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Hypnotica, BSN, RN 3,931 Views

Joined: Jan 10, '13; Posts: 31 (39% Liked) ; Likes: 17

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  • Apr 8 '17

    You know you are a nurse when you answer your own cell phone, "This is the nursery. I'm RNSC. How can I help you today?"
    Its happened more times than I can count.

  • Apr 8 '17

    You believe there is a special place in Hell for the inventor of the call light.

  • Apr 8 '17

    Quote from poetnyouknowit
    You wash your hands before ​going to the bathroom, as well as after.
    Oh my gosh I feel so legit now- I totally do that! Who needs NCLEX, by this board I am already a nurse. Hahaha!

  • Feb 18 '16

    Honestly, I don't think it's that hard.

    ETA: Those select all that apply questions are the only things that I struggle with.

  • Feb 18 '16

    When I was studying, I audio recorded the lectures, took my laptop to class and typed in anything I felt I needed during lecture.

    After class, I took my rainbow of highlighters and I would highlight the dickens out of my textbooks.

    I then took 3x5 note cards, but cut them all in half. I would write a question on one side and then (here is the trick) word the answer in the form of another question on the backside. For a poor simplified example, front side would read "How do you convert kilograms to pounds?" The back side reads "2.2 pounds equals how many kilograms?" You get the idea. This does multiple things: It forces you to slow down and write up questions from your text book and it does so in a meaningful way that drives the point home since you are required to think of the question in a way so that the answer also forms a question.

    When you have a whole chapter of these small notecards, you 'speed study' them. You can do this anywhere because they are tiny and portable. Read the question; if you know the answer right away, you confirm the correct answer, TURN THE CARD OVER and place it in the back of the stack. If you did not know the answer immediately, put the card still facing the question you missed about 20 cards back in the stack and keep going. This will make sure the questions you are getting stuck on will be ones you return to repeatedly. Once you have mastered the stack you will start to see the back side questions. Mastering the whole stack means you have them all down back and front. Do this for each chapter.

    I got straight A's in college nursing school with this method. Is it fast? Nope. Does it require work? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

  • Jan 14 '13

    Quote from Winterling
    It was all over the internet and everyone was talking about it. I read articles saying that it was the best profession to go into because you can find a job anywhere.. I was hoping to set myself apart by specializing, but I guess that's what everyone is doing. Anyway, this is not good news for me. Thanks for your post.

    Edit: I wanted to add this:
    "Demand for Nurses
    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics project there will be continued demand in the labor market for nurses."
    This is what my nursing school includes in the nursing section.
    There is no shortage right now. It may come back....but I don't think it will ever be what it once was. This thread I think will be of interest to you.... this thread....... as well as this one that a CNN reporter has joined with allnurses and is writing an article about this very thing.....

    Schools continue to advertise this and promote this without releasing/posting the information about how many new grads are employed and how long it take them to find positions. They are very quick to take your money for tuition.....but are reticent to release what the market is reflecting. Many new grads are unable to find acute care positions and many facilities are not hiring new grads without a BSN. Specializing is a great way to secure some positions but all specialties require 1-2 years bedside experience (for the most part) and don't hire new grads into these positions. (another fact nursing schools don't fill you in on.)

    It does vary from location to location but the fact is difficult to find positions. some reports have California nurse unemployment as high as 47%. The areas you have chosen are high destination areas. I suggest you check out those states forums and read about job availability.....but remember you will be a new grad and will have that much more difficulty finding a position. You will also have to apply for licensure in those states for your license dos not automatically transfer.

    I can give you just as many articles that say there is no shortage......

    Has the Nursing Shortage Disappeared?
    Has the Nursing Shortage Disappeared?
    Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, August 10, 2010
    It's that time of year again. Graduating nursing students are preparing to take the NCLEX and are looking for their first jobs. This year, many are finding those first jobs in short supply.
    Reports are rampant of new graduates being unable to find open positions in their specialty of choice, and even more shockingly, many are finding it tough to find any openings at all.

    These new RNs entered school with the promise that nursing is a recession-proof career. They were told the nursing shortage would guarantee them employment whenever and wherever they wanted.
    So what happened? Has the nursing shortage—that we've heard about incessantly for years—suddenly gone away?

    The short term answer is clearly yes, although in the long term, unfortunately, the shortage will still be there.

