Was I nervous? YES.
It had been a year since I graduated from my LVN-RN bridge program, I just passed my NCLEX-RN a month ago, and here I was.. working as an LVN in an Emergency Department and going in for my first RN interview.
When it came to LVN interviews, I had gotten to a point where it was “either they hire me, or they don’t”.. I stopped letting it phase me. My interviews had turned into conversations with a few laughs and sharing of nursing experiences between myself and my interviewer. But this was different. This was my FIRST RN INTERVIEW, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.. how in-depth and thorough my answers needed to be.. and if I’d even know the answers! Shoot, am I even considered a “new grad” anymore?
So I had called a home health company that I spoke with last year upon finishing school.. requirements were:
- RN License
- 1 year of Nursing experience (LVN was okay, New Grad encouraged to apply)
- EMR experience
The supervisor wasn’t too keen on speaking with me last year as I didn’t have my license yet, but definitely was interested now that I sent her an updated resume, cover letter and license update this past month. She penciled me in two days later.. and that brings us to today.
I walked in with my large manila envelope which had copies of: Job Posting, Cover Letter, Resume, Copies of my Ls and Certs, Multiple Letters of Recommendations I collected through the years, my Immunization/Flu Shot/TB record, and copy of my most recent Physical. I also brought along my Driver’s License, SS card, Auto Insurance and Auto Registration.
I sat down on the other side of the Supervisor’s desk, with my purse and manila envelope on the seat next to me. As she thumbed through her pile of resumes, I reached out to her with my cover letter and resume, and placed my letters of recommendation to the side. And as she read over my resume, I took out my pen and paper to take my notes. (I sometimes record my interview to evaluate my “performance” and responses.)
She skimmed my resume and would mention and question things like “Oh, what did you do as an LVN in the Emergency Department?” “What was your role as an LVN in home health? Just wondering because we only hire HHA.” “So, I see you’ve worked in different areas, what is your ultimate goal?”
Then she dove into asking what I would do in different situations. First one was, “Say you came for a first home visit and the family directed you to the patient’s room, what would you do if you saw the patient sitting on the floor, confused?” Second situation was, “What would you do if you witnessed a person who you thought was having a stroke?”
After answering her questions to the best my scrambled-mind could, she asked if I had any questions.. and this was where I broke it out into conversations and experiences, both mine and hers. I felt comfortable. And after about ten minutes of this, she went over the pay rate and schedules.. addressing the fact that I currently have a 40-hour LVN position and whether or not I intend on keeping it.
In the end, I felt comfortable and confident in this 40 minute interview. The supervisor still has a small stack of resumes (might not all be RNs applying as they also have OT and PT..etc), and told me she would update me on Tuesday. But she did compliment my demeanor and smile, also mentioning that I was smart.. which caught me off guard and left me unknowing of how to respond.
I had my SECOND RN INTERVIEW for another home health company. So after grabbing lunch, I drove another 40ish miles to my next interview.
I realized I didn’t have the butterflies that I had anticipated I would. I walked in, filled out the in-office paper application, and waited for my interviewer to call me back. Upon entering, I handed my resume on hand to the second lady that joined us. They reviewed my resume and asked questions about my roles in each prior position, with a major focus on my two years in home health care. Then they gave me the mic to ask my questions..
I try to think up situations, rather than just questions.. I unintentionally (or intentionally at times) try to stump the interviewer(s) with situations that could possible come up that would require additional assistance or equipment that may not be on hand. We covered wound care supplies, DMEs, charting and additional training if requested/necessary.
Then, next thing I knew it, I was walked over to one of the receptionists and asked to take a seat.. “I guess you’re hired!”
Being organized and prepared, I brought everything they had asked me to.. and everything that is typically requested document-wise during the hiring paperwork. Both originals and copies for them to keep, to speed up the process. So I got my photo taken, got my pay rates and requested to bring my paperwork home to fill out so I wouldn’t get stuck in too much traffic.
This interview seemed more like an introduction to the company, the position and the training process.. rather than a sit-down, assess my actions in a situation and go over my experience type of interview. I must say, the “you’re hired” moment didn’t feel as exciting as I thought it would..
Overall, I am thankful.
I do plan on giving the first company’s trial period a try to see how I feel out in the field shadowing.. and I do plan on my shadowing hours for the second company, which entails a lot of wound care observation. Lastly, I do plan on keeping my 40 hour LVN position in the Emergency Department.. in hopes that I get a 3 day/12 hour RN beginning position within the next few months.
Plan from there? A few RN Case Manager visits on my four days off, along with my three days in the ED/Hospital.
I am always willing to learn as much as I can, and experience as much as I can, especially since I am not that great of a “book learner.” Here’s to some exciting adventures to come!
‘Til next post,