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ladymarfee 2,173 Views

Joined: Sep 26, '08; Posts: 48 (6% Liked) ; Likes: 3

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  • Mar 14 '11

    Ever have an "I wish I was told this" moment? Well, we all do as nurses regarding school. Here are some things I wish they told me nursing school (and some I wish they had emphasized more)----and what I told another new BSN nurse in a different thread (and it would be the same advice I would give any new nurse/grad):

    You have achieved a great thing, graduating and earning your degree (BSN, ADN , LPN or Diploma). Now, the REAL learning begins......

    Don't ever pretend to know what you don't. Be a sponge---watch and listen to what is going on around you. Take mental notes. Find mentors and emulate their good habits. Take note of the bad habits and avoid those.

    Listen to your patients; they know their bodies better than you do.

    Have integrity----be honest with yourself and others.

    Stay out of the gossip game/circle. It goes nowhere and brings down morale, including your own.

    Be on time! EVERYtime. When you are late, so am I. And I don't like to be late!

    Stay organized as possible. Keep up on your charting and tasks as they come up. Dont' save it all for "later"---there may not be time, "later".

    Do it right the first time, even if there IS "no time". Believe me, there is no time to "Do it over", either.

    Plan for the worst; hope for the best.

    Be someone they can rely on---and rely on yourself!

    Take good care of yourself; eat well, exercise. It's the only body you got and you are gonna need it. Nurture the self. Nurses have a tendency to martyr themselves and neglect their own needs. Don't be one of them; it's a fast superhighway to burn-out.

    Nourish the mind. Plan on spending a LOT of time investing in your continuing education as a nurse. The world of nursing/medicine is changing faster everyday. You are going to have to make a conscious and concerted effort to "stay abreast". It's more work than you imagine right now.....plan on it.

    Learn assertiveness if you have not already. Lots of good books and conferences/seminars exist. Learn early-on you no are NO ONE's doormat. Also, know there is a difference between "assertion" and "aggression".

    Work hard, yes, but don't forget to PLAY hard too! Have hobbies you enjoy. Your life is NOT your work, and while being a nurse is part of who you are, it need not *define* you.

    Believe in your self and good instincts. Sometimes, "instinct" is what lets us know something is amiss or wrong with our patients. Never ignore that gut instinct. It's very often right! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!!!!

    After 8 years in nursing, these things are things I have learned the "hard way"; hopefully you don't have to.

    Warm, hearty congratulations to you and all new grads here. I wish you all good things in your new careers.

  • Feb 6 '11

    Quote from bree*
    Sigh, just got back from running errands and stopped by a Rehabilitation Facility to ask them if they needed nurse volunteers. The assistant manager snickered and said something in tagalog to one of the employees and practically glared at me and said "No, we don't need any volunteers. There are no openings." I guess you had to have been there. I'm trying..but it's really demeaning to be a "part" of this field...if you can even call it that at this point.
    I know what you mean, I feel like people are laughing behind my back when I go in to apply for a job, oh weel I just applied for an administrative asst job at a insurance brokers office, hopefully I will get it and put this nightmare behind me, I am so discouraged and disgusted I really don't want to apply to anymore jobs and know they are throwing my resume in the garbage as soon as i leave or just about laughing in my face I am done, with all of it.

  • Feb 6 '11

    Quote from satritize
    The more I read this thread, the more I regret my BSN.

    Right now I have basically a worthless piece of paper that I paid $80,000 for.
    Hey there! I feel your frustration. While I did not complete my BSN (I'm a LPN) I am still a little bothered by the fact that I wasted any time. In fact, that bothers me much more than the insane tuition that I paid..just for my LPN!

    However, I have found that I am slowly being able to let go of the regret and anger by being big enough to admit to myself...this field isn't what is was cracked up to be and it's not going to get better any time soon. I refuse to be in denial and "hope" for another 2+ years that I will land a nursing job, because in another 2+ years I know I'll really have a reason to be angry if I wasted more time on nursing.

    Am I still applying to jobs? Sure. It doesn't hurt to shoot your resume around. But in the meantime, I am applying EVERYWHERE. Reception, customer service, hotel housecleaning, waitress positions, administrative assistant positions, tutoring, nanny/daycare assistants, etc. <<<Do you notice that a nurse does pretty much all of those jobs and gets paid for one?

    I welcome any stable paycheck at this point. I think I'm lucky because I took the LPN route and rejected the RN program. I don't have any current tuition debt and I don't have any major bills to pay because I have always lived WELL below my means. At same time, it's a tid bit depressing because I have wasted a few years on nursing and have watched many of my peers enjoy themselves, travel, party, get married, start families/have babies, and here I am with not much to show for.

