Quote from STLCCSTUDENT
oh ic. Sounds like tech jobs would be pretty hard to get since Im sure a lot of nursing students apply. Do you have to have any other experience other then nursing school to be a nurse tech? I've never worked in a hospital before.
I graduated from STLCC with my ADN, so I wanted to chime in, hoping my perspective would be helpful. I have no idea what a "nurse tech" is. Every company has a different name for their nurse's aids: patient care techs, care partners, aids, etc. If I recall correctly, SSM actually has 2 different types of care partners (I, II): the ones for whom it is their career, and the ones who are in nursing school. (There may be a slight difference in pay between them.)
As someone who had ZERO prior clinical experience, I can tell you that you will need to get some. I want to reiterate what others have stated:
1.) Get a job as a tech as soon as possible. (QUIT any other job you may have in another industry.) No matter how inconvenient the position may be (especially if you have to work overnight) or how low the pay and benefits, you need the experience. Upon graduation, it may be the difference between getting a job and being stranded in limbo for a year while you desperately seek a job.
2.) Look out for summer and winter internships for nursing students. Get in and get the experience.
3.) Forge positive relationships with classroom and clinical instructors while in school. Do the same with coworkers (RNs, techs, supervisors) on the job. You will NEED references after graduation. (Of course, that's not the only reason to maintain good relationships with people.) Don't "oversell" yourself. You won't seem to be a better future job candidate if you're constantly singing your own praises and talking about how you want to be a nurse anaesthetist or nurse practicioner. You will annoy and alienate people this way. (I saw it happen to some zealous classmates.) And when you aren't even an RN yet, it's better to have a few realistic goals: obtain an RN position in the ICU (or wherever), complete your BSN within a couple of years, etc.
4.) Get good grades. Ignore the saying that "C's get degrees" and that, in nursing, whether or not you GOT the degree is the only thing that matters. In another time, that may have held true. But hospitals have oodles of RNs to choose from in filling positions. They are not desperate. They will choose the best of the best.
5.) IGNORE the negative things that people say to you about being in an ADN program. The ADNs are not as "in demand" as BSNs, but, for example, all of the hype about BJC not hiring ADNs was pure baloney! (ADNs previously working for BJC as techs were hired as RNs without a problem.) Among young people currently in or recently graduated from nursing school, there's some belligerent behavior about BSN vs. ADN. Ignore it. My cohorts in the program at STLCC came from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experience. People have a variety of reasons for choosing a community college, including affordability and flexibility in programs. I had a previous degree in the sciences from a really great school here in Missouri, so attending a community college for nursing was absolutely no reflection on my intelligence ... and the same will hold true for you as well!
6.) Always do your practice NCLEX questions - straight through nursing school, not just in the last semester or two.
7.) Hang in there! Hold on to your dreams! Don't let anyone's disparaging comments get in the way of your life's journey! Hope for the best, but work for it! ...
... There were a whole bunch of things that I didn't do to make myself a superior job candidate - things that I hope you will do -, but the relationships I forged during my preceptorship in the last days of nursing school helped me to get a job 3 months after graduating.
One more thing... Sincere, compassionate caring can be as simple as a soft smile and just listening while someone else speaks. You don't have to "ham it up" or offer empty anecdotes or sayings ("It all works out in the end").
That's enough out of me. Feel free to reply if you have any questions or concerns. Always nice to talk to another STLCC person!