Dear Nurse Beth,
What is the best career path for late starter?
I am 56 years, in my 3 semester for RN. I started 3 years ago with the intention of becoming a LPN. On the recommendation of my teachers, I continued my education. I have been going to school and work full time nights for almost three years in a SNF.
Also I thought SNF is what I want to do, I feel a need more experience "nursing". Working nights mostly memory care does give me many skills. So should I do my first years, ICU, PACU or Med Surg? In the fourth semester we have a preceptorship and can be a possibility for landing a job.
Dear Best First Job for 56 yr Old,
Congrats on being almost finished with your RN program! Wow- you are really motivated to work full time while attending nursing school. Amazing and
You already know nursing takes stamina and a high energy level. Everybody is different in their physical "age" and you are definitely used to working hard.
But your question is, which is better, ICU, PACU, or MedSurg? The question is, where are you more likely to get hired? In the interest of landing a job, I would do a preceptorship in the area that is currently hiring or has a history of hiring new grads.
Here's an excerpt from my book on how to land your first nursing job...and your next!
Clinical rotations are a job seeker's dream! In what other jobs do you get a chance to see and be seen time and time again before you apply for a job? Meet and impress the nurse managers and/or charge nurse during clinical rotations. How to do that?! Look for opportunities- they will present themselves.
Write a note to the nurse manager after your clinical rotation. By write, I mean use a pen, and by note, I mean paper and envelope. Here's an example.
"I learned so much during my clinical rotation on your unit. The staff were all so supportive and helpful, especially Beth Hawkes. This is exactly the kind of nursing team I'd like to be a part of someday. Thank you for the experience."
Or semblance thereof.Sign your name legibly and prominently. Stop by a week later to see if he/she got your note. Wait! there it is! Pinned on the wall above the nurse manager's desk! Because everyone appreciates a personalized, handwritten note!
You have set yourself apart.
Tip: Make sure our name is legible. You want them to remember your name.
Wherever you choose to do your preceptorship, be sure to make contacts and network. You will have insider advantage when you apply for a job because they will know you and your work ethic.
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!