#NurseLife

A Few Tips To Land Your First Nursing Job as a New Grad!
April 30, 2021

A Few Tips To Land Your First Nursing Job as a New Grad!

It’s that time of the year, or time of your life, or time of your choice where you finally begin looking for a nursing job! But first thing’s first, congratulations on making it this far! It is an extremely remarkable achievement to make it to this point, as nursing school is no easy feat. You made it through late nights, exams, clinicals, maybe even a few tears (hehe), and more – so celebrate! 

Now let’s begin! 

The process of applying for a nursing job varies from person to person. One may want to use prior to graduating nursing school, while others may want to wait until after writing the NCLEX exam. Some may want to apply to RN Residency programs, while others may want to go through traditional orientation programs directly. The options and possibilities are endless! 

My journey involved applying for a nursing residency program I was interested in two weeks prior to graduating, where I was offered a position a few days before graduating. Thus, the choice of when to apply is unique to you! 

 

Here are a few tips I found beneficial while applying for jobs as a former nursing student: 

  1. Begin by reflecting. Think about what kind of nursing experience you would like to get into and reflect on your previous clinical experiences to see if you enjoyed a specialty. It helps to have a realistic idea of what kind of position you’d like to apply for. 
  2. Do research. Based on your reflection, begin researching the position that you are interested in as a new grad nurse (or as an upcoming new grad). Think about whether you’d like to apply for an RN role directly or if you would like to go through a nursing residency route.
  3. Job Search. Once you have an idea of the position you are interested in, begin looking for jobs specific to your interest – and take NOTE of their qualifications. In general, write down what you need to have to apply for the positions. It also helps to see if you qualify for those positions. A lot of the time, job qualifications can include “one year of related work experience,” but don’t let this keep you from applying for the position. This is when your clinical experience comes into play. 
  4. Revamp/organize your resume. Reach out to your school’s career services (if offered). A lot of the time, they offer resume feedback on how to improve your resume. OR you could reach out to your guidance counselor/professor for resume feedback. OR you could look up online resources (even through IG/Youtube) on ways you can improve your resume/make it stand out!
  5. Apply! Once you know which type of position you’re interested in, go ahead and apply and hit that submit button (along with all the information they need, such as your resume, cover letter, and any qualified certifications)!  
  6. Prepare yourself for the job interview. I recommend looking up “common new graduate nurse interview questions” and practicing answering those questions. You can even watch online videos on how to prepare yourself for a nursing job interview. Other critical key tips are to: learn as much as you can about your potential employer, arrive on time (or be virtually online on time), dress for success, stay true to yourself/be courteous, ask questions, and thank them for the opportunity and time! Another helpful thing to remember is to reflect on your previous clinical experience (I think it will help with clinical scenarios that may come up during the interview).  

 

Overall, give it your very best! This part of your nursing journey is simply another stepping stone, so don’t feel rushed and go at your own pace. You know what is best for you. 

Although it may not be much, I hope this little post was of help to you. These were some of the few things that helped me in my journey, but reach out to your peers, mentors, and even professors for more help and guidance. Best of luck, I believe in you!

Love, Annika Grace 

 

Written by: Annika Grace

Instagram: @caffeinatedscrubs

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Healthy Snack Ideas for a Shift at the Hospital/Clinical:
April 23, 2021

Healthy Snack Ideas for a Shift at the Hospital/Clinical:

We’ve all been there - you get home late from the hospital, you have to be back in 8 hours, and the last thing you want to do is prepare food for your next shift. The benefits of prepping snacks and healthy meals at home outweigh the negatives. 

Cost: Healthy food is available for purchase at hospital cafeterias is usually expensive - I know, because last week I spent $6.00 on a fruit cup. So, let’s say I buy a fruit cup four days a week - that totals $24.00, and in a month, I would be spending $96.00. Even though I’m making a healthy food choice, I would be able to prepare fruit cups at home for a month for a fraction of the cost. 

