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What are some tips for nursing?

I’m a senior in college and I would like some tips to be prepared #nursing #college #healthcare #healthcare #healthcare

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Suzanne’s Answer

Hello Alyssa R,
You will have to successfully take your state board exam after completing your degree. It is great that you are working on a bachelor's degree. Your bachelor's will help you find premium positions and will help you promote.
Here are just a few tips:
1. Take a NCLEX preparation class for your state.
2. While you are waiting for your license, see if you can find a position in a long term care center/nursing home so you can continue to work "hands on" with patients. You will have to remember that you are not licensed, so must not work outside the scope of practice for a nursing assistant.
3. Apply for acute care settings that offer New Graduate Programs as this will streamline you into nursing work. Here is an example: https://jobs.nyulangone.org/job/12514816/2021-spring-new-graduate-rn-posting-new-york-ny/?utm_campaign=google_jobs_apply&utm_source=google_jobs_apply&utm_medium=organic
4. Investigate specialty organizations that are of interest to you; oncology, med/surg, ICU, NICU, ED etc. Apply for membership and read the journals that are offered. Minimally, keep up with the latest nursing information. The American Journal of Nursing might be a good start. It is a great asset to have membership with specialty organizations on your resume. I was an oncology nurse for over 30 years and belonged to the Oncology Nursing Society all those years.
5. Volunteer locally. You might investigate your local Red Cross. Again, being a volunteer is great for your resume and also for your experience.
6. Pay very special attention during your interview process, especially when speaking with the nurse manager. This is the person you will have to trust to have your back. Ask them their philosophy on how they deal with issues of concern such as understaffing, supporting a nurse that has a personal emergency, how to report issues, and how the nurse manager deals with practice problems that undoubtedly will occur. Ask the nurse manager the milestones and timelines that they are looking for in new nurses. Example; "by month 6 of employment, how independent will you expect me to be-what are your goals for a new nurse?" Remember, you must interview the hospital too. Investigate their benefits including retirement, search the web for comments from other nurse employees, and ask about staffing and how they manage staffing shortages.
7. Mentally and emotionally prepare yourself to see anything, face anything, deal with anything. Every day as a nurse is different. Having a good diet and exercise program will help. Make sure you ground yourself in whatever works for you before going to work: prayer, meditation, music, contact with friends/family/pets. You must fill up your emotional/mental "cup" before going to work and giving of yourself.
8. As a brand new nurse, if you are asked to do something that you are not either familiar with or comfortable with, tell your team lead or nurse manager. Don't put yourself and/or patients in a dangerous position.
9. Nursing work is both technical/medical and psychological/emotional. Your training will help you bridge these elements. Make sure that you look not only at the patient monitors and vitals, but at the patient. Your patient (skin color, respiratory pattern, vocalizations, eye contact, etc) can tell you so much even before a monitor alarms. Develop that clinical insight early on. I could tell if my cancer patient was in trouble the minute I saw them walking in for a clinic appointment.

I am wishing you all the best and hope you find these comments helpful. You will never regret nursing work.

Sue, RN, MSN