By Christine Moffa, MSN, RN, clinical editor
While I was going through nursing school I imagined that our clinical rotations would prepare us for the reality of working in a hospital. I was very eager to graduate and get my first job. Had I known that I was in for the hardest year of my life, I probably would have changed majors. I was hired to work the night shift in the float pool of a children’s hospital. That is a bad idea right there and I wish someone was there to talk me out of it. But on top of that, I found it difficult to express by opinion when residents and nurses with more experience did not heed my concerns about patients who were decompensating. And calling the attending in the middle of the night did not seem like a good option. I wish I had been told in nursing school that the nurse supervisor is a great resource to go to in times like these.
We often hear stories of what a shock it is for a nurse to finally start a nursing job after finishing school. Is there anything nursing schools could do to change this? What do you wish you’d learned?