Access: It seems every second day, the break room is full of snacks and treats that staff or management have brought in to boost morale. As much as we all enjoy cookies, doughnuts, and all the good stuff - these items are not going to provide you enough brainpower to get through your shift; therefore, you may have a few more treats than planned if you’re feeling hungry. Bringing snacks from home allows you to fill up on nutritional food and have room for a small staff room treat before heading back on the floor!

Time: Your break is only so long, and I like to spend them sitting and resting my feet! If you don’t prep food at home, you’ll find yourself spending half of your break standing in line and not even having time to enjoy your meal before running back to the unit. Yes, it does take a little time to prepare snacks at home, but you don’t have to rush yourself, and when you get in the habit of doing it, it will become easier!

I’ve compiled a list of all my favorite clinical/work snacks that are easy to prepare and taste delicious! Most of these ideas can be pre-portioned on your days off; that way, you can quickly toss them in your lunch bag on the way out the door!

Carrot Sticks with Hummus

Protein Bars/Granola Bars

Apple Slices and Peanut Butter

English Muffins/Bagels

Cheese Strings

Homemade Oatmeal Chocolate Muffins

Greek Yogurt

Air Popped Popcorn

Rice Cakes

Nuts/Trailmix

Fresh Fruit

Hard Boiled Eggs


Most of these food items contain high carbohydrate or protein levels, giving you the energy and brainpower you need to have a great shift and be in a good mood! Because let’s be honest, no one wants a hangry nurse!


Happy Snacking!

Written by: Holly Peacock

hollyInstagram: babynurse



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How I Plan to Study for NCLEX | Schedule & Resources
April 16, 2021

How I Plan to Study for NCLEX | Schedule & Resources

I have taken the NCLEX twice and have not passed successfully but I truly believe that the third time’s a charm! (That is a blog for another time!) Through those times of studying for the dready NCLEX exam, I have discovered many resources to use to prepare myself for the big day. Studying does come with a good, healthy mentality, so knowing that you have been taught everything you need to know and learning those test-taking strategies will be a fantastic combination to beat the beast that is NCLEX. Here is the study schedule that I plan to follow for my next attempt at NCLEX & the resources I plan to use. 

Day of NCLEX Studying:

0600: Wake up & take a few deep breaths to start the day!

0630-0700: Meditate + do my workout for the day <3

0700-1030: STUDY TIME! Reviewing content from Remar VT & Mark Klemik Audios/Notes (Using the Pomodoro Method)** 30-minute study sessions with a 5-10 minute break per session **

1030-1100: Eat a small snack to refuel!

1100-1200: Review concepts from the morning

1200-1300: LUNCHTIME!

1300-1500: Go through a 50-75 practice question assessment through Archer Q-Bank

1500-1700: Understand and review the questions I got wrong with the rationales

1700-Night: No more studying, relax and be proud of your study session for the day :)

For the resources mentioned, Remar Virtual Trainer is an NCLEX-RN, and PN NCLEX review for individuals that want to refresh their nursing mind with the content learned during nursing school. It is a hefty price to pay that includes a review workbook and a study schedule, and videos to go along. Also included is a “Quick Facts for NCLEX.”guide with (as the title says) quick and straightforward high-yield topics that could be expected on the NCLEX exam.

Another resource that I recommend for test-taking strategies is listening to Mark Klemik. Mark Klemik is an ex-writer for the NCBSN who is responsible for producing the NCLEX questions/exams. His audios provide easy mnemonics and tricks to answer NCLEXstyle questions better. He also has available private tutoring and online video sessions for people to participate in.

Lastly, the Archer Q-Bank is my preference in testing my knowledge and practicing for the big exam. Many people use U-World but as a person who has taken the exam twice now, paying for a U-World subscription is not ideal. Archer Review provides asimilar format from U-World, which is the exact format of the NCLEX using vagueness of questions that can better prepare you for the exam. Subscriptions for the Q-Banks are less than $100, depending on how long you want to practice questions. They also have a content review that you can purchase as a combo at a discounted price!

The most extensive advice I can give anyone who plans to take NCLEX soon: Do NOT overwhelm yourself with too many resources. That was my mistake initially; Now I’ve done my research on the resources that I prefer, and you should do the same! Whatever you use, it’s all about taking your time to read the question and answer choices to see what the question is truly asking. Mastering that will help you kick the NCLEX’ butt!

