240zRN 2,966 Views
Joined Apr 23, '12.
Posts: 100 (20% Liked)
I'm sorry to say that I am not sorry. This attitude of woe-is-me and the days of our lives addendum involving a fiancé who clearly finds you to be a conditional agreement is tired, and old. I refuse to be another "you can do it!" poster with nothing more to add than generic enthusiasm, because honestly the only thing that will help your case is an internal locus of control that is lacking. You partially blaming a scholarship--talk about a first world problem. There are many examples like yourself that had to pay their way completely, took longer to find their way to a BSN, and mouths to feed to boot! I need you to understand that this post comes from love, because it took me over one year to find a job as an RN. I was mixing paint and stacking 2x4's at Home Depot getting payed minimum wage with an RN license in my pocket, for one year. I painfully understand where you are coming from, but if you're going to throw in the towel in this race, then do everyone else a favor and step aside, because there is someone else right behind you who looks hungier than you.
Not sure if I picked up the mentality from school or what, but the mentality that ICU/ED nurses surpass med/surg in competency is pervasive-- and impressionable new nurses like myself tend to absorb such attitudes. It's funny how many people internalize this feeling though. Many (even seasoned/veteran) nurses I've worked with in the ICU snub their noses at floor nurses for being (clueless/incompetent/empty-headed) inferior to them in skill and/or importance. That is BS. Total and complete BS. I ate a huge piece of humble pie when I saw first hand what they do up their. They may task more than other nurses, but it is because they don't always have the time to "play doctor" like many ICU nurses. It is a lot of hard backbreaking work being a medsurg nurse, and my hats go off to them. To assume they can't wrap their head around patho the way ICU nurses can is also complete BS-many of them understand patho to a level that is acceptable for their required level of responsiveness. So what if they don't know the in depth pathways of hypotensive crisis and levophed; why should they? They don't use that stuff. I'll tell you what though, they are experts in their own ways--their expertize are simply not appreciated by ICU nurses because they can't relate to them.
*NOT ALL*, but many ICU nurses I've come across believe that the sun rises and sets on their ***. If report isn't given isn't an ICU report, it is "unsatisfactory,"--not all departments of nursing involve being familiar with every inch and crevice of a patient. ICU nurses are only fortunate in that they function in a society that tends to favor physical science over many other perspectives of practice. Technology and medical science gets respect FIRST, feelings and accessory matters of the human experience tend to get residual thanks in our society. Medsurg/LTC/Home Care/etc nurses are the unthanked bunch. It is a lot easier doing a job when you have the constant reinforcement of praise. "Oh you're an ICU nurse, WOW you TRULY SAVE LIVES." vs "Oh you're a med-surg nurse? Don't worry, put in your time and maybe you can be an ICU/ED nurse and REALLY save lives"
By the way, I'm an ICU nurse who was lucky enough to find work in a Prevention/Public Health clinic PRN that taught me that PREVENTION/REHAB nurses are the REAL life savers in health care.
I don't post much. I'm not sure why, but I don't quite like this article/post. No offense to the original poster, but I find it lacking in reality and lacking in practical advice that goes beyond the limits of obviousness. It may be because this topic is a very sensitive one and is very near and dear to my heart. I graduated from an impacted program in the Bay Area, CA and thrown into one of the most saturated job markets for RN in the country. Not discrediting the rough odds in other parts of the country, but it is no secret that Nor Cal, with its higher than average salaries and density in nursing programs, is particularly rough.
I don't really have much else to add, because frankly you gave quite good advice. Most of what you had to offer has been hashed over more times than I can count; and even though some of these obvious concepts can escape even the most motivated new grad, it should be no secret that you should dress like a normal human being and not chew gum during an interview.
What I would like to add to your article are two main things.
#1.) If you don't get calls back, and you don't get hired for an interview. That is okay. There is a perpetual stigma associated with poor employment outlook and underpreparedness. I, and many people I graduated with who also struggled with securing employment, hit all those shiny boxes the best we could and still were passed over time and time again. I remember keeping and losing track with an excel spreadsheet of all the hospitals I applied to with an evergrowing sense of demoralization and failure at the reality that I had all the boxes checked off and did my due diligence with all that I could afford (and more) and still was rejected by the job market. I saw others getting jobs before me, who I felt were less qualified (either academically or professionally). Conversely, I saw our star peer with pertinent work history and a resume that would put mine to shame struggle with job securement longer than I had to. What I learned from that horrible ordeal is that the majority of the failure attributed to poor employment following graduation had more to do with economic turbulence and the volatile nature that is human capital in medical services than it does our own personal merit or stature.
