Life After NCLEX: Nurse Tajae`


Tajaè Vallot, RN (Speciality: Pediatrics)

My name is Tajae` Vallot, I am a Pediatric nurse from Chicago and creator of Navigating The Bedside: All Things Nursing + More. I have been a registered nurse for two years now, but before I was able to live this life and share my experiences, I was a nursing student just like you. I attended a small community college in my hometown, where I earned my Associate Degree in Nursing. I am currently in an accelerated online RN to BSN program, where I have three classes left to graduate!

Understand that you will be a novice nurse and be okay with that. Let’s be real, it doesn’t matter if you graduated with honors or passed the NCLEX in 75 questions, you will NOT know everything, and teaching moments are necessary in this career. A nurse that thinks they know it all, is not a safe nurse! We are human, you will make mistakes, don’t hold yourself hostage for it, but take accountability for it always, and find ways to improve in your weak areas. Allow yourself to be a sponge and absorb everything! Be adaptable and willing to get your feet wet, someone needs an IV, ask to do it! Little baby or grandma not eating and needs an NG Tube, step up, try doing it! Need a foley inserted, I’ll do it! The only way you will learn is if you repeatedly try and don’t be discouraged when you don’t get things on your first try. You have your entire career to get it right. You won’t always get everything, I have been a nurse for two years, some days I’m pro at getting IV’s, some days I suck! Get over it, be humble and always ask for help when needed. The last tad bit of advice I want to share with you guys is to “Own you, before they do”. Set the tone, give people permission to teach, but to never shame! Demand your respect, speak up for yourself, you can be taught without being ridiculed for it. Know you are smart as shit, give your opinion and recommendations to fellow nurses AND doctors, and always go with your gut!

I think when we step into our senior year, we’re excited because we’re another step closer to graduation and for some crazy, odd reason we thought nursing school was going to let up and magically become easier! Check it out, senior year was still mad hard, I still shed a couple tears, but I also made it and now have RN behind my name and that’s what I’m here to tell you! It may not get easier, but by now you should be adapted to the flow of things and know your study habits and what you need to do to excel. You should know that you’re capable of passing, so I want you to continue to make nursing your BITCH!

As we are in mid-October, I know many of my fellow nurse bae’s are well into their senior year and let’s face it you’re still freaking the fuck out! You have midterms coming soon, you’re thinking about NCLEX, finding a job, and trying to juggle work-life balance. I get it, that was me. I was your favorite study buddy, was in the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honors Society, but I was also the girl sweating bullets every Monday morning before tests and crying to my best friends about how stressed I was!

So, let me be the first to congratulate you in advance! You are going to pass nursing school and then you’re going to kick NCLEX’s ass! You’ve done the hard part and all the tools to success is already in you. As you prepare and think about life after graduation, my biggest piece of advice is to be open! That was one of my biggest mistakes, I was a new grad, but thought the world owed me something, when the work had just begun. Catch up on my latest blog “How I landed my not so dream job” where I talked about the struggle of finding a job post school. I don’t want to scare you and make it seem as if jobs aren’t available to you, because they are! You must be willing to be opened minded and work any unit that’s offered to you, just to gain some some experience and get your foot in the door. What I’m saying is everything may not go your way when it comes to finding a specialty of your desire, I will never say to not go after your dreams. I want you to reach beyond your wildest dream. Apply to that position by all means. BUT, do not limit yourself to just that specialty when you’re just starting this journey, apply to every position that you see available, like dead ass! Know the difference in “I can’t work within this specialty and I don’t want to work in this specialty”. Take what’s presented to you and LEARN! There will always, literally always be a chance in your career to switch units and grow.

Understand that you will be a novice nurse and be okay with that. Let’s be real, it doesn’t matter if you graduated with honors or passed the NCLEX in 75 questions, you will NOT know everything, and teaching moments are necessary in this career. A nurse that thinks they know it all, is not a safe nurse! We are human, you will make mistakes, don’t hold yourself hostage for it, but take accountability for it always, and find ways to improve in your weak areas. Allow yourself to be a sponge and absorb everything! Be adaptable and willing to get your feet wet, someone needs an IV, ask to do it! Little baby or grandma not eating and needs an NG Tube, step up, try doing it! Need a foley inserted, I’ll do it! The only way you will learn is if you repeatedly try and don’t be discouraged when you don’t get things on your first try. You have your entire career to get it right. You won’t always get everything, I have been a nurse for two years, some days I’m a pro at getting IV’s, some days I suck! Get over it, be humble and always ask for help when needed. The last tad bit of advice I want to share with you guys is to “Own you before they do”. Set the tone, give people permission to teach, but to never shame! Demand your respect, speak up for yourself, you can be taught without being ridiculed for it. Know you are smart as shit, give your opinion and recommendations to fellow nurses AND doctors, and always go with your gut!t!!

Thank you for reading & best of wishes! You got this!

Want to stay up to date with me and Navigating The Bedside? Looking for advice? Or just some inspiration?

IG: tahjeee

Blog: www.navigatingthebedside.com

Email: navigatingthebedside@gmail.com


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