 

Happy Studying to you all!

You are made for this! You WILL pass NCLEX! You WILL be an RN!

 

Written by: Kayla Del Mundo

Instagram: Kayla_delmundo

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Taking Care of Your Mental Wellbeing While in Nursing School!
April 09, 2021

Taking Care of Your Mental Wellbeing While in Nursing School!

DISCLAIMER: This is not medical advice, just my own experience. If you think you may be struggling with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, etc., please consult your physician.


It is no secret that nursing school is extremely stressful. There are deadlines, clinical hours, exams, papers, and seemingly endless amounts of information responsible for knowing. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed or anxious while trying to navigate through the experience. On top of the expected stresses that nursing school brings, we have been switched to virtual learning for a year due to the global pandemic, thus creating more stress, pressure, and responsibility for the students. Having to navigate through the added stresses of the pandemic and nursing school has been a unique experience, and there was no handbook given to understand how to cope and what to expect. I have personally struggled with anxiety and depression since I was in my pre-teen years, and it is always present in my life, sometimes more prevalent than others. Learning ways that work for me to cope with these things has helped me tremendously.

These are some of the things that have helped me cope with my mental health throughout my nursing school time. The top thing that I do to maintain a good balance is taking breaks and being kind to myself. It is easy to fall into the pattern of feeling like you “should” be studying or getting ahead whenever you have free time. I have learned that every single waking moment doesn’t (and shouldn’t) belong to nursing school. Having a good school/life balance is an integral part of not feeling consumed or overwhelmed with nursing school. Second, I have a good support system. I wouldn’t consider myself overly extroverted; however, I always get classmates’ phone numbers and reach out to them when it comes to school. I have since built an incredibly supportive group of fellow students with whom I can vent, ask questions and give/receive support. It is difficult to form your “group” during the pandemic; however, I know this last year would have been much more difficult without them. Third, I have created a space that is specifically dedicated to studying and schoolwork. I don’t study in bed and try to make sure that it is a quiet, peaceful place. This allows me to separate “class” from “home” and ensure that I can give each one the attention it deserves. Lastly, self-care is essential. Self-care may mean different things to different people. For me, it is eating well, taking time off, going outside, taking bubble baths, and watching my favorite shows.

There are many different ways to cope with the stresses and pressure of nursing school. It is important to determine which of these ways works to manage the negative effects that we may be feeling. Many resources may help you to cope with these things as well. Make sure to reach out to your friends and family and utilize your campus resources if you notice that you are struggling.

Written by: Kym Wisniewski

Instagram: kay_bsntobe

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Practicing Self-Care in Nursing School!
April 02, 2021

Practicing Self-Care in Nursing School!

Many nursing students thrive on staying busy, constantly filling up their planners with checklists, and maybe downing a coffee on hand. I know I did! Sometimes, we get so caught up with trying to accomplish so many things at once that we don’t realize how much of a toll this “need-to-get-things-done” mindset has on us. In other words, we forget about balance. 

Nursing school in itself is already hard. From classes to exams, to projects, to labs, to clinicals, to preceptorships – it’s almost as if we’re wired to function “on-the-go.” Often, many students find themselves in a position where their life becomes centered around nursing school and that they have no time for other things – but this doesn’t have to be the case. This is when self-care comes in. As a profession that seeks to provide care for others, I think it is so important to remind ourselves that we have to take care of ourselves first before taking care of others. That said, here are some of my self-care tips:

