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2021 Alumni Q&A's Part II

Melinda Chu

Graduated: Spring 2020

Employer: CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange

Q: What was the most memorable part of nursing school?

A: The most memorable part of nursing school for me would be my peds rotation where I got to actually visualize what it would be like to be a peds nurse. My dream was to be a peds nurse at CHOC and it was a great opportunity to see what is expected of me. Work seemed to be more of playing with the patients and using the art of distraction when providing care.

Q: What was your favorite part of nursing school?

A: My favorite part of nursing school for me would be all the friends that you make. No one is going to know what you’re going through more than they do, because they’re in it with you and they understand the hardships of what nursing school brings.

Q: If you could go back to nursing school, what would you have done differently?

A: I would have stressed less over a lower grade of a quiz or test and focused more on the bigger picture, passing nursing school/NCLEX and being a safe nurse. The grade shouldn’t reflect on how good of a nurse you will be.

Q: During nursing school, what is one thing you wish you would have experienced?

A: Preceptorship in the ICU setting would have been nice to experience, but due to COVID, we had telehealth instead. But this change helps me with adaptability and just taking what I can during this pandemic. This skill is more valuable than an experience in my opinion since you learn more on the job regardless and should always be open to change and learning.

Q: How long did you study before taking the NCLEX?

A: I studied for about 2 months using UWorld. I did 60-75 questions per day. I did questions in the morning and reviewed every question in the afternoon. I made sure to give myself the weekends off to just rest and review all the questions.

Q: How long after passing the NCLEX, did it take to find a job?

A: Since I have been working at CHOC as a CA (clinical associate/CNA), the job hiring process for internal employees was released 2 months before the public. So, I applied at end of April and got the interview and job in May. So, I had a job before graduation but it was contingent on me passing the NCLEX before the start of the new grad residency program.

Q: What type of nursing job are you currently in?

A: I am a postoperative surgical nurse, on the night shift.

Q: If you are not working in the type of nursing job you want, what is your ideal nursing post?

A: This is my dream and ideal nursing job currently. I am able to learn so much from the different procedures done by the kids but also maintain their childhood with play at the bedside. I’ve always wanted to work with kids and this is the best job to do so.

Q : Have you pursued higher a degree? BSN? MSN? FNP? DNP? CRNA?

A: I am currently working on my BSN at CSULB. Their RN-BSN program allows you the flexibility to take however many classes you can handle with your work schedule and requires about 5 classes only to complete after you finish your ADN program. I plan to pursue my MSN/FNP licensure in the next few years, but for now, I’m prioritizing a little break from school and just focusing on building my nursing skills on the floor.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to a current or future nursing student?

A: Your grades don’t matter as much as the connections you make. Your support system and the connections you make at clinical are more important. Make sure to surround yourself with positive vibes and people that can support you through your wins and losses. Nursing school is tough but is totally doable. Enjoy every bit of it and always put yourself out there to learn the most. Always volunteer to do something or ask to watch a certain procedure during clinical, it’s the best way to learn and see things in person.

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