What does your nursing career repair bill say about you?

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3ringnursing, BSN

1 Article; 543 Posts

Specializes in ICU; Telephone Triage Nurse. Has 25 years experience.

I would have tried not to be so uptight about every little thing, and learned to relax a little bit more. No one has ever asked what my GPA was in an interview (although HR has asked for a transcript).

Oh, yeah - and Kitiger, RN is so right: I would have started socking away money for retirement in my very first job, and kept at it - made it more of a priority. I didn't start thinking about it until my mid 30's.

smartassmommy

324 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

I would have started LPN school as a senior in high school at the county tech center instead of waiting and figuring out at 40 what I knew at 6.

dec2007

1 Article; 508 Posts

How old were you? Isn't that associates to BSN? I'm 28 and almost done with pre-reqs. I'm so ******* tired of school and bored and burned out. I'll have a different attitude about school once I get into nursing. If I can't get in through entrance exams, I'll probably give up and let GI bill go to waste. I'm so tired of school and feeling like I'm not going anywhere with the pissass direction I've been given all these years from my family I trusted.

You are so tired right now that you feel discouraged and depressed. You WILL pass exams! My goodness, if you have the GI Bill, that means you were smart enough and strong enough to serve in the best Armed Services in the world!! That is HUGE!!!

I know Veterans, and I know what that sacrifice entails. Granted, this is different, but if you did that, you can do this. If I can help you in any way please PM me. And thank you for your service!

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,022 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

I wish I would have started saving for retirement earlier -- with my first paycheck would have been a good time.

I wish I would have managed my workplace relationships better. Coworkers are just coworkers -- they aren't really your friends unless you see them outside of work. Those folks you would make time for even if you didn't work with them -- those MAY be your friends. The woman who drove 600 miles round trip to pick me up from the side of the road after my ex-husband attempted to strangle me -- SHE was a friend! I haven't worked with her in three decades, but she's still a friend. Going out for drinks after work doesn't necessarily make someone a friend.

Even though your coworkers aren't real friends, it is wise to be likable. It's tough for introverts like me, but making the effort to be friendly and chat with colleagues (or listen while they chatter) will pay off big time. Chat with the providers -- if they like you, they'll automatically take you more seriously when you bring up a concern. Chat with your fellow nurses -- if they like you, they'll share tips and timesavers, back you up when you need it and bail you out when you need that, too. If they like you, it's possible to survive major errors with your job, your dignity and your license. If they don't like you, a small error can lead to termination. Chat with the CNAs, secretaries, janitors, security guards and bio-engineering folks. It's so much easier to ask for a quick room clean or a walk to your car at midnight if you can call the person by name and ask them about their kids or their dog.

Even when you're right, be nice. And when you're wrong, be nicer.

Has 5 years experience.
That's an accelerated BSN and usually you go through those when you are going into a BSN as a 2nd Bachelor's. The process of getting through pre-reqs and getting into nursing school itself is very tiresome. But, once you get into nursing school, you will definitely have a new sense of purpose injected into your path. And then, you will get burned out on school again. And, then, 5 minutes later, you'll be on the very cusp of graduating wishing it wasn't all ending so soon and that you need just a little bit more time.

For me, I wish I had known nursing was a good choice for me from the start. I'm a second-degree BSN grad who had gotten a BA in psych back in 2007. I kind of bumbled around, took nursing pre-reqs as a "just-in-case" and got into nursing school (traditional BSN) on a whim in 2013. Lucky me. But, if I had been a little more focused, I think I would have been happy just getting my ADN back when people were getting paid bank for a 2-year degree and I wouldn't be balking at the idea of going and getting my PhD (no, no MSN here -- I may pick it up on the way during school for my PhD). I could have just eventually bridged to a BSN and then decided if I wanted to go the grad route. Now, there's not really any kind of a choice. Nursing has become kind of a race to see who can legitimize the profession the most in the fastest way and it's dizzying. I just want to work and get comfortable in my practice before being shuffled off to grad school.

That said, I've only been on my own for 2 months as of yesterday (I went through residency from Sept to Feb) and it was worth the ******** of being so damn tired of school. Keep pressing forward.

UNLV doesn't say anything about requiring a Bachelors prior to entering their accelerated program. Does this mean that if I don't have a bachelor's, then it would be wise not to enter into the accelerated program?

bgxyrnf, MSN, RN

1,208 Posts

Specializes in Med-Tele; ED; ICU. Has 10 years experience.

Because I think demographics impact the commentary, here are mine: 53yo male, 2nd career nurse x7y, MSN + 2 technical/scientific BS degrees; FT ED x6y, PT ICU x1y

1) Hold your cards close... reveal little about what you believe as it pertains to the operation of your organization or your unit -- opportunities abound in nursing but can be easily impeded by indiscreet commentary.

2) Learn as much as you can about everything that you can... you never know when it might be useful.

3) Treat everybody as though they will be the person interviewing you for the dream job for which you'll be applying in 3 years... for as many docs and nurses as there are, it's truly astonishing just how small a community it actually is.

4) Get on well with the docs... not by being subservient or deferential but by knowing your stuff and working hard... and by speaking to them as peers rather than as superiors.

