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Nurse Beth MSN

Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho

Hi! Nice to meet you! I love helping new nurses in all my various roles. I work in a hospital in Staff Development, and am a blogger and author.

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Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

I love helping new nurses, and I blog about how to get hired and all things nursing at my award-winning blog,  http://nursecode.com. I authored the popular "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job" on Amazon! It's the ultimate guide with insider tips to land your nursing job!  Look for my latest book First-Year Nurse: Advice on Working with Doctors, Prioritizing Care, and Time Management,  published in 2020.

Here is a great & detailed review of my first book from Kyle Schmidt at BluePipes.com. http://blog.bluepipes.com/nursing-job-search-book/ I've worked Med Surg, Tele, GI, and ICU. I spent several years in Nursing Management, and currently work as a Staff Development Specialist. Plus a lot of fun side jobs 🙂


Nurse Beth - Career columnist and author

Author of Your Last Nursing Class - How to Land Your First Job..and Your Next!

Watch for my next book to be released in May 2020.

Nurse Beth's Latest Activity

  1. Nurse Beth

    Completely regret becoming a nurse

    Dear Nurse Beth, I have been a med-surg nurse for two years and although I really enjoy my teammates, managers, schedule, and vacation approvals, the actual work itself I find boring, overwhelmingly busy with unimportant tasks, I feel underappreciated and overworked. A lot of my coworkers say they like med-surg because the patient's are medically stable and it is not as emotionally taxing as the ICU or ED. I am in therapy because I suffer from anxiety. My counselor said I should go into a more strenuous and "exciting" nursing environment because I find my current job tedious. But I am worried that my anxiety will be greatly triggered and that I should aim for a more calm environment. BUT I love working three 12's per week. I don't want four 10's. I don't have kids and I love the schedule because of the freedom I have. I am completely regretting becoming an RN. I followed and listened to what people told me to do instead of listening to my own heart. I am not passionate about medicine or taking care of people, although it is rewarding I do not find the stress I experience worth it. Nor is the pay worth it. I have thought about pursuing higher education such as a DNP or PHD but I am hesitant since I dislike the bedside so much. I don't want to get into informatics because of the M-F 8-5PM. I don't want to get into education because of the pay and schedule. I want to use my creative outlets more in my life. If I could go back I would go to school for something like website design, writing, photography... I am writing in hopes you have some insight to share where I could possibly incorporate my creative side with nursing. Or maybe there is a field of nursing you think I should try before I give up on the career. Please let me know, thank you for your time. Dear Dislikes Bedside, Basically all 12 hour jobs are clinical, direct-care jobs. You may have to change your expectations. In other words, consider giving up 12 hour shifts to pursue something you'd find rewarding. Don't limit your opportunities by insisting on 12 hour shifts. You could adjust to a Mon-Fri 8-5 schedule if you had to. The majority of the work force works Mon-Fri 8-5 and you learn to make it work. If you are open to a Mon-Fri schedule, then that opens up a lot of opportunity. We all want satisfaction in our careers or it's just not sustainable. I find room for a great deal of creative expression as an educator in acute care. Content development and delivery call for skills in writing and finding ways to engage adult learners. Others find their passion in supervising others, problem-solving, and managing resources. Still others love the challenge of their work in Risk Management, Quality, Infection Preventions, Revenue Integrity, Documentation Specialist. There are almost countless career paths for an RN. I wouldn't give up on nursing altogether until you've pursued something away from the bedside. Register with Indeed.com and start looking at all the different postings. See what catches your interest. Best wishes, Nurse Beth
  2. Dear Nurse Beth, So, I recently had an interview and job shadow for a school nurse position. I received a call from the recruiter and she stated she had good & bad news. Bad news was that I did not get the job. Good news was that they really liked me. The recruiter wanted to know if I would be interested in them keeping my name for a future role for a school nurse. I stated yes and she said she would forward this information to the team. The recruiter then stated it is only a matter of time. Could this be a way for them to soften the blow or do you think they might consider me for a future role? Wonder what she meant by it is only a matter of time? What is the best way to stay in touch with the recruiter regarding the role? I just don't want them to forget about me if they are really interested in me. I'm probably just overthinking this because I really wanted the job. Dear Overthinking, I think this is more the recruiter being truthful than softening the blow. By saying "it's only a matter of time" it could suggest she has some information that she can't share, such as she knows of a position opening up, or for some reason she believes the person chosen fore the job may not stay long. At the same time, whatever information she has can also change quickly. For example, it's not uncommon for new positions to not be approved by a governing committee at the last minute. Of course this is all conjecture, and what's important is only what you have control over. Check in regularly with this recruiter. Obviously she thinks well of you. "Hi, I'm just checking in :). Any updates for me?" Good luck! I hope you get a job you love soon. Best wishes, Nurse Beth
  3. Nurse Beth

