With the current cut-throat competition and cutting edge technology, landing your dream job is a wishful thinking. Professional rivalry is prevalent anywhere, even in the nursing arena.
The following tips will make you an indispensable nurse and possess characteristics which employers crave:
1.Cross train yourself. Even if your specialty is pediatric, be sure to learn other nursing fields. When I was an RN in the emergency room, they used to float me anywhere, adults, psychiatry, pediatric, triage, intake, surgical, critical care. In the end, who benefits the experience? I did. I became a well-rounded RN in the emergency room, well-sought by supervisors and ER doctors.
2. Learn the jargon in your field. Each profession has code names, jargon, so to speak. Be abreast of the new terms. Go with the flow of the institution. If flexibility is the new jargon, dance with the music. You will reap the rewards later on.
3. Learn the art of smooth interpersonal relationship (SIR). There is a saying, “you catch flies more with honey than with vinegar”. Be nice and kind to everybody, even to the transporters. You need help lifting patients don’t you? Besides, you will need people to give you a very good recommendation when you finally leave the place.
4. Get certified in your specialty. This is another feather in your hat. I got my certifications in med-surg, emergency Room, ACLS, ANP. Besides, you get a bonus pay when you do. So you hit two achievements by just getting certified.
5. Go back to school when you get the chance. Having a master’s degree will give you a thousand dollars more in your yearly pay, plus additional letters after your name.
Most hospitals prefer a master’s prepared RN for the management position nowadays.
6. Be ready for big responsibility when you become a manager. Train your subordinates well, so you will not have a hard time managing them. A leader leads by example not by force. In fact, they will learn to respect you for your good example.
Respect is earned, and respect begets respect.
7. Dress to impress and dress for success. Wear a nice suit on your day of interview. Look humble as much as possible, do not wear your French manicure or tons of jewelry. At work, do not wear revealing clothes, especially, patients are a “little” too sensitive when they see sexy nurses.
8. Learn how to say “please” and “thank you” all the time to everybody especially to your patients.
9. Stand tall and be confident when answering questions. Ask questions when you need clarification. Do not presume or assume, remember, you are dealing with lives.
Now, you are ready to face reality. Do not be afraid of your co-workers because they were as naïve as you are when they started. Befriend everyone, as much as possible. You might need their help in the future, which boils back to SIR.
Marissa T. Langseth,
RN, CEN, MSN, ANP, BC
Adult Nurse Practitioner
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