Latest Likes For smn2010

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smn2010 5,301 Views

Joined Jan 18, '08 - from 'Virginia but considering another state'. smn2010 is a Registered Nurse. Posts: 266 (34% Liked) Likes: 185

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  • Jul 2

    inova health system in northern virginia has several nurse residency program. there are about 6 hospitals plus other facilities (heart & vascular institute, emergency centers, urgent care centers, etc.) within this system and each, individual, hospital maintains their own nurse residency program. the icu program is 18 months long at one of their hospitals!!!

    for those that think a 12-month residency program is too long, you may want to review the information/research provided by the aanc/uhc ( to see what the program consists of. it can't be completed in a mere 12 weeks, like most hospitals. many hospitals do not participate in the aanc/uhc program; but they have created their own based upon what the aacn/uhc established. the hospitals that are participating in the program must adhere to the aanc/uhc guideline; but the hospitals that have created their own program are even better for new grads.

    some hospitals allow the new grads to rotate to through all of their departments during the 12-month program. the new grad spends a week on basic new employee orientation followed by several weeks in the classroom (skills lab, ekg/ecg training, central lines/ivs, etc.). once you pass your classes you then spend 2-3 months in each area/department (med/surg, peds, l&d, icu, etc.). the new grad gets to identify their top 3 or 4 areas of interest then rotates to those departments. if the new grad determines that the area they are in is a good "fit", they apply to stay in that department and they no longer rotate. the remainder of their new grad program will then evolve around that one department (one-on-one preceptor, one day a week classroom, additional skills labs associated with the department (especially if it is a "specialty" unit), one day a month meeting with all new grads to see how everyone is doing, etc.)

    for those that think 12-months is too long... 18-months is even better!!! whether your are in a 12-month or an 18-month the time you end your nurse residency program you are no longer "green." you are not thrown out to the wolves--alone. you are definitely "comfortable" being on the floor, your self esteem has not been damaged, you are confident, etc. i would take a well organized 12 or 18-month nurse residency program over a 12-week, 4 month "orientation/preceptorship" any day without hesitation!!!

    if you are accepted into a new grad rn residency program....enjoy and gain as much knowledge/experience as you can!!!

  • Jan 20


    i am not sure "why" you would apply for an lvn position. don't give up yet. just try a different avenue as far as job hunting.

    i would suggest that you contact the personnel department//hr dept. of the facility you are interested in working at (whether they have openings for rns or not) to determine who the point-of-contact is for the nursing department. for most long-term care (ltc) facilities it is the director of nursing (don). get the individuals correct name and title and send him/her an "exploratory" letter. what is an exploratory letter....

    ...paragraph #1 usually begins (using your own words) with "this letter is being written to explore possible employment opportunities within your organization/facility. i am a recent graduate of a nursing program/i have ?+ years of experience as a nurse... my resume is attached to provide you with information about my education and work history... " paragraph #2 provides information about yourself, why you have an interest in their facility, what you can "bring to the table", (team player, organized, multi-tasker...) etc. paragraph #3 closing paragraph that provides telephone contact numbers.

    you will be surprised by your results!!! with today's economy, all businesses are not posting every job opening in the local newspaper. they can't afford to. additionally, by submitting your resume and cover letter, before an ad is posted in the newspaper you provide yourself with a possible "first chance" in the interview process, long before the ad is posted and other people start to apply. if there are no lvn/lpn positions available, you may be able to get your hands on a position (above an lvn/lpn). like an rn doing assessements (ltc facilities report to medicare/medicaid in order to be paid and usually have a mininum data set (mds) nurse/coordinator that is responsible for the new admits, 30-day, 60-day, 90-day, quarterly and annual head-to-toe assessments). this is what i did! this can at least get your foot in the door until a position on the floor/unit is available. i submitted a letter, got called in for a interview the next day, was hired the same day as the interview. the facility was still organizing their job description to place in the paper when they received my letter. shortly thereafter, my girlfriends (3) did the same thing and got hired immediately as unit nurses and nurse supervisors. ltc facilities are always in need of lvns/lpns; but are eager to take on new grad rns. i worked in the mds office with 2 lpns and 1 rn for 5 months at a ltc and learned quite a bit! especially my pharmacology. this short period of time allowed the facility to view me, my work ethics, etc. now, while i work full-time at a hospital, i work at the ltc part-time as an rn on their skilled unit (i have a pencil schedule and can select my own work days (nights actually) around my full-time rn job!). i am considering working full-time as an rn with the ltc. right now, i can't make up my mind which way to go. as a new grad, i want the experience that can be gained in a hospital; but i enjoy the environment of the ltc.

