Question for Current Nurses! - page 2

Hi everyone, I have been reading through allnurses forums for several months now and was unable to find any current thoughts on a big question I have for all of you already in the nursing field. ... Read More

  1. by   detroitdano
    It's a terrible time to be a new nurse. The economy sucks, hospital budgets suck, and if you're not willing to tough out your life as an RN in a less-than-desired area (LTAC, rehab, etc.) it's probably not the right move. Life is all about connections, and unless you have some, it's gonna be rough.

    When I was hired in 3 years ago, 70 people applied. They hired 7. Earlier this year our hospital wasn't even hiring as we had to absorb the nurses from a closed hospital. Now we're not hiring at all due to budget concerns, and overtime was cut.

    I feel bad for all the kids who are on waiting lists thinking nursing is the answer to all their problems. :/ The opportunities are there for people with experience, but new grads are getting shafted. Like was mentioned, no job without experience, no experience without a job. I'd love to do OR, but even as a seasoned ICU nurse, I can't, because nobody will give me the experience. How is a grad with zero experience supposed to ever reach that point? It's tough out there.
  2. by   valysa
    let me say....nursing is a calling not a paycheck , the hours are long the pay , well thats another post we work short-handed alot with unspeakable body fluids surrounded by those just drawing a paycheck which makes our job even harder. regulated out the wazoo by every imaginable policy procedure and agency immaginable AND i wouldnt do anything else been a med/surg nurse for years love the run and get it the laughing comradarie the crying its what i do its what i am as sure as im ol cowgal who loves to ride a fast horse i love being a nurse ~ VLM RN
  3. by   mountainbird
    Thank you for all of your replies! Thank you also for all of the advice on keeping grades up, finding a job pre/during nursing school, and networking during clinicals - all great information I had not heard from people directly in the field. It's extremely helpful.

    One1 - It really does sound like everything is place/person dependent. I have great grades from a strong undergrad university but will be sure to continue to maintain my GPA as I finish up a few classes, and try and get some work experience while I'm at it. Did you complete an ABSN and work part time?

    CorazondeOro - Sounds like you found a great place! Thank for sharing - you've given me hope! I'm not anywhere near Detroit (currently located and would like to stay in the intermountain west), but you've given me an idea of what to look for in great hospitals. Is yours a teaching hospital by chance? I would guess that they might prefer new grads? Is the online program to transition your ADN to a BSN called a bridge program? I have been seeing some of those online and have been curious about how well they work.

    Detroitdano - Yikes! Curious what area of the country you're located in? That's terrible to hear you can't get into the OR from ICU. I'm interested in ICU/emergency, but would have assumed that would be semi-easily transferable to other departments. Thank you for the realistic picture where you're at. It's good to hear the truth, even when it's not as great as you hope for. From what I've been hearing it seems fairly difficult to get into nursing school. Fortunately I'm not one of the masses that think nursing will solve my problems or simply be a recession proof job (especially since that myth is becoming more strikingly clear). I truly WANT to BE a nurse. I have considered a range of other jobs within the medical community (from Dr. to PA to Rad tech, etc.) and I believe nursing is really where my heart is.

    VLM RN - Just saw your post. Thank you! I feel called into the profession - it's so nice to hear from people who love what they do - I hope to join you in that. What is it that you love about the Med-Surg specialty so much (other than the great factors you already mentioned)?

    Has anyone here been interested in or gone back to school for an NP? If so, have you had better luck/prospects with it? Has anyone else done a direct-entry MSN program? Tokebi mentioned it yesterday and I have been looking into different programs. Curious if it is worth the extra year and would give an advantage in the workplace? I seem to be finding a lot of controversial topics including whether or not an entry level MSN should even be an option given the students lack of clinical experience (which seems to fall in line with the reasons for nursing several years before being allowed to obtain an NP). Any thoughts?
  4. by   mountainbird
    Update - I have read through all of the threads on direct-entry MSN programs in the nursing students section, but would still like to hear from anyone practicing nursing who has gone through or knows someone who has gone through the same/similar programs. Thanks!!
  5. by   One1
    Quote from mountainbird
    One1 - It really does sound like everything is place/person dependent. I have great grades from a strong undergrad university but will be sure to continue to maintain my GPA as I finish up a few classes, and try and get some work experience while I'm at it. Did you complete an ABSN and work part time?
    Yes, I worked PRN while in an ABSN program, usually one shift per week, and I had young children as well. Your grades don't matter for your job but they matter in having a choice of desirable nursing schools that would accept you. Research the nursing schools and see how well-connected they are and how well-regarded they are in the community - school reputation matters.
  6. by   mountainbird
    Thanks One1 ~ PRN, ABSN, and kids is a huge accomplishment!
  7. by   Marshall1
    According to the Dept. of Labor healthcare - esp. nursing - is only going to increase in demand and is one of the few fields that weathered/is weathering, the current economic state of our country. As some have pointed out, you may not get exactly where you want to be just out of the gate, but jobs are available. Good luck.
  8. by   tokebi
    There really are a lot of confusion and controversy surrounding DE-MSN programs. From what I can tell, they can be divided into two types:

    1. You receive RN education and trains you to be a CNL (another topic that is quite controversial). Usually takes 2 years. You DO NOT become a specialized advanced practice nurse, but a generalist bedside nurse with MSN degree.

