Meet Whitney from The Married Me!
I just graduated from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing with my bachelor's degree. Since passing my boards on May 28th I am on the job hunt for my first job as an RN!
How long have you been a nurse?
6 days! (ha!)
What makes you most nervous about going from nursing student to nurse?
Being independent. I know that as a new nurse I have SO much to learn. There are so many things they don't teach you in nursing school: communicating with doctors, monitoring new orders, setting up consults for social services, interacting with pharmacy and even something so simple as always choosing your own needles and syringes for medications (my professors always handed us the supplies). Essentially I'm doing a nurse's job without all the experience of older nurses. Talk about pressure!
What made you want to be a nurse?
In high school I spent a lot of time in the hospital battling what doctors would finally diagnose as Crohn's Disease. Through my many stays, I realized that nurses were the ones who made the most difference in your stay. Nurses were the ones who spent twelve hours a day with you and who took care of your needs and advocated for you. If you had a good nurse then the chances that your day would be positive skyrocketed. I wanted to be that good nurse to other people.
What is your favorite part of being a nurse? Least favorite?
My favorite part of being a nurse is the connecting with patients. I love the interaction with patients (the nice ones that is) and learning about their lives and hearing their stories.
My least favorite part would probably be inflicting pain. Not everything I do as a nurse is painless to the patient and my heart breaks a little every time I have to give a Lovenox shot into the belly of a patient, or get a patient out of bed who has excruciating back pain, or perhaps insert a urinary catheter into a conscious client.
What was your experience with nursing school & the NCLEX like?
I did really well in nursing school. My classes were super tiny so there was a lot of accountability present with my professors. That made me want to strive to perform my best on paperwork and exams.
I was scared crapless of the NCLEX exam. I was one of only a handful of my classmates who choose to not take a $300-$500 review prep course and I was scared that because I didn't want to spend the money I would fail. I also was not happy with my percentage scores on the practice exams I had taken (less than the recommended 70%) so that really knocked my confidence. However I went in and passed on question 78. I left feeling like I passed based on the fact I was only 3 questions over the minimum 75 and my exam ended on a question I was fairly certain I got right.
Favorite nursing skill to perform?
At this point I honestly don't know that I have one. What I do like to do though is go that little extra mile to bring joy into my patients life whether it is washing their hair for the first time in a week, giving them an actual warm bed bath (instead of using those stupid bed in a bags) or even dancing Gangnam style in their room. I'm hoping that even though I'm not a nursing student anymore that I will still have time and opportunities to do that for my patients.
Any funny stories about nursing?
This story happened to one of my fellow clinical mates: He was getting his patient out of bed and walking her to the chair and they get to the chair he looks back and sees a trail of poop on the floor. The patient blamed him! Very seriously too. She was not going to admit nor claim those as her own! We got a good laugh at post conference!
Any advice for those who are in or thinking about nursing school?
You will survive! It turns out that you will actually graduate from school and you won't be a nursing student forever! Nursing school sure isn't for sissies but let me tell you the accomplishment you will feel when you graduate is immense! You have earned your battle scars so be darn proud of them!
Yay for being a brand new nurse!!! Thanks for the fresh perspective, Whitney! Job searching is no easy feat, but it beats still being in nursing school & studying (I think?) :)
If you would like to be featured in Notes on Nursing, leave a comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org!