    I try to look at the bright side, like I tuition debt and no huge bills to pay..but I feel stagnant. I don't want to just live to survive. I would like to progress and admitting that nursing doesn't offer that has taken a huge weight off my shoulders. I feel very lucky to have figured that out as quickly as I did.

  • Feb 6 '11

    Check this out
    "California's nursing shortage hasn't been fixed"

    I'd say the writer is missing a huge piece--all the unemployed new grads. This writer needs to have a rebuttal. Anyone???

  • Feb 6 '11

    I go with your first prediction. I know a lot of people are counting on "older" nurses to retire..but ya know what? The older nurses were ahead of the game and took their pretty little fannies out of it before we got into the mess we did.

    Of EVERY single rotation I have gone on..and EVERY single hospital visit I have had in the last year (in different parts of the country), I have only seen ONE RN that looked like she could have been near retirement age. She had a dandy job at a Dermatology office, so I don't blame her for not retiring. From what the nurses have told me themselves, and from what I have seen..seems around 85%+ of the nurses that I am running into are in their mid20s to late 40s. I mean..unless ALL of them are using some REALLY great face cream...totally not even buying into this nonsense about all of these people case scenario every single nurse retires and ALL the baby boomers hit their downfall....the number is still NOT large enough to absorb the jobless nurses out there....if we're lucky, it may go from 150 QUALIFIED applicants per nursing position to a "meager" 50 applicants we have to compete with...lucky us!

  • Feb 6 '11

    This is how I see the future nursing crisis everyone keeps talking about turning out:

    It turns out to be like Y2K. Lots of hype, wild predictions and panic, but passes by without much of a hitch. I read recently that with the current amount of non-practicing RNs (Unemployed, New Grads, Current students, Left the field etc) in California, we have almost twice the number needed to meet the projected demand. Given the trouble everyone is having finding work across the country, I can imagine this is true for the whole US. Even if it turns out to be nothing, I guarantee it won't stop people from predicting some other impending nursing shortage 10 years from then.

    The nursing crisis hits because older RNs are retiring together around the same time along with the baby boomers. The need for nurses will be exponentially worse because there will still be an overwhelming need for experienced nurses. This is because years and years of new grads were unable to find work, get trained or left the field leaving a huge gap of experience that will not be met no matter how many people you crank out from school. If I can't find work now because I do not have experience, its going to be 10 times worse if this scenario happens.

    I think that some of the data out there about nursing shortages is valid and for good intentions (Better patient/staff ratio, increased awareness). But on the other hand I sense a bit of self preservation. Few things better call attention and funding to your career field than a looming crisis. Perks include a high demand for your occupation, significant pay increase and benefits. Its a bit sad, but I don't think the talk of a nursing crisis will every go away. It will always be 10 years from now or 20 years from now or when this generation retires.... (I know its a bit of conspiracy theory)
    Just my

  • Feb 6 '11

    One of the places that I spoke to said they are averaging near 150 QUALIFIED applicants PER nursing position. I don't care what ANYONE says about "nursing getting better"..not even the baby boomers can cover that...and don't forget about the 100 new (if not more?) associate/accelerated nursing programs out there...2 years and you have another what 10,000+ new nurses every year? Anyone that can do do math knows that the baby boom isn't going to save us worth a gosh darn and I'm actually amazed that some people are on here talking about going into a nursing program! Yikes. Well...I'm not paying the tuition on that one, so I'll keep my little snout where it should be. I'm big enough to admit that I want to slap myself SILLY for leaving my nearly 50k simple little desk job (union too) to follow my passion..but I'm trying to cheer up about it, because I purposely took the LPN route, rejected acceptance into a RN program, and gave it a shot before I would have ended up REALLY hating myself going for 4-5 years.

    PS. Nurse Practitioners don't have much of a chance these days either! I worked with a TON of NP grads on my rotations...wanna know what they were doing? Working on the floor as RNs. Don't trick yourself into thinking that a BSN...then a MSN..then a PhD..etc. is going to help you. Stop listening to the college advisor/counselor/salesperson and listen to logic.

  • Feb 6 '11

    RN-BSN in Southern California, Orange County. Graduated in August 2010 and passed boards in October. 214 applications in state and out; no calls, no interviews. Even the military is full for the entire year. Its pretty bleak out there.

