Tag Archives: ADN

The “New Nurse Blues.”

It’s been almost 3 months since my last post.

Time is flying by. Seriously. Slow the eff down.

I don’t know how many of you work in hospitals that have a BSN residency program, so (before I get into anything else) I am going to explain the concept. Basically, I have to meet once a month with all of the other BSN nurses who were hired around the same time to bitch about our jobs. Crazy right? And, I even get paid to do it. It is seriously the biggest. joke. ever. But, whatevs. The true purpose is to support the transition from student to practitioner. So, sometime around our second or third seminar, we discussed the “new nurse blues.” Anyone else familiar with this term? We were told that sometime around the 6 month mark, most graduate nurses start to really reconsider their career choice. They start asking questions like, “Why did I want to do this?”, “Will it ever get any better?”, “When will I feel like I actually know what I’m doing?”, and “Was all that schooling really worth THIS?.” I thought this concept was crazy stupid. I mean, I LOVE nursing…right?!

Well, HA. HA. HA. Guess what? I’ve definitely got the “new nurse blues.” I’m hoping it’s just a combination of working night shift, eating nothing but crap, laziness, and stress. I’ve been reassured (several, several times) that this too shall pass and, once again, all will be right in my life. And, when that time comes, nursing will be the greatest thing ever. But right now, it sucks. Like, big time.

I think the worst part is working with resident MDs. In my short time as a RN, I have learned so much more than I ever could have imagined. And I continue to learn just as much every single day that I work! However, these residents…WOW. Sometimes, I really…really…really…wonder why I didn’t just become an effing doctor?! There is nothing worse than knowing exactly what your patient needs, but working with a resident who is 1) too afraid to make any decisions on his/her own, or 2) won’t give you what you need, just because they don’t want to admit you are right. UGH. It’s amazing that doctors come out of school with as little knowledge as they do. What do they spend all that time learning?! The amount of frustration sometimes seems unbearable. And on top of that?! I just have to grin and bear it. (Although, every now and then, I do enjoy aggravating the piss out of some of these MDs to get what I want. :D) Anyone who knows me personally, would tell you this is something VERY hard for me to accomplish. I dread going to work most days, and I hate that. I keep telling myself that it will get better. And I hang on to that hope with everything in me.

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Check out that arrogance lobe, this has got to be a doctor I work with! (photo credit to RealityRN.com)

 

Is anyone else out there experiencing this right now? Or have you experienced this? I would really like to know that I’m not alone, and that people aren’t lying when they tell me it won’t last forever.

On a more positive note, I most definitely feel like I am getting the hang of things. As most of you know, the nature of my unit is pretty crazy. However, I still believe have the world’s best co-workers! I have yet to walk into an unknown experience alone. That is just the bee’s knees, if you ask me! The amount of support they provide to me and to each other is incredible. My unit kicks ass and takes names on the daily. Sometimes, that’s the only thing that gets me through.

I’ll stop here, before this post becomes a small novel. I hope you are well, internet. Let me know what’s up!

-Rach

Join the conversation by posting a comment. If you like this post, or any of my other posts, feel free to pass it along. Choose your preferred platform by clicking on the title of the post, then clicking one of those fancy buttons at the bottom of the page! ūüėÄ

 

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Filed under Life after Nursing School.

RN Orientation. Week 5:

Hot damn.

Learning how to be nurse on paper? Check. I even got a diploma for that!

Learning how to be a nurse in the clinical setting? Holy shitballs, batman. I have no idea what I’m doing!

Now, I’m probably exaggerating. Ok, I’m really exaggerating. Sorta. ūüėõ I would consider myself relatively well prepared for new graduate nursing practice. I studied really hard in school, actively participated in nursing-related student groups, made the most of every clinical experience, completed a summer externship program, and worked as a nursing care tech. Basically, I did every single thing I could think of that would put me at the advantage in clinical practice post-graduation.

Best decisions I’ve ever made! I’m heading into week 5 of orientation this week. Most of the first weeks consisted of classroom learning and not actual floor nursing. Snooze! I’m good at learning, I’m very novice at bedside practice. I want more time at the bedside! With the start of this week, the classroom time is phasing out and my time at the bedside will be in full swing. I have 11 weeks of orientation left, so the sooner I can get into full-time bedside practice, the better. I thought I was ready, and my coworkers tell me I’m doing great, but I feel like a crazy person running around the unit when I’m working. I’m having an almost constant freakout session in my mind. Orienting to the ICU has been the most overwhelming. The majority of my experience is progressive level, so working in my progressive/acute unit hasn’t been a huge adjustment. Thank you, sweet baby Jesus. My poor nerves couldn’t take much more! The ICU is where I want and love to be, so I’m glad I’m getting to spend the time there that I am.