    CNA training during COVID

    Dear Nurse Beth, I actually am not a student yet. I want to get into nursing and work at a hospital. I was thinking I would possibly start as nursing assistant and then start nursing school as soon as I can afford it and then once I am finished with school I would work as an RN. A big problem I am running into is that just about every nursing assistant job wants the candidate to be a certified nursing assistant. I am not certified so I also have been trying to look up some CNA programs to get into so I can be certified and then get a job as a CNA. The problem with that right now is finding a program. I cannot seem to find any programs right now due to COVID-19. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on how I can best go about either getting a job as a nursing assistant or getting certified. I would love to be certified I just cannot seem to find any classes anywhere right now. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much! Dear Wants CNA certification, Many CNA programs are temporarily shut down depending on location. Even if they could manage social distancing in the classroom, they will be challenged finding clinical sites. You're right, most hospitals hire only CNAs or second semester nurses. Your best bet is to start on your pre-requisites and land whatever you are able to right now. Sorry, I know that is not what you wanted to hear. In the meantime, keep checking back with the CNA training schools as this situation is very fluid. Best wishes, Nurse Beth
  4. Dear Nurse Beth, I was arrested in 1/17 for a DUI and had 2 charges 1 for the refusal which I went to trial and was found not guilty. The other trial for the DUI has been delayed due to the current pandemic and they are assuming trials won't start until 2021. My attorney did exhaust all appeals but they were denied. I am a nurse in FL and still working at my same job which does not know. When it first happened I contacted the BON and they told me I didn't need to self report until it was resolved. I followed up again recently and was advised the same. I have been offered a lower charge of Reckless Driving with a withhold (No immobilization, no DL suspension, no points, etc) but probation for 6 months which can be terminated early when I finish everything which is already done because I did everything in 2017 when it first happened. According to the BON website I have other steps to take if I accept the deal providing explanation letter and recommendation letters as well as court records. I have not shared my situation with many people so I'm not sure how to go about it and can't find information online. I was trying to find out how it will affect my nursing license and if I'll lose my job. Dear Arrested, If you accept the Reckless Driving plea, you must report it to the BON within 30 days. This would speed up the process for you if you think it sounds like a good deal for you. The law sees Reckless Driving as less than a DUI but the BON may or may not make that distinction. What's going for you is your offense was over 3 years ago. You have an attorney, but unless your attorney has experience with the BON, you must get one that does. Experience with DUI and experience with the BON are 2 different skill sets. When you respond to the BON, you should do so with the help of qualified counsel. Whether or not you accept a plea or are found guilty at trial, you will need to submit all court documents, proof of having met requirements, and police records. Your case will be investigated by the BON and the outcome is based a lot on your self-awareness and rehabilitation. They need to be convinced that you have taken responsibility and have changed- in other words, that you are no longer the person who would drive while intoxicated. Please read Criminal Infraction for essential tips on communicating with the BON. As far as your employer, read your employee handbook to see if you must report an arrest and/or convictions. Every organization is different but keep it to yourself unless required to divulge. Of course, if you change employers, you will be asked pre-hire and it will show up in LifeScan. Best wishes, my friend, Nurse Beth
  5. Nurse Beth

    ICU or IMCU for first job?