    I love being an RN but its hard to love when it doesn't put food on the table. I know we are being told to be patient but if you look at the numbers it really doesn't make sense. Its something I should of looked at way back when I started school. If hospitals increased hiring by 200% tomorrow, there is still no way they could work through the literally thousands of new grad RNs in backlog without taking many many years. This doesn't take into account all the new graduates who graduate each semester with no jobs available. With the current situation, it's like trying to dig your way out of a sand pit with a teaspoon.

  • Feb 6 '11

    I am curious how anyone can just claim that they see many "foreign nurses" working in their hospital. How did you actually know they are foreign? Did they show you their passport? Or you just assumed-----because her accent is different than yours and she doesn’t look like you? That is not fair. He or she may be a US Citizen afterall.

  • Feb 6 '11

    I understand some of the hostility towards nurses that were actively recruited from other countries just because hospitals feel they get "more bang for the buck," if you will. However, I'm not really understanding why all foreign-born nurses are being grouped together. People come to this country for many reasons. Many of the RNs I work with grew up in other countries, but many came before they were RNs and, in fact, attended nursing school in the US. I have a friend who went to nursing school in Brazil and was an RN there for several years before she met and married her husband, who is in the US military. She now resides in the US and spent a long time studying for the NCLEX and plans on applying for jobs in the coming year. Yes, she's foreign trained but did not come to the us with the sole purpose of "getting an American RN job." I would hate to work in some of these places if, God forbid, I had an accent or something, so you automatically made all of these hostile assumptions about me.

  • Feb 6 '11

    Quote from onaclearday
    I'd love for every facility to be required to disclose to the public exactly how many imports they've hired in the last 10 years, and what percent of total staff have been American citizens for over 5 years. Also what percent were educated here in the US. Just lay it on the table man.
    It's almost impossible for foreign nurses to get a visa to come to the US now ..... it has been very very difficult for the last 3 to 4 yrs
    Though prior to this period (retrogression) it was relatively easy for foreign nurses to obtain work offers and visas to the US.
    The US recruited very heavily overseas and perhaps that explains why there are so many foreign nurses present in the US now. However many of them are probably US citizens now and not foreigners.

  • Feb 6 '11

    do not listen to school recruiters, your peers who are nursing hopefuls, or lay people (people outside of nursing) talk about the nursing profession. to answer your questions, many nursing positions posted will receive 150 applicants per position. all nursing jobs i know of require at least two interviews and a screening process.

    the screening process consists of hr's computer system, which has a filter. if you do not meet the prefered or direct requirements you will be rejected! read the job descriptions of jobs because this is something lay people do not do when they see so many nursing positions open.

    pretend you are a new nurse. you will not have any experience because clinicals does not count when you graduate. while you are reading job descriptions ask yourself "do i qualify? will a computer system filter me out from this rn position based upon the job description?" now add up the number of positions you qualify for as a new rn. how many are they now???

    if you get past the computer filter, you may need to take tests on personality and performance prior to a first interview. after that, you may need to have two to four interviews per position before you are given a job offer or rejection.

    how does that sound to you? does that honestly sound like a nursing shortage???? do you really think 150 applicants per position is a shortage??? do you really think that the number of hoops nurses jump through to get a job cries of a shortage???

    there is no nursing shortage. there was a so-called shortage when licensed nurses who did not want to work as nurses left for other things. those same nurses have no retirement savings any more so when the economy improves, they will not leave again. they cannot afford to do so again.

    plus when the baby boomers retire at 69 or 70, there will still be a lot of nurses who are licensed to jump in to take his/her spot. at this time, there are too many schools graduating nurses today and opening up all over the country. there are also not enough (nor has there ever been enough) nursing positions to meet the supply of nurses (new or experienced) for there to ever be a nursing shortage in the future.

    follow this thread for more information:

    *unemployed nurses*

  • Nov 24 '10

    When I was a staff nurse an a skilled facility, I worked on a sub acute floor. I had 30 patients. In any one day I had 3 trachs, 4 tube feeds, a TPN, 10 IVs with q4 antibiotics, wound vacs, care plans, charting....
    Don't tell me you lose your skills in long term all depends on what kind of place you work.

