This interview is to get a prospective from a current working RN about her transition from EMT to RN.
Hi Kendra, and thank you so very much for taking time to do this interview. I know that you work hard, and dedicating time away can sometimes be quite an annoyance.
Question - What is your current college degree level, and what credentials do you currently hold in nursing?
Answer - I hold an Associate of Science in Nursing from Indiana State University; Bachelor of Arts from Depauw with a major in psychology and minors in sociology and anthropology ; not really credentials but have completed the ENPC Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course; TNCC Trauma Nurse Core Course; ACLS, PALS and PALS instructor, CPR and CPR instructor, IV therapy instructor.
Question - Obviously, we would like to know more about you, and how it is that you ended up in nursing. Can you elaborate for us?
Answer - How did I end up in nursing? I went to DPU with the intent to get my BA and then a doctorate in clinical psych. while helping to put myself thru DPU by working at Putnam County Hospital. I Started in medical records, then went to the business office and eventually ended up as the secretary in the ER dept. There I was exposed to many great and smart nurses. It was there that I really learned that 'nursing' was not just for those not smart enough/or ambitious enough to pursue medical school but rather a field that I had never explored before. Eventually, I worked as an EMT in that same ER and really came to love patient care and what nursing or medicine could offer. It was a much better "fit" for me than a graduate program in clinical psych so I graduated with my BA, sat out a year and worked the streets full time as an EMT while I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up. I pondered long and hard between medical school and nursing school and eventually decided on nursing.
Question - You spent a lot of time as an EMT working on an ambulance. Was this something that you considered as a "stepping stone" into something better, or was it just something that you really enjoyed?
Answer - I would never say that being an EMT was a stepping stone to something better. Doing that seems to imply negativity about being an EMT and I would never want to sound that way. EMS, however, was a great opportunity for me to learn more about myself and to realize that I love patient care and that I love all that comes with the 'emergency setting'.
Question - You ultimately chose nursing as your primary career. It would have been very easy for you to just become a Paramedic. What was it about nursing that was more appealing to you than being a Paramedic?
Answer - I did contemplate nursing vs. paramedic for a brief moment, even knowing that I could later take the Paramedic to RN program. Nursing however offers better pay, more diverse working environments and many more opportunities when it comes to scheduling. It also offers more opportunities in the very far off future if I was ever to get to a place in my life or health where I didn't want/couldn't do the physical demands inherent in EMS street careers.
Question - Having worked in Emergency Medical Services as an EMT, do you think it helped you during your nursing education?
Answer - Being and EMT definitely was a benefit to my nursing education. It served as a great foundation.
Question - Did you take any of your RN courses online, and how did you balance your work and school schedule?
Answer - I didn't take any nursing classes online. I balanced my work and school schedule by trading shifts with coworkers so I could attend class and clinicals.
Question - Would doing your clinical rotations at a local hospital have been a benefit for you?
Answer - I did many clinicals at the local hosp. Luckily, ISU already had a program in place to allow students to do clinicals at my local hospital.
Question - Do you have any aspirations of continuing your nursing education, and if so, what would you do next?
Answer - Right now life is good... I love my job, my employer, my schedule. I love being a mom and have the time to be involved with him and his choices. So, right now I have no desire to go back to school. When, however, the time is right I will probably seek an advanced degree in a clinical nurse specialty field or neonatal one.
Question - Is the idea of obtaining your next degree through Internet based college courses something that you would consider?
Answer - I would definitely consider online courses: There is so much more flexibility.
Question - Lastly, after this many years in nursing, do you still enjoy it as much as you thought you would?
Answer - I probably love my nursing job now more than I ever did in the beginning or ever thought I would.
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