N100: Nursing Seminar
“Interview a BSN”
The purpose of this assignment is to understand the role of a professional nurse and their place within the healthcare team and be inspired to emulate these nurses in a professional manner in one’s own practice.
Interview a practicing BSN and describe their experience or career thus far. Ask them the following questions and then summarize their answers in 3-5 pages. Format the paper according to APA guidelines.
1. Describe your present position
I work in the Emergency Department as an RN at Carle Hospital. In my current role, I triage patients coming in through our waiting room and brought in by ambulance and law enforcement. After triage, I put in orders from a list or given verbally by doctors, place IV and arterial lines, draw and send labs, give medications, suture and wrap wounds, place foley catheters, IO’s (intraosseous access points through drilling into a bone), and NG (nasogastric) and OG (orogastric) tubes, collect and run blood and urine samples, turn patients, clean patients, and chart a TON of information. When a patient is discharged, I go through education, follow up instructions, and often help patients find a ride home.
I see everything from common colds and stubbed toes to critical and traumatic injuries. I see newborns, elderly, and everything in between. This is a high impact, high adrenaline, highly stressful, and physically demanding position. In addition to the patients I care for, I also deal with families, coworkers, subordinates, and managers in tense situations daily. Many times, these are the worst days of peoples’ lives. I see people at their weakest, most vulnerable, and most scared moments. Some days, I do CPR on, administer blood for, put lines and tubes into a patient, give them every medication available, and still hold their loved ones’ hands at the end of the day as I sit while the doctors explain what is happening. It is exciting, terrifying, emotionally draining, and invigorating in ways I don’t know how to express. I love what I do.
In addition to seeing patients, I complete chart audits for other nurses and am continually enrolled in new certification classes to improve patient outcomes. Most recently, I have begun precepting and am involved in a new overdose prevention program. In my current position, there are constant opportunities to learn new things and be involved with my department.
2. Describe your educational journey. Was it important for the position that you presently hold?
I started my BSN program at Lakeview College of Nursing in Danville, IL in September 2019. I signed up for an accelerated program, which allowed me to complete my nursing degree in 4 back-to-back semesters. Shortly after the end of my first semester, COVID shut down in person classes, clinicals, and other hands-on educational opportunities. Lakeview worked hard to ensure we were allowed as many options as possible, but a majority of my learning was through a computer. My instructors kept telling me, “It’s okay, you’ll learn on the job as you go!”. I was terrified that my lack of patient interaction would be a huge detriment.
In my last semester, hospitals had begun to open limited access to in-person clinicals. Lakeview offered a course called Concept Synthesis, which allowed us to put down areas we were interested in. These were opportunities for long-term clinicals in a specialized area. I put down pediatrics and oncology as my 2 top choices. Shortly after I turned in my paper indicating areas I was interested in, I was approached by my instructor who told me neither of those areas were available due to COVID restrictions, but they had a spot in “Specialty Surgery” at the Polyclinic. This sounded interesting, and I assumed I might see a variety of patients in this setting. Given no other options, I accepted.
Following my first month, I learned this was a clinical office where patients were seen BEFORE their surgical appointments. At this time, selective surgeries were shut down due to COVID, and most patients who needed surgery were admitted straight through the emergency department. There were 2 weeks where I saw no patients during my clinical time. I told my instructor I needed something different if anything else became available. The following week, she told me there were a few nurses who had chosen emergency medicine as their interest area, and the Emergency Department at OSF had decided to allow a few students in to shadow nurses.
During my final weeks of clinicals, I followed nurses and observed. There were not a lot of opportunities for hands-on interaction, as I was told COVID guidelines limited the number of staff allowed to interact with patients. I placed a total of 3 IVs on patients during my entire tenure of nursing school. I never saw an infant or child as a patient, and I never observed a trauma. None of this was any fault of my school or clinical site, but it left me feeling very unprepared to enter the nursing world.
Nearing graduation, I applied to the pediatrics department at Carle. I got a call 2 days later for an interview, but I was informed that, (again) due to COVID restrictions, pediatrics was not currently accepting any new staff. The recruiter who called me about the interview asked if I would be willing to attend an interview with multiple departments that were currently hiring, and I said yes. Within 2 hours of my online interview with a room full of hiring managers, I got a call from my recruiter. “Given your background of clinicals in the emergency room, you have an employment offer from our emergency department. Would you like to accept?” Emergency medicine had never been on any list of goals or plans in my life… but I knew I wanted a position at Carle, and there was one on the table. I accepted.
Unintentionally, my educational experience at Lakeview is the sole reason I am where I am. My instructors and classroom experiences definitely prepared me for many situations I encounter daily on the job. The fact that my instructor and school worked hard to identify clinical experiences for
us was invaluable. I’m thankful every day that they worked to give me this opportunity.
3. What is your definition of nursing?
4. Which of these statements would you consider your current focus of practice?
a. Promoting health and wellness
b. Preventing illness
c. Restoring health
d. Caring for the dying
My focus of practice is restoring health. While I do all of the above, people come through the emergency department because they have an existing problem that they want to see fixed. During discharge instructions, I try to focus on promoting health and wellness through education, but this is not the primary focus of my practice. I do not typically prevent illness as the people who come to me already have something wrong, and while I do care for the dying, it is a short-lived, very temporary aspect of my job.
5. What is the setting that you currently practice in? (hospital, clinic, specialty office, etc.)
I work in a hospital setting. I knew immediately during my first 2 weeks of clinical office experience that a clinic and office setting were NOT for me. I was bored out of my mind… No amount of time off or set schedules could sell me on working in an office setting, but I can see how many people would enjoy this!
6. What stage would you be considered in Benner’s Stages of Nursing Expertise?
a. Novice: no experience, limited performance and governed by policies and procedures
b. Advanced Beginner: first two years in practice, recognizes situations and can make judgements, still needs some assistance
c. Competent: 2-3 years’ experience; good organizational skills; Can prioritize; can multi-task
d. Proficient: 3-5 years’ experience; holistic understanding of client, improved decision making and focused on long-term goals
e. Expert: highly proficient, flexible; doesn’t require rules or guidelines to understand situation; intuitive and analytic; has “gut” feelings that help in decision making
I currently fall into the category of “Advanced Beginner” in Benner’s Stages of Nursing Experience as I have less than 2 years of experience. However, Carle does a great job of pushing us to be our best as quickly as possible. We are taught to multi-task, prioritize, and trust our guts very early on.
Our team mates and providers who we work with trust us and ask for our input regularly. They are great with constructive criticism that lets us know when we are on the right path and where we can improve. In my department, and in all specialty departments, we spend months one-on-one with a preceptor who oversees all of our patient care and charting until we are deemed ready to practice on our own. There is a whole lot of valuable feedback during this time. In addition, our management puts a huge emphasis on helping us identify and work toward reaching long-term goals.
7. What role(s) would you describe in your present position? (provider of care, educator, manager, researcher, collaborator, patient advocate, counselor, change agent, or case manager)
I am, first and foremost, a provider of care. Patients come in with an illness or injury, and it is my job to improve their outcomes. However, I also regularly act as a collaborator with other staff and departments, counselor to patients and families, case manager in arranging rides home for patients, and patient advocate when I might question a treatment plan or diagnosis.
In the emergency department, I work with the same doctors, physician assistants, and advanced practice nurses every day. They truly value my input and trust my judgement. Often, they will allow me to help devise a treatment plan I feel will help with a particular patient. One doctor specifically told me within my first month on the job that “You guys (nurses) spend WAY more time talking to the patients than we do. Sometimes, you know best!” Our doctors are amazing at recognizing us as professionals and openly respecting our opinions.
I just took on a role as an educator through precepting new nurses. I will have one nurse for 5-6 months depending on progress who will begin by shadowing and then progress to taking on his or her own patients. I oversee their patient care, charting, and interactions with other providers. This allows me to share all that I have learned so far and learn with them along the way. I am thankful for this opportunity as teaching and mentoring has always been a passion of mine!
8. Do you belong to a professional organization? Which one and why?
I do not belong to a professional nursing organization, but I do belong to a pharmacy organization because my employer provides this service, and it allows me to keep my continuing education credits up to date for free. In addition, I get a quarterly newsletter on topics affecting my profession
9. What do you see as the biggest influence on your practice today?
a. Healthcare reform
b. Nursing shortage
c. Consumer demand
d. Changing technology
On a personal level, my practice is most influenced by consumer demand. We have had days where we have had patients in every room, in tents outside, and in hallways surrounding the nurses’ stations. At times, it has truly looked like a scene from some disaster movie. This affects all patient care. My employer had truly done a fantastic job of lessening the blow of staffing shortages, but I frequently hear horror stories from travel nurses in my department. Now that the strain of COVID is lessening, it can be hard to keep a full staff on. Employees are sometimes sent home early or put on standby if the census is too low. Over the past two years, we have had several waves of too many patients and not enough patients. This has led to even more nurses leaving due to burn out, stress, being overworked, OR not having enough work to pay bills at times. This fluid environment increase stress across the board of every part of my profession in the emergency department.
10. What part of this person’s career has inspired you the most? How do you foresee yourself in the future at the same time/point in your career?
11. What have you learned in this course that confirms what you thought about nursing? What have you learned that is new to your understanding of nursing? Give examples.
Describes the nurse’s present job position and education journey.
Identifies the nurse’s personal definition of nursing.
Identifies the current focus and setting of nursing practice.
Identifies what stage of Benner’s theory the nurse is considered to be.
Describes the role(s) of the nurse’s current position.
Identifies membership of a professional organization and why it was chosen.
Discusses the biggest influence on current practice.
Explains what has inspired you most and how you foresee yourself in your future career.
Discusses what you have learned, including both new and supporting information for your thoughts and understanding of nursing.
Required number of references (2)
Title Page, Running head, Margins, Spacing, Font, Page Numbers, Introduction, Conclusion, Headings, Reference Page, Citations