K-State graduation year: I was a student at K-State from fall 2002 to spring 2004, then transferred to Belmont University in Nashville, TN in the fall of 2004
Degree: Pre-nursing (not a degree-awarding program)
Other degree received: Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), Belmont University, 2007
Current employer: Boyd Obstetrics and Gynecology
Position: Registered nurse (RN)
How many times did you change your major during college?
Describe the process of choosing your major:
I had good "job shadowing" experience in high school, so I knew what I wanted to do before I graduated high school. I was able to stay on that track through college.
What activities/organizations were you involved in while in college?
Academic and Career Information Center
Did you complete an internship or have related work experience prior to receiving your job?
I had a nursing "externship" the summer before my last year of nursing school. I worked on the postpartum and newborn nursery units at a hospital in my hometown of Peoria, IL. I performed basic nursing duties for moms who had just delivered and also their newborn babies. I had a "preceptor" who oversaw what I did. I was able to get a really good feeling for what my future career would look like day-to-day.
Describe the process of finding your first job:
After my summer externship at Methodist Medical Center, I knew I would enjoy working there full time. I also was able to "get my foot in the door" and I had good rapport with the management there. I applied to be a labor and delivery nurse as a new grad. I interviewed with someone from HR whom I had never met, so that was intimidating. I then was able to interview with the manager of the labor unit, whom I was familiar with and felt comfortable with. I really feel that my time as an extern helped me to get my full-time job. I didn't have to spend a whole lot of time researching or networking to know where I wanted to work.
Briefly describe a typical day at your job:
Now that I work in a doctor's office, my day is a lot more relaxed than it was at the hospital! I arrive about half an hour before the first appointment to print off and return faxes from different pharmacies. My day-to-day schedule varies somewhat; sometimes I might be bringing patients in, getting vitals, and setting them up for whatever the provider (doctor, midwife, or nurse practitioner) will be doing that day. Other times I am on phones where I triage patient calls, answer medical questions, call in prescriptions, etc. Often times I will see the OB patients for the providers (listen to fetal heart tones, check relevant labwork, monitor for contractions, etc). Basically I facilitate office visits, helping the providers and the patients with whatever needs to be done.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Working with patients who struggle with infertility who then eventually become pregnant, and following them through their pregnancy and then getting to meet their baby! Also, helping high risk patients through their pregnancy.
What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Busy, overscheduled days, doctors who change their schedules at the last minute, and demanding patients who don't take care of themselves and then expect you to be able to "fix" everything for them.
What advice would you give someone interested in your field?
Nursing is a phenomenal field! There are tons of opportunities, and it's not going to be going away any time soon. I would really recommend working in a hospital first. Shift work (especially 3rd shift) can be a huge pain, but you never know what kinds of connections you will make that will help you get places in the future.