Editor’s Note: Today’s story continues with the ninth installment with one Mighty Nurse as we walk with her through her nursing adventure. New stories in this series will be published on the second Tuesday of every month. The entire series can be found here, Walk with me.
May has flown by and the most difficult part of the program is over.
Academically, that is.
The remaining 9 weeks will be filled with NCLEX prep and our preceptorship … and a number of busy-work assignments thrown in.
These seem to be just tedious time fillers to fulfill the B part of the BSN.
Fortunately, our instructor for the summer is the most sensible and interesting one we have had, so the class time seems to be going quickly so far, even though we are in class for 8 hours two days a week.
Many of the other instructors are rather painful to listen to … a bit like Ben Stein talking about Voodoo Economics.
We would much rather hear crazy stories and be reminded of “things that are IMPORTANT” by hearing her pose questions to which the answers are DIE-aphoresis, HYYY-pertension, and paroxysmal noctournal DYSP-nea-aahhhhhh (read with a southern accent).
She does make us smile.
Make your own experience
So the roller coaster car feels like it’s rolling down the last hill.
We are still concerned about preceptorship, and even though we signed up for our preferred areas yesterday, very few of us will actually end up in in those departments.
I have resigned myself to just showing up every day wherever they tell me.
I have met some people along the way who have connections back in Oregon or in Colorado and Washington, and I think their word of mouth might mean more in the end than where I do my last 180 hours of hospital time here.
It is too early to fill out job applications, but we are starting to struggle with deciding how to proceed with that process.
I have more experience than most (I’ve had numerous jobs, whereas many of the younger people have only had a couple).
And I’m more in tune with what the hiring minions want to see on resumes and in interviews.
I am hoping that all my volunteering and shadowing that I’ve done in addition to my schoolwork will pay off … if nothing else, it’s one more line on my resume that has the word “Emergency” in it, so perhaps that will stand out to ICU/Trauma/ER departments.
Making the right connections
I keep feeling as though I could be doing more, but many questions I ask go unanswered.
It’s all about meeting the right people. The staff at the school has been helpful with exactly zero.
None of my inquiries as to extra curricular experience or opportunities in my area of interest have been met with anything but indifference.
“Oh, yes. Good for you. We need more ER nurses.” Full stop. No connections offered.
No further communication was incoming from any of these individuals.
So the biggest lesson I have learned is: Make your own nursing school experience.
Don’t wait for the school to do its job.
Just like everything else – getting your car serviced, getting tax advice, listening to a physician, and buying couch insurance – don’t blindly trust that the purveyor of the goods truly has your best interest in mind.
So ask questions of people outside the school, in the hospital and in the community clinics.
And don’t give up on what you truly want to do just because you get no encouragement from the nay-sayers.
Nurses solve problems. Be a problem solver!
It will be good practice for troubleshooting in the hospital. And with 73 days left, we can use all the practice we can get!