Hey friends! Did you hug your favorite nurse this week? It's National Nurse's Week so show us hard workin' gals (and guys) some love!
We get medical assistant students at my job and some of them have asked me about becoming and RN.."Was it hard?" "What's the difference between a 2 year program and a 4 year?" "Why did you pick nursing?"
I chose nursing for many reasons. I wanted to help people, finding a job wouldn't be difficult after graduation, the pay and hours are good, and there are tons of different fields you can get into. I decided to I would become a nurse my Junior year of high school.
I wasn't sure what kind of nursing I wanted to do. I thought I would go into research or the OR. I found I didn't like the operating room, and to get into research I would need a lot more schooling and live in a larger city. I love my hometown, so that wasn't a possibility. I ended up being a Triage nurse..who knew?!
As far as the actual nursing program, I chose an ADN program. That means, I went to a community college that required about 2 year of prereqs, then 2 years in the acutal nursing program. I graduated with an Associate Degree in Nursing, which is a science degree. At a 4 year college, you end up with a Bachelor's Degree (BSN) in Nursing. You both take the exact same state boards to obtain your Registered Nurse licensure. Those nurses with a BSN can work in more administrative roles if they choose. During school, I found the prereq's to get into the program harder than actual nursing school. I really enjoyed learning about medicine and nursing because it was something I was interested in.
If I had to give advice to a nursing student, I would tell them grades are important, but succeeding in clinicals is key. Soak up every opportunity to start an IV, drop an NG tube, give CPR..get your hands dirty (with gloves on of course!!)
If you don't know what area of nursing you want to go into- don't worry about it! Start on the medical floor where you will get TONS of experience quickly.
Another thing I wasn't prepared for was how working with crabby patients, crabby families, crabby doctors, and crabby coworkers can get you down. I think professors kinda shelter students from that while in school. They really should teach some sort of preperation class for that. Not sure if that's possible, but it sure would be helpful!
The last thing I would recommend is to try to think of your patients as if it were your Grandmother or child. This can sometimes be hard when you're cleaning out a gross wound, or when your patient is combative and swinging at you, or how about when your peds patient vomits down your leg? Yum! I have to remind myself many times a shift to treat each patient like they are my only focus in the world. Even if I only talk to a patient for a few minutes, I want them to feel heard and cared for. At least that's the goal.
So there's my 2 cents about nursing! Happy Nurse's Week!! And remember- be nice to me..I might be your nurse someday!! Muah hahaha!!