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"Study Long And Hard...
I find people would be surprised at the different scope of jobs and opportunities that nursing makes available to them. You can literally work in an office all day or on a helicopter all day. The choices are nearly endless." (ER Nurse; 2013)
"Fast Paced Environment...
Most people are surprised by the fast pace work style that comes along with working in an emergency room.. All the blood and wounds is always the most surprising thing about this career. Yes, you do know there will be blood and wounds but experiencing it is totally different." (Nurse; 2013)
"Complete Co-Requisite Courses Before Nursing Classes...
I was surprised to discover just how each day, as a nurse, is unique in its own way. No two shifts are alike, and run the gamut from full-on hectic, to pretty easy going." (ER Nurse; 2013)
"Be Aware Of What You Will Encounter...
I think people would be surprised to find that a lot of older (as in not just out of high school) people are changing careers and going into the nursing profession. Some go into it because they think of it as a "calling" and its something they always wanted to do. However, many people are going into nursing because they realize it is actually now a very well paid job, and its a career path where you know you will always have a job!" (RN, ER Nurse; 2013)
"Assumption Of Risk And Team Building Mean Quality Patient Care...
I was surprised at the absolute flexibility in positions that I was qualified for. That particularly applies to my 26 years with the US Army Nurse Corps in which I performed as a team leader, Task Force Surgeon, Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense Officer, Medical Operations Officer, Hospital Operations Officer, Regional Chief of Quality Assurance, Deputy Director of the Health Services Personnel Directorate, Nurse Liaison, HQ, Us Army Recruiting Command and Medical Group Chief Nurse" (ER Nurse; 2013)
"I was surprised at the tremendous level of stress. also, the lack of gratitude and poor management. It seems that most of the time no one cares. I seem to be the only one that cares." (ER Nurse; 2013)
"What shocked me the most was the true back-stabbing that goes on with nurses. I see it primarily with ER and ICU nurses. I have worked in many trauma units, and ER nurses and ICU nurses just do not like each other. It also surprises me how much ER doctors depend on and trust the ER nurses. I literally have run many codes before, even with the ER doc standing right there. It is a good feeling to know they think of us as colleagues and professionals." (ER/Trauma Nursing, Certified Emergency Nurse; 2013)
"I was surprised how much autonomy nurses have in their work. It was amazing in both good and bad ways how much we are expected to make our own decisions, not just follow doctors' orders or hospital protocols." (ER Nurse; 2013)
Registered Nurse: "The best part of my job is that you save a life or help someone that is quite ill. It is a great feeling to actually be instrumental in a life or death situation. The worst part of my job is that when it is very busy in the emergency dept., the patients and families get very frustrated about the wait and we are the first line, so we get the brunt end of their dissatisfaction. This wait has nothing to do with the nursing care they are getting, but it is frustrating for me as a nurse to be verbally accosted by a patient or family member if things do not progress as they feel things should." (2011)
ER Nurse: "Interview at least three different nurses that have different specialties. This way you'll know what kind of nursing will make you most happy." (2013)
ER/Trauma Nursing, Certified Emergency Nurse: "Take advantage of EVERY opportunity for free, continuing education given by your hospital or employer. I have not paid for any continuing education yet, yet have gotten many certifications in my field. Do not pass up any opportunity to learn, and don't be afraid to say you don't know how to do something. No one was born with the initials "R.N." behind their name. We all started out not knowing anything." (2013)
ER Nurse: "Work in a healthcare field before or while you're in nursing school. Being a CNA, a phlebotomist, or even a hospital secretary gives you a wealth of real-world experience that clinical can never replicate. It also makes your resume much stronger." (2013)
ER Nurse: "There are many co-requisite classes that I highly recommend you take before entering an actual nursing program. Get those done and complete so you're less swamped while taking the core nursing classes!" (2013)
RN, ER Nurse: "Give some time to self reflection and know what you are getting into, perhaps by volunteering at a hospital so you know what really goes on. The real world is not "House MD" or "ER" or any other glamorized version of the medical field. While it is always interesting and ever changing, it is also hard and sometimes unpleasant work, so make sure you can handle certain aspects of the job." (2013)
ER Nurse: "As you go through school study twice as much outside of class as you sit in the class. The curriculum will not be easy but if is manageable." (2013)
ER Nurse: "I recommend that you always take the hardest jobs with the greatest career risk which will absolutely advance your career when you accomplish the jobs successfully. I would also recommend that you understand that anyone, regardless of reputation or poor evaluations, can be a part of your team given appropriate leadership. I have found that their integration into a team which functions as such makes them want to shine and they generally will." (2013)
Nurse: "Be prepared to see a lot of blood and wounds. It is a fast paced environment so it requires a lot of quick hard work." (2013)
Registered Nurse: "In preparation for a career in nursing, a candidate should start slowly and work up to the "perfect job". It is very overwhelming for the new nurse coming out of school to acclimate her/himself from school to actual patient care. Every nurse needs a good medical-surgical base. After 1-2 years, move upward to the position of choice. Don't EVER belittle a decision made by a senior nurse. If you feel her decision is questionable- ask another senior nurse for advise. Many new graduate nurses think they are a "wealth of knowledge"" (2011)