Tag Archives: new grad RN

Prospective Nursing Students – Some Articles of Interest

Nursing shortage?
Nursing shortage?

My baseline personality type is Golden Retriever/Optimist, so please keep that in mind when referencing the articles linked below.  But gosh-darn-it, I’m pretty grateful to have my acute care new grad position; not all graduates, particularly on the West Coast, are so fortunate (I hesitate to use the word lucky as I worked full-time as a hospital CNA and bypassed things like sleep, family, exercise and gardening to survive nursing school and get my proverbial foot in the proverbial door).

New graduates need to be aware that the nursing shortage doesn’t necessarily equate to a shortage of new graduate nurses, but rather experienced nurses, particularly those with a sexy specialty, such as OR, ICU, ED, L&D, etc.  New graduates are expensive to train. . .I estimate about $20,000-$50,000 per nurse (considering the new nurses compensation/benefits during the orientation period, compensation/benefits cost for preceptors, whether the hospital offers an RN residency program, hospital-based training classes, educator cost, etc. etc.).  *Note:  I have done zero research about this cost. . .just a good educated guess on my part.  Maybe it costs less, maybe more. . .your comments/references are welcome.

So, with that in mind, please read each and every one of the attached articles, prospective nursing students.  These are not meant to discourage you, just to allow you to enter into this adventure with your eyes open and living/lifestyle costs calculated, particularly if you are contemplating leaving an established, successful, remunerative career for nursing.  Obtaining a position is not automatic, no matter what your school’s recruiters tell you! It’s not that the schools are being dishonest, it’s just that they themselves are not actively looking for new grad RN positions, and they may not be surveying their graduates 4-6 months after graduation to find out what sort of nursing employment has been obtained.

Recalculating: The “Nursing Shortage” Needs New Direction

In Debt and Misled: New Graduate Voices on the “Nursing Shortage” (I wonder to what extent for-profit nursing schools and the push for the BSN play into this?)

Realities of the Current Job Market (What you, the nursing student and soon-to-be new grad can do to enhance your employment prospects. Like, be a CNA!)

Lastly, I recommend looking at the National Student Nurses Association website, which has information for current and prospective nursing students.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer, but I encountered these article links at the end of the new grad RN survey sent to me by NSNA, and I thought they were relevant.

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Start the countdown. . .

I was going to write some awesome posts about ICU beauty tips (the BEST way to get dried blood out of hair, for example) but weirdly combining summer/post-school/post-NCLEX meh with job-seeker anxiety has served to completely eliminate my blogging drive (kind of like overdoing the oxygen flow on a COPD-er – over time that minimizes the respiratory drive).

So, after all but giving up hope of an RN position where I currently work (the only interview I had was for the OR – some of my nurse coworkers flat out laughed at the thought of me in the OR because I LOVE patient interaction, hate to stand still, and almost never shut up) and that didn’t really go anywhere.  But when the hospital made a last minute decision to hire more new grad RN’s, a classmate did me a solid and gave my name to her manager.  4.5 days later, I had a job offer.

This is good, because I was contemplating keeping my CNA job for the health insurance and internal applicant status for future new grad opportunities later this year or early next, and combining it with an RN position somewhere else so I could start acquiring experience, all while starting work on the RN-BSN. (Stress!  Stress! Stress!) I was listening pretty hard to all the current wisdom that says “you don’t want to be an inexperienced “old” new grad!” Combine that with the spouse saying “Hon, you’ve really been through the wringer this last two years, it’s OK if you just take it easy for a bit.  You’re wonderful and some place will see that and hire you.  Please, here is some chocolate, now stop freaking out!” and you’ve got the recipe for a somewhat schizophrenic outlook (“I’m OK, I’m OK, I’m Ok!  No, I’m not OK!  I’m OK! No, I’m pretty sure I’m not OK!“).

So, now I have just four shifts left to go as a CNA.  I’ve ordered my new scrubs in the appropriate nursey colors (PS:  I love Koi Warehouse – they sometimes blow out separates for under $10 each!  They are awesome, check them out if you wear Koi.)  My oldies (but goodies) have new homes waiting (I hate waste!) and I’m completely (well, mostly) excited but also more than a bit terrified about how I’ll do in the new job.  One of my coworkers said it took a year before he felt like he wasn’t really in danger of killing anyone!  Help!

I’m bringing treats to celebrate my coworkers (Cookies for breakfast?  Why not?) and celebrate that things worked out after all.  They were all pulling for me, RNs and CNAs alike. Because they are filled with so, so much awesome.  And I’m so glad I get to keep coming to work at the same facility, still on night shift, so I won’t lose touch with them.  They are my work family.  

So, wish me luck!  In the mean time, I’ll figure out what my next blogging adventure comes next.  I might just bequeath this blog to my son (Son of DisorderlyCNA) as he enters into his own CNA adventures!

Pinned. . .so now what?

I’ve earned the RN pin. . .the culmination of five years of hard work, lost sleep and intense caffeine consumption.  Our critical care director, probably one of the kindest docs around, and much beloved by our hospital’s nurses for the respect and admiration he has for the nursing profession, spoke eloquently, with just the right touch of humor.  A Nightingale ceremony, with an appearance from Flo herself (reincarnated), really capped things off.

So, one set of busted pumps, several beers, and a couple of deadly Fireball/beer cider dunkers consumed (imaging a cinnamon apple that makes one extremely tipsy), plus one barbeque (huh, who knew my classmates’ talents included keg stands? Impressive!), I’m contemplating the future to come.  There’s an NCLEX review class at my community college (a good deal at $200), plus some interviews (critical care and surgical units at my hospital). . .but what I really wonder is, what’s next?  Will I gain employment at a hospital without a BSN in my grasp? Can I hope for a critical care job?  Can I hope for any acute care job?  Does it really matter?

After a gut check (after the weight gain of nursing school/working full-time night shift, there’s plenty to check), I find that, no, it really doesn’t, as long as I have the privilege of caring for patients, in any care setting.  Long-term care, long-term acute care, acute care, community-based care, home care – I think any of them would work out, as long as I have the right attitude and the willingness to continue blooming where I’ve been planted. Til’ then, I’ll be happy to continue walking in circles for 12 hours a night, caring for patients within my scope.  The path will be there, I just have to take it when it appears.