This is not to say that we shouldn't do more, because face it, complaining about the current state of job securement does nothing more than waste time and does not help even the most impoverished of situations, but it should be understood that even though you check all these boxes, and even though you do all your due diligence, if you are not being called back or not being offered a employment. It is okay, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. I think circumstances and luck have more to do with job securement than making sure you jump through every single hoop. For example, the two people you gave an example about who had their phones ring during an interview and THAT being the reason for their disqualification is fear mongering at its finest. My advice is to go out there, give it your best shot, have a redundancy plan to make sure you can remain relavent in your search for employment and be prepared to weather the storm. The storm may hit you harder than it does your neighbor even though you did more to protect and prepare for it. Period.
#2.) I disagree with you not being able to negotiate wages or speak about financial/benefit matters during employment searches. If brought up tactfully, it can be seen as a sign of responsible life planning. There is nothing wrong with upholding a self percieved worth. We are professionals, and I think this "take whatever you can get!" attitude is exactly what deprofessionalizes and weakens our profession. Employers should know that whether they are speaking with a seasoned nurse or a new graduate, they have different strengths and weaknesses that should be respected even through wage/benefit negotiation. I'm not saying to ask for the top end of the salary spectrum if you obviously do not have the experience to back it up, however do not get into the business of bending over backwards for anything even in the face of desparation--this is exactly what corporate greed feeds upon.
Getting off my soap box now. I wish all the new graduates the best of luck in their searches. Its a jungle out there, but keep your heads up!
I'm curious as to what course of action you'd have in mind in the [inevitable] event you find potentially pathogenic profiles of whatever is being cultured. Also, I'm not sure how valuable this information would be. It is one thing to say bacteria is there, is another thing to say that this bacteria has a potential to cause infection/harm.
Patient A may have an immunocompromise sufficient to make an assumption about whether being in contact with certain organisms pose a threat; however the same exposure to patient B might not raise the same assumptions. I guess, what I'm saying is, I'm not sure where the "RN" comes to play in the picture. I love the idea, I'm a huge fan of preventative health and think there can be more done in a patient's home to prevent readmissions and help with overall health care comsumption and the overall congestive problem due to poor health maintenance. However I cant help but wonder what might come of such "diagnostic" information.
"Well, you have some E. Coli growing on your bathroom sink, this can put you at risk for XYZ if exposed, my recommendation would be to clean with ABC solution or implement ABC hygiene practices." ... I like this particular model, however I don't see how lab swabs would be needed as a prerequisite to simply saying "XYZ bacteria can be common pathogens found in the home and ABC practices/disinfectants can help prevent exposure." Which is undoubtably cheaper as it forgoes the lab diagnostic itself (which costs time/money) and still provides roughly the same benefit.
Unless you plan to swab, recommend cleaning interventions, and reswab to check result--which is still cumbersome and cost-draining.
I'm only being devils advocate because I actually really like this idea, and would like to see it hold water some how.
Best of luck!
Your situation is unique, to say the least. You have unusual circumstances that are counting against you in a race that's already hard even when you have a leg up. The advice you recieved is unfortunately all true; the industry does not care about the individual's struggle, the issue of employment is an issue of business rather than charity. There is nothing you can do about your unorthodox gap between graduation and licensure. I don't think disclosing your exam attempts is necessary, I feel like your familial priorities are justification enough. Anyone with half a brain can appreciate the human element in taking a recess in career to meet the needs of loved ones. We can't all skate the righteous pathway from HS to College to employment without the occasional struggle. Also, without sounding like I am encouraging you exploit your family's situation, you should not underestimate what formal skills you have developed as a caregiver to someone who's health is deteriorating. There is much to speak about commitment, adherence to personal [customer] satisfaction, and long hours without pay regarding your situation with this elderly parent.
I would find a way to creatively outline that experience in your resume, and if they ask more about that situation, it would be up to your comfort level whether you want to disclose that person as being someone you are related to or not; at the end of the day, it is nothing of their business. The only thing that should be concerning to them are what valuable skills you have gained from such work. When I was looking for work and having a hard time, I had to get creative in spinning my volunteerism into something that the common employer would appreciate. Take a good hard look at what you do on a daily basis, emotionally separate yourself from what turmoil is involved, and source strong material to speak on regarding your skills as a caregiver. I feel like you have more going for you than you think. I understand that money is tight, based on the description you gave, but do your best to supplement your lack of experience with education. Many companies charge an arm and a leg for certifications and there is business on preying on the desperate, but be resourceful by finding cost effective ways to add to your education. There are seminars or inservices that are open to the public that have educational components ranging in topics from leadership to clinical applications. Call local hospitals or schools and see what they can offer. Make the most of your time, find a way to volunteer enough so that it is substantially current. You can volunteer once a week somewhere in a clinical setting, and even if you arent doing clinically relevant work, you can use the fact that your presence has kept you informationally relevent. There is so much to learn by just being a pair of ears and eyes on a unit somewhere, just make sure you exemplify this learning clearly.
Lastly, don't be intimidated by the picture-perfect applicant you are up against. Keep your head up, don't ever give up. And always remember that everyone's favorite character in any story is the underdog--don't let them down. 8-)
Talk, Discuss, and Share your experience at your favorite Nursing School.
Advertise With Us