years. She is in her early 70's, still works full time as an RN in a busy emergency department, is educationally prepared as a three year diploma nurse
graduate, and offers an unremarkable wealth of nursing knowledge, experience, and guidance. To me, she has been my idol and guidance.
7. No, I don't think I experienced reality shock. As I had been an LPN, I was aware of what nursing was going to offer and what to expect as I entered the profession as a professional nurse.
8. The only encounter I have experienced with sexism is with a very small percentage of female counterpart nurses. I can recall one RN who resented me because I am a young male nurse and I was offered a supervisory position over her. I belive that my issue was more age related bias than sexism. I was an LPN at age 17 (I was 15 in LPN school). Take 17 and add 9 (years I have been a nurse) and you can figure my current age of 26. Therefore, I often experience mistrust and "slack" based on me being 26 years old. Yet, it is often a comfort when I state that I have been a nurse for 9 years at age 26.
9. I am very satisfied with my career choice and love the nursing profession. I could not see myself doing anything different with my life; nursing has become my passion and I have gained a wealth of experience that has empowered me to continue nursing education. I am currently a nurse practitioner student and plan to earn terminal nursing education upon completion; I just haven't decided whether to choose a DNP or PhD route in Nursing yet
10. As any new nurse regardless of sex, keep your head up
You may become overwhelmed with job interviews and proving yourself when you land your first job. At an interview, when you are asked about experience, try to correlate a similar experience if you have no healthcare experience. For example, when someone asks you about your experience with "dealing with a psychotic patient," perhaps you could give an example of talking down an angry customer or managing an aggressive person, etc. When you start to work as a nurse you may feel overwhelmed initially, but don't give up. When things get very stressful, look around at all of the nurses you work with and realize that every single one of them was a new grad once. When a nurse coworker is unprofessional to you, kill them with kindness. Angry people are often unhappy for some reason or other. If you become angry back because they are angry toward you the situation will only get worse. Next, DON'T feel too "good" to ask for help. If you are unsure about something, ask for guidance or help from someone who knows, perhaps a more experienced nurse. The last thing you want to do is harm someone because you were unsure of something; a judge won't find you not guilty simply because you were unsure! And finally, if you make a mistake, own up to it. The fact is, you WILL make a mistake as a nurse. Everyone makes mistakes. The problem arises when you don't own up to it or lie about it intentially. I have made mistakes and I have always owned up to them. You won't get in trouble if you immediately take ownership for a mistake that you make!
11. Good luck as a nurse and I hope you are nervous. If you aren't nervous then something is wrong! Being nervous is natural. Afterall, it is a sympathetic nervous system response which proves that you have a neurological response to stressors and therefore have a sense of what is right which is imperative to the success of the nurse!