5) Be nice to med students and residents... what they're undergoing is *very* difficult on multiple fronts and they warrant some support from the rest of us... and they will one day be the chiefs and attendings that you need to go to ensure that you're patients are well cared for. Trust me, they remember.

The nurse-friendly doc that you encounter likely got that way through the ministrations of nurses who helped them along their way.

6) Watch your back... every organization as large and complex as a hospital has its back-channels, underhanded, and self-serving competitors... they're out there so don't make yourself any more vulnerable than you must.

7) Be excellent... find something that needs a subject-matter expert and then become that expert.

8) Remember, they're not just patients, they are customers, too. One of my very first bosses in life told me, "The customer isn't always right but they are always the customer" meaning... be respectful, be flexible, and remember that *they* are why we are being paid to do what we're doing... without them, they don't need us.

Like it or not, healthcare is a business, and competition exists... customers have choices and we want them to choose us.

9) Your customers aren't just your patients... they are also the nurses on the other units, the ancillary staff, the docs, and your colleagues. You've chosen a service profession so do your best to be of service to those with whom you interact.

10) Go out of your way to make connections with RT, radiology, pharmacy, techs, etc... I've so many times been able to expedite or enhance care for my patients by calling on my personal relationships with folks in other departments.

11) Perhaps a corollary to the preceding but... Regarding the unit clerks and techs and RTs and Rad folks and whomever else you interact with... Go out of your way to make their jobs easier when you can and they will help make your job easier when you need them.

12) Be cautious about expecting perfection from others... they might expect the same from you when you one day fail to meet your own high standards.

13) Be kind... be gracious... be caring... for a caring profession, it's astonishing at how uncaring we can sometimes be toward one another.

Has 5 years experience.
Set aside at least 5% of your pay from your first paycheck and invest it in a Target mutual fund. I didn't know about investing when I was young, and so didn't start until I was 40.

I could have been rich! ;)

I remember retirement programs offered to us in the service. They compared someone at 18 vs 25 I think that would have a large chunk of retirement. I looked into it but was cut short from the service and I cashed out. I got a job at a hospital doing OR medical pack sterilization and the hospital was non-profit and matched a 401K up to 6% I think and I eventually quit the hospital and had around $1,200 saved up in the 401 2 years after I quit. I was on hard times and had to pull it out. I was around 25 when that happened. I'm 28 now, almost done with pre-reqs and am hoping I'll be able to pass the entrance exams to get into a program, one is accelerated and I don't know if I'll be able to handle it as I've never had a bachelors degree before. By the time I graduate I should be around 31 so saving up for a 401K that I learned when I was in the service, the numbers we were told as to when to start, seems kinda pointless now.

Has 5 years experience.
You are so tired right now that you feel discouraged and depressed. You WILL pass exams! My goodness, if you have the GI Bill, that means you were smart enough and strong enough to serve in the best Armed Services in the world!! That is HUGE!!!

I know Veterans, and I know what that sacrifice entails. Granted, this is different, but if you did that, you can do this. If I can help you in any way please PM me. And thank you for your service!

I hope you're right. Thank you! I will remember you if I need help. I'm so sick and tired of school, my ambition for nursing school is slowly rotting away, I wish I could just take in information about the career and just work and skip nursing school. I want to be ******* done and over with already. Sometimes I think about just settling as a CNA. The feeling of not getting anywhere while at the same time having that deep drive, even though it doesn't show on the outside, to get up, go to school, feed yourself, bathe yourself, and make sure you have good grades for the program to see is getting REAAAAALLLLY ******* OLD...

Has 5 years experience.
You are so tired right now that you feel discouraged and depressed. You WILL pass exams! My goodness, if you have the GI Bill, that means you were smart enough and strong enough to serve in the best Armed Services in the world!! That is HUGE!!!

I know Veterans, and I know what that sacrifice entails. Granted, this is different, but if you did that, you can do this. If I can help you in any way please PM me. And thank you for your service!

Sometimes I wish they could excuse veterans from taking the entrance exams and as long as we had good grades, and as long as we didn't have red flags on our background that would drive BONs to bar applicants from applying (domestic violence, felony, etc.) , just let us into the program. :banghead:

bgxyrnf, MSN, RN

1,208 Posts

Specializes in Med-Tele; ED; ICU. Has 10 years experience.
Sometimes I wish they could excuse veterans from taking the entrance exams and as long as we had good grades, and as long as we didn't have red flags on our background that would drive BONs to bar applicants from applying (domestic violence, felony, etc.) , just let us into the program. :banghead:
I'm a veteran (HonDC, USMC, 1985) but I don't support the notion that veterans should be excused from any part of the application, admission, or graduation process anymore than should someone from any other group or class.

bgxyrnf, MSN, RN

1,208 Posts

Specializes in Med-Tele; ED; ICU. Has 10 years experience.
Sometimes I think about just settling as a CNA.
No... no... no... NO.

Do not, under any circumstances, settle in as a CNA.

Push on, persist, overcome... do not quit... I promise that you would regret that decision.

Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,732 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.
Even when you're right, be nice. And when you're wrong, be nicer.

This should be on a wall hanging, or t-shirt, or something! So true.