    Hi Nurse Beth, I need a career advice. I just graduated from nursing school and I have an offer as an ICU nurse at a trauma level 1 hospital that is 1 hr away from home I am a respiratory therapist and therefore has been easier to find a job in ICU, however, its a 2 year commitment and if I leave earlier I will have to pay 10k. The pay is low and I feel the training is being charged in every possible way I have another option in the IMCU at the current place of work, which is 9 miles away. The pay is better as well I am confused about what job to take because ICU is my dream job, but I didn't want to start in ICU at the facility at work so I applied for IMCU. My question is what should I do? Should I take the ICU job or the IMCU one? Dear Confused, CONGRATS on having 2 job offers! Intermediate Care Unit provides care for patients needing close monitoring and is a step down from ICU. You will get good experience but not with pressors, or continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), or other modalities. If you really want ICU, but don't want the ICU at your current facility, then go for it. Two years will go fairly quickly, and you won't regret good training and opportunity. Best wishes, Nurse Beth
  6. Dear Nurse Beth. What can I do if I graduate from a nursing program and can't pass my exit program? Dear If, You need to find out your school's position on the exit exam. Typically, even if you successfully pass the program and academics, but fail the exit exam, you may not be allowed to graduate. If you don't graduate, you will not be allowed to take the NCLEX. Check your school's syllabus and all documents provided by the college. One such exit exam is the HESI exam, given in the last quarter or semester of nursing school. The HESI exam is an indicator of how well you will do on the NCLEX. It's a computer-based, multiple-choice exam. One of the reasons for exit exams is that nursing schools want to ensure high NCLEX pass rates. Nursing program pass rates are used by the BON/BRN to evaluate the program's effectiveness in preparing students for the NCLEX. State board approval is required for nursing programs. Individual nursing program pass rates are easily found on the internet. There are many study tools out there to help you prepare for the exam. Consider forming a study group with your classmates to prep for the exam. The good news is you can repeat the HESI exam. Be sure to take a look at the HESI forum here on allnurses. Best wishes, Nurse Beth
  7. Dear Nurse Beth, I am a 25 yr registered veterinary technician veteran contemplating switching to human nursing for a number of reasons. Those include low pay, no career respect, lack of career recognition nationwide, no job opportunities, physical wear and tear on the body, no career advancement opportunities, as well as lack of benefits. My question to you is, how much more physically taxing on the body is nursing compared to the animal wrangling I have been submitting my body to over the past 25 years? Dear Veterinary Technician, Jobs that pay well as a registered veterinary technician are rare. Wages and benefits depend on the employer unless you are in a unionized or government position, such as working in a public city zoo. Many registered technicians complete their studies only to learn that employers can often choose to hire non-credentialed and lower-paid workers, even to place IV catheters and monitor anesthesia. By comparison, nursing is taxing on the body but the career opportunities are equal to non-other in my opinion. Once you gain your basic experience you can choose to stay at the bedside or go into teaching, sales, informatics, case management, and so much more. You will have to put in the time to earn your Bachelor's degree and work at least a couple of years at the bedside, so figure that into your plan. You will probably not be able to work once you're in the nursing program. Good luck with your decision, Nurse Beth Start your job search today!
  8. Nurse Beth

