I graduated nursing school and started at Barnes-Jewish two weeks later. I chose surgical nursing because I knew it would be a great first job…a way to gain a lot of exposure and experience. I eventually want to pursue Pediatrics, but I want at least a year’s experience because if you can be a great nurse in surgical or medicine, you can go anywhere from there.
Why did I choose Barnes-Jewish?
The prestige of the hospital and the environment. I did my clinicals here and I absolutely loved it. In surgical nursing we get the full spectrum of care, and I get to apply everything I learned in nursing school. It’s a great way to build nursing skills, especially when you’re fresh out of school. It’s an excellent hospital with so many opportunities to learn and advance.
I love my department managers. They’re always on the floor, and emailing, making sure we’re ok and that we’re getting everything we need. We also have a clinical nurse specialist on our floor and she’s a great resource. …after my orientation is over they will make sure to schedule me during the day when the clinical nurse specialist will be here, so I will always have resources available to me.
The benefits of self-scheduling
I just set up my first schedule, and I picked the days that I wanted. It’s not a set routine, but I work 12-hour shifts three days a week. We do self-scheduling where we put in our request and management determines if it all works out. Basically, you can get what you want. If not, there’s always another nurse to switch with you. Through the system, I can e-mail another nurse and ask to switch shifts. It’s a very easy process, and the scheduling flexibility is great.