Everything might not seem so overwhelming…if I still wasn’t trying to digest the fact that I am a real-life RN. No one needs to double check every. single. thing. that I do. The MD can give me a verbal order and I can act accordingly. I can accept a critical value from the lab. I can perform skills and care for my patient without direct supervision. I can cosign drips, titrate drips, and waste controlled substances. I am a nurse. WHAAA?!! It’s so nice to have that independence, yet so hard to let go of that safety net. Is anyone else struggling with this?! I’m really starting to think maybe I’m just neurotic.

Me. All day. Erryday.

On top of everything else, I have online learning modules from the AACN (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses) to complete. These modules assist the new grad with orientation to concepts encountered in critical care nursing. While the idea seems grand, and in an ideal world they would be grand, they are KILLING me. They take hours and hours and hours to complete (Type A perfectionist…must. make. A. on. exam.) and take up almost every single moment of free time I have right now. Not only that, if I don’t complete them, or can’t pass the module, I can lose my job. Awesome. *thumbs up* I thought I was finished with school. Wrong! Sorry, hubs. (Who, by the way, is heartbroken that I have to spend so much time “working”.)

In other news…my next post (hopefully going up very soon!) will be a slight variation from my usual posts. So stay tuned, I think you guys will really like it! I’m always searching for new topics to blog about, so contact me with what you’ve got! My rambling really can’t be that interesting. I think I¬†have turned into a crazy person!

-Rach

Join the conversation by posting a comment. If you like this post, or any of my other posts, feel free to pass it along. Choose your preferred platform by clicking on the title of the post, then clicking one of those fancy buttons at the bottom of the post! :)

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March 17, 2014 · 7:16 pm

RN Orientation. Week 1:

Yeahhh, son!

I finally accepted a RN position.

Is it what I wanted?

NO.

You can’t win them all.

After getting over the disappointment of not landing my dream job and being forced into a position I didn’t even apply for, I have made up my mind to be¬†happy.¬†Why? Because I have to live with me. Being a new nurse is terrifying. I don’t want to be¬†miserable¬†and terrified. In the position that I accepted, I will have the opportunity to care for ICU, progressive, and acute care patients from all different service lines and specialties throughout the teaching hospital. The unit also cares for floor declines/crashes, ED (admitted) overflow, direct admits, etc.

If you recall, I have worked in this particular hospital for the last 2 years as a pool nursing care tech. Being in the pool allowed me to work in every single unit throughout the entire hospital. Which means, I’ve teched many times in the unit I will be working in as a RN. It also means that I am well aware of the reputation and atmosphere of every unit in the joint. The unit I was forced into has one of the worst reputations in the place. I’ve seen both sides of the coin, and I do believe (in some instances) that this reputation is unfair. The set up of this unit is a hard concept to understand, unless you’ve experienced it. The goal for an acute/progressive pt stay is <30 hrs. For an ICU pt it’s <60. That means on most days, the unit turns over at least half, if not more, of their occupied beds. This creates a hectic environment and the units receiving our patients are never happy. Labs weren’t drawn, orders left uncompleted, no/bad IVs, poor communication, the complaints go on and on. However, I have witnessed the instances where this reputation is fair. I have seen lazy nurses choose to send their patients out like a hot mess with uncompleted orders, dirty briefs/beds, and bad/no IVs. But‚Ķthere are lazy nurses everywhere. And I¬†refuse to be one of them. Therefore, I have made up my mind to be happy. Maybe I’m the change they need? Or maybe, I’ll just do my 6 months and transfer. Who knows?! Either way, I’m happy.

Orientation started yesterday. I have already been through this junk once, but they are paying me 2x as much this go around. I did get out of a second hospital orientation, which is why you’re getting this blog post. *thumbs up* I am so anxious to get to the floor and start working. It feels like it has been too long. My nursing skills are going to be rusty!

Anyone else starting a new job? Even better‚Ķ Is anyone starting a job they didn’t exactly want? Or have experiences to share from a nursing job they didn’t really want? I want to hear from you!

Join the conversation by posting a comment. If you like this post, or any of my other posts, feel free to pass it along. Choose your preferred platform by clicking on the title of the post, then clicking one of those fancy buttons at the bottom of the post! :)

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Rach, BSN, RN.

