Message from NPAQ's President, Phill Tsingos
This time of the year many third year Registered Nursing students are preparing for life after University. At the same time many hospitals start recruiting new Nurses to their graduate programs. After years of hard work, dedication and training the hope of a prize opportunity awaits and only a few are chosen.
I am privileged to preceptor student nurses in their journey to reaching their goal of becoming a Registered Nurse. In doing so, my aim is to provide students with a solid foundation in the core values of being a Nurse. This gives me the focus and attention required to provide students with the best learning environment for them to grow and develop their own nursing practice.
Reflecting on my own time applying for a Graduate Nurse position, I remember the stress and anxiety of being faced with the prospect of not having a job after all my hard work. The weeks passed, many classmates successfully attained Graduate Nurse positions and I started to think I would miss out. I went for nearly a dozen interviews and missed out on all of them. Time was running out and it was late December. I had one last interview with a tertiary institution.
I thought, “ok this is it, I have to be myself and let my potential employer see who I really am”. I went through nearly half a day of interviews, tests, group sessions and scenarios. It was mentally draining and I thought I had no chance of a job. The only thing I remember doing was making people laugh about driving a brown Kingswood. Two weeks went by and then I received a letter just before Christmas saying I had secured a Graduate Program starting after New Year’s. The funny thing about the whole experience was that I was one of the last chosen, but first to actually start as a Registered Nurse.
This year I spoke with a few students about how they were feeling now the University part of their training was nearly over. They responded that it didn’t feel real yet and how fast their world had become. The students expressed optimism at the prospect of getting a Graduate Nurse position. But they voiced the reality of knowing the demand is a lot higher than the supply of actual positions.
The students I worked with would do everything they possibly could to stand out and make a good first impression to their possible future employer. Some of these steps included working as an Assistant in Nursing, extra study to expand their knowledge, rehearsing possible interview questions and being present and engaged during practical placement to gain a positive reference.
Seeing the dedication, time and effort students put into their professional development gives a sense that the Nursing Profession has a long bright future.
Best wishes to all student Nurses starting out.