From Classroom to Health Care

June 30, 2014 1:06 am


Moving from the classroom to a health care setting can be a bit intimidating. After all, the instructor is no longer there to help you step by step. You no longer have a team of nursing students with you to help you determine the correct answer, and you may feel completely alone. This is when your knowledge and your critical thinking skills come into play. Do not worry, you passed your state licensing exam, you are ready, so don’t let your fear of failing trap you now.

The first thing you must realize is that your fear is based on the unknown. You are afraid that you will run into things you have not seen before, or things you did not cover in college. This is a completely valid fear, and to tell the truth, you are right. You are guaranteed to see things you have never seen before within your first week on the floor. However, that is what you entered this field for, to explore the unknown and to help your patients to heal, or be comfortable.

Making the Leap

Once you have passed your state licensing exam, you should immediately begin looking for a job. You will want to ensure that you do not get rusty with your knowledge, and that you put it to use right away. You may not find a full time position right away, but you can always offer your time as an intern to ensure that your skills are put to use, and that you gain experience hours right out of school.

If you are out of the game for too long, employers may wonder if you are having second thoughts about your career choice. If you plan on advancing your career further, you should wait until you are settled into a work schedule before enrolling in other classes. This will ensure that you get a great job and that your education will not stand in the way of job offers you receive.

Clinical Experience

The experience you gained in clinicals will greatly guide you in your new career. Clinicals provide hands on experience in many different fields for this exact reason. Even well rounded clinicals cannot cover every aspect of health care, so you must let your research skills take over where they left off.

Medicine is not an exact science and nothing is set in stone. What works for one patient, may not work for another, so you should always be prepared with a back up plan ahead of time.

Building Your Research Skills

Through your college career and your training, you will need to develop adequate research skills. This will ensure that when you begin working in nursing, you will know how to quickly complete quality research that will lead you to an answer that will help your patients.

College provides the perfect opportunity to dive into research. Your instructors will have you researching most of your college career. Effective research is the key to finding the answer fast, even when you do not know the question. It is important to build this skill to the fullest extent. Make great use of your online nursing resources, desk references, and your available databases.

Working Closely with Coworkers

Beginning your career in health care will not be a journey you take alone. All nurses know how hard it is just coming out of school. The nurses you work with will be glad to help you through the trying journey and share their experience with you as you go. Over time, certain responses will become second nature and so will patient care. However, as any nurse will tell you, life will throw occasional twists your way, so it is important to depend on coworkers, and keep your research skills at the top of their game.