    sending an exploratory letter is time consuming because you have to do the work ahead of time by finding the correct point-of-contact. i've used this method the majority of the jobs that i have ever had (non-healthcare included) and it seems to work.

    again, don't give up. stay positive!

  • Sep 12 '15

    if you are interviewing for a position at the v.a. you must have applied directly to the position or you applied for a posting that had "open" locations (positions available all over the u.s. with the same job title). regardless, be calm. actually, be very, very excited and happy you have been contacted. i have friends who applied to the v.a. 2+ years ago and continue to reapply for new positions and still have not been called for an interview.

    your current location really isn't an issue. the fact that you have no experience is really not an issue either. believe me, the individuals who will be interviewing you have reviewed your application along with all of your accompanying application forms so they are fully aware of what experience you have--or don't have and they know that you are on the opposite coast from where the position is that is available. i have friends from north carolina that were offered jobs at the v.a. in california. ...they are no longer in north carolina---packed their bags/belongings and moved, with no problems!!! the interviewer will definitely be discussing the facility along with the location of the facility. he/she will most likely ask you "why" you want to relocate. just be sure not to sound as though you will go "anywhere" for a job. instead, talk about the job itself and what you find most interesting about the job that appeals to you. this alone will let the interviewer know that you are interested in relocating--not just to have a job but because you want to work on this unit/department/patient skill set, etc.

    for every position that you have worked, you can some how incorporate that experience into the skills/abilities that are needed for the v.a. position that you are applying for. take your resume and compare your listed skills/abilities to what the registered nurse position requires. where ever you have worked, i am sure you can draw comparisons to good communication skills, detail oriented, multi-tasker, organized....

    hopefully, you printed and saved a copy of all positions you have applied for with the v.a. (or any organization) which includes the full job description and job requirements/expectations. take that copy and do the following:

    • beside each v.a. skills/abilities (job requirements) - write down something from your resume that you can use as a "comparison." write down "how" your non-medical experience has helped to prepare you for any/all skills you plan to use as an rn. as i said before, good communication skills (can be compared to therapeutic communication); detail-oriented (even if you worked at mcdonald's you had to pay attention to detail!!!); multi-tasker (very few people do only one thing while on-the-job); computer/software knowledge (software used at a previous job can be easily be compared to the computer environment that hospitals are utilizing now--versus hand-charting....i.e. "you are good with computers and willing to learn new software applications" is something you can state in an interview. heck, for example, even mcdonald's has new computerized cash registers that everyone has to learn to the interview i would talk about how you were not intimidated about learning something new!!!)

    • with the requirements that are strictly medical (vital signs, head-to-toe assessments, client teaching, charting, therapeutic communications, patient admission/transfer/discharge, etc.) use your clinical rotations--all of them (medical/surgical, geriatric, l&d, community health...) and write down "how" the clinicals have prepared you to do the job the v.a. is looking for.
    i believe you actually have more skill/abilities than you realize. many people sell themselves short and don't give themselves credit for what they have done in the past and what they are able to do in the future. i think that once you go line-by-line down the job description for the v.a. job and site/write down your resume-and-school clinical experience (medical vs. non-medical) you will realize that in many, many ways your non-medical/non-nursing experience has basically prepared you for the field of nursing and can be associated, in some way, to the medical experience that is needed for the job you are applying for.

    complete the comparison. then read it over and over again until you believe in yourself that you have the skills and a lot of the experience that is needed. then, when you interview, you will be more confident about the job you are trying to get hired for.

    you're a new grad!! be happy!!! let that happiness and optimism shine when you talk on the phone or in an in-person interview.

    good luck with your phone interview.