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I have a few questions bout working as a Registered Nurse. What do companies look for in a person they are hiring? Are there any challenges for recently graduated RNs? What does a typical day look like on the job?

What do companies look for in a person they are hiring?
Are there any challenges for recently graduated RNs?
What does a typical day look like on the job?

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Christina’s Answer

Hi Maravue,
I agree with everything Emma said and would add a little more about the benefits of being a nurse.
First, some places offer 8 hour shifts so the days aren't always so long.
I experienced incredible team work with my colleagues. Especially as a new grad, we relied on each other to think through difficult scenarios. The docs appreciated our observations and insights. If they know they can trust you to ask when you don't know something, they will also respect your input when you do know. You don't operate in a vacuum . And, the relationships you develop with your patient's and their families have a huge impact on outcomes.
It's a great profession.
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Bailey’s Answer

Best advice I have is that if there is a nursing job you really want… apply anyways! Even if you don’t have the minimum requirements. From my experience, you might be the only one who applies! Hospitals are typically looking for hard workers and team players. You need to be able to work well with others to get a job done. For instance, you may need to help your coworker when they are drowning with patient care or help move the patient with the X-ray techs.

The biggest challenge about being a new grad is being afraid to ask questions because you don’t want to feel dumb but always put the patient first. Find a great mentor that you can ask “silly” questions to and that you feel safe running ideas by. Speaking from experience, you will always learn something new every single day. You will never know everything and that is okay!

I am a PACU nurse right now. My typical day includes maintaining patient airway, assessing fresh surgical sites, assessing pain, providing pain medication, provide discharge education, collaborate with surgeons and anesthesiologists. I have a lot of autonomy and freedom with my patient care. I will have multiple patients a day for a short period of time. I can have up to 2 patients at any given time. I really enjoy being a PACU nurse.
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Emma’s Answer

What do companies look for in a person they are hiring?

It depends on the setting. Most hospitals want a bachelor’s of nursing, but many will hire associates prepared nurses with the agreement that they will go for their bachelor’s degree within 2 years of hiring.

In terms of personality traits, they will want to know that new graduate nurses will ask for help on things they don’t know or understand, be quick, confident, and knowledgeable. It goes without saying they want personable candidates.

Are there any challenges for recently graduated RNs?
Burn out and compassion fatigue were a real problem prior to the pandemic, and even more so now. There are systemic issues in the hospital setting, such as limited training periods, not enough experienced nurses to train/precept, and mandatory overtime. Some issues typical to being a new grad are feeling like you’re “too slow,” staying late to finish charting, and feeling overwhelmed. Those feelings are normal. I recommend charting as you go, and learning that not every medication is going to be on time. Bullying is always an issue, but more and more facilities are recognizing this and empowering nursing to speak up.

What does a typical day look like on the job?

In the inpatient setting, the shift begins at 0700 or 0630, but we are expecting to be there 30 or 15 mins prior for morning “huddle” to hear announcements from the charge nurse and receive report from night shift. Likewise, shift is over at 1900, but we generally can’t leave until 1915. You get 30 minutes for lunch, but that is often dependent on how your work day is going. Some days I would eat at 3 PM. We do assessments on patients (in medical surgical/general medical floors, that can be anywhere from 4-7 patients, depending on where you practice and the policies there) and in ICU it’s 1-2 patients, hopefully not 3, pass their morning medications, reassess, toilet patients, feed them, repeat. Call the doc with any concerns or status changes. Explain the plan of care to patients and families. Click many boxes to chart our assessments and medications given. Start IVs, insert nasogastric tubes or Foley catheters for urination. Nursing is a mix of applied skills (hands on), educating patients on their illnesses and medications, and advocating for them with the medical team. Challenging work. You will rarely be bored.
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Nicole’s Answer

What do companies look for in a person they are hiring? I think companies are looking for employees who are dependable, reliable, organized, punctual, critical thinkers, and who know how to work in a team environment. Employers are also looking for people who have prior health care experience as a CNA or other role.

Are there any challenges for recently graduated RNs? Just like any job, you may have to apply at various places before getting hired. Don't give up. That is just part of the job searching experience.
Many nursing programs tell nursing students to start as new grads on the medical-surgical floor to acquire skills. However, if there is another floor or area that interests you, you should apply there.

What does a typical day look like on the job? Nurse mostly work 12-hour shifts. Nurses will get report from the previous shift so you know what your patient will need such as medications, care, procedures, or other needs. You will prioritize your patient's needs and help them get the care they need. You will work with all sorts of people, like doctors, x-ray techs, CNAs, pharmacists, laboratory, and other people to help care for the patients.
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