    The recession has brought a temporary reprieve to the shortage. Nurses who were close to retirement have seen their 401(k) portfolios plummet and their potential retirement income decline. They are postponing retirement a few more years until the economy—and their portfolios—pick up.
    Nursing Shortage Is Over in U.S. Until Retirement Glut Hits
    A nursing shortage in the U.S. that led to a decade-long push for new hires and more graduates in the field is over, at least until 2020 when a glut of retirees will leave a new gap to fill, researchers said. Nursing Shortage Is Over in U.S. Until Retirement Glut Hits - Bloomberg
    The Big Lie? Medscape: Medscape Access requires registration but is free
    Without a doubt, the main source of frustration experienced by recently graduated and licensed but still unemployed nurses is what could be called "the big lie."In other words, the television commercials that encourage young people to become nurses -- and then abandon them for months (or years) without employment; and the educators who tell them that the associate's degree is perfectly adequate to guarantee employment, that they will have their pick of jobs when they graduate, and that there is plenty of time to get a BSN later on. Who knows whether it is greed, ignorance, or wishful thinking that underlies the fairy tales told to nursing students about their future job prospects? Whatever the motivation, the disillusionment of our new grads is palpable. The jobs they expected after all of their hard work just haven't materialized, and some grads are getting pretty desperate.
    Nursing shortage largely a myth for job seekers...St paul Minn. — There's There has been a steady stream of reports predicting a dearth of nurses in the coming years. One recent forecast from The American College of Medical Quality projects a national shortage of 300,000 to 1 million nurses in 2020.
    So When Marc Anders decided to switch careers from bartending to nursing, he thought he would have it made.
    "There There was a perception that you could go into the job and kind of call your shots," said Anders, 42. "I could go in, pick my hours, see how many days I want to work, get benefits, not work weekends and go where I wanted to go."
    Anders This partly based that view on the experience of his sister-in-law, who was offered big hiring bonuses, along with multiple job offers, when she graduated from nursing school about a decade ago.
    But As Anders started a two-year nursing program at Minneapolis Community & Technical College in 2008, he began hearing that hospitals were tapering off hiring and that and landing a job could be tough.
    "I I just knew it was going to take more time," he said.
    Anders He did get a job out of nursing school, but was laid off last October when the employer shut down, around the time of his second child's birth
    I am not trying to squash your "dream" but Praemonitus praemunitus or forewarned is forearmed ...plan ahead.

    I wish you the best.

  • Jan 14 '13

    All I can say is, if nursing is your dream, don't let this stop you!! If I could go back in time, I would have striven to get higher grades so that I could graduate with honors, and I would've tried to join nurse leadership organizations while in school, like Sigma Theta Tau. I would've applied to receive nursing awards, and I would've networked a bit better and stayed in contact with my professors & clinical instructors (who can help you find a job in a lot of cases!). Try to get into a Nurse Residency Program or an Internship in the specialty you enjoy too...

    I've been looking for a job for 8 months now, but I won't give up. I would never regret going to school for nursing, because I truly could not see myself doing anything else. I live in Long Island, NY, and the market is pretty tough and competitive around here -- NY Metro area in general. There are at least 20 hospitals within a 50 mile radius of where I live (that I've applied to I don't even know how many times now!). It really does seem so hopeless now, but hope is all I can cling to until I get my 1st RN job. I just look at this as a struggle or a challenge that I'll overcome at some point. One day, someone will be willing to give me the elusive, capitalized, bold faced: EXPERIENCE (that I see on mostly all the online job postings -- "EXPERIENCED RN'S ONLY" ).

    I might go back for my Master's sooner than I had planned. I wanted to gain some real world patient experience as a nurse first, but I'm learning the lesson that things don't always go as planned, and you either let it depress and hinder you, or you rise above it and go with the flow/see where life takes you. I love this quote by Carl Sagan and it helps me feel better about this situation:
    “I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.”

  • Jan 12 '13

    If one were to read the Constitution one would realize that the Constitution does not grant anyone freedoms, liberties, or rights. The Constitution only protects freedoms, liberties, and rights from transgressions on part of the government. A right is something that is inherent to the individual, comes from that individual, and is maintained by the individual. You are born with such rights like the right to speak freely, the only thing that can be done to that right is to have it infringed. No one can grant a right to another, only limit or impede the exercise of that right.

    Healthcare is a human invention that does not exist in the natural environment. Only through the work of others and through the taking of resources from one party and giving to another does healthcare exist. You cannot force someone to give effort and resources to another and call that a right. In the absence of human intervention the individual would live their lives and succumb to the natural forces which would act upon their bodies.

    Do I think we should provide preventative care and basic primary care? Sure. Do I think that we can? Maybe. Do I think that healthcare is a basic human right? Absolutely not.

  • Jan 12 '13

    Quote from Winterling
    It was all over the internet and everyone was talking about it. I read articles saying that it was the best profession to go into because you can find a job anywhere.. I was hoping to set myself apart by specializing, but I guess that's what everyone is doing. Anyway, this is not good news for me. Thanks for your post.

