Newly qualified nurse, Nikki, realises the importance of setting achievable goals no matter where you are in your training
On my first day at university, our group leader told us that the next three years were going to fly by. At the time, I didn’t believe her, but now I realise just how wrong I was.
They’ve not been an easy three years; it’s been testing juggling family, placement and academia. But I’ve finally completed my qualification and found my first job as a nurse.
How do I feel? Relieved, the enormous feeling of achievement is overwhelming.
Some might say I’m lucky, but I don’t believe luck has anything to do with it. My hard work and dedication has paid off: I qualified because I was determined to qualify.
That said, without the support of my family, the course may have not been so manageable. Nurse training is challenging and at times I felt I was constantly jumping through hoops, passing placements, assignments, OSCEs and exams.
I am so excited to be starting my job as a community nurse. I have always been interested in primary care and remember seeing the community nurses while I was training and thinking “I want to do that job”.
So how am I preparing for the transition from student to qualified nurse?
Firstly, I think it’s important to look at the speciality area, read up on the common problems, and research relevant guidelines and local policies. Familiarise myself with the paperwork and documentation. Get to know the multi-disciplinary team, find out who does what and how to refer to them.
One of my main worries is that I don’t know enough or am clumsy at carrying out nursing care procedures. But I’ve realised that having completed my training, I now have to work on my confidence!
I think it is important to have a plan for the future and I’ve already completed my personal development plan for the next 10 years. This might seem extreme but without clear planning and direction, how can we achieve our goals?
So what’s next? Even though my nurse training has finished, I feel as though my nursing and education journey has just begun. I plan to develop my skills and knowledge and create a sound evidence base to build on. I hope to continue with writing and tweeting my views and experiences, developing my ideas. And, of course, complete my preceptorship.
My questions to you are although you may not yet be qualified or may not yet have started your course, where you do want to work? Where do you want to specialise? How do you get in to that area? Take control of your career journey and plan achievable goals.
I’ve just achieved my first goal, now for the next!
Nikki Poutney has just finished her final year studying adult nursing at Wolverhamptom University