BACK TO SCHOOL
RUTGERS SENATE OF NURSING
FROM ONE NURSE TO ANOTHER: THE STUDENT ADVICE COLUMN B
melissa behmer, senior ADVICE FOR SENIOR YEAR OR BEFORE SENIOR YEAR: GET A JOB IN HEALTHCARE ANYWHERE.
stephanie huang, BS, RN
ALUMNUS’ ADVICE FOR SENIOR YEAR & YOUR FIRST YEAR AS A NURSE May is a great time of celebration. For nursing students, it means the completion of 4 or more years of rigorous coursework and clinicals. It means, “You made it!” However, it also means that it is time for the culmination of the past four years to be evaluated by one single standardized test: the NCLEX. As a nursing student, this is what you’ve been working toward for the past four years. This determines that you are finally qualified to practice safely as a nurse. There are many review courses out there that can help you prepare for this licensure exam. Whether you take a course or not, and which one, is based on your personal preference and study methods. What is necessary, however, is dedicated time to studying and doing practice questions. All I can say is, seriously, take it seriously! Many people told me that I couldn’t start applying to jobs until I got my license number. Is this true? Yes and No. There are many new graduate RN programs that would accept candidates on the contingency that he or she obtains their license prior to the start date. These programs are competitive and the deadlines are typically very far in advance. I would advise juniors in the
fall of senior year to start looking for these kinds of new grad programs. This jumpstart could truly help you land the job that you want! On the contrary, it is also true that you need your license number to be eligible for a new grad program. This is because many hospitals, especially in New Jersey, require that you first be hired into the institution prior to placing you in a new grad RN program. The key is to do your research! A lot of times, it’s about whom you know and not what you know. Be sure to network as much as you can throughout your time at school. Take advantage of your resources, including your professors, clinical instructors, and opportunities such as conferences and professional organizations. Your involvement will help you stand out. Underclassmen, a great way to get your foot in the door is to obtain a job in the hospital, as a unit clerk or patient care technician. Though it is hard work, you also gain valuable skills in the clinical setting, as well as have an opportunity to know your manager and secure a position in the facility following graduation. So after all these months of post graduation anxiety, your new job finally arrives. What
now? How is it to be a new nurse? I must be honest: the first four months of work was one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced. I had six weeks of orientation, and then was on my own. It felt as though I had learned nothing in the four years of schooling, and believe me, I was a big nerd. I want to say to you, it’s okay! Take the time to go through the “nursing tasks.” You may feel like you’re simply staying above water. Don’t worry. You will soon piece together everything you learned from school, as you go along. The critical thinking, the time management, and patient advocacy will come in time. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and see your potential. These are the people who will tell you when you need improvement and will tell you when you’re doing well. Know that it is perfectly okay and preferred that you ask questions. Ask as much as you can, never lose that eagerness to learn. A nurse never stops learning. You’ve had an excellent education start, and it’s only going to get better from here! Congratulations to the class of 2015 and good luck on all your endeavors.
april ancheta, senior
5 TIPS FOR JUNIOR YEAR SUCCESS Junior year. The real start to your nursing education. Regarded by many to be the hardest undergraduate year, I am writing to tell you that this statement is true. But despite being so mentally demanding and at times emotionally taxing, this year can actually be one of your most rewarding if you just follow a few simple tips. Junior year may be hard, but it is doable. Just keep your eye on the prize!
Buy an NCLEX test preparation book! What’s the one thing standing between us and becoming RNs (other than obtaining our BSNs)? The NCLEX! So you need to start studying for the exam as soon as possible. All of the questions that you will have the rest of your undergraduate years will be written NCLEX-style so why not get ahead of the game and while studying your PowerPoints also go through some practice questions? Even if you do one question per day this will make a big difference in the long run.
Practice your lab skills! And I mean really practice them. The lab is where you really will be able to hone in on your core nursing skills of performing health assessments, giving medications, inserting Foley catheters, etc. Really try and spend a lot of time practicing in the lab either by yourself or with the staff lab instructors on each campus. If you do you’ll feel so much more confident going into clinical.
