Quote from pelsmith
I have 2 years to go before I see the day I'm an RN, so after reading several threads I have a question. What makes that first day as an RN so different from the day before?
I'm assuming most people work as a patient tech or nurse extern while going to school. Some posts make it sound like they never saw it coming; like nursing work was more difficult, stressful or depressing than they ever anticipated, and that they never discovered this until after graduation.
The difference is that once you have passed NCLEX, you are basically considered to be responsible for yourself. As a student, the clinical instructor probably chose cases that were not that complicated (that depends, because some instructors may, in fact, challenge you), was a resource, and at that time, you are working under HER license, so, she will NOT let you screw up but so much. On the other hand, as a licensed professional, you are now allegedly able to use your nursing judgement. Also, you may not have had many patients, and was able to work at somewhat of a predictable pace. I was a patient tech, and then became an LPN...even that was a BIG difference. I can only imagine the transition from a person with close to no medical experience to becoming an RN. I have been a nurse since July, 2006, and am still in a state of utter shock every now and then...maybe not as much as before, but it is a wake up call.
Be sure while you are in school to obtain all of the resources you need, and when you get hired, make it your priority to look at the policy and procedure manual. Best wishes...somehow, we ALL make it if we really want to be nurses.