    Edit: I wanted to add this:
    "Demand for Nurses
    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics project there will be continued demand in the labor market for nurses."
    This is what my nursing school includes in the nursing section.
    Well this caught people unawares. I think it was probably a perfect storm of all the initiatives to increase the numbers of nurses getting results and the economic meltdown of 2008 that we (and especially in California) haven't completely recovered from yet.

    It doesn't mean you should give up! What it means is you need to keep yourself networked with how the job market is faring in your area, network with nurses you get to know through school or eventually your clinical days, join student nurse associations and be an active member, do volunteer work in the specialty you choose. Read the new grad sections of allnurses on a regular basis to get a feel for what is going on and where. Perhaps get a job as a PCT (patient care technician) or a nurse's aid if you can. Those are just a few ideas to think about.

    When you choose your specialty consider how popular that specialty is. It seems like so many people want to be NICU, L and D, or peds nurses. Do some research to see where the field is not overly saturated now. Sometimes people accuse us of wanting to rain on people's dreams. I don't! If you want to do this go in with a positive attitude and keep your eyes on the horizon.

    April is so close now. It's normal to be nervous, but it doesn't mean anything about how you will do and I wish you the best!

    Not sure if you saw this thread but it collected a lot of information about new grads in California you can use to supplement your poll results if you want to.

    Support Group for unemployed New Grads in California

  • Jan 12 '13

    Think about full sleeves 20 years from now.

  • Jan 11 '13

    So my finals are over, I got all A's and since I have some free time I'll be happy to lay some knowledge on you. Sit down, brew some tea, this is long, but I am so willing to share major knowledge on this subject because if someone hadn't told me I'd still have a sad gpa and feel overwhelmed, constantly.

    First of all, Evaluate your study needs each term.

    Evaluate how you've done in similar courses in previous years. List your classes from most challenging to easiest based on how you've done in those subjects in the past. For me math is always at the top of that list. I know I need to dedicate more time to that to do well in it. When you get your course syllabus make note of what is graded and the weight of those grades (is attendance and participation 50% of your grade? Or is your grade made of tests only?) You'll want to focus your attention to the highest weight, i.e. always speak up in class or study or ace all of the tests. Always know if supplemental instruction is offered for each course, what your instructors office hours are, and where that office is. Office hours are there for a reason and I have to say once I realized this, especially for chemistry, I used them often. My instructor enjoyed the company and was a HUGE aid to my successfulness in the course.

    Find out how much studying you’re doing now

    I know we’re at the end of the semester but think back and evaluate how many hours a week you studied, did you feel like it was enough? Write down how much you studied and if you think realistically if you could have been studying more or less is subjects. A good rule of thumb that I use is 2 hours a week for each credit hour. (3 hour lecture, study for 6 hours through out the week, but read on because I have a trick to sneak in studying.) Also figure out your “Time Suckers”, do you find yourself on facebook for hours or reading articles on Quora, measure this as if it were a study time so you can limit it in a later part of this little mini article I’m writing you!

    Make a schedule based on your needs and what you want to do.

    This is lengthy too but bear with me, this is the meat and 'taters of what I'm telling you. Take a schedule, (A sheet with 7 columns for days of the week, and rows for every hour that your typically awake. Say 9 am to 10pm) first write your classes and lab times down, these are #1. If you work, record your schedule. If you commute, record your travel time. Record meal times if you have regular ones. Record any regularly scheduled personal commitments, like dinner with mom on Sunday, book club or band practice. Record any special things you want to do through out the week.

    Now stop and look over your schedule sheet, this is the time you now have available to study and take care of class assignments.

    Here’s the actual study tricks
    On this handy little schedule you’ve just made yourself you’ve got paper gold. A schedule of your life, now to add in the studying.
    Before each class schedule a preview of 5-30 minutes. (If you have 3 classes in a row (class a, class b, class c) study In order c,b,a) During the preview your goal is to check the syllabus to see what’s going on in that class, review notes and textbook in accordance from the last class, and review your written assignments and problems. Make sure to proofread any assignments your turning in too as a last accuracy check (I can’t tell you how many last minute mistakes I find in stuff!)
    2.) Lecture
    Having done your “preview” you’re now ready for your lecture. Listen, make notes, ask questions, recite and discuss. Always get involved in your lecture if you can. Even if no one else is talking. The biggest growth I’ve had as a student is not caring what other people thought of me. I don’t care if I’m the “obnoxious girl that asks all the questions”. Fact is, at the end of a lecture I’m walking away with the pieces of the puzzle that I was missing. The other great thing about the preview is if there is an impromptu quiz, you’ll be ready
    I know, I know, reviewing too? But I just previewed! But this is a “sneaking in study” trick. After every class I review what I went over in lecture. I will re write notes even, it seems a little extraneous at first, but by re-writing my notes, or going over everything that just happened I’m cementing it in my head. I edit/summarize everything that was just covered, It’s great too if you can do this with another student, I’ve found I get more out of two peoples summary than just mine. I also will plan my class assignments as to time, duration, and mode of learning while the details are still fresh in my head (i.e start outlining a paper).
    4.) Study
    Lastly, study! I study the night before each class. So if I have 2 lectures on a Monday I study for about an hour and a half just those two subjects. I use a study-reading method technique called SQ3R (The SQ3R Reading Method) that is awesome for reading through textbooks. I write down questions and personal reactions to the text for discussion in the next lecture.