    New grad RN

    I wouldn't worry about it. First of all, there's no need to list your clinical rotations on your resume unless there's a compelling reason to do so. It's a given that your BON/BRN required a certain number of hours and that you fulfilled them. Because new grads are all the same in terms of having passed the NCLEX and lack of experience, you want to include meaningful things that set you apart, not just words that fill the page. Do you know a second language that is spoken in your area? Have you done any community/volunteer work? Did you hold office? In previous jobs, did you receive any customer service training? Things along that line. Best wishes, Nurse Beth
  9. Hi Nurse Beth! I've got an interesting situation going on. I was recently fired from my place of employment on 11/2019 at a major hospital system. I was salaried (non clinical position) and accused of "stealing time" from my employers despite the fact that I actually worked on the days they accuse me of stealing time. I reported them to the Dep't of Labor(DOL) because they terminated me while I was on FMLA. The DOL is supposed to arrive to a conclusion soon to show there was either a) a violation b) non violation or c) inclusive/notice to sue. I also planned on following up with the EEOC as there was harassment involved but everything has been delayed due to COVID. During the tenure of my employment I actually went back to school and graduated nursing school. I'm currently waiting to take the NCLEX. Now I'm in a position where I'd like to work for the same company as they are one the major employers in my area. There is no chance of me interacting with my previous HR representatives or managers but I am concerned about my record which is why I'm fighting so hard. My question is this: What should I expect from the recruiting process? Does this ruin my chances of finding work as an RN with this system? Any advice on how to fight this issue more effectively? Dear Concerned, If you intentionally falsified time records to get more money than you were entitled to, then that is a theft of time. It's usually not prosecuted. Employees are simply fired, as you were. It doesn't make sense to accuse you of stealing time on a day or days that you worked, because salaried employees are paid for the day (typically 8 hours) whether they worked 2 hours or 12 hours. As far as your termination status, I don't believe you have recourse. An employer can list you as a "not eligible for re-hire" as they choose. You can be right, but it may not fix anything. Even if it was a wrongful termination, it's doubtful they could be required to hire you as an RN. It wouldn't hurt to apply, but the chances of an employer hiring you after you reported them to the Department of Labor and are considering bringing suit are slim. The most you could hope for is a 'right hand doesn't know what left hand is doing' situation, and get hired by slipping between the cracks. So sorry this happened, especially as they are your main potential employer, but you may do best by cutting your losses and moving forward. Good luck on the NCLEX. Nurse Beth Start your job search today!
  10. Nurse Beth

