As a new nurse, what are the most important questions that I should make sure I address with prospective employers?
Dear Donna replies:
In looking for your first job as an RN, it is important to find out how long the new graduate orientation is and what it entails. You want as long an orientation as possible ideally six months in length or longer. You would also want a combination of classroom and clinical time (complete with a preceptor). Having a mentor in addition to a preceptor is even better.
Ask if the unit you would work on has a unit-based educator. If youll be working off-shifts (evening, nights), find out if there is an educator on those shifts. If you plan to work in a specialty like ICU, ask if there is an additional specialty orientation for that unit.
Its also good to ask if youll be required to take call, float to other units, or do shift work (beyond the shift you are hired to work).
Youll find additional questions, issues, and advice in my book Your First Year as a Nurse Making the Transition From Total Novice to Successful Professional. More information about the book is available at http://www.nurse.com/CE/7010.
My best wishes,
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeeks Dear Donna and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional. To ask Donna your question, go to www.nurse.com/asktheexperts/deardonna. Find a Dear Donna seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit http://events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.