  • Jun 3 '10

    I had a panel interview when I interviewed for my current job. Be sure you make eye contact with every panel member. When you answer questions be sure you first address the questioner, but also look at the others as you explain yourself. They will probably ask you some "what would you do if?" questions and some "tell me about a time you did..." The questions can be tricky. Sometimes the answer will be "well, it depends on what your hospital policy dictates." Be prepared for "tell us about yourself." They don't want to hear about your kids or your spouse/boyfriend. Give them information which plays to your strengths, like volunteer work, service work, etc. If they want to know what you do on your off time, be cautious. Don't give them too much personal information. They want to know what your healthy habits are. "Watching TV" and "making pictures from colored beans" probably won't win you points. The panel wants to see some enthusiasm and strength. Go in there and show them that you can do this job. Tell them that you *want* the job. Sometimes a candidate is so nervous they forget to smile. They clam up and only answer exactly what they ask, as though it was a criminal investigation. You want them to see you as competent and mature, so no giggling, gum, or leg jiggling. Sit up straight and lean slightly forward to indicate interest. Be sure you shake everyone's hands and get their names when you walk in. Then shake their hands when you leave and thank them for their time. Tell them that you look forward to hearing from them.

    I know that some of this seems basic, but you'd be surprised at the ways that people sabotage their own interviews. A panel interview *is* a little more complicated than a single interview, but IMO, it gives the interviewers the chance to get to know you. Instead of your future resting on the opinion of one person, you have a group who will discuss your merits(or non-merits) and I think it gives you a better chance of being accepted. Good luck!

  • Sep 1 '09

    I periodically get PMs from people asking me about the job market in Atlanta. So I've decided to get off my lazy butt and post what I hope to be is a comprehensive topic about it. If anyone has different knowledge than myself or has something to add, please DO!

    New grads: I don't know of all the hospitals that have programs for new grad RNs but I know for sure that Grady, Northside, Southern Regional, and Gwinnett Medical Center do.

    LPNs: As far as I know, all of the hospitals in the area use LPNs although the scope of practice does vary from facility to facility.

    Baylor program: Gwinnett Medical and Atlanta Medical Center have a Baylor program. I think most of the facilities flirt with it from time to time so the best thing to do is check each facility's website for specific openings.

    Job listings: I always check, and also has job listings, most of them legit and I've found some on there that I've not found anywhere else. But I would use them with caution all the same. One more thing, be advised that the Sunday paper version of the AJC has many jobs that are NOT listed on so best practice is to check both places.

    Major hospitals in the area:

    North: Northside(facilities in Sandy Springs-main hospital, Forsyth co, and Cherokee co.) Great place to work if you are interested in L&D, mother-baby, etc. They have over 18,000 deliveries a year. St. Joseph's is across the street from Northside and is a great for cardiac care.

    Gwinnett Medical Center: (facility in Lawrenceville and new hospital in Duluth(Joan Glancy) just opened up

    East: Dekalb Medical Center( main hospital in Decatur, LTC also in Decatur, and smaller community facility in Lithonia, GA). The VA is located in Decatur as well. Eastside Medical Center is a small hospital that is located in Snellville, GA and so is Northlake Regional Hospital located in Tucker.

    West: Wellstar Health System(a 5-hospital system with facilities in Cobb(Austell, Marietta) and Paulding, and Douglas counties.

    South: Southern Regional Health System in Riverdale and Henry General Hospital is in Stockbridge GA. South Fulton Medical Center is a small Tenet-owned facility in the city of East Point just south of the city.

    In-town: Piedmont is in Buckhead; it is a prestigious hospital and this is the place where local dignitaries and celebrities are treated. Atlanta Medical Center is a Tenet hospital. Grady Memorial Hospital is a county hospital that has the only burn unit in the region and it is also the only level 1 trauma center in the city. Crawford Long Hospital is part of the Emory University health system which also includes Emory Hospital in Decatur and Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital also in Decatur in addition to the Emory clinics.

    Children's hospitals: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) has facilities at Northside, across from Emory University Hospital in Decatur, Hughes Spalding at Grady and they have clinics all over the city.

    Other options for employment include: The Emory Clinics which are located all over the city. Kaiser permanente has a lot of different opportunities for employment which include corporate level employment in addition to the clinics which are also all over the city. Don't forget home health, Amedysis and Visiting Nurse are two of the biggest. For corrections, you can look to Dekalb County jail and Gwinnett county as well as the state but you generally have wait until they advertise for jobs to work there, they do contract out their work.

    I didn't cover everything because there is a lot. I know nothing about psych or LTC. I hope that others add on to this topic so we can help out new grads and newcomers to the city. Be advised that if you apply to Grady they WILL call you but they take a very long time. The other hospitals have a turnaround of 4-6 weeks to call. I have first hand knowledge of almost every place I listed either through employment or through clinicals but I make NO recommendations. Keep an open mind and your options will be unlimited.

    Good luck, job-seekers!