    New Nurse Exhaustion

    A 10/10 stress level, severe anxiety, sense of dread and not sleeping are all signs of a treatable medical disorder. All of these things you're experiencing are normal in some degree and at some times for new nurses. But not for 2.5 years and not all the time. The anxiety you are having will stay with you no matter what job you take to escape it. Anxiety prevents you from enjoying your job. See your doctor for uncontrolled anxiety. Even if you've been treated before, it's time for a check-in. Once you get the right treatment for you, lig gave you some great suggestions for finding the right job. You are very smart. Don't give up nursing. If ever there was a career with unlimited options, it's nursing. You can work with patients and you can work in informatics. You can teach, do case management, infection prevention, palliative care....you name it. Like you said, life is too short. You're too valuable and you do not need to suffer. Best wishes my friend
  11. Hi Nurse Beth, My long-term goal is CRNA. I got an ICU offer from Cleveland Clinic (#2 hospital in the nation), but not main campus. It's for one of their regional hospitals. It's not a trauma hospital, but the residency would still go through main campus. I would be moving from California and was wondering if the name of the hospital system and ICU experience with good 1 year residency would be worth it enough? The pay for is 28/hr for residents and I plan to do 2 years ICU then find a job in an actual level 1 trauma center in CA. Would this also be a good name to have on my resume despite it not being main campus and overall would it be worth the move for CRNA? Dear Wondering, I say go for it! and congratulations on the offer! This can be an excellent place for you, with lots of opportunities. No matter where your career takes you in the future, and plans can change, an ICU residency at Cleveland Clinic is an amazing start. You are looking down the road and planning your career all the way through CRNA, and it's good to have a solid plan, but for now, relax into your residency. There is so much to learn in your first year. Best wishes to you in your new job, Nurse Beth Start your job search today!
  12. Dear Nurse Beth, I'm not sure if I should be a nurse anymore? So maybe it is more of an anxiety issue or just completely want to let go of nursing. I am a 28 yr old whose got around 5 years of nursing experience. I have tried multiple areas such as LTC (6 months),complex continuing care/palliative care (maybe 2 years and half), neurosurgery (about a year), some medicine (6 months), L&D (4 months) and recently a nurse consultant at a worker's compensation insurance company (7 months). I feel like I just can't seem to find my niche or if I am interested in it, the acuity of the unit is too much for me to handle. I am a quite shy and introverted person and until now have a hard time talking to people, especially those in authoritative positions. I have tried to practice to be more assertive but my anxieties just get to me. I have been a charge nurse and even got awarded for a leadership and innovative practice award in my hospital as one of the 9 recipients which was very surprising to me. I am the last person to think of myself as a leader! I kept moving to different units and I really thought that L&D is where I would want to be at. Actually, I much rather want to do postpartum than L&D. It was going to be my plan to be in L&D for a couple months just to understand the basics then move on to postpartum. But it did not end up happening because I received a full time permanent position as a nurse consultant. It is pretty much almost every nurse's dream I guess with the consistent Monday to Friday hours, good benefits and security and no weekends or holidays. In my current role as nurse consultant, the only interaction is through a phone. So I thought with my social anxieties it would be a better option for my mental and physical health. Over time I felt like it ended up having the opposite effect. I don't feel physically healthy with the sedentary lifestyle and mentally I am even more anxious because I constantly think about what I should do next or what I should be doing the next day. I feel like treatments are often delayed because I can't make a decision whether I should cover for the treatment or not or if it is within the policy. Clients will be extremely mad at the phone conversation with me if I tell them I can't cover/pay for it or they can't be reimbursed for something. It's all about money. I feel uneasy when I think about health care and money. Even confrontations on the phone I ended up crying about later on. You would think my stress tolerance over the years would increase but I feel like I have gotten worse as a nurse. I am seeing a psychologist to help me cope but it has helped in some degree. But on top of my anxieties I seem to feel like I am just truly not enjoying it even though I know I am new and almost feel like I miss the hands on skills. I'm not the best communicator and I feel like I am able to truly show that I care for someone if I do things in a more physical manner like changing their wound dressings and giving them their medications and some teaching. I am thinking about going back to school to specialize in something but not sure on what (OB, Dialysis, palliative, OR). OR completely change my career path but still be in health care somehow like medical lab technologist but I feel like this will be a waste of time and become a disappointment to my family. Truly apologize for the rant... I just don't really know what to do and I panic when I think about work. I know nurses around the world do have it worst than me right now with the Covid because I get to work from home and I shouldn't even be complaining. But I kind of also want to be out there and helping everyone who is suffering. I definitely still have to work on my mental health and don't want to make any decisions I will regret. I have tried to be optimistic every time I choose to move to another unit and hope that this is where I want to be in only to feel even more disappointed Dear Disappointed, Your problem is not going to be solved by changing jobs, because your problem is not your job. Every time you get a new job to decrease your stress or avoid people, some other aspect of the job triggers you. This is not a career problem. It's a medical problem. You cry about work, experience anxiety, are worried and stressed. You find it hard to make decisions, avoid people and situations, and fear authority. You have loss