Try and get experience! Oh don’t we all love that word experience? But having experience is so important. It doesn’t matter if it’s a job or if it’s volunteering—just find yourself some way into a hospital so you know even more about how a hospital even works! This will enable you to “think” more like a nurse, which will definitely help you when answering test questions and when dealing with patients in clinical.
Be nice to your professors and clinical instructors! I mean you should be nice to everyone, but your professors/instructors your junior year are crucial to you landing a job when you graduate or to you scoring an externship the summer after your junior year so participate in class, smile, and be memorable.
be involved. Get involved! If you don’t, how else will you be able to stand out in an applicant pool of hundreds of new graduates who have all passed the NCLEX just like you? Get involved, and be active within your nursing community. There are really so many ways you can do so! Participate in volunteer events, run for some Student Senate offices, become a National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)/ RSNA member; the list goes on. Just do something!
IF OPPORTUNITY DOESN’T KNOCK, BUILD A DOOR rachel sison, junior WITH CLINICALS, I FORSEE I NEED BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT.
A GOAL IS A DREAM WITH A DEADLINE
subbashini neetam, sophomore
ADVICE FOR SOPHOMORES Coming into sophomore year, I was excited to say the least. According to numerous upperclassmen, sophomore year is supposed to be the easiest year out of all 4 years. Let me begin by stating this: it’s not. As depressing as that sounds, sophomore year was equally as hard as freshman year for me. While the material in the classes may be easier to understand, the amount of work is substantially larger. Classes such as microbiology and pathophysiology have an enormous amount of material to study…in an extremely short amount of time. As in 6 chapters…roughly 150 pages of a textbook…for one exam. I’m not going to sugar coat is- sophomore year is going to be hard and according to juniors and seniors, it’s only going to get harder. Nursing school is
inherently tough. There is no easy way around it. But it can also be the most amazing experience of your life. Take advantage of sophomore year and get involved in as much as you can take on. Join your class council, take advantage of your student senate, and voice your opinions. Join a club, take breaks, and most importantly, learn rather than simply study. The occupation we as students represent is an empowering one. Remember that everything you learn in these classes will affect our future as nurses. Do not cram for all of your examsit could affect someone’s life in the future. Remember that everything you do has an effect- do not make careless decisions as it will most certainly affect you either now or in the near future. Surround yourself with
other nursing students- you’ll need it. When you spend a majority of your nights in the library studying 16 chapters of pathophysiology while your other friends are out partying, you’ll need other nursing students to rant to about how you hate pathophysiology. Most of all, enjoy what you are doing and have fun while doing it. You will are in a field of work in which you directly can impact a person's life. Be confident in your decisions, learn from other upperclassman, and love what you learn. Don't spend every single day in the library- make sure you have a good balance. Enjoy your sophomore year and good luck!
katrina junior alana lai,enriquez, sophomore MAKE SURE YOU DON’T HAVE ABE GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM AS A FRESHMAN, AFRAID TO REACH OUT FOR BECAUSE THINGS ARE ONLY TO GOING TO GET HELP! IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT BREAK OUT HARDER OF YOUR FROM HERE. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO MAKES COMFORT ZONE, MEET NEW PEOPLE, AND BUILD ITSUPPORT UP, JUST MAKE SURE HAVE ONE. A SYSTEM OF YOU FRIENDS. PEER MENTORS are upperclassmen that are assigned to newly inducted freshmen mentees; they assist freshmen with the transition from the high school setting into the college mindset.
richie tran, junior
ADVICE FOR FRESHMEN Hello, future nurses. My name is Richie Tran and this coming fall of 2015, I will be a junior in the nursing program. I would like to say congratulations to all of you on your acceptance into Rutgers University School of Nursing. As an uprising junior, I would like to offer a piece of advice that can help you adapt and transition into college more smoothly. If there is one major thing that I learned from being at Rutgers, it is to never give up when the time gets rough. In the next four-years of your lives, you will most likely experience many challenges and setbacks that will cause a lot of
emotional distress. I am here to tell you that everything will be okay! Through personal experience of bombing an exam or missing due dates on paper assignments, it taught me what I needed to do in order to improve for the better. My failures helped shaped me to become the person I am today, which is a man who would never give up on his passion. So when you feel like giving up, remember these words. Always push yourself because no else is going to do it for you.
