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Will volunteering help?

Oklahoma   (2,428 Views 13 Comments)
by NICUplease NICUplease (New Member) New Member

4,413 Visitors; 119 Posts

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Hi guys,

I want to be employed with OU once I graduate NS. I plan to apply for a job as a Nurse Partner during NS but what about volunteering? I have an interview next week for the Cuddler Program at OU which "supposedly" is a really hard program to get into. Is it worth it... is volunteering irrelevant when applying to their NICU?

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Mommyto2and2 works as a SAHM.

1,421 Visitors; 51 Posts

Well, my take on it is that even if it doesnt count as real "experience" to help get a job, it will help on your resume in a few ways. It makes you look well rounded and you might find people there who are impressed with you enough that they will let you use them as a reference. It will also give you a chance to be in the environment so you know 100% that it's where you want to be when you graduate. I think its an excellent idea!

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sjt9721 works as a Nurse Educator.

7,827 Visitors; 706 Posts

Absolutely! Being a volunteer gets your foot in the door. You get to sample the environment, and the employees can get to know you. I've seen this both at Presby (OUMC) and at my current facility.

As you get closer to submitting a job application, talk to the nurse manager about your plans. (I recommend having secondary choices of where you'd like to be a Nurse Partner, just in case the NICU doesn't have any openings at that time.)

Good luck to you!

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2,885 Visitors; 162 Posts

Mellymell- good luck @ the interview! I'm glad you found out about the cuddle program. I had mentioned it to a couple of friends the work in hem/onc at childrens, but they hadn't gotten back with me. It sounds really rewarding! I hope you are accepted. Volunteering may not count as "work" but it is valuable experience and potential employers will notice even if it's not "clinical training".

Best of Luck!

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4,413 Visitors; 119 Posts

Thanks everyone! I think I'll go for it. I even spoke to the Nurse Recruiter at OU and asked her her take on the whole volunteering thing. She says it would be a plus on my resume bc it shows my interest in being in the NICU. She says it will help when I apply as a Nurse Partner and then being a Nurse Partner will help me when I apply as an RN in the NICU. I'm excited about the interview. I just hope I get it, but the volunteering mgr told me they try to steer nursing students away because they have to commit to 3 hrs a wk... which doesnt seem too bad to me. I can definately do 3-10 hrs a wk. Well, wish me luck and thanks again for the replies!

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marilynmom works as a Adolescent psych.

14,275 Visitors; 2,155 Posts

I don't see how it could hurt any!!

I was a nurse partner at children's before I was an RN. I have some tips for you!

A LOT of students apply for nurse partner positions and when HR takes your application and sends it to the different departments you put down they put the applications in order by GPA (4.0 at the top and work their way down). I went up to the unit I wanted to work in and introduced myself to the managers and the educator and made sure they knew my name and that I wanted to work there. I was the first person called and hired and stayed on as an RN a year later.

Some areas at OU will hire anyone, some have more than enough applicants and turn many RNs away (I have no idea about the NICU though). I know for my position as an RN it was like that and they didn't hire any new grads without some type of hospital experience (nurse partner, LPN, etc) so the more experience you have the better off you will be getting the RN job of your choice.

That is something I kinda had to figure out for myself. A lot of my friends in nursing school didn't get the RN jobs they wanted....you will find that there are a lot of RN openings in areas that no one wants to work in and much harder to get positions in areas that everyone wants to work in (ICU's, ER, labor and delivery, etc).

So your definitely being smart by getting your foot in the door as a nursing student. :up:

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marilynmom works as a Adolescent psych.

14,275 Visitors; 2,155 Posts

I don't see how it could hurt any!!

I was a nurse partner at children's before I was an RN. I have some tips for you!

A LOT of students apply for nurse partner positions and when HR takes your application and sends it to the different departments you put down they put the applications in order by GPA (4.0 at the top and work their way down). I went up to the unit I wanted to work in and introduced myself to the managers and the educator and made sure they knew my name and that I wanted to work there. I was the first person called and hired and stayed on as an RN a year later.

Some areas at OU will hire anyone, some have more than enough applicants and turn many RNs away (I have no idea about the NICU though). I know for my position as an RN it was like that and they didn't hire any new grads without some type of hospital experience (nurse partner, LPN, etc) so the more experience you have the better off you will be getting the RN job of your choice.

