Things to Know After Nursing School
Life, after you graduate nursing school, seems a bit overwhelming but with proper guidance and helpful tips, you can manage it too. Where do you want to work? What are the key takeaways from nursing school? What do you need before you step into the unit? It can be tricky to find the right opportunity. To ensure you are happy with your first decision, take your time and explore the market to learn about the types of opportunities that will be best for your career goals.
Understanding Different Opportunities
Finding a hospital to work in after you graduate nursing school, is often the main goal of many nursing graduates to start their careers. A common misconception for new graduates is that hospitals are the only options available to them.
Healthcare settings can include:
- Home care
- Long term care
Other career opportunities (non-bedside): Legal Nurse Consultant, Hospice Nurse, Public Health Nurse, Occupational Nurse, Dialysis Nurse, Nurse Educator
Research the facility you will be applying for to learn more about the role you’re applying for. Answer the following questions:
- What are the facility’s mission, vision, and values?
- Do you know what is the facility’s designation?
- What population do they serve?
- Do you know if they have been awarded or recognized?
Different Units – What Unit Do You Want to Work On?
- How would you describe yourself?
- Lead the team?
- Do you love to collab?
- Do you work best alone?
- What does your ideal workday look like?
- Consistent, likes to plan ahead?
- Something new every day to keep you on your toes?
- A mix of this and that?
- Who is your ideal patient?
- Elderly, acutely ill, new mom and infant, children?
- When it comes to patients, the best way you can help is?
- By training and educating other nurses
- Face-to-face interactions
When you land your first job after you graduate nursing school, it might be your ideal unit. You can use this opportunity as a stepping stone to advance internally up the specialty ladder. For example, starting in Med/Surg then working up to PCCU and then ICU. Other managers and supervisors can notice you and help you cross-train to their unit.
Utilizing your Network and Resources
Since you can’t rely on years of professional experience to land your new gig, using your network to get your foot in the door is your next best option. After you graduate nursing school, many nursing schools have a network as well to help with different employment available for you before making the decision on your first job. While doing clinical rotations you can also inquire about opportunities.
Build your support network early on, as they can offer advice, guidance, and job leads. You can start by getting all your classmate’s and professors’ email addresses.
Job fairs are another great way to look for opportunities. At a nursing job fair, you can meet with dozens of prospective employers in a single day, instead of sending out stacks of resumes and waiting weeks for a response
If you’re unfamiliar with which facilities are hiring you can consider major job boards such as Indeed, Linkedin, and Simply Hired.
Tips on using jobs board effectively:
- Make sure your Linkedin profile and resume are congruent.
- Adding new responsibilities and new volunteer opportunities you’ve taken
- Be attentive to the language you’re using in your profile resume
- Mirror the language of job listings that interest you in your profile and resume/
- Don’t be afraid to reach out directly
- Most job boards won’t list direct information to employers but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out with a follow-up email about your application. The human connection can be the deciding factor.
Clean Up your Social Media Account
- Have appropriate profile photos on all accounts
- Edit the biographies, headings, and descriptions to reflect a professional manner.
- Run a google search on your first and last name. Make sure all photos are appropriate.
- Change your privacy settings to private if you do not want potential employers to view your social media profiles and photos.
Preparing for Your Interviews
The purpose of the interview is to determine if they like you and whether you’re a good fit for their team. Nursing is a team effort. They also want to see if you’re as good as you seem on paper and can help them reach their goals as an organization.
Tip: Treat the interview like a conversation where both candidate and employer have a shared goal of getting to know each other.
You’ll be spending a lot of time at work, so make sure your core values align and it’s an enjoyable work environment – not just tolerable.
Prescreen phone interview for nurses – Usually the first step of the hiring process. The goal is to reduce the number of candidates and invite the best-fitting candidates for the next step.
They’ll ask basic qualifying questions about:
- Employment status
- Clinical experience
Tip: Know your availability, as the goal is to invite you for an in-person interview. Also, ask about the next steps, don’t get off the phone and wonder what’s next?
