I am a proud graduate of Boston College’s Connell School of Nursing class of 2011. During my undergraduate career, I participated in the KILN program, wherein I gained valuable skills that transformed me into the confident and exceptional leader I am today. Subsequently, I obtained my license as a registered nurse in Connecticut. The year 2015 will mark my third anniversary as an employee at Bridgeport Hospital where I am a Professional Nurse on the cardiology/telemetry unit. Last year was extremely exciting for me because I was invited to attend Bridgeport’s Employee Recognition dinner for leaving a memorable impression on numerous patient clienteles. In addition, my strong advocacy for healing through bundled care initiatives led me to become a council member for the Help Us Support Healing Campaign. Lastly, I was recently nominated and got accepted as a member of the Bridgeport Hospital’s Nursing Shared Governance Quality & Safety Council, which oversees quality and patient safety initiatives consistent with established state, federal and regulatory standards. Regarding future endeavors, my experience at Boston College’s CSON encouraged me to practice excellence through higher education. Thus, I am researching a few programs to obtain a master’s of science in nursing degree.
Throughout my undergraduate career, I received numerous advice about being a new nurse, which I would like to share with all of you, especially those who are about to enter the workforce.
- After determining what unit you will be working on, gain a thorough understanding of your unit. For example, know where things are located, review polices, and know common meds, labs with ranges, test/procedures, and patient population. This will take time but it will help you to anticipate patients’ needs and avoid possible short-comings.
- After becoming familiar with your unit, learn to manage your time by staying organized and flexible. Honestly, I still go to work at least 30 minutes early to review my assigned patient list and their plan of care.
- Develop a written format of recording information. Do not rely on memory because forgetting a task can adversely affect the patient directly or delay their plan of care.
- Never assume; always ask.
- Make compassion a habit by establishing trust with your co-workers as well as patients.
- You will meet numerous patients with differing needs but one commonality: they are human beings trusting you to take care of them during a vulnerable time. Therefore, maintain professionalism by always providing quality patient-centered care, properly addressing your patients, and inquiring about their preferences.
- Overall, striving to be a good nurse is a common desire but challenge yourself to be a better nurse. How? By remembering to love yourself first. Maintain compliance with credentials (licensure, CE’s credits, competence workshops, etc). Get involved in hospital organizations. Maintain your health. Stay current with healthcare events. Value your relationships (family, friends, etc). The list goes on but stay calm, humble, and have faith.
I would like to end this post with one more advice to current nursing students. Learning should be synonymous to breathing. Absolutely LOVE what you do. Let the lives of others inspire you so you can CONTINUE to love what you do!