    The neat thing about doing it this way is, say you have a bio lecture 3x a week and a bio lab. By previewing, reviewing and studying you’re learning biology 16 times a week (4 previews, 4 lectures, 4 reviews, 4 study times) Instead of the traditional 8 times (4 lectures, 4 study periods). Cramming before a major test is replaced by previews and reviews. I also like to add in a weekly review of everything I learned the previous week on Friday nights, because I don’t have a life outside of school right now.

    Extra Tip
    Persist in managing your study time!
    If you add/drop a class, change work hours, or develop a new hobby revise your schedule. Do get discouraged if you don’t make every preview/review, it’s inevitable that other commitments may get in the way, but monitor if they’re always getting In the way, they may be one of those time suckers I talked about. Whenever your grades go down, or you fall behind in your class assignments also re evaluate what you’re spending your time on.

    I really hope this helps you and that it wasn't way too long. I swear by everything I wrote and have had tremendous success adapting this method. Good luck in your studies!

  • Jan 11 '13

    Since the economy went downhill and facilities started hiring seasoned nurses returning from retirement, and housewife nurses that had a husband layed off, etc. the fight for your desired position has intensified. You have to be at the top of your game in this very competitive job market.

    I have spoken with many other hiring entities about what they look for in a resume, cover letter, and application. What are assets? What are deal breakers? What catches your eyes? What can a new nurse with no experience do to be considered if anything? What about the cliche: If I never get a job, I can't get considered for lack of experience? What are the bare minimums you want in a resume? What makes a resume, cover letter, or application pop out? The following are some tips and suggestions for those who are struggling with the hiring process.

    The Resume (Should be one page front only for new grads)


    There are so many opinions as to using the "Objective" or not. I personally always have, and have never applied for a position I didn't get yet (blessing/luck possibly). Use every line, every bit of your resume to scream, "Hire me!" I usually word it this way: "To obtain a position at "whatever facility" serving the patients of "region served," with competent, efficient, holistic, and indicated care within the scope of (RN, LPN, CNA, SNA, PCT) and with in the policies and procedures of (institution) to provide the best possible outcome for the patients in my care.

    This shows your desire to "serve." It shows you took the time to research the area served by the institution, and their possible needs. It shows interest in the facility you are applying for. It is the first statement that you will do everything in your "scope of practice" and with-in "policy and procedure" and a heart of "SERVICE," not a "job" or "position," and denotes "drive." It also shows you wish to put SAFE PRACTICE FIRST. That you will not compromise your efforts out of your scope, and you will do everything in your power to advocate for your patients protection, well-being, and successful OUTCOME. It also takes OWNERSHIP of their VISION. Know your applicant facility's "Vision" so you can include it in your writings, or "mirror it."

    The Education and Work Experience lines are the least customizable. Just be sure to get the correct dates and locations on this part. They will do a background check on these, and it could possibly be checked in HR before sent to your hiring Nurse Manager or Superior. THIS IS RARE. But it does happen. They could possibly also use this information as contact or referral. So you'd be slicker to leave off a negative experience facility than to put an incorrect date or falsify it. I have always just been honest here- they can smell a difference

    There shouldn't be large inactive times in your Employment which should cover at least the last 5 years(sometimes up to 7). It really doesn't matter what age you started work, but you should be able to account for your time in-between positions. (Time off work for schooling is totally ok. I worked through school full time, but if you didn't, in denoting times, if school causes a >than 2 month absence of work history, just put a parenthesis in the work history to explain. (Attended Associate Degree Nursing Program 2001-2003 while unemployed).

    If you must place large amounts of time between work experience, and you do make it to the interview - DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT EXPLAINING THIS. Greater than 2 months is usually a red flag. They will not continue consideration without a good excuse (sick child, homemaking, displacement, family tragedy, etc), just address it.


