your future nurse

10 year plan

The other day a friend of mine talked about having a “10 year plan”. At first I wondered what it was, and then she asked me about mine.

“What’s your 10 year plan?”

“What is that?”

“It’s what you want to do in the next 10 years”

“Damn, I don’t even know what I’ll be doing in the next 10 minutes! Let alone 10 years!”

She smiled and replied

“I have my plan all worked up. I want to finish nursing school, work, meet someone, get maried, have kids… at 30 I plan on having at least one!”

Her voice spoke with hope, and a lot of love. It seems cliché, but hey, we all have our ideas of a happy ending. It’s been a few days since we talked about it, but this “10 year plan” never left my mind. I keep going back and forth about what I want to do with my life.

I don’t really plan ahead much, which is why I fail at doing most things, but still, should I have a plan? I see everyone around me eager to finish college and get a job asap, and I am over here wondering how long does it take for my empty coups of coffee laying all over my “work” place to get mold?

It must be one of the many frustrations we must overcome in this life, although it really SUCKS not knowing what I want to do.

But then, out of nowhere, it hit me: my “10 year plan”

If all goes well I will be finished with college within the next 3 years and, if luck smiles at me, I shall get a job as soon as I am done, and I am ready to work my ass off for those pay checks. And one day, if I am brave enough, I will pack my bags and plan a journey. Not around the world, I don’t plan on doing that because I am trying to keep this real and simple. I will be happy with a few european countries in a couple months, for starters, and I will write all about this experience, all the amazing places I will see, all the amazing people I am going to meet, and, sure enough, maybe a few reports on how some things went bad. It happens, I mean, it MUST happen, because without the bad things we would never be able to treasure the really good ones. It feels terrible when things get bad, but it’s so satisfying when you begin watching all the broken pieces stitch back together right in front of you. And that’s all I wish for: the good and the bad.

So, at 1:29 a.m. on the 16/06/2017, with a lot of work in my tiny hands, a lot in my mind and incredibly huge dark circles around my eyes, I state this to be my “10 year plan”

allisonrn2014  asked:

Hi! I'm a senior BSN student and I'm graduating in May. I want to do critical care when I graduate and I've had a total of about 5 months ICU experience. 9 out of 10 nurses I talk to say to do medsurg first. But ICU is what I love. Any suggestions from an ICU nurse?

OH boy I love this question.


To answer this question-it depends on MANY factors.  


Let me explain- there are too many factors that can influence yes or no.  

1.) Experience- do you have nursing assistant or paramedic experience?  or are you going onto the floor with tons of textbook knowledge  with no walk to back you up?  Many nurses say the “you should get two years experience in medsurg before going into a specialty” because most new nurses don’t have experience (clinicals do not count as experience).  I know in my nursing school we did not learn how to draw blood on real people (as well as other technical skills) and this is a HUGE disadvantage.  I was a CNA during school and this definitely helped me in transitioning to a nurse (I recommend that if you have this type of opportunity to take it).

2.) Orientation as a new grad- How long is the orientation for a new grad on the ICU floor at your hospital?  12 weeks?  longer or shorter?  This is important because once you’re on your own you won’t have that preceptor following you to make sure your critical thinking is in order.  Some nurses say that newbies should start in medsurg because then hey have a good handle on what ‘stable’ looks like so then they will have that background to better put critical thinking of unstable patients together.  As well as the experience of putting that critical thinking to use.

3.) The unit you want to start on- nursing school doesn’t talk about this- but here it is… how healthy is the unit?  Are there travelers/ agency nurses?  Are there a lot of new grads on the floor?  Is there a high turnover rate?  This will have a high impact on how you view nursing in general.  When the turnover is high on a unit  there is normally a lot of stress and lot of unhappiness.  Along with unhappy patients and everything is miserable.  When you do your share day observe the ‘culture’ of the unit.  Have people been on the unit for years and years or only a couple of months?  Is there a good skill mix on the floor?  The last thing you want to do is go to a unit where everyone has less than 2 years experience and your preceptor is new themselves (personally, for me this one is the biggest factor).  

4.) Long term goals- what are your long term goals?  Bedside nurse?  Nurse educator? Nurse practitioner? Nurse researcher? Nurse anesthetist? etc etc etc.  Whatever the case even if you want to be a planeteer then set your mind to it and go for it.  Find out what type of experience you need  for what you want to pursue-everything else shouldn’t matter.  New nurses often times have this negative stigma associated with being a medsurg nurse.  I cannot explain this phenomenon myself- perhaps it is because they aren’t necessarily doing CPR everyday.  Maybe it’s because we as nurses don’t give each other enough credit.  A nurse in a trauma center transfusing 20 units of blood to a Jane Doe doesn’t make them any more/less important than the school nurse watching over our youth.  ALL nurses are important in taking care of the patient through the stages of healing.  I think we should stop looking at nursing with this unspoken hierarchy and acknowledge each other at the round table of the community we serve.


SO after looking at these factors I hope I didn’t deter you one way or the other.  I hope I did help provoke thinking about your future in nursing.  It’s not impossible to start in a specialty area- but there are other things to think about besides just the specialty.

Good luck in everything!!! Let me know how it goes!


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