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Being a New Nurse aka The Hunger Games


All nursing students have heard the saying, “Nurses eat their young.” Being a new nurse is scary.        Your first nursing job may feel  like the Hunger Games.




You think you nailed the interview when the manager loves your nursing school story about the geriatric patient with the smelly feet.


After your third panel interview in a week, all you can manage is to say thank you and hope that you get a job offer.


This is you nailing your first nursing  job.


This is the firs time you sign your name with RN


The opening ceremony is how you look in your starched uniform and perfect bun.


This is how you look after you’ve been a nurse for 6 months.


Finding a computer to chart is like fighting your way to the cornucopia.


You have never heard so many machines beep at one time.


The reaction you get when you ask for help from the nurse that no one warned you about.


The pep talk your preceptor gives you about caring for the 90 year old, 90 lb woman with dementia who you are just a tad afraid will hurt you, again.


The last 7 minutes of your shift, while you are waiting to clock out.


The minute you finish your shift assessment your charge nurse floats you to another unit.


You and your buddy decide to complain to your manager about your 4 on, 1 off, 4 on night shift schedule. They won’t fire both of you…right?


Haymitch is your veteran nurse friend that gives you advice and is always dragging you out for bloody Mary’s after your night shift


When the doctor belittles you in front of the patient.


This is the key to getting nursing awards.


Losing a patient is difficult, but you have to finish your shift.


This every shift that is short staffed, which seems like every shift.


Getting to know the other staff is not as easy as you think.


Learning how to prioritize patient needs and requests can be overwhelming.


Your family and friends don’t know what you are going through, but they are your biggest supporters.


How you feel when the charge nurse asks you take your 3rd admit of the day.


How you justify playing Candy Crush after you offer to help out your unit.


When you find out your work spouse accepted at another hospital.


Keep smiling! Your bonus is based on the patient satisfaction scores.





This is you realizing you are not a brand new nurse anymore. You actually know what you are doing!  You rock!  Now its your turn to be a mentor to a new nurse.





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Nurses Lie

Nurses have been voted by the public as one of the most trusted professions year after year.

Let me share a secret with you, nurses lie. Of course all nurses are not saints. It is possible to run across a Nurse Ratched or Nurse Jackie from time to time. That is not what I mean. All GOOD nurses lie. Nurses may pride themselves on being honest and having integrity in their personal lives, but they can not stop lying at work.

Seven lies that nurses tell:jurse jackie

1. It’s just allergies.

Nurses are constantly exposed to illness. They work long hours with little time for resting, eating, drinking or potty breaks. Many nurses work the nightshift which further weakens their immune systems. The nature of their work leaves nurses vulnerable to illness. It is not possible to stay home every time a nurse is sick. Patients need cared for 24 hours a day. Bills still need to be paid. Hospitals fire nurses when they take too many sick days. All these factors create tremendous pressure to take an over-the-counter cocktail of medications and head on in to work.

2. You are dilated to 9cm.

This may be true. Maybe not. It depends if your doctor is impatient with moms while pushing. Three hours of pushing is normal for first time moms, but not all doctors will wait that long. Your nurse may be buying you time to avoid a cesarean section. She may see that you really need to rest before you start pushing. Maybe you are waiting on a family member to arrive and she is trying to buy you time. Maybe she needs to eat a snack before she passes out and she knows you want to start pushing right at 10 cm.

3. Don’t worry, it happens all the time. It’s not a problem.

Chances are it doesn’t happen all the time, but your nurse wants you to feel comfortable and not embarrassed. Even if it is a common occurrence it probably is still a problem. A patient passing gas while a nurse is inserting an urinary catheter does NOT happen all the time and it IS a problem. Nurses will lie through their teeth while they try to not inhale and also try to not break sterile technique.

drunk P
If I can’t have Dilaudid can I have my IV Phenergan? Don’t forget to push it fast!

4. You can’t have any more Dilaudid.

Chances are you technically could have more. When a patient is asking for more narcotics in between snoring sessions and they can’t tell the nurse from the IV pole, they are not getting any more Dilaudid!

5. I have time for you.

Nurses wish that statement was always true. It is often a lie. Heavy patient loads and mountains of charting take time away from the time at the bedside. In a rare moment when a nurse is caught up with his shift work he still has hospital, unit, certification and licensure education requirements to complete. Nurses will stay at the beside and make the time for you that is needed. Then they will stay late to chart and come in on their days off to complete their continuing education requirements.


6. I need to go check on a lab result. (or any excuse to get out of a room)

Sometimes this is nurse code for “If I don’t go to the bathroom right now I am going to have to call a code brown on my self.”


7. I don’t smell anything. Yes they do! They smell it. They are just being nice. If it is within the nurses power to fix the problem then they will bathe, deodorize or bandage up the offending odor. When there is nothing to be done about the smell, they will lie to preserve the dignity of their patient.




Nurses lie. Should a nurse share her battle with irritable bowel syndrome and explain how it will affect her time management of her patient care? Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Despite a history of lies, nurses deserve to be the most trusted profession.

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If Your Hospital was Divergent

“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”
― Veronica Roth, Divergent

If nurses are anything, they are Dauntless.  What if your hospital was Divergent?



This is your first day off orientation.
This is your first day off orientation.


This is how you fixed your hair in nursing school.


Abnegation is the type of nurse you want to be when you start nursing.


Dauntless is the type of nurse you become after a few years.


Scoring the best assignment is like winning capture the flag.
Scoring the best assignment is like winning capture the flag.


This is how you feel when you realize your great assignment is not as great as you thought.


This is the point you decide to call the charge nurse for help.
This is the point you decide to call the charge nurse for help.