Wow, typing that title I am in shock. That’s right, folks…I passed the NCLEX! Just found out today, actually. I’m currently stalking my board of nursing’s website for that precious license # followed by RN.

Let’s get down to business — NCLEX.

Prior to graduation, I submitted everything required by my state’s BON (application, fees, NCLEX registration and fees, etc.) so that after graduation, the only thing needed was verification of degree completion. My school fulfilled that requirement about a week and half after my graduation date. I was notified by my BON that everything was complete and I was given my authorization to test (ATT). I immediately logged into the Pearson VUE website to schedule my test date.

Now, I don’t like to drag things out. I am confident in my education and the hours, upon hours, upon hours of hard work I put into preparing for this very occasion. So, I scheduled my NCLEX for the next available date. That put me on a testing date 3 weeks and some change after graduation. My thought process was this…I’m most likely not¬†going to put intense amounts of energy into studying, however, I¬†will most likely put moderate amounts of energy into worrying. Therefore, the most logical thing to do was to just get this sh*t over with.

Just like I had predicted, I didn’t put much effort into studying. Seriously, I’m just over it. I cannot do anymore. My brain cannot hold anymore. For now, anyway. I didn’t study any content. I did <500 practice questions. When my test date came, I just strolled in and took that beast. I’m not going to lie to you. It was HARD. Like, really hard. Way harder than I had expected. I took 75 questions. The majority were…select all that apply. (That will have more meaning to you if you are actually¬†in nursing school) Several times during the exam I thought, “Well, sh*t. I don’t know. *clicks answer* next.” When the exam shut-off after question 75 I was relieved, but in shock. Like, that’s it?! Two and a half years of blood, sweat, and LOTS of tears…FOR THAT?!

I left the testing center and drove home. When I got home, I immediately logged onto the Pearson VUE website to try the Pearson VUE trick (google it). I got the “good pop-up”. “WHAT? Surely this can’t be reliable. This is stupid.”, I thought. Well, here I am, 48 hours later…with a “PASS” result! WOOHOO! I am a RN!

I would be happy to answer any questions about NCLEX that you guys might have, just leave me a comment! If you found this post because you are getting ready to take NCLEX/awaiting results…GOOD LUCK!!!

Now, if only I could get a job…

-Rach

I want to hear from you! Join the conversation by posting a comment! If you like this post, or any of my other posts, feel free to pass it along. Choose your preferred platform by clicking on the title of the post, then clicking one of those fancy buttons at the bottom of the post! :)

**P.S.– I updated the blog name…I guess I can’t write about nursing school forever!

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Just call me Nurse Rach!

What. is. up?! my blog peoples! Once again, I am a bold-faced liar. I didn’t update my blog a single time this past semester. Some things never change. I’ll spare you of the “please forgive me…blah, blah, blah…crap”.

Ok, listen up! I have a¬†HUGE¬†announcement to make:¬†I GRADUATED FROM NURSING SCHOOL!¬†Yes, you heard that right. I graduated! There you have it friends, graduating from nursing school is not a myth. Your day will¬†eventually¬†come, I promise! Now, let’s recap these last few months:

The semester was rather uneventful and boring. Lots and lots of busy work, 2 exams, and an exit HESI. Blah! I was placed on a trauma/surgical progressive care unit for my preceptorship. It wasn’t really my cup of tea, but I think that my preceptor had something to do with that. She was super sweet, but our personalities were just so…different (to put it mildly). I learned a lot of “this is something I most definitely do not want to do and/or be in my personal nursing practice” type stuff. No experience is wasted…at least that is what I told myself going into that mess everyday. I did experience my first “OMG, I just walked in to find my patient…dead. WHAT DO I DO?! CODE, CODE, CODE!!!” That was terrifying to say the least.

Once my preceptorship was over, the rest of the semester was smooth sailing. Just busy work and exams. I killed my exit HESI, so that was awesome. I needed a 67 on my final exam to pass the class.¬†Golden.¬†The final came and went. Many celebratory margaritas were had. Me and best friends were¬†happy. Unbelievably, stress-free, care-free—-happy. It was a wonderful feeling! Then there was pinning. Celebrating our accomplishments with our close friends, loved ones, and beloved professors who all shared in not only our joy and triumph, but pain and sorrow. I could do that day over 1,000 times. And finally…GRADUATION. I had been working toward that single event since I left home 6 years ago. It was the proudest day of my life.

