1.) what is your educational background?
i started with an aa in nursing. i went back and got a bsn in nursing. i also have an aa in accounting and a certificate in medical coding.
2.) what field are you in and how did you decide on this area of nursing?
basically, medical nursing in the acute hospital is what i've done most of my career although it is not where i started. i had a few problems with my first job and ended up having to work at a nursing home. i then did private duty nursing for wealthy clients for 3 years before going into medical nursing in acute hospitals. i've worked on many different medical units over the years as well as a stepdown unit. i've also been an iv therapist for a total of 6 years. after getting my bsn i was often promoted into supervision and management positions.
3.) was it hard to find work in your area and how did you go about it?
once i had a year or two of hospital experience, no, it was not difficult finding work until around the year 2000. i moved to a mid-west city and had a devil of a time finding hospital employment for some reason in that particular town. had to get work in a nursing home. i never looked for work through the newspapers, if that is what you are getting at. as an rn i learned very early that you only need to walk into a hospital's human resources department and ask for an application. most larger hospitals also have a recorded listing of the open nursing positions that you can call on the phone to see if any appeal to you. even then, many times the nurse managers are often aware when nurses on their staffs are going to be going on leaves of absence or leaving employment long before those jobs are even posted, so it never hurts to put an application in anywhere.
4.) what areas are related to your work?
just about any of the medical units, post-op surgical units, stepdowns. medical units in a lot of smaller hospitals get a variety of patients that would go to specialty units in larger hospitals. i've taken care of a good many different kinds of patients.
5.) do you ever have students work with you?
oh, yes. i've worked in large teaching hospitals where students, both nursing and medical, were around all the time.
6.) can i contact you later if i have more questions?
yes. pm me.
7.) can you think of any helpful advice that you could give me on my journey?
as a student, keep an open mind and a positive attitude. treat your school experience as if it were a job because your instructors are always evaluating you. they do keep written files on all the students. this is done for later when recommendations are needed for jobs by the students. sometimes an instructor that you had in your earlier classes is no longer working at the school, but that instructor's input may still be important to getting you your first job. sometimes students need to go back to get an instructor's reference a year or two after graduation. so, the impressions you make on your instructors is going to be very important in landing you your first job no matter what you might have done before you went to nursing school
. characteristics that your instructors are going to be asked to evaluate about you are: initiative and autonomy, dynamism and energy, positive outlook, responsibility, orientation to the client and co-workers (ability to provide customer service), learning capacity, productivity, adaptability and flexibility, leadership, team work, tolerance to pressure, analytic ability, and professional development. you should always keep this in mind and strive to act in those ways.
8.) how long have you been a nurse?
9.) what are your future plans?
because of multiple medical problems, not the least of which is some serious back problems (and they are not from lifting patients!) i am making a career change to health information management. my nursing background is coming in very handy. i also do medical coding as well. both are pretty much desk jobs and done in the hospital setting.