Latest Comments by cwa82

cwa82 1,486 Views

Joined: May 8, '08; Posts: 19 (37% Liked) ; Likes: 16

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  • 3

    Hmmm, I have some mixed feelings about this. Not to be negative, but I don't think nursing is a wise choice if you are simply looking for a side job or "something to fall back on". To begin with, nursing school is a huge undertaking. Nursing was my second career, and I was fortunate in that I didn't have to work while I was in school. Even so, the program was my entire life for two years. If you aren't at class or in clinicals, you are studying, preparing, and completing assignments. The time commitment alone is immense, and the stress can be pretty intense as well.

    Second, if you like biotech and make great money - why nursing? This can be a very rewarding career for someone who is interested in the work. It can also be stressful and exhausting, and I've seen many new nurses want out of the field when confronted with the reality of nursing. And despite what you may have heard, the money isn't all that great. Sure, I make a comfortable living, but that's it. The people making crazy money in nursing are generally working boatloads of overtime to get it.

    Finally, most PRN jobs are for experienced nurses. It takes time and money to train a new nurse, and few employers will be willing to invest that in someone who will only be working a few days a month in return. The skills and knowledge you need to be a good nurse take time to pick up, and I don't believe that can be done if nursing is simply a side job. If you wanted to spend a few full-time years in nursing to get experience, and then back down to PRN, that would make more sense.

    I really hope I'm not coming off as too negative. As a second career on its own, I think nursing is wonderful. But for what you seem to be looking for, I don't see how nursing would be a good fit.

  • 1
    whereslilly likes this.

    Hmmm, always a tricky question! If you've done both interviews, and get an offer (but really want the other job), I would suggest calling the manager on your preferred unit. Explain that you've had another job offer, but don't want to take it if there is a chance you can get into their unit. I've had to do this in the past when stuck between two potential job offers.

    The one thing I would NOT do is to tell the manager offering you a job that you are waiting on something else. Honestly, if I were that manager, I'd almost be tempted to take back the offer. Employee retention is a big deal, and people don't like to hire applicants who are clearly accepting a "second choice". If you don't want to give an answer right away, simply say a genuine thank you and ask for a day or two to consider. Most hiring managers should be okay with that. But once that day or two is up - make a decision and accept or decline, no matter what else you might be waiting on.

  • 4
    DalmatiaRN, Bubwa, krista312, and 1 other like this.

    I work med/surg in VA. We are called a surgical floor, but we do get a fair amount of medical patients as well. The turnover really depends heavily on the day and surgical schedule. Typically, I come in and take 5-6 patients. Most days I'll have 1 or 2 discharges and then take a couple of post-op or ED admissions after those patients have left. I've had days with no discharges/admissions, however, and some crazy days where I've discharged all of my patients and gotten a whole new set of them by the end of the day.

    I guess the moral of this story is that there really is no such thing as a typical day on med/surg... :-)

  • 0

    On our floor, if you are overtime/signed up to work extra, you get sent home first. After that, they go by the list. Staff can put their name down if they are interested in being called off - it goes by "turns". There is a list of call-off dates for each employee - whoever was on call longest ago from that list gets sent home. We don't reset each month - its just an ongoing list. It seems to work well for us. Its a fair system, and there are always names on that list, so people rarely get put on-call if they don't want it.

  • 2
    svdbyGrace0976 and roser13 like this.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with not wanting to work as a staff nurse on a hospital floor. However, to get the kind of jobs you want - it might be an advantage to start there. I so agree with the person who advised you to look at your first job as an extension of your nursing degree! You can learn a lot in the hospital that you simply cannot learn anywhere else, and experience probably matters more than anything in nursing.

    You might also surprise yourself once you get into the real world of nursing. I graduated in May and had very specific ideas about where I did and did not want to work. Med-surg was SO not my thing. But as a new nurse, you go wherever the job is, and so I was hired on a surgical floor. And I actually really like it. It won't be my thing forever, I do know that. But I work with a great group of people and (usually) patients, and I am learning a TON that I probably wouldn't have learned anywhere else. Its valuable experience. And I'm surprised to find that my goals have shifted in light of this experience. Some of the things I really wanted to do before no longer interest me. So I would say...go where the jobs are, consider yourself lucky when/if you get one (wherever it is), keep a VERY open mind, learn as much as you can, and go from there. Having goals is great and necessary (go for them!), but having a closed mind about job opportunities as a new nurse is only going to hurt you.

  • 0

    I would definitely go for the ADN (or BSN, if you can find a program). Things may be different in Georgia, but in Virginia, I see less and less job opportunities for LPNs. At my hospital, for example, LPNs cannot work on most floors. The LPNs we did have on my floor (who are all wonderful nurses) were all downgraded to PCTs in the last several months. Now their only choices are to work at a doctor's office, land one of the few LPN positions still available at the hospital, or stay on the floor and work below their license.

    I just finished my 2nd degree BSN, and the other thing I would be worried about is not wanting to go back to school after all of that! Nursing school, LPN or RN, is rough! I'd get the highest level of degree possible in one shot if I were you.

  • 0

    I have seen a lot of pregnant oncology nurses at our hospital, so I'm guessing it can be done! Not sure how things work at your hospital, but I think our oncology patients usually leave the floor and go down to the infusion center for chemo - not a lot of chemo being hung on the floor. And...if you aren't an oncology certified nurse, I doubt you'll be doing anything with chemo at this point anyhow.

    I would say go for it, and just be super careful. Most meds harmful to pregnant women (or those trying) should be clearly marked, but do your research. Certain prostate drugs come to mind as ones you will want to stay away from. And when you do get pregnant, you will probably want to tell your employer sooner rather than later - probably safer if at least someone on your floor is aware and can guide you as to things you shouldn't be doing. Good luck!

