Sunday, February 3, 2013

First RN job!

As indicated in my last post, I passed NCLEX, I'm now a licensed RN. Which means I can legally work as an RN. And as of January 21st, that's what I'm doing! :-)

So backstory...

I started applying for RN jobs back in late October, just kind of finding a position that I thought I would be interested in and applying - Medical floor, Telemetry floor, Labor and Delivery unit... Fast forward to early December, and I get a phone call from the nurse manager on Labor and Delivery for an interview! WOOHOO! Interview scheduled for December 21st.

Fast forward through graduation...interview time! I was pretty nervous, but I knew I could handle an interview fairly well, plus I had armed myself with some questions that would look good for me to ask as well as give me an idea of the overall feel of the unit. It was a panel interview - the nurse manager, 2 of the night shift clinical supervisors, and a night shift RN. The interview lasted maybe 20-30 minutes, but I walked out feeling like I did an good job at it. I answered their questions to the best of my ability, plus I asked 4-5 questions of my own (finding out later that the questions I asked were some kick-ass questions that impressed some people on the unit).

Now fast forward to December 27th...phone rings, it's the HR department from THE hospital! My name was sent to them after my interview and they needed to start the background check process. OMG! Now, this wasn't a formal job offer at this point, but I was thinking that the fact that I was moving on to HR, that had to be a positive sign! I consented for the process to go forward...and then just went back to studying for NCLEX.

January 3rd...phone rings, HR from THE hospital...offering me the L&D job! I accepted, and after a few minutes of formalities and further instructions, I had determined my start date of January 21st. I wanted to go ahead and get NCLEX taken and out of the way before I started my job, because I knew I'd rather not juggle job stuff with studying...so now all I had to do was study and pass NCLEX (no pressure!) and wait until January 21st.

Over the next couple of weeks, I got stuff in the mail and had forms to fill out, paperwork to turn in, accounts to activate online, etc. My main focus was NCLEX, though (see previous entry for those fun times)...but once I found out I passed, I had a few days to relax and enjoy my last days of freedom.

January 21st - so begins my 1st day as an employed RN! I won't lie...that whole 1st week was hospital orientation, patient services orientation, and then general nursing orientation. Long 8+ hour days sitting in conference rooms and classrooms, but at least I was getting my RN pay.  On Wednesday afternoon of that week, I actually spent a few hours at the hospital in L&D with the educator, going over department stuff such as a tour and checking off on some of the general orientation activities (uristix, sure step blood glucose testing, unit safety, etc.).

January 28th - my 1st day on the unit, as far as dressing in surgical scrubs, following a nurse, working with patients. I spent the whole week doing this same thing, and saw and did a variety of things: put in Foley caths (probably 4 or 5?), learning to do cervical checks as far as dilation, effacement, and station, watched the CRNA do a few epidurals, charted some vitals, hung some IV fluids and meds, assessed external fetal heart monitoring (determined baseline, variability, presence of accels or decels), saw an amnioinfusion, and was in on 2 deliveries. Can I just say that I totally *love* my job?

So that's it...my job as of 2 weeks in. Even though L&D wasn't my actual 1st choice, mainly because I was looking to get a med-surg job before going into a specialty, I am so not disappointed! OB is the reason why I went to nursing school, and the fact that I got an L&D job as a new grad with no previous experience in the unit...maybe this is where I'm supposed to be. I intend to get in there, learn as much as I can, do the best I can, and work my ass off to be a damn good nurse. Baby steps, but I will get there!

And now that my transition from student to working RN is complete, I suppose I need to change the name of the blog, here. I'm not having adventures in nursing school anymore...so I guess I need to ponder this change and get it taken care of soon!

Also worth noting...this whole thing of clocking out at the end of my shift, coming home and being able to relax without having homework or studying or reading to do...FABULOUS! :-)

3 comments:

  1. Yay congrats on an amazing job!!! So excited for you.. just don't forget us all out here in blog land!! You must be floating on cloud 9. Isn't it amazing to get that name tag that has the big RN on it? Wasn't it weird to come home from a shift at the hospital and NOT have to write a Careplan? LOL

    I start my Peds Acute Care position at a small children's hospital tonight and am pretty excited about putting on the RN badge and being a "Real Nurse"

    I am also still in the running for a few adult med/surg type of positions at large hospital but I am not holding my breath on that one. Interviewed twice now and the third level is panel... would love to know what questions you used.

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  2. Ohhh I'm so happy for you! I'd love a job on the birth center at the hospital where I work, however the jobs are scarce to say the least and uncommon to have openings. As graduation gets closer I'm dealing with the fact that I be applying to the med/surg. floor too. :-(

    Would you be willing to email me a couple of the follow-up questions you asked during your interview? frazzledrazzlern@gmail.com

    Lastly, how awesome to come home from a day on the job and not stress over class/home work!! Congrats again Kendra!

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  3. Very exciting!! It's so great to hear that you went to school to be a L & D nurse and now you are! At this point in my schooling career I'm still not sure of the exact path that I want to go on as far as specialties are concerned, but from what I'm hearing from all my classmates L & D is THE BEST!!! They all love it. So I can't wait to get there & see what this is all about. Can't wait to hear about more of your adventures as a nurse.

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