This site has provided me with a lot of support; all the way back from the days when I was just considering starting prereqs until now, 2 years into my career. I would like to share my story because I think it might provide hope to someone who has had setbacks early on.
I got good grades in nursing school
and passed NCLEX on the first try. I felt very ambitious and knew that I wanted to work in the ICU in a burn unit. At this time there was a lot of competition to get a hospital job right out of nursing school, especially in intensive care. I had a plan though...
During my last semester of nursing school I did a 4 week paid preceptorship on Noc shifts in the ICU in the hopes that I could make some connections there while getting a little training. After that they hired me as a tele tech as I was not an RN yet. My plan was to keep working as a tele tech and applying for ICU positions for 6 months and then I just needed to start working as an RN wherever I could.
I had 3 interviews for ICU positions and made it to the last round 2 times. One of these interviews was for the same place where I worked. I am actually really proud of this even though I didn't get the jobs because I had to overcome a lot of shyness to get that far. Ultimately though, I think the shyness held me back. I have this weird personality trait where I talk very little and in a quiet voice when I am in an unfamiliar situation.
I was disappointed when I didn't get my dream job but I was so ready to start working and signing my name with "RN" after it that I just moved forward.
There was a group of friends from nursing school working in a SNF so I went there and started working. It was hard and I wanted to quit a couple of times but I focused on the moments that brought me joy and told myself I would eventually have a position were those moments would be more frequent.
After 6 months I had been trained in wound care and loved it. It wasn't burns but I didn't care anymore. I didn't want to move for my job anymore. I decided to grow my roots at home. The DON asked me if I would accept a position as Care Transitions Coordinator. She explained that I would have to develop a new position.
I decided to take it because it sounded like a good opportunity to work on my shyness problem, learn some professional skills, and see if case management might be a good fit. 6 months later I was finally getting off the floor and starting. It took that long for them to find me a mentor and to get staff to fill my position.
Every month my I was told that it would be next month. My friends and family wondered what I was doing putting up with it and not just getting a job in the hospital.
Maybe they were right, but I wanted to see it through. After 1 year in that position I have moved on to a case management job in acute care. I absolutely love it!
I am no longer shy in interviews! All it took for me was some nursing experience to draw on. For some reason nursing school just didn't give me that.
So my first plan failed but my second one worked out!
I can see that there were some flaws in my first planes well as my second plan. I am just glad I had a better outcome this time. Along the way I have grown a lot as a person and I will just keep working hard and trusting my gut when I come up with the next plan!
Best of luck to all of you aspiring and new nurses. It is a very awesome profession!