A through Z Index  | Search  | Campus Directory  | Calendars Log In
About Holy Cross Admissions Academics Student Life Administration Athletics

Oh The Life of a new graduate RN!

April 10th, 2013 by Melissa Nelson '10

Hey everyone!!!!!!

The past couple of weeks have been very exciting! I started my first RN job. I am a Labor and Delivery nurse in one of the local city hospitals.  This hospital has over 4000 deliveries a year and is known for its specialty in high risk pregnancies.  It has been absolutely amazing! I have learned so much within the 5 weeks I have been there.

Being a new graduate RN, having support is essential to you being successful within your first year. I love the fact that my hospital is part of an accredited nurse residency program.  The length of nurse residency programs varies;however in my hospital it is for a full year.  The purpose of the nurse residency program is to help  transition a new graduate RN  from a novice learner to a competent provider.  During these nurse residency programs,  new graduate RNs ,like myself,  meet regularly with nurse educators and clinical nurse specialists where we can discuss various trials and tribulations that new RNs face once in the workforce.  We are taught about the importance of using evidence based practice in our nursing care. We are provided with additional opportunities to perfect our nursing & critical thinking skills. As well as being provided with resources and support to have a successful transition into nursing.I am so grateful to be apart of a nurse residency program. Being able to share my experiences with new RNs and learning from one another’s experience is beneficial, not only for  my practice, but for my wellbeing .

So as I mentioned before I am working on a Labor and Delivery floor. When you are new to practice and starting in a new speciality, you are given 12-15 weeks of orientation on the floor.  Orientation consists of attending a week long hospital orientation( depending if you are a new hire to the hospital system). The remaining portion of your orientation takes place on your floor. Whether you are a new RN or an experienced RN,  a preceptor is assigned to you . This preceptor is an RN who works on the floor. The preceptor takes you underneath his/her wing and pretty much shows you how to be an RN on that floor. Since I am a new nurse with no experience, my orientation is 15 weeks long.  If you are an experienced RN starting on a new floor, your orientation will usually be about 8 weeks. I am very grateful that my orientation is long! I have heard of other hospitals where orientation is only 8 weeks for a new RN!  Don’t get me wrong, this may work for some specialities, but for Labor and Delivery  8 weeks isn’t a lot. I think it is important that people understand that being a new to practice nurse,  hospitals must provide new graduate RNs with enough orientation because that is the key to have a successful 1st year as an RN. Nursing school does help however, it is your first RN job that truly teaches you how to be an RN.

My floor is amazing. My preceptor is fantastic and my co-workers are just AWESOME! I am very fortunate to be on a floor where they truly support new to practice RNs.  Working 12 hour shifts can be a bit tiresome, but the trade off is I get four days off!! I think my biggest issue now is just time management and soaking up all the information I am learning.  I know I must be patient and in due time everything will fall into place. However, I will say I do not regret my decision of coming into nursing. Being able to work in my speciality right away is a blessing and I am so grateful for that opportunity. I  LOVE MY JOB!!!!!

I am officially an RN!

March 3rd, 2013 by Melissa Nelson '10

Hey everyone!  I AM OFFICIALLY an RN!!!!!!! It is crazy to realize that I am that much closer to my dream of being a nurse-midwife! Let me tell you I have never been so anxiety ridden because of this NCLEX exam.  I have never studied so hard for an exam. I studied so hard I was dreaming of NCLEX exam questions :).

For those that are unfamiliar with the NCLEX, NCLEX is a computer adaptive exam that tests your nursing knowledge. You must past this exam in order to be considered a Registered Nurse(RN). If you do not pass you cannot work as an RN.  There is a total of 265 questions. The computer shuts off after it believes you have answered a certain amount of questions right. The exam will not shut off before 75 questions. I have some classmates where the computer shut off  right at 75 questions, some at 90/150 and even in the 200′s. We find out the results of our exam approximately 48 hours after the exam. However depending on the state, you can find out within 24 hours.