There is always at least one RN buddy that you can depend on when it counts.
There is always at least one RN buddy that you can depend on when it counts.


Charting gets a lot harder after 3 A.M.
Charting gets a lot harder after 3 A.M.


This is how you decide who gets the last kolache in the break room.
This is how you decide who gets the last kolache in the break room.


Sometimes patients just need a hand to hold.
Sometimes patients just need a hand to hold.


When your manager comes in early to talk with you.
When your manager comes in early to talk with you.


Thank goodness for nursing mentors.
Thank goodness for nursing mentors.


Don't worry.  We will go get  a drink after the staff meeting.
Don’t worry. We will go get a drink after the staff meeting.


Oh Crap!  This means paper work.
Oh Crap! This means paper work.


Overtime?  Yes, of course I will stay, if you are Four.
Overtime? Yes, of course I will stay, if you are Four.


This is you trying to beat the lunch crowd.
This is you trying to beat the lunch crowd.


Joint Commission is here.  Act right people.
Joint Commission is here. Act right people.


This is how you feel when you lose a patient.
This is how you feel when you lose a patient.



This is how you feel when you save a patient.
This is how you feel when you save a patient.


This is how you feel to go home!
This is how you feel when you get to go home!
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If Hogwarts was Nursing School

Nursing school is hard! 

It would be nice to magically memorize anatomy or conjure perfect care plans.

What if Hogwarts was your Nursing School?

sorting hat
The sorting hat would assign you into clinical groups.

Professor Snape
Snape would be your pharmacology professor.

Care Plans would be VERY individualized. 

Wizard robes would come in pediatric cartoon styles.

McGonagall would be the teacher you asked to pin you in the pinning ceremony.

Time-turners would be required for every student.

Trelawney would be your Psych clinical instructor.

 Hermione would be the student that kept the class in lecture the day the teacher said it would be a short class.

Ron would ask to study off your indexed and cross referenced notes and then lose them.

OWLS would be the HESI exam, but everyone knows only the Newt exams get you your license.

You would miss out on the whole Dark Lord has returned thing, because you are always in the library’s  restricted section studying acid base balance and Kreb cycle.

Graduation would be in the Great Hall.

Your nursing school friends are there with you through it all!

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What Hippies Taught Me about Birth


I learned a lot about labor from granola nurses and crunchy parents.  Here are my favorite lessons that I learned taking care of laboring patients whom were skipping pain medications.  It has made me a better labor nurse for all my patients.  What lessons have you learned in the world of labor and delivery?


Feed moms or they get cranky.




rose bloom
A cervix blooms like a rose.





It is okay to ask the tough questions






Don’t assume that all parents want vaccines, baths, disposable diapers or a pacifier, unless you want to see  crunchy mom wrath.





amniotic fluid
Babies like their amniotic fluid.  Don’t AROM their swimming pool.





Everyone needs a hug sometimes.





Make sure you are keeping a safe distance when its pushing time.





Sometimes a mom will need you every minute.






Sometimes a mom only needs her partner







Not all moms wear deodorant, have a fan handy.






red fox
It is okay to name your son Red Fox. (Or any other unconventional name)






Wait until the umbilical cord stops pulsing to cut!!







intermittant efm
Continuous fetal monitoring is not always necessary.








Always knock on the door first! I have been surprised on more than one occasion about what was going on in the room!







pulling out baby
Moms deliver babies, not doctors.








dad gaze
Watching a  dad and mom look at each other after the baby is born always makes me cry.


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My 10 Crunchy Mom Fails

And Why I’m Okay With It


1. I didn’t save my placenta to plant with a tree, eat,
make placenta prints or to encapsulate

          lone surviver

2. I tried using aluminum free deodorant for exactly one day


3. I can’t bring myself to pay more for Organic


4. Does mashing parts of my own dinner count as making my own  baby food?

baby eats

5. I was disgusted by cloth diapers in my childhood and passed on it as a mom.


6. Never made cute art out of my belly

 belly art

7. Didn’t want to have  a Water Birth


8. Never even heard of lactation cookies until this year

 lactation cookies

9. Struggle growing an herb garden


10. Never declined newborn medications


I don’t fall neatly into a mom category. I bet you don’t either! I’m a little crunchy, a bit soccer, a lot grizzly and a full time working mama. Sometimes I feel like I am a goddess of natural birth and attachment parenting, sometimes I’m driving through McDonalds for the second time in a week. That’s why I’m okay with my crunchy mom fails.  I don’t need to try to fit in to someone else’s idea of what makes a good mom.  I am a good mom. I’m a Boho mama.

I have the freedom to parent the way that I choose!

Maybe some of the above crunchiness is right for you.  Click on the links to learn more.


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You want a Trial Of Labor After Cesarean (TOLAC)? INCONCEIVABLE!!!

Your OB’s response when you tell him you want a vaginal birth after cesarean section:


What you are thinking when he says you will die if you try a VBAC:


What your husband is thinking when he sees you cry in the OB office:


What the nurses ask when you show up in labor before your scheduled caesarean:


How you react when they try to prep you for a c-section:

who are you


How you articulate your birth plan:


How you feel after listening to the TOLAC consent:


How your doctor acts when you haven’t delivered before 5PM


Your response to the 28th offer to give you an epidural:


What happens when you fall off Freidman’s Curve:


What they tell you when you decline augmentation:


How your nurse explains when starting pitocin:


What you tell your OB after 2 hours on Pitocin:


What your nurse does to buy you extra time:



What everyone does until you are complete:


How everyone feels when labor goes well and the baby is born healthy: