• 10 secrets to success for recent college grads pursuing nursing careers

    March 07, 2017 by

    Compassion, patience. A willingness to help. A desire to continually learn. Those are all important traits of a successful nurse, say Dr. Kim Hudson-Gallogly, head of the University of North Georgia’s Department of Nursing.

    “The medical field is constantly growing and changing,” says Hudson-Gallogly. And recent college grads pursuing a career in nursing or nursing jobs must be prepared to adapt now, and in their future. Especially when it comes to landing that entry-level nursing job.

    Those pursuing entry-level nursing careers should “try and expose yourself to many different areas of nursing so that you can know where your interests truly lie,” says Hudson-Gallogly. “That way, you can have at least a couple of areas you would like to work in, in case your first choice is not available.”

    According to the American Nursing Association “Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.”

    To succeed in a nursing career, college students and recent college grads pursuing nursing careers need excellent people skills with the ability to listen, observe, and communicate with others, says Rhonda Bell, Dean of Health Sciences at San Jacinto College North.

    “A nurse is a team member in an ever changing dynamic health care system,” says Bell. “He or she must have the ability to work as a part of a multi-disciplinary team in order to achieve the best outcomes for the patient and family receiving care.”

    Nursing can be a stressful career, says Bell. But also rewarding. A nurse must be able to manage stress and deal with emotional situations, as well be flexible and adaptable on short notice. What it comes down to is, a nurse must have a passion for caring for others, says Bell.

    Nurses are taught to be unbiased and non-judgmental when caring for all cultures, ethnicities, socio-economic groups, genders and age groups, says Dr. Janet Mahoney, Dean of the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies at Monmouth University.

    “The profession is guided by the code of ethics,” says Mahoney. “Nursing is a highly respected profession and one that the public highly regards as one of the most trustworthy.”

    Nurses portray calmness in a sea of chaos, adds Mahoney. As new nurses join the field, they quickly learn how to multitask and delegate appropriately. Each patient’s care experience brings nurses to a new level of knowledge, competency, and confidence. Each experience builds on the other to form a firm foundation.

    What are some other skills and traits of a successful nurse? What does it take for current college students and recent college grads to succeed in a nursing career? Nursing industry educators and leaders provide these 10 secrets to success for recent college grads pursuing nursing careers:

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  • 10 unique side jobs that can help pay off student loan debt

    February 16, 2017 by

     

    Robin Rectenwald has a full-time job working for WordWrite Communications a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania public relations firm, that she absolutely loves. But that hasn’t stopped her from finding unique side jobs to help pay off her student loan debt. Rectenwald graduated from Duquesne University in 2012 with 20 different student loans and $100,000 in loan debt. Now, in 2017, she only has five loans left, and is quickly whittling down the amount she owes.

    Before landing her first full-time job in 2012, Rectenwald worked part-time as a customer service representative at Gateway Clipper Fleet, a Pittsburgh sightseeing organization. She worked in the ticket and sales office, where she learned about marketing, sales and customer service – all valuable skills in her current role – and for any future opportunities. She worked for Gateway Clipper Fleet for four years, using that money to make extra payments towards her school loans. Rectenwald recently switched to a new part-time job as a customer care representative at ShowClix, a ticketing software company. For this job, she works from the comforts of her own home answering phones and responding to emails from customers looking to buy tickets to international events.

    “Even though I’ve grown as a professional in the PR field and have had a number of promotions that increased my salary since starting out as an entry-level professional, I continue to work a part-time job because I’m trying to save as much money as possible,” says Rectenwald. “With this part-time income, I’ve been able to pay off several student loans and I’m currently using this extra money to pay tuition out-of-pocket for grad school.”

    Rectenwald takes these part-time jobs seriously, and puts in maximum effort – something her managers have noticed. She was offered a full-time job in the marketing department at Gateway Clipper Fleet, and is writing a crisis communication plan for ShowClix as part of her grad school program.

    “These part-time jobs have not only expanded my network and presented additional career opportunities, it has also given me a unique perspective on marketing and communication strategies.”

    And it’s also helped her greatly reduce her student loan debt, and time it would take to pay the loans back.

    That’s what Eric Hian-Cheong is also trying to accomplish. He works full-time for a public relations firm in McLean, Virginia, but also has two, unique part-time jobs. He makes $11 an hour as a part-time rock climbing instructor at a local fitness center, and also works as a second shooter/assistant to a local wedding photographer.

    “Why limit yourself to just one other part-time job?” said Hian-Cheong.

    He works up to 8 hours a weekend, and nets up to $400 a month as a rock climbing instructor – which is right around what he pays each month for his student loans. That job also provides a free gym membership – saving him another $95 a month in gym membership fees.

    These jobs have helped Hian-Cheong improve his self-confidence, he says, and also provides an incredible social life outside of the 9-to-5 job.

    “I have several friends whose social lives revolve around their 9-to-5, which can get a little unhealthy at times,” says Hian-Cheong.

    It’s also helped him network and communicate with a wide variety, and diverse group of people, helping him develop communication, interpersonal, critical thinking, and speaking skills, as he must provide instructions, detail, and clarity, when instructing individuals and a class.

    Rectenwald and Hian-Cheong are among the many recent college grads supplementing their income, and paying off student debt with the help of a unique side job. What are some other unique part-time job opportunities one can pursue to help make extra cash to pay off student loans? Consider some of these options:

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