This will be your first opportunity to meet the hiring manager or the unit. Ultimately, they are determining if they personally like you. No one wants to work with a negative nancy. This includes a number of things:
- How they feel about you
- How you’ll fit within their unit
- Your level of enthusiasm
- How your strengths can help them reach their goals
During this time or maybe for the next interview you will undergo a panel/peer interview which will include multiple people, usually from the unit to help the hiring manager pick the best candidate. Our advice is to maintain good eye contact with everyone, engage in conversation with the entire group, share your personal stories, and smile.
Before the interview make sure you understand yourself. Your strengths and weaknesses, the experiences you’ve had in clinical settings.
- What is your 5-year goal?
- Teamwork: Talk about a conflict within your healthcare team. What was the conflict and how did you handle it?
- Patient care: Tell me about a time when a patient’s family was dissatisfied with your care. How did you handle that situation?
- Time management: Talk about a time you worked in a fast-paced setting. How do you prioritize tasks while maintaining excellent patient care?
Tip: Be a storyteller. Storytelling is powerful and memorable. Most importantly, it provides evidence to support the assertions made in your resume. It gives the employer a glimpse at the type of nurse and human being you are.
What to Buy Before You Enter the Unit
- Click pens
- Nursing scissors
- Good scrubs
- Right shoes
Giving End of Shift Report
An end-of-shift report is a detailed report of your patients and their overall care and medical status. End of shift reports includes medical history, recent procedures, lab values, medications, head-to-toe assessment, pain management, and plan of care.
Episode 115: Goes in-depth about the end of shift duties and gives report
After you accept your position, remember that getting off orientation is not a race
If you are hired with other new graduates, it is common to look at them and feel like you are competing in the race of who can be the best new grad nurse. Who can take care of higher acuities quicker? Who will be let off orientation earlier? Your work culture can bolster this, especially if your manager starts making comments that make you feel like you’re behind.
Tip: You must focus on your journey and fill in the gaps you need. It’s not about winning a race.
Don’t forget about self-care days
Treat yourself, take yourself out, get massages, buy yourself something nice. Get those feel-good endorphins pumping. The Self-care culture is at an all-time high with talks about the pandemic and burnout.
How Traveling Affects Your Mental Health
Traveling affects your mental health in so many ways. That is why traveling every once in a while is a good idea to relax and recharge ourselves.
It’s not a secret that many of us spend a significant amount of time in our jobs. Whether you enjoy your job or not, it’s crucial to take a break. Spend time with yourself, and making sure that your mental health is good should always be your priority. Besides, who doesn’t want to travel and see places? I know I do!
Traveling, meeting people, learning about different cultures, and eating new food is a refreshing experience! And if you haven’t traveled yet, this is a sign to do that.
Many people are unaware, but traveling can have a good impact on your mental health. This article will explore how traveling affects your mental health, how it helps your mind, and get you on track even if you are on the road. Read on for more!
Why Should You Plan a Trip and Travel?
With the covid still looming, the chances of traveling out of the country are slim, but you can still find a way to travel locally and across the country. There are many reasons why you should plan a trip and travel. For one, planning makes the experience more enjoyable.
Taking time to research your destination and book flights will also save you time and money. Traveling allows you to discover and explore new places, people, cultures. It can be a way of gaining knowledge about things that are unfamiliar or even unknown back home. It also helps break down the differences of each people by showing the commonalities as human beings regardless of our backgrounds.
9 Reasons to Travel for Your Mental Health
Of course, traveling is exciting and exhausting, BUT there are more pros than cons to it. Not only does traveling get you to see different places and experience all cultures, but it also plays a role in improving your mental health. Here’s how your mental health benefits from traveling.
1. Travelings lets you experience new things.
When you travel, you get to be in a new environment, far from your comfort zone. It gives you the chance to experience new places, meet new people and even do new activities! It makes you understand people better, improve your tolerance, and reduce biases. In return, it reduces your frustration in understanding how other people are or how their culture works!
2. Traveling allows you to de-stress.
Have you ever met a friend who just came back after a holiday or traveling? Notice how they have that certain excitement and glow? As funny as it sounds but traveling allows you to de-stress. Going on a trip gives you a chance to stay away from stressful situations you might be dealing with in your workplace. Seeing beautiful scenarios, taking pictures, and breathing fresh air are all helpful in relieving stress, simple as they are.
3. Traveling allows you to see a different perspective about life.
Ever felt like you are trapped in your 9-5 job? If you do, then travel! Traveling gives you the chance to see other people from different cultures and learn from them by spending time within their midst. Whether it’s learning a recipe in Mexico, the art history of Spain, traveling by tuk-tuk in India, or lounging in a hammock by a beach in the Philippines, learning from its people, and seeing a new way of living is refreshing to the soul! It also gives you the chance to sit back, relax and reflect on your life. Seeing and learning new things from different cultures gives you a bigger view of life.
4. Traveling teaches resiliency.
When you travel, you will find yourself in not-so-comfortable situations. For example, if you want to work as a travel nurse, you will be in situations that are beyond your comfort zone. So traveling often teaches you to be resilient in different ways.
Traveling is not always about going to the spa or spending time at the beach. Instead, it will teach you to navigate your way into unfamiliar streets, budget your money, and even learn a different language. Traveling teaches you what to do and not to do when you are out there. It teaches you how to get the best deals or make a good bargain.
Generally, traveling allows you to think of quick solutions to enjoy your time. Yes, it can be stressful or scary when you think about it, but you will not learn the gems of traveling if you don’t try, right?
5. Traveling boosts your creativity.
Have you felt like you cannot do anything creative? If you are an artist or into creative arts but can’t get anything artsy done, travel! Allowing yourself to experience different cultures opens up your mind and inspires you to be creative. It also improves the neuroplasticity of your brain and increases your creativity in the process – this goes to show how traveling affects your mental health. It makes you more creative!
6. Traveling allows you to reconnect with yourself.
Self-love is the highest form of self-care, and traveling is a form of self-care. When you travel, you are separating yourself from your usual routine. You also separate yourself from the stress that caused you to neglect yourself. When you travel, you are meeting your old self again. It’s during this time that you can reassess, reflect, and reinvent yourself. It also teaches you to look beyond the horizon and realize all the possibilities you can achieve in life.
7. Traveling increases productivity.
Working all the time can drain you mentally and physically. When this happens, your productivity decreases. According to Harvard Business Review, traveling helps increase your productivity. That said, it’s crucial to make use of those vacation days! Go, take a leave, and travel. Not only will it help increase your productivity, but it also allows you to reset, refresh, and improve your overall mental health.
8. Traveling helps you stay fit.
As you travel to different parts of the state (or world), you will be doing a lot of walking and even running. Studies proved that physical exercises help boost the production of serotonin, which helps in elevating your moods. Traveling offers you the opportunity to do plenty of physical activities like hiking, trekking, camping, swimming, kayaking, and many others. Plus, seeing beautiful sceneries while traveling gives you more energy!
9. Traveling with people you love helps you meet your need for love and belongingness.
We all need to belong and be loved, and according to Maslow’s hierarchy of psychological conditions, these are important for our well-being. Traveling with your loved ones is one of the ways that you can meet this need. Through shared experiences and bonding, you will feel that sense of belongingness.
Book That Trip!
The pandemic limited our options to travel out of the country, but don’t worry, you can still travel in different parts of the states as long as you follow the health protocols required. If you haven’t thought about traveling, do it now. It’s not too late to check traveling off your bucket list! Besides, what’s good for your body is also good for your mind, and traveling offers both. You will be surprised at how traveling affects your mental health once you are there. So book that trip, and enjoy a good getaway!