maria di diego, BS, RN
MOMS IN SCHOOL My name is Maria Di Diego and I am a nursing student, mom of 2 small children, wife and a nursing assistant. My biggest struggle was maintaining the balance among my different roles in life. Despite my struggles, I have managed to successfully finish nursing school with honors. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my amazing husband and my friends at school. Nursing school was as hard as everyone said it was going to be, but it was not impossible. First, I had to learn how I learned best. I made my monthly planner my best friend
throughout these past four years: making daily checklist kept me in check on what needed to get done. I tried to take advantage of the time at school to try to get as much school work done so that when I got home I could focus on my family and house duties like cooking, cleaning, laundry, kids’ homework, and their baths. Whatever it took, I made it work. I wanted and deserved this degree. I remember I couldn’t wait to walk on commencement in my graduating gown in front of my kids. I did it!
michelle bradford, BS, RN
KIDS WITH JOBS Whether you are a freshman or a senior, find some way to get your foot in the door! This means becoming employed by an institution that you could see yourself working in as a nurse in the future. Landing your first nursing job is all about connections. A nurse manager is more likely to hire his/her tech who knows the floor and has direct patient experience over someone outside of the hospital. Further, a nurse manager is more likely to hire his/her tech than his/her unit clerk, who does not have direct patient experience. Point blank: go out and apply. If you are a freshman, either volunteer so your face becomes known when you apply for a position within the facility, or apply! Usually, facilities want nursing students to complete at least one clinical rotation before hiring them on as a patient/clinical care technician. So before then, apply for a unit clerk position, patient transport, dietary aide, ...anything to get your foot in the door. Personally, I started out as a nurse extern at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, and was immediately hired on as a clinical care technician when the program was over. I have worked there for almost a year now, and I can speak from experience that being a tech prepares you to be a nurse in many ways more than clinical or nursing school lectures ever could. As a tech, you are responsible for your own tasks and actions, you are under time constraints, you get practice communicating with patients, you see the role of the nurse because you work with the nurses directly, and you learn in a hands-on practical setting. Lots of times if nurses know you are a nursing student,
they will even take time to teach you here and there. I work on a geriatric medical-surgical floor, which is high volume, fast-paced, and has patients who present with a wide array of problems. You begin to learn common interventions for the types of patients on your floor, and you can begin to expect what their plans of care will be, e.g. patients presenting with a GI bleed will immediately be NPO, may require NGT with suction, will have an endoscopy to locate or fix the bleed, will advance from clear liquids to a regular diet as tolerated, and then may go home. Even though I am not a float tech, I highly recommend applying for a float position, meaning you will work every single unit of the hospital at one point of another, because you will gain exposure to all kinds of patients in all areas of specialty. This may also help you to decide what kind of nurse you want to be. I also recommend working in a hospital that allows you to perform EKG’s and blood draws. RWJUH Somerset allows techs to perform EKG’s, but if you want to be able to perform blood draws, I recommend applying to RWJUH New Brunswick or within the Atlantic Health System (Morristown, Overlook, Chilton, Newton). Get as much experience as you can, and make connections with your nurses and managers! You will be the first they look to when hiring, so do not take these kinds of opportunities for granted! (Even if you do make more money at your waitressing job.)
DON’T CALL IT A DREAM CALL IT A PLAN
RUTGERS/UMDMJ MERGER allowed for Rutgers to adopt a series of new programs; in response, the Rutgers School of Nursing is now ranked in the top 25 best nursing schools nationally.
PROGRAMS AT RUTGERS include the four year BSN, two year accelerated BSN, RN to BSN, masters programs, postmasters programs, doctorate programs, and PhD programs.