    2. You receive RN education followed by additional year(s) of specialty training of your choice, like FNP, etc. Usually 3 years. You obtain RN license and finish the program to receive MSN degree and become an advanced practice nurse.

    I graduated from the first one. I chose such program not because I wanted to be a CNL but just loved the faculty and the courses offered. The school was also very close to me. CNL role isn't really being embraced by hospitals right now other than the VA system, but some people really see vision in it and are hoping that hospitals will hire CNLs when the economy gets better. While I am not getting the CNL certification (costs so much money!!), I am very happy with the program that prepared me well to be an RN on top of all the education in research and healthcare systems.

    I don't have close experience with ABSN or the other type of MSN program, but people choose ABSN because it's quick and practical. People choose the second type of DE-MSN when they know for sure they want to be an NP, NM, etc.

    No matter which program you end up choosing, I agree with all the tips others gave. Having a job as a tech or CNA helps a lot, since hospitals love to hire internals. Of course it's not easy to hold a job while studying full-time, but it's not impossible. Quite a few in my class had part-time or per-diem jobs, including myself. Just make sure you get flexibility in scheduling. You really have to keep your grades up, though. While the GPA itself has little to do with being a good nurse, it will make a difference in job application process. The hospital I got hired, for example, requires GPA of 3.5 or higher in order to be considered for its RN residency program (="new grad program" in my previous post.) Even if there's no such cut-off, it will make an impression, you know?

    It is also important to get your senior practicum or preceptorship in your interested area, as someone said previously. I wish I could tell students to relax and do not fight over it (it was not a pretty sight in my cohort, which was generally very cohesive and friendly), but it really can make a huge difference in your job prospects if you want ICU or ER. I heard that some residency positions in ICU would not consider you if you did not do your preceptorship in an ICU setting. And of course, it is the best opportunity to network and make yourself known to unit managers.

    It's wonderful that you're really researching carefully. It's also great that you seem to know exactly why you want to pursue this path rather than some vague ideology. Nursing is such a great field as long as you get into it knowing what you're getting into. I have nursing experience as an LVN and there was a time when I was so burnt out and tired that I swore I will leave nursing for good. But I ended up coming back and wanting more. I believe that endless possibilities we can make as nurses, for ourselves, our patients, our community, far outweigh all the stress and b***s$%# we have to put up with.
  9. by   mountainbird
    Tokebi ~ Thank you many many times over for the clarification. I was definitely running into some confusing questions while researching. I appreciate all of your help! I'll be sure to pass it on once I'm on the other side of this.
  10. by   Esme12
    My path was a long time ago.

    I started as an ASN graduate for a prestigious midwestern school. I was out of school and working about 6 months, alone with an die, when I had a pedi code. I was impressed when the code team came...they were so smart and I knew nothing. I never wanted to feel that stupid again. I hated taking care of 18 kids with an LPN and an aide (census was low that night) I wanted the kind of interaction I dreamed of so I went on my path to critical care/ICU/ED.

    My school was the nursing program from the hospital in the inner city so I worked there waiting for a spot in the suburban hospital. The sister hospital had one of the first cath labs in the area outside of academia. Another amazing opportunity. They we also the first facility in the area to perform open heart outside of academia. Another amazing opportunity

    My path is unique. It was before ADN vs BSN vs MSN vs PhD. Technically, ADN bedside was pretty significant and a BSN got you your NP......I didn't' want to be an NP. Doctor's hated them and you couldn't find a job.

    I got to manage,supervise, work in cath lab, work the ED, do trauma flight, do ICU/PICU, care for fresh hearts righs out of the OR, neuro ICU.....all because I was smart and very good at what I did. I got my paramedic for flight and BSN later. I have had an amazing career.

    I'm not sure you can, do what I have done, know what I know and do what I do with as "little" education that I have had.... today. I have no clue on how to guide you in the system of advanced degrees.

    I am old school....I learned from generous MD's who wanted smart nurses caring for their patients and I was respected for being smart and experienced. Traits not really valued today without an advanced degree....I'm afraid I'm a dying breed. The experienced bedside nurse.
  11. by   nursingilove
    I love that post!!!! Esme 12