Registered Nurse: Cheri Theulen
1. Why did you choose to become a registered nurse?
I had an aunt who I admired that was a nurse, so early on in life I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I liked being around and caring for people.
2. What is your typical work day like?
I come in at 6:00 a.m. every day, Monday through Friday. I make sure the patient assignments are ready, set up IV fluids, greet patients, start admitting patients, start IVs, give medications as ordered and do physical assessments. Occasionally, I take care of patients after surgery. I am available to assist staff as needed and act as the charge nurse.
3. What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
The most rewarding part is seeing patients that I have cared for in the past and feeling like I made a difference to them. I like helping patients get through their surgeries and relieving some of their fears. The most challenging things are healthcare cuts and long hours.
4. What steps did you take in high school and college to help prepare you for your career?
I took science, biology and anatomy courses in high school. I worked as a nurse aide during college.
5. What did you find difficult during your career preparation? How did you overcome these obstacles?
The curriculum was at times challenging, but I studied with my student nurse friends and we worked through it together. My family was very supportive and I was very committed to reaching my goal.
6. What do you see as the strengths and skills needed to succeed in your career?
Excellent customer service skills. Good critical thinking skills. A friendly, caring and kind personality. Must be flexible with hours and be able to work independently. Must be a team player and be willing to accept help and advice.
7. What advice would you offer to students interested in pursuing a career as a registered nurse?
Your ultimate goal should be to want to help people and have a genuine concern for the sick. Be prepared to work off-shifts, weekends and holidays. Plan to work hard and be committed. Enjoy what you’re doing so your patients feel your enthusiasm and warmth. Always keep learning.