Friends, nursing students, nursing student hopefuls—this is for you— Don’t give up. Whether you ended up at my blog because you’ve hopelessly googled something like “nursing school is too much” or you were searching for insight into the unknown, know this…You are smart, you are strong, and you can meet whatever challenge awaits you. Work for it. Live your dream, not everyone gets that opportunity.

-Rach

I want to hear from you! Join the conversation by posting a comment! If you like this post, or any of my other posts, feel free to pass it along! Choose your preferred platform by clicking on the title of the post, then clicking one of those fancy buttons at the bottom of the post! :)

 

P.S.— I’m going to address life after graduation (*cough, cough* NCLEX, etc.) in a separate post. Don’t worry…who could ever forget that?!

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GRADUATION, SAY WHAA?!

HOLY SHITBALLS, BATMAN.

First of all, I feel like I owe all of my ‘blog friends’ one GIGANTIC apology. I completely disappeared. In fact, for a short while, I’m not even sure I existed in human form. I just wondered around like a wisp and pretended to function. I’m certain every single individual who has attempted/survived nursing school has been in a similar state. Well, guess what peeps?! I CAN SEE THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL! That’s right, bitches. It’s almost over! FOREVER.¬†

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I might just be a little excited.

I honestly don’t even know where to begin? I haven’t written a post since the end of my very first semester. Wow, how time flies! I have learned so, so much. And I still think that nursing is¬†*totally awesome 90’s kid voice* by far the most awesomest profession, eva! So, let me just give you the down and dirty of everything between then and now. K?

My second semester¬†(Med-surg 2 and Pharm BLAH)¬†was very uneventful really. I just got 2 B’s (which was awesome, because that shat was HARD). I also got married in the middle of that semester. *AWE* Go ahead, it really was sweet. I settled into my teching position pretty quickly and spent the summer working and being married and junk.

My third semester (Peds/OB, Psych, Nursing Research) was also pretty uneventful. Except for psych. Which, don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed, but I could never, ever, ever do that full time. EVER. My Psych professor was AH-MAZ-ZA-ZING. We became instant friends, and she continues to be a great asset to me as I grow and mature in the academics of the nursing profession. I’ve also never seen anyone who was so amazing at their job. Homie was seriously designed to be a psych nurse. Anywho, Nursing Research was the most ridiculous class I’ve taken thus far and the teacher was a total bi-yatch. Good news? I made it through. Shout out to my peds prof too! She’s still got my back, even though we discovered and (thankfully)¬†she totally embraced my complete awkwardness toward kids. EWW. I finished that semester with straight A’s. BOSS LEVEL! We also had to take the HESI this semester. I was in the top 5 highest scores. HELLZ YEAH!

My fourth semester (Med-surg 3, Public Health, Leadership) is the semester I just completed in the Spring. HOT DAMN. Seriously, guys…I’ve never worked my ass off as much as I did this semester. And the worst part? I had a C in Med-surg right up until the very end, but thankfully I was able to get it up to a B! I have never been so stressed out in my life. The professor (who also happened to be my clinical instructor, awesome. *sarcasm*) was, well…I’m pretty sure she was Satan himself. GRRR, just writing this get my BP up. You know what? Let’s just leave this topic alone. I can’t be nice. Public health was a total joke, but leadership? BAHAHAHA. Waste of brain power right there. Again, jumping through the hoops.

Over the summer, I had the chance to play nurse, basically. I was chosen out of hundreds of applicants for one of 45 spots in a summer internship program at the hospital that I tech in. It was by far the most amazing experience in my student nurse career. If you have the opportunity for an intern/externship of any kind, DO NOT PASS IT UP! I learned so much more in one summer than I have in every clinical combined in nursing school. It was insane in the membrane, friends. I loved it!

ANDDDDD HERE WE ARE.

You are now all caught up! In just 11 short days I will attend my very last first day of undergrad, EVER! I GRADUATE IN DEC! *laser beams, disco ball, confetti* After 6 years, folks…it is FINALLY going to happen. I’m still in shock, really. And, if you’ve made it this far in this post, you’re awesome. Because this is ridiculous. I’m going to try my hardest to update much, much more regularly.

-Rach

I want to hear from you! Join the conversation by posting a comment! If you like this post, or any of my other posts, feel free to pass it along! Choose your preferred platform by clicking on the title of the post, then clicking one of those fancy buttons at the bottom of the post! :)

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Filed under Nursing School, School Countdown