Well after 52 job applications, three interviews and many, many rejection letters, I have officially entered the realm of gainfully employed. I truly feel like I hit the jackpot with this job and at times find it hard to believe it’s true! I have been hired into a full time RN residency position with 11 other new grads. I was the only one selected for the coveted ICU position. I know there were tons of qualified applicants, perhaps some more than me… I am not taking the job for granted, and I’m working my butt off to succeed and learn everyday. First hour on the unit I observed a Code Blue, and saw tons of new equipment and diagnoses… This will be a fun place!
I am employed at Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, WA. They hire new grad nurses once or twice a year and run a Versant Residency program. It is an evidence-based program designed to transition new grads to the real world. It is evident that they have invested time and money into this program, and I am excited to work for a company that values it’s employees.
Kate and I have bought a house in Gig Harbor, and with the extremely generous help of family and friends we’ve completely remodeled a run-down old house into an awesome first home! The nursery is nearly ready for Baby Teodoro due on 11-11-11.
As I talk with other new grad RN’s from many other schools, I am still thankful I chose Regis’ ABSN program. Some people still can’t believe I went through a one year nursing program… They find it hard to believe such a short time could prepare me.
I feel that I am prepared as much as possible for my new job…and I really don’t have anything bad to say about the program!
After working for a few weeks, there are certain topics from school that come up over and over again. If you’re in school, my recommendation is that you really put in the effort to learn and be competent in the following:
Labs: These come up constantly. Knowing normal and abnormal levels are important. But more than memorizing values… know what they mean! Know the basics like CBC’s and BMP’s… but also spend time with liver function tests, lactic acid, amylase and lipase, troponin, CK-MB, etc. You will see them over and over, and will understand your patients better.
Fluid/Electrolytes: Nearly every patient has fluid and/or electrolyte imbalances. Know signs and symptoms, interventions, and causes.
ABG’s: Know the values, how to interrupt them, and what to do about, say, uncompensated respiratory alkalosis.
No matter where you work, you will be doing multiple assessments everyday. Get good at them, know how to describe lungs sounds, heart sounds, check the skin and be accurate!
Everyone gets them… you need to know what and why you are giving each medication!!
Skills: NEVER turn down learning opportunities! If you are with a nurse or preceptor and they ask if you want to practice a skill… do it! You may be nervous, but they’ll walk you through it. Practice makes safe patients.
While nearly everything from school has been applicable, during my vast three weeks of experience, these are the topics that have come up constantly.
I have gotten some emails from current and prospective students, and love helping out any way I can! So continue to email me or comment on here.