Meet Brandi from In John Deere Green...!
I went to school at Hawkeye Community College and received my Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) in July 2012. I actually finish a MHI rotation, graduated from college, and turn 21 in the same weekend! I currently work as a Charge Nurse at a local nursing home, but would like to find a clinic job.
I passed NCLEX and received my RN license in September 2012 and have had a nursing job since November 2012.
What was the toughest part about going from nursing student to nurse?
Finding a job was the hardest. No doubt it's pretty easy to get a job in long term care but that's not what I want to do long term. It was also tough because even though you just went through years of nursing school nothing really prepares you for the first time you have to do something on your own.
What area of nursing do you work in & what are some responsibilities unique to your job?
I work in long-term care. I do enjoy LTC because you are really able to get to know the residents and they almost become family. I am a Charge Nurse, so I don't pass medications. I take care of all admissions, deaths, falls, assessments, phone calls, neuros, etc. Because I love to get out there and do stuff (and to help out) I also do all of the blood sugar checks and feeding tubes. If a resident is sick it's my responsibility to assess them and call doctor for orders if needed, and to assign follow up care as needed. It's a little nerve-racking to be in charge of the whole building! I work 2nd shift so the DON and Administrator aren't around. And from 10-11pm I am the only nurse in the building.
What is your favorite part of being a nurse? Least favorite?
My favorite part of being a nurse is knowing that I make a difference in people's lives everyday and that I have the ability to save someone's life. My least favorite thing about nursing is definitely the hours. I hate having to work nights, weekends, and holidays! It's partially the reason for wanting a clinic job.
What made you want to be a nurse?
I've always wanted to be a nurse from the time I was a little girl. It really made me want to be a nurse though when I was at a public event and an elderly man collapsed and people yelled for a doctor and two nurse came running over and were able to help him. That's what I wanted to be able to do!
What was your experience with nursing school & the NCLEX like?
I had a love-hate relationship with nursing school. I loved getting out there in the hospital and seeing/doing everything I could. It was so interested and I loved getting my hands dirty. But I hated the clinical homework (those care plans were worthless and not realistic at all!). I did pretty good in nursing school, but I've always been like that. Not to brag but I didn't study at all. Not for any test, not even for NCLEX. It's just something that came natural to me. I didn't always have the top grades (I had As or Bs) but I was always a top performer. And that felt good. Not to say that I didn't have to work my butt off and spent lots of late nights doing homework! Of course taking the NCLEX is pretty nerve-racking but I passed my LPN boards at 75 questions and my RN boards at 115 questions. IT IS NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK! It's really not. You will do fine and you will pass. Even if you take the whole time and get every question, that doesn't mean you failed. It will be the longest 3 days of your life (Iowa has a 3 day waiting period, I don't know about other states) waiting for you test results no matter how confident you are!
Favorite nursing skill to perform?
Anything & everything. Although I don't really enjoy those that have to do with bowel movements...
Any advice for nursing students or new grads?
Nursing school will be one hell of a ride. Sit down, shut up, and hold on! But also while in school do whatever you can. EVERYTHING! You will regret it if you don't! There are so many opportunity you will never see again. Chances are you will not work in every field during your life so see that birth, watch that surgery, start that IV, and hell give that bed bath!
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