DI•VER•SI•TY: THE ART OF THINKING INDEPENDENTLY TOGETHER
justin mercado, BS, RN
At first, being a male nursing student in a program that is regarded in the fashion that Rutgers is, often made me think about how I was set aside by default in a unique way. I actually somewhat enjoyed that sense of going against what seemed to be the norm. That is not to say that I don't consider being a male nurse something unique or
In nursing school, students are shown a sneak peak of very select areas of nursing, such as medical-surgical, pediatric, labor and delivery, postpartum, operating room, psychiatric, geriatric, critical care, community health, school nursing, and some leadership roles (Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Chief Nursing Officer, Midwife, Nurse Manager/ Director). However, there are so many other branches of nursing that are rarely talked about, which I feel it is important for students to note when thinking about careers. Gastrointestinal nurses aid in procedures specific to the gastrointestinal tract, such as colonoscopies through the rectum or through ostomies in order to find the origin of a bleed. Radiological and special procedure nurses aid radiologists in very unique procedures such as insertion of PICC lines, central lines, and nephrostomies; cryoablations, biopsies, lumbar punctures, and embolizations. Forensic nurses show up to crime scenes, hospitals, and specialized clinics to assess sexual and physical assault, act as a liaison between medicine and the law in court rooms, and even replace medical examiners in some states, as nurse coroners/death investigators. Cath lab nurses aid in using diagnostic equipment to visualize the arteries and chambers of the heart, as well as treating stenosis or abnormalities found. Clinical nurse educators seek to keep nurses up to date on the most recent evidence regarding certain phenomena, as well as to educate patients who have just been diagnosed with diabetes, for example. Telemetry nurses specialize in cardiac medical-surgical ailments, while orthopaedic nurses specialize in treating patients with hip and knee replacements. There are also traveling nurses, who can stay within the country or venture internationally within a specialty of nursing
BEING A “MURSE”
special now, but the feeling of being different has since faded very much now especially since I have encountered quite a few male nurses at work and during clinical. The only remnant of such a feeling is that there is only a women's bathroom on the first floor of our building but that is for a whole different kind of newsletter.
michelle bradford, BS, RN
ODD NURSING JOB
through an agency. A nurse can also work in an assisted living facility, rehabilitation center, doctor’s office, and within the community via clinics or in the home. Red Cross nurses flock to disaster zones and treat patients according to triage; they also continue to treat and oversee patients in disaster shelters. Public health nurses aid in policy-making and the overall health of an aggregate population through helping to pass new laws or by improving the environment. Believe it or not, these are just a few of the branches I can come up with off the top of my head. If you can name a facility, region, specialty, ailment, or population, I guarantee there is a branch of nursing that covers it!
USNEWSTODAY ranks Rutgers-Newark as the nation’s most diverse campus; students are most likely to encounter students of another racial or ethic group other than their own on campus.
katrina enriquez, junior pak chau, sophomore MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEMMORE WHY NURSING? IT’S BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING BECAUSE THINGS ONLY GOING TO GET HARDER REWARDING THAN ARE SEEING SOMEONE RECOVER FROM FROM HERE.OR IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO MAKES AN ILLNESS INJURAY AND KNOWING YOU IT UP, JUST MAKE SURE YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR LIFE.ONE.
THE NEXT RUSON GMB WILL BE ON 09.14.15
RUTGERS SENATE OF NURSING
PRESIDENT AT LARGE SURAYA ALMOSBEH SUALMO@SCARLETMAIL RUSON VICE PRESIDENT REBECCA LINTAG RAL186@SCARLETMAIL RUSON SECRETARY RACHEL SISON RNS66@SCARLETMAIL RUSON TREASURER KEVIN LO KCL53@SCARLETMAIL
COMMUNITY OUTREACH COORDINATOR MOLLY NAFT MOLLYNAFt@GMAIL
UNIVERSITY SENATOR PAK CHAU PAKWACHAU@GMAIL
STUDENT AFFAIRS REPRESENTATIVE (NB) JESICA LEE JESICA.G.LEE@GMAIL STUDENT AFFAIRS REPRESENTATIVE (NWK) MILLICENT MOSERAY MILLYANDB@GMAIL
ACADEMIC AFFAIR REPRESENTATIVE JEFFREY DYNOF JEFFREY.DYNOF@RUTGERS