896. A Day in the Life: What's It Really Like to Be a Registered Nurse?
“I think I would recommend that a young person who is interested in nursing today find a nursing mentor who can really help guide them through their decisions. Because nursing is such a wonderful profession and there are so many opportunities, and nursing education has changed dramatically over the years. I think it’s being set up in a way that there’s more support for the students and that the students have the ability to form stronger bonds with their faculty. I would suggest talking to as many nurses as you can, looking at the different areas of nursing based on what your interests are. Today there are so many areas to explore in the profession. I feel like you need a guide and mentor.”
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently entering her 20th year as a school nurse in Camden, NJ. She serves on several national boards and is the Legislative Co-Chair for the New Jersey State School Nurses Association (NJSSNA). Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing. She serves as faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. Robin writes a blog called The Relentless Nurse.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“At The College of New Jersey I got a double major in psychology and art therapy and was trying to decide whether to move forward and get my master’s degree in art therapy or social work. My final semester I was doing my art therapy practicum at a general hospital in South Philadelphia in a psychiatric unit where a number of nursing students were doing their psych rotation. Working with them made me begin to realize that I needed to look more deeply at the whole person and the science behind what was happening in an individual patient’s life. So based on that direct experience I decided to go to nursing school. Luckily I found out about a three-year associate degree scholarship program at the Helene Fuld College of Nursing. I applied and was accepted, so my nursing program was paid for and I set off on my career in this deeply gratifying profession.”
The Most Powerful Lessons and Experiences?
- “I was blessed to have some innovative teachers in my early years. In middle school, my social studies teacher, Mr. Murphy, inspired us to go deeper into clarifying our values. He connected me to what was happening in the world around us on the political, social and historic levels.”
- “I had a terrific ceramics teacher, was involved in theater, did a lot of writing and considered myself an artist, which is why I chose art therapy as my major when I entered college.”
- “After four engaging years getting my undergraduate degree in art therapy, and planning to go on to graduate school in the field, an experience with a group of nurses I was doing an internship with caused me to reevaluate my entire career path. Thankfully I trusted my instincts and made the right decision to enter nursing.”
- “After honing my nursing skills for 15 years in several different organizations, I decided to take classes to become a school nurse. The very first night, of the very first class the instructor said the city of Camden, New Jersey, was hiring and that I could apply with a special certificate. I interviewed a few days later and got hired on the spot and started a few weeks later. That was early 2001 and I’ve been here ever since.”
Connecting With Robin Cogan
Subscribe to the Podcast Free: