On to the Next One

So it is bittersweet to say that I have given in my two week notice for my first RN job. I don't know if I ever said how I truthfully felt about my job but I actually hated it. I enjoyed the actual work but the hospital itself was not making me happy. One main issue I had was the fact they didn't train the nurses in different departments but made us float to other areas with out orientation or training. I am a new grad and even though I worked in Med-Surg as a nurses aide I still don't have the experience as a Registered Nurse. I felt as though I was placed in unsafe situations and the hospital didn't care. I even bought nursing insurance through Nurses Services Organization because I didn't feel safe there. I stood up for myself while the other nurses allowed them to walk all over them. You have to remember that it is your license, you worked hard for it and no one else cares to protect it. Safety for yourself and the patients is what it came down to and I couldn't deal with it any longer. I did learn a lot during my time there and I met some great people. I had one nurse, that I would probably never forget, tell me that I am a smart and great conscientious nurse. I have met a lot of people in my life but it's the ones who encouraged me in my nursing career that I wont ever forget. So I am on the market again for a new job. Wish me luck and I will keep you all updated!

Thank you for reading!



I think one of the hardest things besides staying awake on night shift is denying all the fatty and comforting food that is passed around to help us stay awake. 
As nurses, it is really easy to lose yourself in trying to care for your patients. Our long hours can be stressful and if you have families, all of your time is pretty much gone. We forget to work out, eat healthy and take care of ourselves.
Some easy ways I learned to stay on the right track is to bring your own lunch, eat healthy snacks and to work out on your days off. 
Now I cannot say that I have achieved all of this but I try my best to stay focused on my health. Because face it, if you are not healthy how are you supposed to take care of your patients and more importantly how can you teach healthy lifestyles to your patient if you can't be an example to them.

How do you try to stay healthy? Comment below!



RESCUE Remedy Natural Stress Relief Gum

Nursing is a stressful job (THAT is an understatement). As you know, I work in Pediatrics and with the winter season upon us, more children are coming in with respiratory issues such as RSV and the flu. 

I try not to get myself too overwhelmed but it is hard to control the environment of a hospital. So when I received RESCUE Remedy Natural Stress Relief Gum in the Bride to Be VoxBox from Influenster, I knew it would be perfect for me. Even the though the VoxBox is for brides I am not planning my wedding at this moment so I used it for the most stressful thing in my life at this moment.

The gum is white and has a liquid center of 4 drops of the RESCUE remedy. It is a natural combination of flowers; Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem, and Cherry Plum. The gum itself doesn't have a taste and the liquid center tastes slightly sweet but it dissipates once chewed. The gum itself is a good "chew". And by that I mean the gum holds up for a long item for chewing. 

I usually pop this gum in my mouth right when I know I am getting admissions or when I feel panicked about work. The gum helps to calm you down and to deal with stressful situations. 

My experiences with the gum is that to me, it is both a mental and a physical thing. I feel like when I chew the gum it reminds to take a deep breath in and out, to slow down and chewing helps to release the stress. I have still not figured out if the gum itself calms me down, but it sure does help. This is something I would keep nearby when I am work.

Check it out the website here: RESUCE Remedy. It costs $5.95 and is found in health food stores like Whole Foods and GNC. It also comes in different forms like drops and sprays. This may be a great way to help you keep calm and focus.

Disclaimer: I received this product complimentary for testing and review purposes from Influsenter. 

Thank you for reading!


Look in the Room

So at work other night I was taking care of a little boy that had pneumonia. I was particularly nervous of caring for this little boy because his history entailed being intubated and he was shipped off to another hospital.
The patient had a pulse oximeter on his foot so it could measure the percentage of oxygen saturation in his blood. The percentage needs to be above 90% but above 95% is even better. If the percentage drops below the set number the machine will alarm. 
The night was progressing smoothly and all of a sudden I realized his sats was not staying above the set number, which was 94%. It kept on dropping. He had on 1 liter of oxygen and the probe was securely affixed to his foot. Well long story short, I started to freak out. I wondered why his sats kept dropping although he was asleep, he wasn't in any signs of distress and he had his oxygen on. 
After about 1 min of staring at the patient and the machine, I decided to call respiratory. While I was waiting for respiratory to show up I stood in the room just in case something changed. As I started to get more worried, something told me to look at the oxygen line and the connection to the wall. To my surprise the line was attached to the oxygen port, but the oxygen HAD TURNED ITSELF OFF!!!! When I turned the oxygen back up to 1 liter, his sats went up to 99-100% OMG. I was dumbfounded and happy at the same time to know the patient was alright. When respiratory therapy FINALLY showed up, I told her what happened and she told me that the pressure may turn the oxygen off sometimes. Lets just say I had a good laugh about that.
Now if this doesn't teach you to always survey the environment, the whole room, I don't know what will. Listen to your instincts and that gut feeling, it may just help you and save your patient.



Being a nurse requires you to stand on your feet for hours on end, it also requires a shoe that would support you from the feet up. Luckily I have found that shoe, Dansko
I injured my foot 6 years ago and since then I have been looking for a shoe that would provide me with support throughout the work day and prevent my foot from swelling and hurting. My classmate introduced me to Dansko and I fell in love with them. I didn't know that these shoes would be a life saver. They cost over $100 depending on the style and color you prefer. Yes, they may be pricey but the comfort and the lifetime of these shoes pay off.
Today I was browsing the Dansko site and I saw these shoes, the Pixie from the Avalon Collection.
Source: www.dansko.com
And of course since my name is Avalon so I am partial and very biased about these shoes *lol* I think they are so cute and different. They also came out with Professional XP. This shoe would provide more support and has memory foam compared to the original Professional collection. I will be buying these shoes when my current pair wears out. 
I don't see myself buying any other brand of nursing shoe in my whole nursing career. What are your favorite nursing shoes?



The First Stick

The first stick is always the most nerve racking. You get tachycardic and diaphoretic, close to passing out. But imagine your first stick is on a baby, a chunky little baby that is crying. But thankfully due to a helpful co-worker and the supervisor you are able to stick the baby ONCE and have it flush oh so smoothly.
Well, this situation just happened to me about a week ago and I could have done back flips because I was just so proud of myself to have a successful IV insertion AND for it to maintain patency!!!
As a new nurse, the first stick will always be something you remember forever, even if it doesn't go as smoothly as you may want it to go.
So yeah, a big hooray for me! :)

Tell me about your First Stick and Thank you for reading!


LifeLong Learning

Just because you are out of school doesn't mean you have to stop learning. This is something I will believe until the day I die.
As a nurse, learning occurs everywhere and everyday, from working a 12 hr shift to your patients. Since I graduated I have felt that I should be doing something, like schoolwork or studying for a test. I bet I am not the only who feels this way.
But I have found some easy ways to get over that feeling.
One way is to subscribe to nursing journals. Some are free and some you may have to buy a membership. Examples of  free nursing journals are Advance for Nurses and American Nurse Today. They are both amazing magazines with a wealth of information. There are many more magazines out there, so you may have to do your research to find other magazines that spark your interest or speciality.
Another way to learn about different topics is to complete CE's or continuing education credits. CE's are mandatory in some states to maintain your nursing license and other states don't require completion of these credits (just make sure you find out what your state requires).  Some CE's are free to complete and others require a fee. 
And of course, going back to school to continue your education is a no fail way to continue learning. I plan on going back to school at some point to continue my education but I am not rushing into it just yet, I would like to gain more hands on clinical experience before I go for my masters education. 

So take your pick. Three great ways to stay educated and updated on new information to take better care of your patients. 

Thank you for reading!


Night Shift

.......*snore*....huh? Oh, hey.

What day is it? After working 11p-7a 5 days a week I can't keep up anymore.

That is all. Back to sleep.


Be Careful What You Wish For

These past two weeks of orientation have been interesting. I oriented on the Pediatric floor my second week and I can really say that I enjoyed it. Working with children is interesting, you need to have a type of approach to allow the children to trust you. Another thing is that Pediatrics is really about dealing with the parents of the children. The parents can range from being uber supportive to being very defensive and thinking that everything you do the child is hurting them. Of course as a parent you wouldn't want your child in pain but I guess in a stressful situation it is hard for the parents to see that you are only trying to help their child get better. I have perfected a "poker face" when I am either shocked, mad, or annoyed with patients/family that are like that, it is a skill I should start writing on resumes lol. 

My third week, I was on the Womens floor, which consists of post partum, hysterectomies and general women care. But first let me say something. The weekend prior to the start of that week I complained that I didn't feel like a nurse. I felt like I wasn't giving medications enough or thinking critically enough. But this week gave all it to me. I was running around like a chicken with it's neck cut off, but I enjoyed every second of it! It felt like I learned more than I did when I was in nursing school in this one week. I was so tired by Friday but it was rewarding.
I have been having a great experience so far because my coworkers are just so sweet and supportive. What a great environment to be in as a new grad!

Thank you for reading!


My First Week at Work

Well I made it through my first week as an RN!!
I have learned a lot and I have to say it was very eventful, to say the least. I have a great preceptor and she is very supportive and understanding that I am all new to all of this. This week I was in the newborn nursery. I was nervous to take of newborn babies, but I just tried to remember how I did things when I was in clinical in school. They do things a little differnet to what I did in clinical but it is still very similar. I am catching on to a lot of things and learning how to use my "nurse's intuition". One baby nearly crashed, he was turning blue, grunting, nasal flaring and retracting and I caught it and told my preceptor. Thankfully all he needed was some chest percussion because he had some residual amniotic fluid in his lungs. 
But the most eventful day was the day I passed out. Yes. I PASSED OUT!! lol. I was watching a circumcision and I have seen them done in the past, so this wasn't my first at all. But if you havent seen one, it is a very overwhelming procedure. The room was getting hot since it had three people in there and the proceudral light was on. All I remember is feeling hot, not being able to see and telling my nurse I needed a drink of water, then I opened my eyes and I was on the floor. Everyone kept asking me if I ate breakfast, and I sure did. This isn't my first time passing out and I make sure and I eat before I get to work.
Thankfully the procedure was all done and the doctor caught me. Everyone was really supportive and nice about what happened, even though the nursery was so busy. 
So now everyone knows me as the new nurse that passed out....ugh, lol.

But I am excited about the upcoming weeks. I will be moved to different areas with different preceptors and hopefully they are as nice as the one I had this past week. 

Thank you for reading!


How to Succeed: RN Job Interview

If you are reading this because you are going on your first job interview as a RN and you have some questions, you have come to the right place.
I have experience with hospital related job interviews, but going on a RN job interview is on a whole other level. I learned these tips over the years and I have put them to the test and they have never steered me wrong. 

So here are some (of what I think) of the most important ones. 

"Daisy Duke" doesn't need to show up: Wear a suit. If you don't have one, go and buy one. You can either wear a pants suit or a skirt. If you wear a skirt make sure it isn't too tight and hits at or in the middle of your knee. Do not show any cleavage, it is NOT a good look. Have your hair neatly done, if it is too short to pin up make sure it's pulled away from your face and not bothersome. 
Men, make sure your hair is freshly cut and you are neatly shaved. Do not wear too much perfume/cologne, this may affect the patients and some people are sensitive to strong scents. Minimal to moderate makeup is preferred. Wear closed toe shoes with a moderate heal so you don't look awkward walking in heals, if you are not used to them. NO flip flops, short shorts, tank tops, or noisy jewelry. 

If you are on time, you are late: If your interview is scheduled for 11:00am, be there at 10:30am. This helps to decrease anxiety, if there is traffic or if you are not sure where to go, you have extra time to get where you need to be. Also go to sleep at a decent time night before, so you are not yawning throughout the interview. Set at least two alarm clocks, just in case one fails to go off. 

Be engaged: Have eye contact, smile and be aware of your nonverbal language. Sit up right, cross your legs or not and have your hands folded on the table or on your lap. Also, remember when you meet up with either the nurse recruiter or nurse manager, shake their hands firmly upon arriving and leaving.

Do your research: Make sure to research the facility you are interested in. Information like this will probably be under a link named " About Us" on their website. You probably gained this information while completing your cover letter, but during the interview you will win them over if you know specifics about the facility. Know their motto and values. Be knowledgeable on different activities that occur in the hospital or things you would love to be involved in. This will show your deep interest in working there. 

Practice makes perfect: Do a test run of what you are planning on saying with someone you know the night before your interview. When they ask you questions about yourself and about why you love nursing you want to have an idea of what you want to say. Doing a test run will help to decrease the "buts" and "ums" that can happen if you can't remember what to say. Just remember, it IS okay to ask the interviewers if you can start over. 

Copies of your resume and cover letter: Bring a copy or two of your resume and cover letter to hand give to the interviewers. Make sure you print them out on resume paper, either white or off white. NO colored paper (such as pink, purple or scented) or fancy fonts, stay with Times New Roman sized at 12. Buy a folder or if you want to be fancy, a leather portfolio, to hold your papers. 
If you want, you can add any awards or certifications you are proud of. This may seem like you are showing off, but this displays your accomplishments and actually impresses them.

Follow-up: Either if you do or don't get the position always remember to thank them for the opportunity for the interview. You can either send them a personalized card or an email. If you are unsure of what to write, the internet has a vast amount of Thank- You letter templates. They will appreciate this gratuitous gesture and may keep you in mind for future positions.

Some questions they may ask:

  • Tell me about yourself: First question they ask when the interview starts. 
  • How did you deal with past challenges/difficulties? Co-workers? Bosses?
  • What are your weaknesses?: Most places will ask this question. Some people have a problem with answering this question but there is a trick to it. Let's say you are perfectionist. Some people see this as a negative attribute, but you can flip it and say that this helps to make sure you accurately complete all tasks, care for your patients, and you are careful in the way you do things.
  • What are you strengths?
  • Ask questions: Make sure you are prepared with questions to ask the interviewers. They will see that you are interested in them and you are thinking. If necessary, write the questions down on a separate sheet of paper just in case you are nervous and forget. 

And ALWAYS remember:
Absolutely NO gum and do not bring a bottle of water inside the interview. I have heard that bringing a bottle of water to an interview can actually ruin your chances from the start. 
Leave your handbag (if you a girl) and phone in the car. The last thing you need is for your phone to ring or vibrate during the interview.

Well I really hoped this helped and good luck on your interview!


My First RN Job!!!

So I finally got my first job interview, after nearly two months of being an official RN. At first I was very hesitant about the hospital because it is a smaller community hospital and the managers told me some things that I wasn't particularly pleased with.
A few issues I had was that they still have paper charting...and I am pretty sure in 2014 or so all hospitals are supposed to switch over to computerized charting. They told me I may have to be the only nurse on the floor (after orientation of course) and that scared me. It is a small hospital so census cannot be that bad. They also told me I will have to take care of babies/children if I am floated to a different floor.
Now, let me say that I did put myself in this situation because I applied for the women's center but I only expected it to be maternity. I love kids, but sick kids are a no-no. What is funny is that when I was younger it was my dream to take care of babies or children. But as have I gotten older and had more experience working in hospitals I realized that babies/children aren't for me. And the killer is that I will have to be an aid and a clerk, because they don't utilize them........yeah. Talk about Primary Nursing, huh?
But long story short, they offered me a position in Pediatrics. I nearly fell off the chair when I heard that. I would have preferred something in maternity but I really think this is where God wants me to be. Also this is the ONLY hospital to call me and offer me a position. But more than anything, 6 months after graduation you become "unused" goods. No one wants a new grad that has been out of school for so long. And for me 6 months is June. I think I will kick myself in the booty if I don't take this position, even though it isn't my first choice, but it is my ONLY choice. And my huge school loans are going to start coming in and I need to have an income to start paying them. 
So I will be a Pediatric nurse for a while. I still want to work with adults in the ICU/Critical Care setting but I will do this for now until something else pops up.
I start orientation on the 23 of April and I am excited and scared/nervous at the same time. I will be working nights!! But as a new grad that is what you get. I will update you all on what happens in the upcoming weeks.

Wish me luck!


Henrietta Lacks

Since graduating and being that I don't have a job yet, I have been doing some leisurely reading. It feels good to not have to read books that was assigned to me, lol.
I just finished reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It caught my eye when I was browsing Barnes and Nobles the other day. I first heard of Henrietta Lacks in nursing school, when we were learning about informed consent and basic rights. This book is absolutely amazing!

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is an intriguing book about a woman who was diagnosed with cervical cancer and died at the age of 31. The book begins by chronicling her life and how she become Henrietta Lacks or by what some people know her, HeLa. Her cells were taken from her without consent, they grew in a lab, and have been used to help science, the world and even helped to develop the Polio vaccine. Her family never received any funds from the money made off her cells and they have been without health insurance.
This book takes you on an emotional rollercoaster while you go on the journey with the author and the family as they discover more information about Henrietta Lacks.
This is definitely a must read.

Have you read this book?


Lateral Violence

As a student, I experienced a great deal of lateral violence during my preceptorship. Lateral violence are behaviors and actions of hostility from one person to another. Behaviors such as backstabbing, bickering, gossiping, withholding information, etc can be exhibited. I consider these actions to be immature behaviors that adults in a professional environment exhibit. I made a Youtube video about my experience and tips on how to deal with those issues as a student and as a new graduate RN. 

Positivity Beckons Positivity 



I wanted to help out you guys that are preparing to sit for NCLEX very soon. Do you know the steps to registering? I am glad to share the steps, just in case you are confused on how to go about registering. 
******Remember each state is different in their requirements so make sure you read all the information thoroughly.*******

The Process:
  1. Register with your State's Board of Nursing (BON): You will need to pay for a few things. Upfront you will have to pay $100 to register. A criminal background check that may cost any where from $60-75. You then need to register for fingerprinting. Depending on your states requirements you will need to send in your transcript and/or a 4x4 (passport) picture.
  2. Register on Pearson-Vue: Here you will have to pay $200.
  3. Receive your Acknowledgement of Registration.
  4. Wait for your Authorization to Test (ATT): This ONLY happens when you are cleared by the BON. In other words the BON has received all the information they required.  When you receive this information, you are now allowed to schedule a date and time to sit for NCLEX.
It is that easy!!! If you have anymore concerns you can always log onto www.ncsbn.org and there is a ton of information there for students. 

Good luck!

Positivity Beckons Positivity



So this is the life of a new grad RN. Waiting. Waiting for what you ask? Waiting for a J-O-B. 

I just recently moved to a different state and it is so hard trying to get a job when you are the new girl on the block. I had a better chance of getting a job where I used to live because I had a job in a hospital but change comes with life. 90% of my classmates have a job already. I try not to compare my life with others, but I am getting impatient. It has been a month and a half since I graduated and a week since officially receiving my RN license, but I am going crazy. 
I was only able to apply to one hospital because there is only ONE major hospital in my area, ugh. I started volunteering at the free clinic in my area to keep busy, but I need a job. I am very blessed because my fiance is able to take care of the important things but I am really about to go crazy. I try not to change what the future holds for me and I know that God has something insane in store for me. This is one of the major things keeping me calm.
I actually came across a great quote the other day, it said: "Never compare your journey with someone else's. Your journey is YOUR journey, not a competition."
So although my journey is a little bumpy at the moment, I think it will make me stronger in the end and I am thankful. 
I hope to have something by the end of February. If not, I will figure something out. 

As always, thank you for reading.
Positivity Beckons Positivity


I passed NCLEX Video

Just wanted to post my video of my joy from passing NCLEX! Enjoy!

Positivity Beckons Positivity




That test was HARD, CONFUSING, and just plain INSANE! There is absolutely no way to study for that test. It is such a random test that it may just test you in an area where you are weak in. I don't want to scare any of you but this was just my experience. NCLEX is all about test taking techniques and skills, to pick the BEST ANSWER. If you remember that, you will do GREAT!

I took the test on January 26 at 8:00am. I had 91 questions and the computer screen turned blue. I sat there in SHOCK. Like frozen in time, staring at this blue screen for at least 30 seconds. The worst thing is that you WILL leave there feeling like you failed.

When I got home, I tried to Pearson VUE Trick (PVT). I got the good pop up where it didn't allow me to re-register and I was so happy! I was screaming!!! If you don't know what the PVT is check out www.allnurses.com. There are a lot of posts about it. It basically means that you have passed NCLEX!!!

So when I paid for quick results this morning I was confident I was going to see PASS!

I plan on doing a lot more posts now that I am not studying every second of the day, lol. If anyone has any ideas or requests for any posts, don't hesitate to ask below! Talk to you all soon!

Positivity Beckons Positivity


Scope of Practice

Today a post on Twitter caught my attention.
It is about an Arizona registered nurse who educated a patient about his/her surgery using the hospital provided pamphlets and also educated the patient on hospice. The doctor taking care of the patient became enraged when he/she found out about what the nurse did. Although the nurse documented and also SBAR'ed the oncoming nurse about the patients misunderstanding about the procedure, the nurse was seen as being in the wrong. The doctor wanted the nurse to be fired and her license to be revoked, the doctor got his way. She is due to stand in front of the board of nursing in February.
What is interesting to me is that according to the nurse, the hospital didn't contact the ethics committee and she acted within her scope of practice; the hospital, and even her nurse manager, still wasn't on her side. No one stood beside this nurse. 
I have learned in school that as future nurses we have to advocate for the patients and ourselves. We also have to be a part of nursing organizations in case of situations like this arises. As most of us are getting closer to graduating and even taking NCLEX, you have to be aware of your hospital's policy's and procedures. KNOW your scope of practice in your residing state and KNOW the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses like the back of your hand. 
I still need to know all the facts to this case because things like this hardly happens, especially if we belong to a professional nursing organization.  
Read the post http://vdutton.posterous.com/ and comment below with your thoughts. 

Positivity Beckons Positivity



If anyone knows anything about anything, you know what ATT means. Authorization to Test. I got mine AND a date for NCLEX today. I will not share my test date because I am WAY too paranoid. lol

But lets just say when I got the ATT, I nearly passed out. Like seriously, all the blood rushed to my toes. I couldn't remember the year of my birthday date when I was signing in. It was terrible. And even worse I started to hyperventilate while making a date and I started crying. It was horrible guys.

Anyways, I was already planning on doing a post on a NCLEX review software that I have been using
, before I received the life changing information, lol.

So as you know, I have been putting in some hard hours into my NCLEX review and I have been using all resources available to me. 
Being that I am a NSNA member, I saw a discount on a review software that I saw while reading their magazine. The product is Delmar's NCLEX-RN Review Online with CAT Logic (Computer Adaptive Testing). It is an amazing product. How it works is that it simulates the way NLCEX is prepared with 5000 questions and full length mock exams, that will cut off at a point where it feels you proved your knowledge base. You can do a lot practice exams and it has great rationals to the answers. What is also amazing is that the product  has a section where you can review information on topics ranging from med surg to maternity.
As I mentioned before I am a NSNA member so I received a discount on the product but if you are interested in checking out the product and/or are a NSNA member here is the link www.cengagebrain.com

Enjoy and Good luck!

Positivity Beckons Positivity


Change for the Better

Do you ever feel like just sitting around doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING? This girl does, but I HAVE to get out of my lazy/procrastinating behaviors. So I think this will be a change for me in 2012 and beyond. Because wow, I can waste a whole day, EASY. And just remember there are 24 hours in one day. 
Anyways, I bought a weekly/monthly calender that has the times from 8am-5pm written in so I can plan my day, I think if I have tasks written down, I am more likely to complete them, AKA accountability. 
The is the exact one I bought
Think about your time wasters, do first things first, and get up and get moving! Okay back to NCLEX prep! Have a great day ya'll!

Positivity Beckons Positivity,


Happy New Year!

So 2011 is gone and we make way for 2012. I hope everyone had a safe and fun NYE night. I had a great time with my fiance, we ate sushi and we watched Dick Clark's NYE show, counting down the ball drop. I achieved one of my major goals by graduating from nursing school in 2011 and I am looking forward to my blessings in 2012. Good luck to everyone, stay focused, and remember you can achieve anything with perseverance. 

Positivity Beckons Positivity,