The hardest thing about the exam is waiting for those results. Luckily one of my friends was a doll and we went out to dinner that night to keep my mind off of the exam. However the following day at 8:30am, I found out I passed! Never ever have I felt so happy than seeing my name on the nursing board website :)   I must say PENN nursing really did prepare me  and as I look back at my BSN preparation, it was a great one!   :)

Melissa Nelson RN,BSN

Welcome to the new year!!!!

January 30th, 2013 by Melissa Nelson '10

Hey everyone!

I know I am late but welcome to 2013!!!!! The past couple of weeks has been a whirlwind for me! I am officially done with the BSN portion of my program :) It feels great to be done! However, the work just begins! In order to work as an registered nurse(RN), you must pass a licensing exam called the NCLEX-RN. Everyone must take this exam in order to have the RN initials added to your name.

I have secluded myself the last couple of weeks as aI prepare for this exam. Let’s just say that I am TIRED of seeing multiple choice questions!!!!  On the NCLEX there is a total of 265 questions( multiple choice, select all that apply, drug calculations and diagrams). The best way to prepare for this exam is to practice questions over and over. It does become mentally draining so breaks are definitely needed and are very important!!!!   However I must get back to studying. Will do another post shortly :)

The End is near!

November 29th, 2012 by Melissa Nelson '10

I am so excited I will be done with the first phase of my program(BSN)! It is insane how quickly this program went! All the great things I have learned about nursing has has really helped set my foundation as I plan to go on into midwifery!

My last semester of clinicals, also known as preceptorship, has been fantastic! I am on a women’s health floor that sees a variety of issues such as GYN/ONC, high risk antepartum and postpartum complications.  It has been amazing being on that floor and has definitely raised my awareness in regards to women health issues.

My preceptors have been fantastic and have taught me so much and given me the necessary tools needed in order for me to be an effective new graduate RN!  I am finally taking a full load of patients. I never thought I would but I did! Taking a full load has been great but also reinforces the importance of being organized and have good time management skills.

I am so excited about finishing the BSN portion of my program but equally as nervous about starting the MSN  program ! Until next time…..

Chaos is always found in your last semester

October 30th, 2012 by Melissa Nelson '10

Hey everyone!

It definitely has been awhile since I have posted. 5 more weeks until I am done with the BSN portion of my program.  It  is insane that I am one step closer to my MSN dream.  Out of all the clinical experiences I have had,  my senior leadership clinical is the best one to date!!!! This clinical is run as if I am a new grad RN on the floor. I start off with picking up one patient and eventually by the end of the semester I will (hopefully) be able to care for either 2/3rds of a patient’s load or a full load.

I am on a women’s health floor where I see a variety of cases. Our floor has gyn/oncology cases, surgical, high risk antepartum complications and postpartum complications.  I LOVE THIS FLOOR. It has been such an amazing experience and I am learning a lot not only clinically but the importance of being a proactive, patient advocating nurse.  Although the experience has been wonderful, as a student I have seen and dealt with a lot of difficult situation that always leave me perplexed at the end of my shift.

The best part of this clinical along with working as a nursing assistant in other hospital is I am piecing everything together. It is like a light bulb has gone off. All the pieces are finally forming a puzzle and to explain this feeling of excitement is hard to put into words.

Besides clinical everything has been going very well. Assignments are piling up and the dreaded decision of when to start studying for my NCLEX is creeping up! Overall, things had been great besides this Hurricane Sandy business! Fortunately we had Monday & Tuesday off and Philly did not get a  lot of damage.

Start of a new school year!

September 7th, 2012 by Melissa Nelson '10

Welcome Back everyone!!!!!!