That is something I kinda had to figure out for myself. A lot of my friends in nursing school didn't get the RN jobs they wanted....you will find that there are a lot of RN openings in areas that no one wants to work in and much harder to get positions in areas that everyone wants to work in (ICU's, ER, labor and delivery, etc).

So your definitely being smart by getting your foot in the door as a nursing student. :up:

I work in the PICU and we float down to the NICU on occasion and also the NICU nurses sometimes float up the the PICU. We will probably run into each other at some point on down the line.

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4,413 Visitors; 119 Posts

Marilynmom,

You make a good point. I hear some new grads have a hard time getting a job, let alone the dept of their choice. I know beggers cant be choosers but I DO NOT want to work anywhere else but the NICU. I'm hoping volunteering in the NICU will help me getting the Nurse Partner position down the road, and that in turn will help me land an RN position in the NICU.

When did you start working as a Nurse Partner? I spoke to 2 different recruiters from OU and they said 2 different things. One said, I can apply after the first semester of clinicals and the other said after 2 semesters... which one is it? =P How many hours were you able to work during school?

Thanks for all the advise. I really appreciate it. I'll let you know how the interview goes, but I think it may be a little iffy bc they're not excited about hiring nursing students bc they know how demanding ns is. We shall see... Thanks again!

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marilynmom works as a Adolescent psych.

14,275 Visitors; 2,155 Posts

Marilynmom,

You make a good point. I hear some new grads have a hard time getting a job, let alone the dept of their choice. I know beggers cant be choosers but I DO NOT want to work anywhere else but the NICU. I'm hoping volunteering in the NICU will help me getting the Nurse Partner position down the road, and that in turn will help me land an RN position in the NICU.

When did you start working as a Nurse Partner? I spoke to 2 different recruiters from OU and they said 2 different things. One said, I can apply after the first semester of clinicals and the other said after 2 semesters... which one is it? =P How many hours were you able to work during school?

Thanks for all the advise. I really appreciate it. I'll let you know how the interview goes, but I think it may be a little iffy bc they're not excited about hiring nursing students bc they know how demanding ns is. We shall see... Thanks again!

Ya, I was the same. I really wasn't interested in anything else buy ICU or ER. I think you should go for what you want.

I started working as a Nurse Partner after my first year of nursing school....so the summer between my junior and senior year. They also hire based on how close you are to graduating (for example they will hire a 4th semester student over a 3rd semester)....but like I said make sure you introduce yourself to the people in the NICU who do the hiring because then your gpa and what your semester your in wont matter to them! So you working as a cuddler in the meantime and getting to know the staff I think will really help you once you apply for nurse partner and also a good opportunity to see if OU is a fit for you (people tend to either love it or hate it at OU honestly).

I worked whatever hours/days I wanted as a nurse partner, I really loved it--I got to see and do a LOT. I usually only had time for one 12 hour shift a week during the school year. In the summer I worked full time. Between nursing school and my kids and husband and clinicals (which for my BSN program were 3 days a week) it was hard to fit in work sometimes. I work mainly night shifts but that is my preference.

Mercy has a good NICU, smaller but the nurses there are happy. I did clinicals in the Mercy NICU and liked the staff.

What sucks about nursing school is the whole focus is on adults, most students come out of nursing school knowing very little about critical care pediatric nursing. I did have a pediatric class taught by a NICU RN but it still wasn't enough, I had a lot of OTJ learning to do in the PICU!!

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2,885 Visitors; 162 Posts

Sorry NICUplease....i put another name on my post

I had responded to MELL the other day regarding "Cuddler" program, so I got mixed up :icon_roll

BTW I've had a couple of friends work as nurse partners and go right into the department of their choice. One to L&D and the other Trauma.

Good Luck!

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4,413 Visitors; 119 Posts

Sorry okchug,

I felt the dorky need to change my username to NICUplease because I am sooooooooooooo desperate to work in the NICU. I dont know if its pathetic or a concerning obsession that I want this like crazy.

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2,885 Visitors; 162 Posts

:heartbeat I love it! That's not dorky-it's sweet. The NICU draws people in for sure. Those tiny bitty babies just grab your heart! I wish the very best for you. You'll get there! I thought I'd lost my mind-haahaha!

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