Nurses eat their young - now I understand why.

  1. 14
    I started working for a sub-acute LTC as the DSD last week. The DON and I hit it off because we have the same vision on what we need to do in order to solve the problems we current have.

    Early this week, we posted an ad for RN charge nurse with no experience required. We feel it's best to have trainable nurses even though they lack experience. I was tasked to interview for the position as I will be the one training them for the first 36-hours.

    Needless to say, I was flabbergasted with the array of applicants we had and now know why the some nurses eat their young.
    - New RN grad said she's been working as a CNA and knows she can do the job because there's not much difference between being a charge nurse and CNA
    - New RN grad said that she'll consider our offer, so I asked if she is being offered another position (as we need someone full time). She said she's expecting an offer any day now since she finished the online application earlier this week (and she was not kidding).
    - Someone coming into the interview with a wrinkled nose and irked expression and said that she can smell the BM from the floor
    - Someone who wrote "expert in IV medication preparation"; when asked what's their experience on it, she stated she's been a vet nurse and she's been doing those a lot.
    - Someone who said they are not available for the first two weeks of April as they are going on a cruise
    - Someone asking for the pay, end up telling me that new grad RNs in LA are paid $34/hr starting at the beginning of the interview.
    - When asked about core measures, all of them couldn't deliver one intelligent answer.

    and a lot more...

    Looking back, I asked myself if I ever acted as arrogant and privileged as the ones I encountered. Most of the ones the new grads I interviewed have this air... like they have mastered a craft. Like I should be rolling out the red carpet for them.
    anononurse, Joe V, beckster_01, and 11 others like this.

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  2. 158 Comments...

  3. 24
    All of those answers were absurd except the one about the cruise. I love to go on cruise and I often book them months in advance, so if a cruise is coming up then I do mention it on the interview... usually people understand.

    Anyway, I digress. The new grads you interviewed definitely seem to have a chip on their shoulder. They should be grateful just to have an interview nowadays.
  4. 26
    If you asked me about core measures, I wouldn't know what to answer either. What's a core measure? Sounds like a fancy management buzzword. Other than that, sorry you're having such a hard time finding good quality applicants, perhaps you need to look for experience instead of "trainable".
    anukis, mmm333, lilhelper, and 23 others like this.
  5. 15
    Core measures are a JHACO standard for treatment of certain diseases, shown to improve patient outcomes. If you don't know what they are you best get to learning them. They are required to remain JHACO certified, which is required for top tier Medicare reimbursement. Which means other insurance will follow suit soon in requiring them. They add more every year. The newest one that came down the pipe just this week is a requirement to give the pneumonia vaccine to all diabetics. Makes the head spin.

    Mentioning a planned vacation comes when an offer has been made and compensation is being negotiated. Not in the first interview. At least not if you want the job offer.
    Last edit by not.done.yet on Mar 25, '12 : Reason: Formatting
  6. 11
    I'm positive that it's not only young nurses that make bad interview mistakes....? If you find these new grads so challenging to interview, or in your words- "arrogant" and "privileged" , change the listing to "experience required". Simple solution.
    lilhelper, jtmarcy12, PinkNBlue, and 8 others like this.
  7. 17
    Ok ok.. I have to intervene here. Having been a Vet tech and starting MANY IV's on dogs and cats.. I must say.. it's WAY harder to start one in a dog/cat than in a human. The techniques are very similar. But you have a squirming animals trying to bite you oftentimes... Perhaps it was her attitude that made her seem "ignorant".. but in my experience.. much easier in humans.

    I understand the attitude in new RN Grad's is often times one of "know it all-ness".. once they start doing the actual job.. they're going to realize just how much they DON'T KNOW.. perhaps that will humble them. We can only hope.

    p.s. I still don't think anyone should "eat" their young, or old.
    mmm333, lilhelper, jtmarcy12, and 14 others like this.
  8. 2
    Quote from NocturneNrse
    Ok ok.. I have to intervene here. Having been a Vet tech and starting MANY IV's on dogs and cats.. I must say.. it's WAY harder to start one in a dog/cat than in a human. The techniques are very similar. But you have a squirming animals trying to bite you oftentimes... Perhaps it was her attitude that made her seem "ignorant".. but in my experience.. much easier in humans.
    I think the OP was talking about a person who said that since she was a vet tech she could prepare IV meds...not that she was good at starting IVs.

    Either way, it sounds like a bad mix of answers. It is tough to walk that line between not sounding like an arrogant know-it-all while also not sounding like a cluless ignoramus. It looks like the people you interviewed were on both extremes. Maybe it's time to go with 'experience required.'
    AmericanRN and sharpeimom like this.
  9. 4
    Quote from NocturneNrse
    Ok ok.. I have to intervene here. Having been a Vet tech and starting MANY IV's on dogs and cats.. I must say.. it's WAY harder to start one in a dog/cat than in a human. The techniques are very similar. But you have a squirming animals trying to bite you oftentimes... Perhaps it was her attitude that made her seem "ignorant".. but in my experience.. much easier in humans.
    I believe the applicant in the OP's interview stated "expert" skill in IV meds - quite a statement for a new grad seeking his/her first position working with humans.

    My hat is off to those who can successfully insert an IV on a squirmy furball. But these are two different skill sets.
    TexeCuter, nursel56, RN_Marie, and 1 other like this.
  10. 39
    I always assumed nurses ate their young because they are so busy during the day that they never get to take a lunch break. The young get eaten because they are tender, readily available, and the RN's and hungry!

    P.S. While undoubtably it's frustrating to have so many applicants that seem "ignorant" please keep in mind that you are the one who advertised for a charge nurse with no experience necessary. Really, what did you think you were going to get? You got just what you asked for- lots of applicants with limited knowledge because, well, they have no experience. Joint Commision standards were barely touched on in my nursing education. I learned them once I started working, with emphasis on the ones that are important to my unit. Nothing in your post makes me think that those applicants would not be trainable, which is what you said you were looking for. It's pretty clear that you, in fact, DO want someone with experience, so perhaps you should repost the job position reflecting that.

    I don't think there is an excuse for being rude, critical, and unprofessional toward a co-worker ever. Regardless of their level of expertise or their interview skills. There's a difference between constructive criticism/mentoring and eating your young.
    mmm333, lilhelper, jtmarcy12, and 36 others like this.
  11. 8
    OOps.. yes, it was prep of IV medication. Sorry 'bout that. Just get a little hot under the collar when Vet professionals are looked down upon. I quickly and mistakingly jumped the gun on that one. Sorry RN _ Marie. :heartbeat
    mmm333, RN in training, beckster_01, and 5 others like this.


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