  • Determine what self-care looks like to you. Self-care is unique to each person. Knowing what makes you feel good, de-stressed, and happy is a great place to start! Make a list and write down all the things that you enjoy. For me, self-care included binging TV shows that I loved (like The Office, New Girl, and Parks and Rec), talking to my loved ones (video chat/phone call), cooking homemade meals, taking long showers, and naps. LOVE naps! 
  • Understand that it is okay to set aside time for yourself. Because one can be so used to constantly reviewing or studying or always doing something, you must understand that it is okay to make time for yourself. Do not feel guilty about taking time to care for yourself. 
  • Schedule in your self-care. Yup! Write down your plan for self-care in your planner or calendar. This could be scheduling, getting your nails done or meeting your friend for lunch to catch-up. Scheduling it in means you have decided to make time for it – so follow through with it. 
  • Say “no” more often. This is easier said than done but learning to say “no” more often makes the difference. This can mean saying “no” to picking up a shift if you work or saying “no” to something you are uncomfortable doing. It keeps you from constantly overloading yourself, and it also helps with your mental health by allowing you to put yourself first. 
  • Practice positive self-talk. This practice has made the biggest difference in my mental health and my self-care. The things that we tell ourselves will either encourage and motivate us or limit us. Some ways to provide ourselves with positive self-talk is to: be grateful, visualize your success, not fear failure, and surround yourself with positive affirmations. 
  • Take care of your body. We only have one body, so we should take care of it. Rest, eat, exercise – however, caring for your body works best for you. 

These are just a few things that have helped me throughout nursing school! Although it may not include all aspects of self-care, I hope that it still helps someone think a little more about incorporating self-care into their school-life routine. Remember, one of the most important relationships you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. Put yourself at the top of your to-do list, and the rest will fall into place. 

Comment down some of your favorite self-care tips!!!

Love, Annika Grace

 

Written by: Annika Grace

Instagram: @caffeinatedscrubs



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Networking: The Importance of Building YOUR Tribe in Nursing School!
March 26, 2021

Networking: The Importance of Building YOUR Tribe in Nursing School!

During our nursing school journeys, we have heard many things about success in school and success in our future careers. Throughout my clinical experiences, I had the opportunity to shadow and meet so many incredible nurses who had great tips and tricks along with advice. But one piece of advice I will never forget I received from a nurse I had shadowed for a day, "Go ahead and keep building YOUR tribe; the earlier, the better." Hmm… that is an odd statement, and I thought about it all day. I already have my tribe- all my friends and family? What does she even mean? 

Fast forward to my final quarter in nursing school, and one day as I sat filling out applications for graduate positions, cover letters, reading over letters of recommendations. Taking the time to reflect on my journey truly, like a ton of bricks, finally hit me. Just because I already had a "tribe" didn't mean it was done growing. 

Remember, as a kid, hear your parents say, "it takes a village." Well, this is how I think of building a tribe. Yes, do not get me wrong, your friends and family will always be your number one support system!! They are the base and foundation of your tribe. But, never forget about those you met along the way that has helped or may one day help you in your journey. Your professors, the nurses you meet or shadow at clinical, the preceptors, your final rotation, your fellow nursing classmates! Think about it, what if one day one of those individuals interviews you for a job? Helps you find or land that dream job? Teaches you a concept or trick that you carry through your next 30+ years of nursing? 

With every encounter, remember, you are building YOUR tribe. If there is someone you connect with, see if they would make a good fit! Introduce yourself, make a great first impression, ask questions, be present and engaged, be willing to help!! Those little things will make an everlasting impression on someone- and they will remember you don't you worry!! Some may want to keep in contact and want to get help with their future endeavors! They will want to be a part of your tribe- they want to watch you succeed and do great things! 

There will come a time when you may need help with a job or something like getting a letter of recommendation. How amazing of a feeling to be able to send a quick email or have a phone call and have that help at the tip of your fingers? To have the support behind you at all times? When a future employer asks, "What do you know about ___ (put your name here), they have nothing but great things to say!

I don't know about you, but I would be nowhere without my tribe!

 

Written by: Haley Goff

Instagram: nursehaleyy



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Advice I Wish I Knew Before Nursing School!
March 19, 2021

Advice I Wish I Knew Before Nursing School!

Nursing school feels like FOREVER for me! I graduated from my accelerated BSN-RN nursing program in August 2020 and am still studying to take my NCLEX-RN exam. During this self-reflection and nights of studying, I have gathered a list of things that I wish I knew before starting nursing school.

