My First Job as an Accelerated NP Student
It is tough for new nurses in accelerated nurse practitioner
courses to find a first job. A lot of the places willing to hire new grads want
them full time, which is impossible with the work load our training requires.
There are some employers that require new nurses to sign a binding agreement to
complete a certain amount of hours or pay a steep penalty. Others have an
unwritten policy not to hire students from programs like mine because they are
looking for those willing to make a long term commitment to being an RN.
Many of the nurses in my program got jobs in rehabilitation
and skilled care establishments comment that their job is a hectic med pass
with long hours after shift doing documentation. They complain that they have
too many patients to perform the assessments and care that they would like to.
Some feel as if they jeopardize their license with every shift. On the plus side
the pharm knowledge and real world execution of care in a full speed
environment will serve them well as practitioners.
I did something different. I currently work in a prison
health services unit. I serve as a gate keeper for the nurse practitioners.
Mine is a job of autonomous assessment, detailed documentation and assisting
I triage and assess several patients every day. My work is
to funnel the small percentage who need expert medical care through the
referral process. The assessment is made harder by the fact that many of my
patients are practiced liars and manipulators. The big upside I am finding to
correctional work is that I am allowed to take the time necessary to do a proper
assessment on every patient. Those who come into the health assessment unit are
used to waiting. Corrections work isn't for everyone, but I think it serves as
an excellent transitional job for RNs in an accelerated program.
How will you know if you would make a good corrections
nurse? The advice I have been given over and over is that you need to be a
confident and independent person who does not seek the approval of others.
Also, if you are thinking of going into corrections as a new RN, apply online a
month before you take your NCLEX. The wheels of the state move slowly.