Written by: Madison Kear BSN, RN
I DIDN’T KNOW OUTPATIENT WAS AN OPTION
As a nursing student, the idea of working in outpatient seemed far in the future. Then the idea of working outpatient as a new grad seemed like a fairytale. My professors always stressed that new nurses should start their career in the inpatient setting. However, in nursing school, I had horrible anxiety attacks the night before clinical. I started thinking I chose the wrong profession.
The summer before my senior year, I took a nurse internship in the float pool at a local community hospital. I thought this opportunity would give me insight about what specialty I would want to work in. Yet, the internship left me totally inconclusive. When I began to apply to new graduate nurse positions, I stumbled upon endocrinology outpatient position, and I never looked back.
WHERE MY PASSION FOR NURSING STARTED
My passion for nursing started when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a teenager. I was rushed to the hospital and the nurses who cared for me and my family led me to fall in love with the nursing profession. As a type 1 diabetic, I go to my endocrinologist multiple times per year. From a young age, it’s opened my eyes to how important outpatient care is for patients to manage their health.
STARTING IN OUTPATIENT AS A NEW GRAD NURSE
I was so excited for the opportunity to work in endocrinology but the idea of starting my career as a nurse was still very intimidating. Fortunately, my coworkers welcomed me with open arms and supported me through this transition. Due to the routine and low stress environment, outpatient setting was the perfect place to learn and grow as a new nurse. Working with the diabetic population as a fellow diabetic allows me to be empathetic, understanding, and nonjudgmental. I found that working in a speciality that I was passionate about made my job as a nurse that much more fulfilling.
OUTPATIENT SAVED MY MENTAL HEALTH
Outpatient nursing has helped my mental health incredibly. I would always hear so much negativity about the nursing profession due to nurse burnout. The set shifts of outpatient allow me to create a routine that has helped me create a great balance between work and life. I believe that nurses take the best care of their patients when they can take care of themselves first. Outpatient has helped my anxiety significantly. I no longer wonder if I made the correct choice in professions.
Being in a setting where the nurses are not burnout, but instead radiate joy caring for others has shifted my perspective to fall back in love with nursing. I enjoy going to work each day and making a positive impact in my patients lives outside of the hospital.
One thing I learned from working outpatient, right out of nursing school, is that you have to do what is best for you. At the end of the day it is your life, your career, and your happiness.
Madison Kear is a registered nurse with 2 years of experience. She has been working at her outpatient endocrinology clinic since she became a new grad nurse in 2021. Madison is part of her ambulatory retention committee to find new ways to make sure that nurses are happy at their jobs. Madison started her social media accounts to help show that outpatient nursing is a great option! By sharing her own experience as a new grad nurse navigating a non traditional route, she hopes she can help nurses choose a career path that is best for them and not what everyone else expects of them!