Chantelle shares her experience and insight since graduating from the BN program in 2018:
Where are you now?
General Duty Nurse on the Women’s Health Relief Team at Women’s Hospital. Being part of the relief team gives me the opportunity to learn and care for patients ranging from perinatal, gynecology, post-partum, labor and delivery, post-surgical gynecology, oncology and everything in between. I absolutely love it.
How easy was it to find a job after graduation?
I was offered a position while still a nursing student doing my senior practicum.
How did you manage the responsibility of going from student to nurse?
It was quite intimidating to be honest. I didn’t think of what that would be like as a student. Once I was transitioned from student to nurse, I felt very well supported by other nurses. I felt comfortable to ask questions and had guidance. Many of the nurses I was familiar with as I had met them and worked with them through my senior practicum or had graduated with them.
How did you build your confidence as a new nurse?
I asked questions. Lots and lots of questions. At first, I thought it made me seem incompetent but a fellow nurse explained that I should NEVER feel that I couldn’t ask questions. It was a little difficult at first to ask questions but once I did, it became easier for me. It also helped me build my confidence and my independence.
Thinking back, what were the most important lessons from school that you took into the workforce?
Of course time management and prioritizing is important, but most of all.. SELF CARE!
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were a student?
The workplace environment is forever changing and things can get very hectic and change in a matter of seconds and you need to be able to turn on your thinking cap quickly and adjust your care accordingly. You will always have other nurses and staff members there to help you. You need to find your voice and be confident. As a student, I thought about the scary things that can happen and I thought all the pressure would be on me but that’s not the case at all. You’re part of a team and you will learn to trust each other’s expertise and learn as you go. It’s honestly an ongoing learning experience.
What piece of advice would you give to current students?
Please ask for help when you need it, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and your patients, make sure you set time aside for self care, and remember that mistakes can and do happen, and that’s okay ! Its not “win or lose” .. think of it as “win or learn.”
Thank you Chantelle for sharing your experience and words of wisdom!