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Nursing Then and Now

Nursing Then and Now

Sean Dent | Scrubs Magazine

I thought I’d share an old blog post concerning new versus experienced nurses and where they ‘should’ work fresh out of nursing school. Of course I’m now a 5 year veteran, but the blog post still holds true for me. I think today’s economy has definitely impacted the amount of nursing jobs out there for new graduate nurses, but I still believe that a nurse’s ‘time in grade’ does not determine their ability or capacity to excel.

The one and only constant thing in life is CHANGE. Everything else is CHANCE.

I’ve been a nurse for over 3 years now. To some this would seem a very short time. But in this day and age of the nursing world, 3 years of experience in a nursing specialty ACTUALLY is classified as a seasoned nurse.

I’ll let that one sink in.

I’m pretty sure everyone has at least ‘heard’ of the nursing shortage that we are currently in, and the potential exponential increase in the nursing shortage over the next decade. The field of nursing is losing more individuals than it’s gaining. Due to this alarming fact, the face of nursing has CHANGED.

Here’s what’s going to blow your mind. Just 10, maybe 15yrs ago, a new graduate nurse had a difficult time finding a nursing job! I’m told stories from true seasoned nurses’ who have been in the field for 10 + years, that the only jobs a nurse could find right out of school were in the long-term care facilities (nursing homes and/or retirement centers). No other jobs existed. And if you were a new graduate nurse who was interested in pursuing a specialty, like the critical care setting (ER, ICU), you were turned away. In fact you were told to come back after you had at least 2 years of general nursing floor (Medical-Surgical) experience.

I’ve been lucky and blessed with all the opportunities I have experienced as a nurse in the short time I have been in this field. I have worked/trained as a first assist, worked as a travel nurse, as a telemetry nurse, worked in numerous ICU settings, and now as Recovery Room (PACU) nurse. Outside of my critical care experience, everything else listed was for a very short time of 6 months or less. Had I attempted my career as a nurse a decade ago, I would not have been afforded any of the above opportunities. While I wish I would have chosen nursing as my original career, I’m almost positive my adventures would not have been the same.

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