I completed a med-surg internship at Lexington MEdical Center (.... just outside of Columbia), and am now working on the general surgical floor. The internship was 12 weeks long and my nurse manager gave me an additional 4 weeks of orientation after I took the job on this floor. I'm just short of my 90 day probation period for the new job on this floor. It's tough work, but I'm working hard and the night shift crew has been very supportive and accepting....although most are 20 years younger than me! I only interviewed at LMC b/c of their internship program. Our leadership/management prof insisted to look for one. I've known other new grads who have been thrown to the wolves after simply a brief orientation.
Real world nursing is a FAR CRY from nursing school
clinicals. There is SO MUCH MORE beyond nursing skills and nursing knowledge needed to take care of acute care patients. It's pretty overwhelming. I've many times felt like quitting, but other nurses tell me they felt the same way the first few months, so I'm hanging in there.
I have a fellow grad who went to MUSC to work in a specialty area. (I don't want to get specific on the forum). She was an excellent student and did very well in clinicals. 'Was the first in our class to take NCLEX after our May graduation and passed with 5 questions. She was "asked" to turn in her resignation after only a couple of months of work b/c they felt she wasn't "pulling her weight." She was blown away! She said she felt forced to resign and the nurse manager, as well as several others on staff, have left since her resignation. She said she wishes she'd demanded more of an explanation b/c it all came as a surprise to her. They really hadn't encouraged her along the way.
Make sure you carefully inquire about where you are going. Don't let location be the only deciding factor. Who you work with and work for is important! My hubby is a physician and I've seen many of his office nurses come with one year of hospital experience b/c they signed on for a bonus at a hospital and learned it wasn't a good situation. They fulfilled their contracts and the whole experience ruined their taste for hospital nursing. THey say they'll never return to the hospital environment all b/c they felt abandoned, were given too much responsibility too fast, didn't feel supported, etc.
Look for hospitals with good orientation and internship programs. Visit them and talk to the nurses there. See if they are happy. Find out from the nurse recruiter how many nurses have left in the past year and why. AND don't let $$$ be the deciding factor. Oftentimes, the hospitals paying the most are doing so b/c they HAVE to in order to recruit nurses.. b/c their reputation keeps wise nurses away
Have a good senior year and good luck on NCLEX.
You'll soon be an RN! yea!