    Add Specific Examples. If there is any "Magic" in this, here it is! This is your chance to THRIVE. Many HR Reps I have spoke to ONLY read this line first in pooling candidates. They know as many threads have pointed out that you meet "minimum job requirements," but this is your chance to STAND OUT!

    This is SO IMPORTANT. What sets you apart from the herd? Examples of stand-out statements:

    • I have been a Medical Surgical Registered Staff and Charge Nurse for 8 years caring for a wide spectrum of Elevated Accuity Problems whether acute, chronic, or surgical care in the same area as your hiring needs.
    • I have cared for 5-7 patients of varying accuities with experience on Telemetry Monitoring, Fall Precautions, Combative Patients, and at the same time adding admitted patients and discharging patients within policy and procedure for the best possible outcome after holistic care, and 100% coverage of the ordered treatment plan of the Medical and Nursing Care Plan of Care.
    • I am have extensive experience with (Ex: Renal, Cardiac, Pulmonary, Rheumatology, Osteo, Neuro, etc. patient populations) or even sub-categories (Pediatric Oncology, Adult Cardiopulmonary, Pediatric Infectious Disease, Adolescent Abnormal Psychiatric and Behavioral Health, or Adolescent Chemical Dependency with Dual Diagnosis Issues),

    (Ex: Management, Charge Nurse, Documentation, Policy and Procedure, Safety, ADLs, IandO, Special Procedures, Sterile Fields, Pharmacology, Teaching/Education, I could go on for an eternity(you get my drift).
    • Volunteering. Any possessed clinical experience is just that- experience. It shows an eagerness to learn as you did it at your expense. If you are a new grad this is paramount. If you are having trouble getting hired for lack of experience, this is the gold nugget that will set you apart. Volunteer in the closest environment you can in relation to the post you want! Trust me, I have hired 3 positions this year on experience alone for New Grad positions based on Volunteering, Internships over summers, or picked the one within the most "clinical" experience by school.

    • Associations. If your a member of the ANA, or your state's Nursing Association, I know you are probably conscientious of your practice, up to date, and desire to "achieve." It shows an investment in your profession, and that you are "above" the "average." It shows you personally are active already in the future of Nursing, and take active OWNERSHIP of your and Nursing's future. You went out of your way, uncompensated, to make an effort for the Nursing Profession. Even if its NON-Nursing, it shows me your active, and a "well-rounded" applicant. (Example: a nurse that is a member of the LOCAL Rotary Club, Lions Club, or Masonic Lodge is a pillar of this local community, and will be an asset to LOCAL patients. IMPORTANT: Employers tend to hire ACTIVE applicants. An applicant that enjoys biking, running, gym work-out, or athletics tend to do better in hiring than Lake loafers, Weekend Hibernators, and the chronically tired applicant. This piece of paper is your ONE CHANCE for a SECOND CHANCE. It is you best chance for a first impression to draw a picture of yourself as a clear, enthusiastic, and as an asset candidate to their facility.

    • References: This is ALWAYS covered on your application. Do Not Waste This Space Here. Since it is imperative to address it on your Resume, and add credibility by a third party write this: References are Available Upon Request. It shows a pro-active willingness to confirm what you have CONFIDENTLY stated about yourself.


    I would be mistaken to say that spell check, and even letting a fresh set of eyes go over your resume isn't priceless. The inspiration for this Thread came from a rant on mistakes on spelling and grammar. Taking the time to spell and grammar check will not be wasted time!!! I am more lax on this as a hiring entity for just a typo- but obviously there are those out there that will end your hiring chances based on the first noticed mistake of your Resume or Cover Letter. This is the easiest part, just re-word if your unsure of spelling, or if it doesn't "sound right." Another great addition is "Please see attached Letters of Recommendation (if you have any).

    Final Thoughts

    Only use an Online Application as a LAST RESORT. If they have paper applications, go the extra mile to go and pick one up, fill it out correctly, neatly, and attach your cover letter, resume, and (transcripts, degree copies, letters of recommendations).

    Do not (ever/never) copy and paste a resume, it changes your format and creates a MONSTER!!! Take the extra time to type up a new basic one which is usually on a Word Pad format devoid of special spacing, lines, borders, etc. It will be severely damaging to your chances to leave the copy and pasted mess in the resume box.

    They ARE NOT going to dig through the aftermath to find your needed information. This outs a bunch of qualified applicants at my current place of employment because they get chunked out by the HR department long before being considered by a hiring Nurse Manager or DON/aDON. Facilities that have both applications types (paper AND online) sometimes don't even look online until all other applicants have been ruled out!!!!!!