  • 0

    We all feel this way!!! I've heard it takes at least 6 months to a year to get comfortable, and even then there is still so much to learn! I graduated in May and am a few weeks into orientation on a med-surg (mostly surgical) floor. The learning curve is steep, and I have felt stupid and overwhelmed a lot! Luckily, I work with a great group of people and have fabulous preceptors. But it is tough - the first week, I was convinced I had gotten myself into the WRONG profession! Accept your limitations, but push yourself too. Ask lots and lots of questions - there is no such thing as a stupid question, but there is such a thing as harming your patient because you were afraid to ask. Realize that ALL new grads feel this way, and that we are here to support each other! Also realize that this is just the beginning of a hopefully long career - give yourself time to learn and grow into it. Good luck to you!

  • 3

    Yes, as a bedside nurse you will clean up EVERYTHING! The idea is that the PCTs are there to do that, but that is not the reality. If you soiled your bed, would you want to wait for the nurse to run and get someone else? Probably not. Also, the PCTs are running their butts off too and deserve respect - a nurse who spends precious time looking for someone else to clean up a mess won't make too many friends!

  • 0

    Never really considered teaching but I just graduated from a second-degree BSN program. Was it worth it? I’m only a few weeks into my first job (surgical floor at a community hospital), so time will tell. I’m passionate about nursing, and so far I like what I do. Moreover, I’m proud of what I do. But you know, the grass is always greener. I hated my job as an administrative assistant back in the day, but I also got to leave the building and take a real lunch break, never had to worry about accidentally killing anyone, and had every weekend and holiday off! Nursing is stressful (especially when you are new), and physically and mentally tiring. But I think (so far, with my tiny bit of experience), that it is worth it if it’s something that you are really interested in.
    That being said, the job market is crap today – especially for new nurses. I was very lucky to land a good job so quickly. I still think it’s better than it is for teachers, however. While I’m not rolling in money, I definitely get paid more than I would doing anything with my first degree (foreign language). And I think with some good experience under your belt (and hopefully a change in the job market), you can do a lot with a BSN. I can move almost anywhere and have a decent shot at getting a job. There are lots of other options out there aside from bedside nursing, should I tire of that. And someday, I could perhaps teach (clinical educator, nursing school, etc.). Ultimately, I think that you can do more with a BSN than you can with a teaching degree. Just my thoughts as a very new nurse – but ultimately, you have to do whatever you feel will work best for YOU.

  • 0

    I make $10.13 an hour at a community hospital in Virginia. Its not a ton, but I'm in nursing school at the moment and it's worth it. I'm PRN, my hours can be whatever I want them to be, and I get experiences that my school doesn't offer (like doing phlebotomy). The workload can be insane - usually up to 20 patients per day at different acuity levels, with a constant influx of new admissions and discharges to deal with. But most days, I'd rather be juggling all of that than sitting at a desk!

  • 2
    jen0118 and classykaren like this.

    I'm proud to be a CA (we are called clinical assistants at my hospital)! I'm currently in nursing school, and this job has been a great stepping stone for me in terms of getting used to basics and becoming more confident with direct patient care and hospital staff. Yes, I wipe more butts and see more funky things than I care to mention, but I also do cool things, like phlebotomy, which I love. Today I talked an OD patient into checking herself into the mental health unit after she refused the psychiatrist's suggestion to do so. I've been the one to alert the nurse or doctor to status changes that could have become code blues had no one noticed. We are not just butt wipers, we are valuable members of the health care team. I just hope that I take a piece of this job with me when I graduate to my opinion the best nurses on our team are the ones who aren't afraid to pitch and help with the "grunt" work.

    I used to be an administrative assistant before starting nursing school, and I'm much more proud to tell people what I do now. I'll take wiping butts and drawing blood any day over handing the CEO his lunch and taking notes at a meeting.

  • 0

    I quit my job when I started NS, since there was no part-time option and it was a 9-5 job. Luckily, my husband makes enough to support us for the time being and I was able to get on his health insurance. Our school also offers a cheap insurance plan, and I believe most schools offer something similar. We simply decided that the small amount of money I might be able to make by working while in NS wouldn't be worth the risk of falling behind in school. I got both Stafford and private loans for school and am trying not to worry about the total I'm racking up until I graduate in May!

  • 0

    Try - it's basically a textbook rental operation. I went through them to get the books for my nursing prereqs and saved a ton of money. They send you what you need for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase them new, and you return them when you are done. Would be a good idea for some of those books you will only use for a semester.

  • 0

    Hi! I'm about to start my second and final year at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia. As a private school with crazy tuition, it wasn't my first choice but I was able to get a spot in their program and felt I would have been a fool not to take it!

    I originally applied to UVA and VCU's 2nd degree programs, only to be rejected by UVA and waitlisted by VCU. I feel that I had good applications to both schools, but I was simply a name on a piece of paper to them. I ended up making an appointment at the end of last summer to meet the admissions person and dean of nursing at EMU to talk about application options for the following year. I was really bummed out about the experience with UVA and VCU and ready to give up on nursing school. During my meeting with the people at EMU, they looked at my transcripts and told me that they had a spot open if I could start with the entering fall class in three days! Getting ready and lining up my loans in about 48 hours was crazy, but I'm so glad I said yes - now I'm looking forward to graduating in May!

    Bottom line - make an appointment to talk to someone at the schools of your choice. You never know what could happen, and I really think that meeting face to face makes an impression that will speak louder than your application. Be a face and a voice to them, not just a folder in their stack of applications! Good luck to you!