of joy. It's good you are seeing a psychologist and it can only help you gain insight into yourself and perhaps gain some coping skills. It should give you a more realistic perspective. A psychologist cannot prescribe medications, however, and you most likely have a diagnosable and completely treatable medical condition-meaning anxiety and maybe depression. The important thing is, your medical doctor can help you. You do not have to keep suffering. I love what you said about how you show you care for others- by doing things for them in a physical manner, such as changing dressings, giving meds, and patient teaching. I think you describe the love language of nurses very well. Others see that you are a leader, and you haven't yet been the best you can be because your condition is holding you back from the best you. It's going to be amazing how much better you'll feel with the right treatment. Best wishes, Nurse Beth Related article: Confessions of an Introvert Start your job search today!
  13. Hi Nurse Beth, Are you able to offer advice on Nursing school programs? If not, can you direct me to the right contact? I am not sure, this is just a possibility, I might have had a poor experience. I am crushed. Dear Needs Advice, I'm not sure what kind of advice you are needing. I'm not able to endorse any one program, but readers can share their experiences. We do have a good forum on school programs https://allnurses.com/school-college-programs-c152/. I hope you will check it out and ask your specific question there. Best wishes, Nurse Beth
  14. Nurse Beth: Hi I have a question regarding a situation happened to me recently. I work in PACU as a staff nurse and I do phase I and II. I have only 3 months in this facility. I discharged a patient home after a procedure, this patient is taking at home a Lortab 5/325 mg. I review the chart and reconcile his medications, as part of the process we can order one dose of the medication that patient is going home, if the patient have a prescription on paper or e-script so I ordered the first dose as telephone order but I don't have to call the MD to get this first dose because is part of the protocol in this facility. I saw this medication on his reconciled medication and I printed but I did not confirmed that medication was prescribe by other physician than the surgeon that work in this facility. So I order this Lortab under the surgeon name and I gave this pill to patient. I recently received from my clinical supervisor that order was denied by the surgeon and I need to provide more detail about who order this medication because the surgeon refused to sign this order. I emailed back with the same information and I said that order was a verbal order from the same surgeon but he refused this order again. I really don't know this surgeon very well but I have a conversation just a couple times and he isn't friendly with nurses ( I hope I'm wrong!) My question is this, what is my choices regarding the order if the refuse to sign this order? And what is the consequences with DEA, hospital and my nursing license? Side note: I haven't talk to the surgeon about the order but I anticipate he will refuse this order. Thank you for you time. Dear Surgeon Refused Order, So you ordered Lortab 5/325 X 1 po under the surgeon's name and now he is refusing to sign the order, claiming he did not order it. You say your facility has a protocol that allows you to order one dose of a drug as long as the patient has a prescription for the drug at home, or is it as long as they have a prescription given at discharge (not clear)? If the patient was given a prescription for 10 Lortab on discharge, and you gave 1 pill, how is the community pharmacy to know 1 pill has been dispensed? Or is it that the pill is not dispensed under the prescription, but the fact that a prescription exists somehow allows a nurse to order the drug independently? Why not just ask the surgeon for a pain med if the patient needed it before discharge? That is an unusual protocol. If there is such a protocol, you must print it out right away and read it carefully because it could save you from discipline at your facility and on your license. If you cannot find anything to print out, then I would say, unfortunately, you do not have a protocol and the protection such a protocol would provide. Protocol My questions regarding such a protocol are: What are the criteria for the prescription? All drugs? Controlled substances? Active and current prescriptions? What is the approved process for ordering the drug? Is it to be entered as a telephone order? If so, under what physician's name? Why would the facility instruct you to enter a telephone order when there was no telephone conversation? Is there an option in your EHR when entering orders to use "per protocol" or "standing order" instead of "telephone order"? If so, that's what should have been used. This protocol allows the nurse to order a drug based solely on the fact that the patient is on the drug at home, but without consideration for possibly synergistic drugs given as part of the procedure. In other words, drugs should only be ordered as an intervention after a current medical assessment and evaluation. Such a written protocol would have to include the full process-that the physician will cosign the order within 48 hours when it arrives in their inbox. Nurses cannot order medications independently under any state's BON. This written protocol would have been approved by your facility's Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Nursing and Medical Executive committees before being posted. If you have such a document like that in your hand, then you are covered and have no worries. If you are following the facility's protocol as written, and it is a faulty protocol, the liability remains with the facility, not you, and the problem is holding the surgeon to the protocol. If there is no such document, you are potentially in trouble for practicing medicine, falsifying an order, and drug diversion, very sorry to say. When following a "protocol" make sure it is indeed a protocol and not just an unofficial nursing practice used for nursing or physician convenience. The term "protocol" is often used loosely and erroneously and puts you, the nurse, at risk unless you are very sure of your facts. An example is ordering an EKG without a doctor's order if a patient has chest pain. Does it make sense to not delay care? Yes. But many nurses think their facility has a "protocol" for independently ordering EKGs, troponin, and more. But do they, or is that just