    THIS IS MY STRONGEST ADVICE!!!! I have got many positions from applying online, but I ONLY apply if they do not have a Paper Application!!!

    Use good quality paper for your resume. DO NOT use regular white copy paper. Buy a parchment-water marked paper, a heavier grade (20lb) egg shell colored paper, but DO NOT use those with Sky or Flower backgrounds or borders. Just don't

    Do not have fold lines on it, turn in an outdated copy, take the time to update one even over 2 months old. Customization is the KEY, do not have a Generic Objective line, again be specific. Do not hand in a COPY of your Resume, they can SMELL a copy, use a freshly PRINTED resume/same for Cover Letter.

    The Cover Letter

    On the Cover letter avoid using: "To Whom It May Concern," find out the Unit Manager, or insert the HR person's name AND then "To Whom It May Also Concern," this shows you went the extra mile to learn about the facility.

    Cover your bases again on the Cover Letter, and more!! I put their address at the top, space, and then Dear (whoever), space, Body of letter, My Name and credentials(enough spaces to signature after printed), and follow after signature area spaces with my current position, next line home address, next line- Email,next phone number, and lastly, next line cell number. You are attaching a Resume as well so write the word ATTACHMENT at the bottom of your "Footer" Left side to indicate the resume follows.

    In the body you want no more than 3 paragraphs no matter how much experience you have! You have one motive for this page: Getting an Interview SO, you can defend RESUME and APPLICATION, and lastly receive the job offer!

    The Interview
    • Hit these topics: Eagerness to Learn, Time and Attendance, Flexibility in Scheduling, Thorough Documentations, Scope of Practice, Patient Care Priority, Time Management, Service to the Facility's Client Population, Safety, Chain-of-Command, Policy and Procedure, Efficiency, Quality of care, Positive Patient Outcomes, Meeting Clients Needs, Patient Advocation, Mobilizing Patient Resources, Desire to provide Cost Effective Care, Responsibility with Facility Resources, Team Work, Continuing Education (staying current), Computer and Clerical Skills, Organizational Strengths, work well with a spectrum of personalities, Responsible Delegation with Follow up, and accountability of care given. (also hit as many of these topics as "talking points" during interview).


    • Don't place anything on their desk, or personal space.

    • Don't sit down until your offered a chair, then use good alert posture. Don't fold your arms, and be aware of your body language. Be enthusiastic. Control Nervousness through deep breathing. If your offered water- take it. It will keep you from getting dry mouth, DO NOT CHEW GUM or HAVE CANDY.

    • Don't bring up Pay, wait for them too, or for a job offer- that's presumptuous.

    • Don't interrupt them, or finish their sentences. You can nod understandingly and actively listen, but if they start talking, just stop- even if they interrupt. They will remember the ease of communication even if you don't.

    • Explain why you are interested in their facility, especially when asked, What do you know about our (facility). Perfect Opportunity.

    • HUGE- Inject that you work well with a spectrum of personalities, you are not calling anyone names, you aren't assuming their this way, just saying that if their are "strong willed individuals, you will do everything possible to get along- and have in the past. You will however always advocate for the patient, the main objective, and the focus of your work. They will appreciate your flexibility and maturity to plan ahead for people that are difficult to work with or around.

    • Gratitude. Thank them for everything in it's time. (at the end of the Cover letter for their time and consideration, at the beginning of the interview for their time and consideration again, and at the end of the interview once more (should be the last thing you say.)

    • Follow-up with ONE simple thank-you card with minimal personalization- just simply one line, no more, and a legible signature.

    • Hand shake. Firm, not gripping for life, eye-contact, smile, and introduce yourself with CONFIDENCE. This is SO HARD for females, hold eye contact, and say with CONFIDENCE- "Hi, I am JANE DOE, I am so glad to have this opportunity to speak with you!"

    • No matter what, no matter how "casual" they make you feel, remain professional, don't speak negatively about past employers or colleagues, and be pleasantly confident. Under no circumstance should you say, "We did it this way at....," show an eagerness to learn the way THEY do it.

    • Be prepared to talk about a mistake you've made that's appropriate- and what you have learned from it, they will ask this usually.

    • Under no circumstances- never admit to practicing out of scope, or breaking policy and procedure FOR ANY REASON, a favorite test of hiring parties lately (Ex: Have you ever had to bend the rules for a positive patient outcome, if so which?)

    • For every question they ask, think, WHY are they asking ME this question? WHAT do they WANT to hear as a response? It will most likely be a topic from the above "Hit These Topics."

