What Your Nursing Textbook Didn’t Teach

Congratulations! You got your first job as a nurse! Now you’re ready to put your countless hours of clinical, simulation, labs and classes to work! While nursing school is your foundation and your backbone, there are just some things that nursing school cannot possibly prepare you for adequately. In school, you learn expected outcomes — how things are supposed to happen. For most, you get an 8hr, not 12hr day for clinical (not that I’d really want a 12 hour clinical day), a 1-2 patient assignment, get the occasional med pass, but you’re still in a practice or ‘safe’ mode. Continue Reading

Communicating with Providers as a New Nurse

The orders that are written for our patients is essentially our toolbox. In the CVICU, we have autonomy to be able to titrate meds like insulin, heparin and pressors, but there will come a time when you run out of tools or you’re not sure which tool to use.  Effective communication with the provider allows you to get what you need, or further understand why you’re using a Phillips screwdriver instead of a flathead. As a student nurse, I rarely interacted with providers.  If a question was asked and I knew the answer, I’d respond, but as for advocating for Continue Reading

New Grad Nurse in the CVICU

Disclaimer: The original post was posted back in 2014, I’ve added somethings and updates! After doing my clinical rotations on general med-surg floors, interventional cardiology, neurosurgery and peds… I felt most comfortable and the most confident when I stepped into the ICU.  I don’t know what it is about it, but I enjoy every part of being on a critical care unit.  It was never scary for me seeing patients with a Christmas tree of IV pumps with lines and drains literally coming out of every orifice.  I wanted to be an ICU nurse and I made that dream a Continue Reading

Positive anything is better than negative nothing.

All my life I’ve been a pessimist.  Why not think that you’re going to fail to be pleasantly surprised when you succeed?  I worked extremely hard throughout nursing school, still believing that I wasn’t good enough and that I’d never be good enough. Some people use this strategy on a daily basis like I have and in reality, thinking negatively doesn’t cause a cosmic shift and make things positive. Then again, thinking positive may not miraculously cause things to go in your favor, but what I learned is that thinking negatively causes so much more tension and stress. There’s no reason Continue Reading

NCLEX Chronicles

The NCLEX was probably one of the hardest exams that I have ever taken in my life.  The questions were difficult, and it was easy to let anxiety get the best of you.  I walked out of the exam room feeling as if I failed, tears beginning to form in my eyes…but a day later I found out that I passed.  So here’s my advice: KAPLAN I took the Kaplan Online Anywhere course and I absolutely loved it!  I logged on for class from 8pm – 11pm, and was met by hundreds of other students in a chat room.  I Continue Reading

Tips for Nursing School Success

Nursing school wasn’t easy…but you can make it so much easier in 5 steps… 1. GET ORGANIZED! My first semester of nursing school I got a HUGE desk calendar, a planner and the app iStudiez Pro (loved it!) After I printed out all of the syllabi (all 87 pages– ok I made that up, but it was a lot of paper!)  I went through each class and wrote down on the calendar when major assignments were due, when all of my tests/quizzes were and any simulation labs.  I then wrote all this down into my paper planner and then into Continue Reading