Friday, December 16, 2005

First year complete!

December 16th, 2005 = 1 yr anniversary of graduation from nursing school...aka...the pinning ceremony.  It also marks the end of my first year as a nurse because today is also the anniversay of the day that I accepted the job offer to become a PCU nurse from the hospital I currently work for.  In fact, I accepted the offer during the pinning ceremony rehearsal! 

It has gone by quickly - that's for sure.  I know I still have tons to learn & much more experience to gain...but looking back, I have come a long way.  I feel much more confident in my nursing skills & critical thinking abilities.  As most things in life, the best way to learn is hands-on rather than from a book.  It also has been very helpful working in a hospital environment as supportive as the one I am at.  There were only 3 of us from my graduating class that took jobs at this hospital - because many did not think much of the place throughout (we had the majority of our clinicals there) school  - including us.  I've got a different perspective now...for one, we are treated differently (much better) as co-workers as opposed to student nurses.  Even with all of the travel nurses & agency nurses, it still remains to be a tight-knit group that is always there to lend a hand, especially in crisis situations...not to mention the daily chit-chat to relieve stress. 

If I had not taken a job at that other hospital (earlier this year), I probably would have not realized the difference.  It showed me that they can provide you with all of the resources possible, but if you don't have a staff that is willing to back you up & help you out - you are not going to be happy.  That's one of the things that scares me when I think about becoming a travel nurse or agency nurse - will I end up in an unsupportive work environment?  Or are there hospitals that are even better than where I'm currently at?  I guess the only way to really know is through experience.  Even the word of others isn't often believed until you deal with it first hand.  We (Gina & I) had been told by others that we would hate working at that other hospital.  We thought they were insane...but in the end, they were right. 

I haven't been in touch with too many of my other classmates.  I am curious to hear their thoughts & experiences thus far.  I also like hearing from other nursing students - those who are getting ready to start the program or are in the midst of it.  My best advice to confident in yourself & don't let anyone take that away from you.  If the confidence isn't there, fake it until it is.  That doesn't mean pretend like you know what you're doing & don't ask all means, seek out the information...but always be confident in who you are.  Being nervous is normal...don't let it overwhelm you. 

It has been an amazing year & I am so glad I have chosen this profession.  I think I may have finally found my niche in anyhow.  :)


cah601 said...

Congratulations Jen.  The time has gone by so very fast.  I know one thing for sure, if I get sick I want you for my nurse.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I am on m way to Chicago, then Denver, then home.  Talk later.  Love Ya, Carole

tessena789 said...

I am a first year RN student and I came across your journal in an online search. I just wanted to say that your blog is so interesting, I really enjoyed reading about your nursing adventures. I have often wondered what it will really be like working as an RN. Your a great writer..........keep up the good work! Sincerely, Tess