  • Determine what kind of learner you are. The different types of learning would be audio, visual, kinesthetic. Within the first 3 terms of nursing school, I learned better visually with pictures and video lectures. It is quite hard for me to keep my head in a book when studying, so I learn by watching hours and hours of Youtube resources such as SimpleNursing.com, Registered Nurse RN, Level Up RN, and Nursing.com. I would have to say that those Youtube videos truly helped me pass nursing school successfully.
  • Nursing school comes with sacrifice. Nursing school is no joke, and many people are putting in a lot of time and money to reach that goal of being an LPN or RN. It is important to know that you will struggle to balance time for yourself, your family, friends, a social life, fitness, etc., but it is important to prioritize your time wisely because all of those are possible.
  • You will cry A LOT. But that is completely OKAY! I can recall all those late-night breakdowns I had before a test or just over built-up stress/overwhelmed. I am here to tell you that it is completely normal to let those frustrations out through tears because it’s a healthy coping way. What matters is after that cry, you pick yourself back up and be/do better than before.
  • It is NOT a competition. I mean that many of the people in my cohort tended to fight and be the greatest in our class and make that their mission. It should not be like that. No one is ever going to be “the best nurse.” What makes you the best nurse is learning from your failures, picking yourself back up, and continuing to keep your heart in the right place, contributing to the future of healthcare and care for those who need us.
  • Nursing school will change you for the better. I never thought I was good enough to do something as bold as to be a nurse. But as the program went on, I started to realize that I am capable of everything and anything that I set my mind to. You will be pushed out of your comfort zone during clinicals when you are asked to put in an IV for the first time or do a procedure you only practiced in a skills lab but on a real human being. Change can be scary, but it can be one of the most memorable things that could happen in your life.

No matter if you are thinking of applying to nursing school, pre-nursing, or a current nursing student right now, know that whatever advice you get before, during, and after nursing school can be advised that you can pass down to help future nurses when you become an RN. 

 

Written by: Kayla Del Mundo

Instagram: Kayla_delmundo

 

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Helpful Tips and Tricks for a Successful Nursing Interview:
March 12, 2021

Helpful Tips and Tricks for a Successful Nursing Interview:

We all know how beneficial it is to land a healthcare job while we are in nursing school. Whether it be a health care aide or securing an undergraduate employed nursing position. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview for a maternity unit student position. Of course, I was scouring the internet for all the interview tips I could find. Now, I want to share the ones I found the most important with you! I will be covering a list of questions you may be asked in the interview, questions you can ask, a few other helpful tips.

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How to Prepare for a New Session of Nursing School!
March 05, 2021

How to Prepare for a New Session of Nursing School!

I am a nursing student in an accelerated BSN program that runs year-round, so we are preparing to begin a new session every eight weeks. While everyone has their own method of setting themselves up for success, I believe I have found a way that works well for me! Since we don’t get many extended breaks throughout our program, I find it extremely important to take those few days to find a balance between resting, rejuvenating, and doing some light work for the upcoming classes. 

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What is Nursing Judgment and how do I get it?
January 05, 2021

What is Nursing Judgment and how do I get it?

Nursing judgment is a vague term. I’ve heard it used to describe times when nurses bring a situation to a doctor’s attention and thereby avert a crisis. Sometimes it’s not executing an order because we know it will cause more harm than good. Is it a gut feeling or book smarts? What is this power and how do I get it?!?

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F is for FAMILY!
December 26, 2020

F is for FAMILY!

Dealing with the *very* involved patient family is a nursing rite of passage, like being hit with [insert mystery body fluid], your first code, and holding your pee for 10+ hours. Welcome to nursing!

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Dear America, You need to be nice!
October 20, 2020

Dear America, You need to be nice!

The following blog was a highly viral article written by our Founder that was picked up by the HuffPost and went global in June 2017.  Working as a nurse is HARD.  And we want to show you that we've been there, we relate, and we're so happy to work beside you all going into this demanding world. 

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Your First Code
October 04, 2020

Your First Code

Being nervous is good, it means you care. But learning how to control the nerves is the most important part.

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