When I decided to go PRN I was tired, stressed everyday at work and upset because I couldn’t see my husband that much due to his work schedule. I think all nurses can agree that our mood and energy can have the greatest effect on how well we do our job and needless to say, I was cranky and burnt out. Once I went PRN I wasn’t there as much, so I was much happier. I had energy and was able to enjoy my job and my patients more. I didn’t have to deal with the drama of the unit and the best part was that I get to choose how much I work and when I work.
Going PRN also helped me become a better nurse because I was forced to float more and get outside of my comfort zone, therefore expanding my knowledge and nursing abilities. I learned different patient management strategies and techniques and developed even more of a confidence as a nurse because I became a little more well rounded.
Getting a PRN job at a Skilled Nursing Facility.
I decided to get another PRN job to fill in the gaps that I had when I didn’t work at the hospital. A skilled nursing facility is a completely different environment than an ICU but I learned so much while I was there. I became better at skills (because it was a do or die situation and you really had no back up), assessment, delegation (and this is hard because we ICU nurses know we like to do everything ourselves) and resident family management.
Okay so obviously experience helps you become a better nurse but I just had to throw this one in there because I don’t think people understand…I used to have anxiety attacks in my driveway before pulling out to go to work! And then the whole time at work I would be so scared that I would give the wrong med and not notice the right thing and hurt my patient, so I probably wasn’t providing the best care I could’ve been. What a big difference now! Now I feel pretty confident taking just about any patient and know that I will be able to provide them with great care.
I would really say any type of extra education that you seek could help you become a better nurse (certifications). Having that extra knowledge gives you a little more insight on a patient’s disease process and how to better treat them, therefore giving you more confidence as a nurse because you actually know what you’re talking about ;).