    I hope this helps you in the stressful preparation for your desired position. I don't advocate dishonesty in the application process, so use the APPLICABLE talking points I have listed. They don't expect you to roll off the assembly line floor as a competent, seasoned nurse, so use APPROPRIATE talking points that aren't over your heads. They can smell "fluff."

    I wish you great luck, a confident interview, a masterpiece resume, a convincing Cover Letter, and a job offer "on-the-spot."
    (sorry for any grammar or spelling mistakes I made here)

  • Jan 11 '13
  • Jan 11 '13

    Warning: The following post is rife with brutal honesty and frustration. Read at your own risk.

    Memorandum from the desk of Your Friendly Neighborhood Sociopath~~

    Dear Nursing Student/Orientee:

    Allow me to start my letter with a brief aside. Yes, I know there are things you are not taught at nursing school. I know that this may not apply exactly to your set of circumstances. I know that there are evil, vindictive individuals out there that will purposefully set you up, hold you down, and delight in making your every morning something to dread and your every evening a nightmare.

    But I am not one of those individuals. I do not, under any circumstances, condone their conduct.

    Nor am I some fluffy feel-good nurse that will hold your hand, coddle your mistakes and spout sayings freshly garnered from those horrid encouragement posters seen in every middle management office. You know the ones...they normally feature a humpback whale tale flipped above the water, inked on black with the word "Perseverance" splayed in white type beneath it. No. I am not that nurse.

    Normally this is where I would insert some words of acknowledgement and a word, dare I say, an apology for who I am.



    I am not sorry.

    I am not sorry for who I am. And more importantly, I am not sorry for who I am trying to help you become.

    And if that makes me the sharp toothed thing lurking under your bed, poisoning your dreams, then so be it.

    Let me be frank....well, more frank: It is not my job to be your friend. It is not my job to be your nanny, your partner, or your teacher.

    I am your preceptor.

    I am not paid to like you. I am not obligated to think you are amazing, or clever, or the greatest thing to grace the floor. You were admitted to nursing school. Maybe you've already passed the NCLEX. So did I as well as the rest of the nurses around you. Get over yourself.

    I am not here to swap stories of what we did over the weekend or invite you out to drinks after work. To be clear, you are but one more individual whom I must monitor throughout my shift and what a dangerous individual you are as you practice under my license and tutelage. I am not blown away that you remembered to put on gloves or to put the bed low and make sure the call light is in place. That is your job. By the time you round with me, that should be second nature.

    So let's pause for a second and smooth all the hackles I know I just raised.

    Allow us, for just a moment, to be honest together, yes? Nursing school often paints a pretty picture of perfect working environments frosted with therapeutic communication, dollops of hand holding, smiling, radiant preceptors for everyone and delightful nurse to patient ratios. Rainbows sold separately.

    It's not that I crush dreams so much as get the lovely job of escorting you out of Wonderland and into reality. And reality bites.

    I may not be your friend, but I will be professional with you and you have the right to expect nothing less. Perhaps in time we may develop an understanding which my lead to friendship. But that time is not now. Stop taking it so personally.

    If you have done your research, if you have made your phone calls, if you have come to me and we have agreed upon a solution that turned out to be wrong, I will never throw you under the bus. I will defend you even to the DON and the MD's if we followed protocol, proper skilled nursing practice and physician orders. You may take a fall, but it will not be alone.

    But I will not own your foolishness or your negligence. Expecting me to sacrifice my career, my rapport, my dignity for you is simply not realistic. Even in our little corner of the working jungle, natural selection, AKA survival of the fittest, still applies.

    On that note, I will do everything in my power to be damn sure you never, ever manage to make such a grievous error. Why? Not because of patient care (though it should be a no brainer that such a thing is part of it). Because I want you to succeed. I want you to be safe. Because I know those mistakes destroy futures.

    Not on my watch.

    I promise you that my knowledge is yours to access any time, day or night. Even when I've stolen a precious few seconds in the bathroom or are snarfing down a sandwich. If you have a question, for the love of all things sacred and delicious, ask. Yes, even the "stupid" questions.

    Though I firmly stand by the reasoning that the only stupid questions are the ones not asked.

    I also promise to tell you when I don't know. ::gasp:: What's this? A preceptor without an answer? Absolutely. Look, it's been...well...a while since nursing school and there is only so much room in the mental hard drive, alright? It's either remember the exact dosing of Colace or remember how to make a Denver Omelet. Sacrifices must be made for the greater good.

    But we'll relearn/learn it together.

    You worry about asking me questions as you fret over my answers and thus ask none. Pray tell, how shall I guide you if you do not ask?

