About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Friday, June 11, 2010

postgrad RN, BScN, MN, CNCC (C)

I don't know if you guys have looked. I'm SURE you have. I'm sure you're all just as concerned as I am about where the hell you're going to work once you've got that shiny degree on your wall. I'm only halfway done and I'm already panicking!

My *ideal* career path would be a year or two in Med-Surg, while building foundational skills, and then to grow into a CCU nurse. I'm not 100% sure if CCU is ultimately the kind of nurse I'd like to be (who can be that sure, anyway?) but a lot of things about it are appealing to me.

Certainly, one of the best days I've had in clinical was when one of my patients had higher acuity and I had to manage him, his family, and my interactions with the rest of the care team very diplomatically and with as much knowledge as I had. Everything that came up with his care made me ask myself questions. I spent my breaks researching. I loved every second of it, even though it was a very difficult time for him and his family. One of the weird things about nursing, I guess - some of your best days are some of your patients' worst.

My career path has always seemed pretty workable. Get a job in something basic, then specialize, while continuing my education. Ever since I realized that I liked learning, I haven't wanted to stop. Sure, some days I wish I was done school so I could have time to myself and actually have a life, but on the whole I've loved every second of it. Stop at my BScN? Hell no.

Unfortunately, with job prospects dwindling and having heard nothing back from the internship I applied for, I'm starting to actually get a little spooked. Our schools keep churning out new grads and I haven't found a SINGLE RN job posting that didn't require at 1 year experience. In fact I haven't found a single RN posting that was in anything other than a specialty.

The job market tanked in the last two years. One hopes it will float again in the next two.

However, in case it doesn't (or in case any market improvement is only temporary) I am considering pursuing this certification on a part-time basis next year as a senior student. I am hoping it will give me a leg up over the ~150 nurses also graduating with me. There are some theory components but most importantly, there is a 210-hour clinical component.

AKA networking opportunities.

Eventually I want to obtain my Critical Care Nursing certification through the CNA.

Alphabet soup? As long as it brings job security and a paycheck, I don't mind one bit :)

[photo credit]


Marie said...

I know this is a year after you posted this, but I feel I should post it anyway. I graduated with a BSN, 3.5 GPA in 5/2010 and have yet to find a job, in any discipline, much less the one I wanted which was actually home care. Out of desperation, I started applying to hospitals and got nowhere. But the other day, I had the change to talk to a nurse manager at our local hospital (not on an interview,informally) and it was a real eye opener. She told me I had not been called for an interview because my grades were not good enough at a 3.5. They are looking for 3.9 or 4.0. Mainly they hire from within. If you had a job there as a CNA and were in nursing school they will consider you. However, being a CNA anymore is no guarantee they will hire you on as a nurse after you graduate. What I found out, or figured out because I know some people that they did hire from within who had very poor grades, barely passing, was that they have 2 standards for grades. One if they know you and one if they don't. If you are coming from outside, you have to be in the top 1% of your class to be interviewed. If you are being hired from within, a C is O.K. as long as you pass & pass your boards. This hospital had 212 applicants for the few new grad positions, hired 10 from within and 2 from outside who must have had the 3.9 and 4.0. This essentially means that they are not hiring at all. Another hospital locally has its doors closed entirely to new grads but they also hire CNA's turned RN's from within. I would have thought that this thing with the GPA was a fluke until I saw yet another facility far away doing the same thing. The hospital I previously mentioned that wants a 3.9 - 4.0 previously would accept a B average, until the horrific onslaught of new grads hit the system. I live in Poughkeepsie NY and this is where this is happening. In New York City, there is a famous home care agency that has a new grad program and they also used to ask for a B. They now have it posted on their website that they want a minimum 3.5. This is apparently institution's method of weeding out the many applications they get. If you dont meet the GPA, they dont have to look at your app. And yes, I applied to the home care agency first and was never called for an interview. I cannot afford to move either, which I know will be the next question and it is much the same in other states. Several of my colleagues moved out of state after graduation hoping to find work. Some did and some did not. I have figured out that the reason they want only experienced people with a minimum of 1 year is that nurses, new grad or not, are being routinely overloaded with patients. One of my colleagues who did get a job up here (because she had a relative who worked for one of the higher ups in the hospital) said she has 7-10 patients to care for and that it is unsafe. It used to be that 4-5 patients for an experienced nurse was considered alot. Now, facilities are rolling the dice and throwing caution to the winds as they try to keep their doors open in the face of massive amounts of people who have lost their jobs (and with it their well paying private insurance). The loss of this private insurance leaves hospitals with only Medicaid, Medicare or patients with no insurance at all. Since nursing salaries are 50% of a hospital's budget and nurses are not considered to bring anything to a hospital (doctors bring in money by bringing in patients because of their reputation), it is nursing that gets cut first. I know all of you are in school right now. I fear when you graduate it is going to be a very rude awakening. All nursing schools are well aware of this but are continuing to milk the cow of student loans and other forms of payment until it flat out runs dry

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Thanks for your thoughts :)