I can’t believe that it is already September!!!! The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for me. I am a Graduate Associate (similar role as an RA) in the College House system at PENN. We had RA/GA training for about a week and then New Student Orientation(NSO) with the freshmen. Very hectic but all worth it. It was so nice to see the eager freshmen move in. It reminded me of HC move-in day and how parents are anxious as well as their children. NSO was amazing and Penn provides there students with various actitvities. One of my favorite events is when PENN rents out the Philadelphia Art Museum for the Freshmen. They are able to experience the art, good food and great dance music!  It is bittersweet for me as this is my last year in residence life  & housing. I have been involved in residence life since my sophomore year of College. I was an RA at HC for 3 years and have been a GA at PENN for now 3 years as well. I have learned so much about myself through my residence life experience and it definitely has given me invaluable leadership skills!

Freshmen Enjoying the dance party

View outside the Philly art museum. (The Made In America Concert was just the day before hence why you see cranes)

Summer is soon to be gone……..

August 14th, 2012 by Melissa Nelson '10

Hey everyone!

The past couple of weeks have been a bit hectic. Just finished up summer session. My community rotation was a good clinical overall. I definitely learned a lot and how important preventative medicine is to our society. We have 3 weeks off before we start up again. This will be nice to just relax and hang out with friends :)  I will miss the summer but I will not miss the Philadelphia HEAT!!!!!  This summer was just beyond hot!

Definitely looking forward to the next couple of weeks and this upcoming semester! This will be my last semester of the BSN portion of my program. I am super super excited!!! It is crazy how quickly this program flew! But it only means being one step closer to my ultimate goal-> MSN,CNM :)

I saw this beautiful mural as I was walking to clinical and wanted to share it with you! This is one of the many beautiful aspects of Philly !

Affordable Care Act

July 22nd, 2012 by Melissa Nelson '10

A couple of weeks ago an announcement was made about the Affordable Care Act(ACA) and that it passed. Since then many people including myself have been trying to understand and learn how the ACA will impact us. In class last week, our professors brought in a guest speaker from the National Physician Alliance who helped us to understand the impact of the ACA not only to USA residents but also  to the healthcare profession itself. It was interesting to learn exactly what this ACA is all about. In theory I think it is a good thing.

Healthcare should be a right not a privilege. Where is the dignity, when a child is unable to get care because of a medical condition? Where is the dignity when individuals have to choose whether they should live or die because they are unable to afford medical costs?  Don’t get me wrong, I think the US is scared because no one knows what the outcome will be or how this act will be financed. Will this ACA truly help US residents? Who knows but we shall see in the next couple of years when it goes into effect.

I have posted below a video that we saw in class that breaks down the ACA. Its really cool and interactive!      Check it out : Healthcare Reform Hits Main Street

Let’s focus on community!

July 3rd, 2012 by Melissa Nelson '10

We just started our community health rotation today and so far so good. I am looking forward to this rotation since we will be working in the West Philadelphia community. We will be working with a program that is similar to the PACE program. PACE stands for Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. They provide a numerous amount of services to the elder( ie Physical therapy, occupational therapy, dental and medical services to name a few) in order to increase their quality of life. The unique aspect of the program we are working with is that it is the only one that is run by a nursing school and is operated primarily by nurse practitioners.  I am looking forward in learning how this comprehensive program works and the benefits it has to the elderly population.  I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th!

Home Sweet Home

June 18th, 2012 by Melissa Nelson '10

This past weekend I went home.  It had been such a long time since I went home and was so happy as I drove by the “Welcome to Massachusetts ” sign.  Sometimes you just need a break from everything and I think between school and work, I was at my wits’ end.  Having the ability to be with loved ones  and spend father’s day with my dad was fantastic.

As soon as I got home, I noticed some mail that was addressed to me, one being from HC. As I read the letter from HC it reminded me the importance of giving back to the institution that helped make me the person I am today.  It is important to give back and I know that I will be giving back to the institution that was like a 2nd home to me.  Even though I am 2 years out from HC,  I truly believe that anything you can give is just fine. The importance is to start now so that it becomes second nature to you. As we have learn from HC, we are ” men and women for others” and by donating yearly we are just reinforcing this mission.


Melissa Nelson '10 is proudly powered by WordPress MU running on Holy Cross Blogs. Create a new blog and join in the fun!
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).