    I may not have the answer, but I know someone who does. Pay attention to who I talk to in order to get that information. Guess what? I'm showing you my sources. They will become your sources too when you are out on your own. And don't forget, I'm around. It's not like after the orientation is over I'm going to vanish with a nod and a plume of purple smoke to a magic lamp.

    Silence means just as much as speech. Kindly note when I hold my tongue and when I talk and more importantly, who I talk to. (Yes, I know, ending a sentence with a preposition. - 10 points from Gryffindor) I'm giving you hints on who to trust and who to watch as well as your Reliables, those fine folks that always seem to be Johnny on the spot with whatever strange thing you need.

    Speaking of speech, communication is a two way street. If you need my attention, if you need something different, if you need me to back off because, trust me, it is harder than nothing else to sit on ones hands and watch someone struggle when it is just so much easier to do it oneself, say something! Just....not in front of a patient. Or my charge nurse. Let's talk privately, quietly, as two adults ought.

    Be sure that I am fully aware of the tone I use. You know. The. Tone. I have it in my arsenal for a reason. That is my "Some serious !@#% is about to go down and I need you to do exactly as I say" tone. Never argue with the tone. Pay attention and make mental notes. Ask me later what I saw that you didn't. I'll happily tell you.

    Should that tone ever come out while you are performing a task: freeze. I am trying to keep you from causing unwitting harm. More to the point, I am working to guard you from making the same mistakes either myself or others have made. And yes, I will tell you the story later.

    Again, don't take it personally. In those moments it's not about you. It's about the patient.

    However, there is nothing in this world more frustrating, more gut churningly irritating, than someone wrapped in indifference and swaddled in ego. Nothing makes me angrier, quicker, than an orientee that does not see their own potential and is more than happy to just settle. I see so much ability just lying dormant, waiting for the right chance to break free and yet when it is ignored, when you gloss over it in favor of the easy way out, I seriously just want to kick a squid. In the face. Hard.

    So I'm going to push you. Relentlessly. When you could do something better, I will tell you. I do not hand out compliments liberally for a reason. Your best today is simply not good enough tomorrow. It's not good enough for me and it definitely shouldn't be good enough for you. Your momentary failings are disappointing and just as you question what you are doing wrong, I am wondering the same thing about myself. When you ask questions, I'm going to ask you questions in return to make you think, not because I enjoy watching you squirm.

    Remember: a great nurse is a thinking nurse.

    And never be afraid to admit you don't know something. Ever. See points mentioned above about sources and help. I am going to push you. I am going to make you struggle and stumble. I will not let you fall.

    In honesty, there are going to be good days. And there are going to be bad. The bad may outweigh the good for a bit. Sometimes it can get to be a tad much and I know, heaven help me, I know there are some criers out there. As an aside, I bid you, with utmost sincerity, to please don't cry. Don't cry. Not over a doctor yelling, or another nurse be snarky, or because you are overwhelmed, or because you thought I was harsh to you. Don't cry. Not one of those things is devastating enough to have earned that much power over your emotions.

    But, as I realize that it is easier said than done for some, if you need to have it out, tell me. Tell me so I can find you a place to let it all hang out in private, even if it means covering your patients so you can go to your car. Because I want to protect you from committing what, for some, becomes a moment they cannot live down and stains their repertoire on the floor.

    Because medical personnel are predatory pack animals. When you cry, they scent blood and bay for their pack mates to take notice. They watch. Stalking. Lurking. Marking you as weak, ready to cast you aside to larger predators, or, more readily, pick the psychological meat from your bones themselves.

    When you have found your composure, we'll talk, brainstorm, and fix the situation. Even if it has something to do with me--scratch that--especially if it has something to do with me. But for that one moment, let me protect you.

    And lastly, keep in mind that I'm human. I have bad days. I have a life outside of work and sometimes there is a lot going on that you may not know about. And on top if it all, I have my own workload, work drama, etc, on top of what is going on with you. So before you start gossiping to other orientees about your "!@#% of a preceptor" remember two things: 1) I will find out. I have eyes and ears you don't know about. 2) One day, you will look back and realize that your crazy preceptor may have had a point and you are stronger for it.

    And you didn't even have to be coddled.

    Wishing you best of luck and kindest regards,



    I owe everything I am, every moment of clarity, success, and moment of feeling capable to my preceptor of many years ago who just so happened to be a nightmare on two tennis toned legs. Without him, I would never have survived running my first trauma alone nor would I have found a home in nursing. Thank you, my friend, for breaking me down so I could be built stronger.

  • Jan 11 '13

    Quote from elkpark
    Ahhhh -- I wondered what a "pedistool" was this morning when I first saw the thread ...
    That is another term for infant oop:. Although standing on it does not sound like a good idea.