While graduating from BC was one of the most exciting accomplishments of my life, it was also the most frightening. This is mainly in part of the big question, “what’s next?” Uncertainty about what I was going to do after graduation became a major stressor for me, as I constantly found myself not having an answer to this question each time someone would ask me. Yes, I knew that I had to pass my boards first, but what then? Like myself, I’m sure many of my graduating peers had the same concerns and most likely the upcoming graduates of May. My advice and hopefully this short snippet of my post-graduate life thus far will bring solace and hope for life post-graduation.
After conquering the NCLEX in early July, I still had no clue what field of nursing I would apply to. I knew that I had a strong interest in Women’s Health and gender related issues, but advice from all corners told me to first get experience from a Med-Surg floor. However, I knew that Med-Surg was not for me and that I would not have a valued experience if I were to obtain a job on that unit. It was important to me that I liked what I was doing so that my dedication could be shown in the care that I would provide. With my mind being made up, I began to apply to every women’s health clinic and every labor and delivery position I saw available, both online and in person. As the summer came to an end and September approached, I grew worrisome and downhearted because I had yet to hear from any of the positions I applied to. Slowly, my hopes dwindled and I started to broaden my job search to create more possibilities. It wasn’t until the middle of September that I finally received a call back from my first choice hospital requesting an interview for their labor and delivery unit, and soon after a job offer.
As a new graduate, adapting from the student role into the professional role was the most difficult for me. Making clinical decisions, communicating with other healthcare providers, and finding my voice were all challenges I initially faced but soon solidified my stance as I began to adjust. I found out what resources were available to me through my nurse educator, manager, and mentor and made sure to use those resources as means to become better equipped in the clinical setting.
All in all, while my beginning was a bit rough, after finding my ground and securing a job, things began to fall into place. My advice to the upcoming graduates is to never surrender hope. Finding a job for many of you will most definitely be a challenge, but the key is to stay positive and determined. Everything takes time, and like all things, in due you will get a job. Be hopeful, for I too am a living testament of what hope can do. If that advice isn’t enough, jut remember that the world will always be in need of nurses, and with that, you’re already one step closer.
Patience Marks, RN,BSN