what they were told? Maybe they do, in which case, they need to pull up the policy themselves and confirm exactly what the approved process is. Typically there would be a policy approving specific standing orders to treat the patient which covers the nurse entering an order on behalf of the attending independently. Standing orders require co-signature by the attending physian, but can be initiated independently by the nurse if certain criteria are met. Inconsistency You entered the order as a telephone order based on your facility's protocol, but when asked about it later, you said it was a verbal order. If it was a verbal order, then yes, the surgeon should have entered it himself, but then the event has nothing to do with a protocol of entering orders without a doctor's order based on a prescription discovered during medication reconciliation. Unless I'm misunderstanding, your account of what happened is inconsistent and confusing. I know this is probably catastrophic to you now, and your thoughts may not be clear, but inconsistency will be used against you. Was it a telephone order based on protocol or was it a verbal order? Did you ever see the surgeon or talk to him? Verbal Orders Do not take verbal orders except in the case of an emergency, or when it would break a sterile field to do so. Verbal orders, as well as telephone orders, can become a "he said, she said". If you asked the surgeon for pain medication for your patient and he responded verbally to give Lortab 5/325 po X 1, the proper response is "Thank you, will you be entering that as an order?" You are not in trouble with the DEA but you are in trouble with your facility. You are not in trouble with the BON at this point, but if your facility chooses to report this to the Board, you could well be under investigation. If your facility reports you to the BON, you may not hear anything from the Board for some time, depending on their backlog of cases and next scheduled meetings. If you do hear from the Board, get a lawyer, and get one that has experience representing nurses to the Board. I am so sorry that you are going through this. You made some risky choices. You must be very careful about protecting your nursing license and think things through. It is just not worth it to jeopardize your career and your future. Best wishes, Nurse Beth What to do if you have a criminal infraction Start your job search today!
  15. Dear Nurse Beth, Thanks so much for your time and your advice! I have one question. I have a final interview with an ER manager at my dream job location. I was wondering if you had any examples of questions that are unit specific I could ask her. I want to leave a good impression as there are so many applicants. But since this is a new grad residency program I haven’t worked in the ER I’m kind of stumped. Thanks again nurse Beth! Dear Dream Job, The questions you ask at an interview are important, and they give you one last chance to make a memorable impression. You need to prepare several questions ahead of time. Managers typically ask "What questions do you have for us?" at the end of an interview, at which point they may have already addressed your question. So if the manager has already talked about visits per day (ED metric for volume) or throughput (getting patients up to the floor) during the course of your interview, and your questions were "How long do you typically hold patients while waiting for an inpatient bed?" or "How many visits per day do you have during the Winter months?", then you would not be able to use those questions. Also, remember, the ED manager does not expect you to know the inner workings of the ED. Experience is not what they are looking for when hiring a new grad.They are looking for someone who will fit in, be teachable, and be a safe practitioner. Here's a couple examples of questions you might ask: "I've always been told by my instructors that teamwork is one of my best strengths. What qualities do you look for in a candidate?" (tells them you're a team player). "As a new grad, I have everything to learn. If I were to get hired, what are the best ways to grow my skills in your ED?" (shows teachability and interest). One way you can use this question to your advantage is to show you have researched the hospital. "I know the mission of the hospital is to improve the health of all the patients served through excellent care. Can you tell me about the culture of the ED?" (shows you have looked up the mission statement). A couple more tips: Ask only open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a "Yes" or a "No". Do not ask questions about salary, benefits, vacation time or any perks at this stage of the process. Ask one question at a time. Avoid multi-part questions, such as "If I were to get the job, would I receive regular feedback on my performance, and is there opportunity to take more classes to improve my skills down the road?" (should be asked as 2 questions). Good luck on your interview!! P.S. Follow up with a thank-you note Nurse Beth
  16. Dear Nurse Beth, I got my RN license just as the Covid-19 situation took a turn for the worst. Now most, if not all, the RN residency programs in my area have been suspended. I have received an offer from a SNF but am weary of accepting it because of the things I've heard about this particular facility and their treatment of new grads. I am lucky enough to be living with my parents at the moment, so I am not pressured into needing a job, but I definitely would like to start my career as a nurse. Should I accept the job in the meantime as the future of the residency programs remain uncertain? Or would it be better to hold out for a program career-wise? Dear Lucky, It's a different time now, and unfortunately, the Covid-19 situation is affecting new grads applying for their first jobs. Many hospitals have postponed their residency programs, and decisions to reinstate programs are fluid, as the situation evolves. Some residency programs will continue, but may look different, with fewer live classes. One thing for sure, though, hospitals still need to hire nurses. I would not take a job at a SNF with a reputation for not treating new grads well. Chances are that means you would be given too much responsibility and not enough support. Not only It may take longer to land your first job, but you deserve a good start. Transitioning from school to practice is challenging and it's better to wait a bit to find the best fit for you. Best wishes, Nurse Beth Start your job search today!
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