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- by PnutButterJelly Mar 25So I am about to be a new grad and I am applying to a pediatric new grad program. One of the requirements is to write an essay on why I want to be a pediatric nurse. I have already written the essay, but I am still struggling with if it is what I really want to say. I want to make it stand out. So my question is this--if you had to soft through a million essays, what would make one stand out to you? I really want this position and I think that is why I am having such a hard time. Thank you for any input!
- Mar 25 by blackvans1234Probably just about every essay they're reading goes something like this
When I was a kid in the hospital, the Nurse was so good to me, I want to be like them
When my son / daughter / niece / nephew was in the hospital, the Nurse was so good to them, I want to be like them.
If it's like that then it is probably going to blend in.
(my assumptions above are based upon the ''why do you want to be a nurse'' question we got in nursing school)
- Mar 25 by hiddencatRNIf they're asking you for an essay, they want to get a sense of who you are and why you want to work in peds. This is the time to let your passion and excitement show through. I wouldn't try to be gimmicky, just be direct and personal and *you.*
- Mar 25 by PnutButterJellyDefinitely not trying to be gimmicky. I guess that I am afraid that it will come off cheesy or unoriginal, even though it is absolutely the truth. I can't really explain the feeling that being around and helping kids all day gives me, but this is my first paragraph (the rest answers the other questions) and it comes somewhat close to what I want to convey. Does it come across horribly cheesy??
I want to be a pediatric nurse at Kids R Awesome Hospital because I believe in magic. I am certain of the magic in a child’s eyes while performing deep breathing by blowing bubbles. I can see the enchantment on a parent’s face when their previously ill child is being discharged healthy and skipping down the hall. I understand the magic in a nurse’s heart knowing that another 60 years may have been added to a child’s life. I aspire to work at Children’s Hospital because it is a facility dedicated to preserving this magic by providing excellence in all aspects of pediatric care.
- Mar 26 by llgHaving recently read close to 100 essays from students applying to my children's hospital (and spent about 25 years hiring students and nurses) ...
The cheesy stories and the fluffy "magic" stuff should occupy no more than 33% of your essay. A little of that is fine, but I want to see it backed up with some things that are more substantial. For example:
1. I want to see some intellect -- not just some mushy "maternal instincts" that are natural for young women to have that draw them to care for children. I want to see that you have used reason and intelligence to decide that pediatrics is the right choice for you. I want to hire intelligent, clear-thinking nurses that can master the complicated material they will have to learn to become excellent nurses, and who can clarify (and sometimes separate) their feelings sufficiently to navigate the complex relationships among the patients, their families, you as a care-giving, and you colleagues who are also care-givers.
2. I want to see committment -- committment to work hard, to work the unpopular shifts, to do the difficult thing, etc. I want to see a committment to be great -- even when that means you have to do things that you don't want to do. I want to see that you are committed to the job and will stay in it for more than a year or so -- even when it turns out to be NOT the fantasy job you dream about. In the real world, most new grads go through a challenging adjustment period (i.e. reality shock, transition shock, etc.). Many quit their jobs when the going gets rough. I want to see that you are committed to seeing it through and staying in this job long enough to resolve those issues. I am looking to hire long-term employees, not people looking for a brief learning experience before moving on to something else.
3. I want to see flexibility -- a willingness and ability to adapt to our environment, even if it is not the ideal world you fantasize about.
4. I want to see that you have experience with children -- other people's children.
5. I want to see that you know the difference between professional relationships with children and personal relationships with children.
8. I want to see some maturity and some evidence that you are prepared to succeed in the real world -- as indicated by all of the above.
If you show me most of the above throughout the application process ... then you'll get my vote. Given that I hire only about 10% of the people who apply, you need to be pretty strong to make it to the top of my list. But fortunately, there are enough students out there who DO show me these things and I hope you can be one of them for the hosptial of your choice.
- Mar 26 by janfrnWell said, llg!! Bravo. Too many people think they'll love peds because they love kids. But that's not a good enough reason at all. Peds units are not at all like day-cares where one would play and cuddle with kids all day. Working with sick children can be brutally real and will wring the blood, sweat and tears out of the most seasoned and professional of us. Our scope of practice is the braodest of any nursing specialty; we have to know what to do for our patients, who could be neonates, preschoolers, adolescents or football players the size of Humvees.
Anyone considering peds must know that they will be called upon to do things that they know in their hearts won't be "the right thing" for their patients and to keep their opinions on these things to themselves. They'll have to navigate the stormy waters of maintaining professionalism in all their relationships when what they really want to do is have their patients and families become part of their own families. Learning where to draw the line between providing a service - really, that's what we do - and becoming involved in other aspects of their patients' lives isn't automatic. And it isn't easy. I've seen nurses invite families into their homes, buy their patients gifts (beyond a box of crayons or a comic book), take photos of their patients and other inappropriate activities that show they're really not maintaining professional boundaries. Then there's the reality that some children don't survive their illnesses. As health care professionals we fall into the second circle of grievors, meaning that although we're entitled to grieve a child's death as we would any casual acquaintance, we must not allow our grief to overwhelm us. A truly self-aware nurse will already have begun planning how s/he would manage these feelings.
Peds nursing is my life and after nearly 20 years at it, I can tell fairly quickly which nurses will excel and which will struggle - and my assessments include many of the elements in llg's post. Take her wise words to heart.
- Mar 26 by PnutButterJellyThank you guys for all the awesome advice! I actually want to go into peds for 3 reasons. The first is that I really want to work in family centered care. I think that is something that gets left out of adult care all too often. Two I really love the idea that each patient will have different needs and I need to be knowledge of everything from neonates to teens. Three is that I really do love working with children and the challenges that presents. While I have never worked with them in a healthcare setting, I was a photographer at a studio for a while. I loved the challenge of getting them to warm up and become comfortable enough to take good photos. I think I should redo my essay to focus on those things. I was really too focused on what would present me as the best pediatric nurse candidate and what I thought the recruiter would want to hear. I can't thank you guys enough for helping me realize I should approach from the most truthful, practical angle!
- Mar 26 by llgGood luck, PnutButterJelly. You sound like a good person and I hope you get the job. Remember: a little of the fluffy stuff is OK: you should show them you have a soft, cuddly side. But the people you are trying to impress have been in the trenches and survived -- and they are looking for people who can similarly survive in the trenches. They want to see strength and preparedness -- as well as "niceness" that will shine through to the patients -- and that will shine through to your colleagues. Aim for showing a good balance between the "soft" and the "tough" -- because both are important.