Aderonke A., BSN, RN - Adult Cardiac Stepdown (7MCE)

NRI was initially apprehensive about the nurse residency program when I was in nursing school because it was a new concept to me. I started researching a lot about it and I found out it was more common than I thought. A lot of hospitals had adopted the practice and it was the new way of helping new nurses transition to practice. However, Vanderbilt’s Nurse Residency Program caught my eye because I found out that the program is accredited with distinction as a practice transition program by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission. The program is also known for the high-quality, evidence-based education it provides, while the institution, as a whole, is regularly recognized for research, leadership, career accomplishment, and scholarship. 

Having seen all these, I decided to take a leap of faith and join the residency program. Now I can proudly say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. What fascinated me the most were the people here at Vanderbilt. From the cleaners to the physicians, everyone is genuinely kind and there is a sense of community, which is rare to find in a workplace. 

I started the residency program in February, right when the pandemic started. So, as you can imagine, everything was different. The preceptors were also students because everyone was learning the new normal. From the new protocols to the new CDC recommendations, everything was constantly changing. However, the one thing that remained constant was the support of everyone here at Vanderbilt. From the nurse residency coordinators to the educators, preceptors, and supervisors, everyone made sure all the new nurses felt supported. They were constantly checking in to make sure we were doing okay and coping with the unideal situation we had been dealt with. Being a new nurse comes with so much anxiety, you realize these are no longer mannequins, but instead are real patients. Hence, there is really no room for error because that could potentially end someone’s life. 

But I can proudly say I wasn’t anxious because there was always someone to answer my questions and help me in any way possible. That experience really solidified my love for this place. When I see people that have been here for 30, 40 years, I see why now. It’s easy to fall in love with this place. Now when people ask me if I see myself staying at Vanderbilt for a long time, my answer is yes. My goal is to go to Vanderbilt School of Nursing and become an Acute Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner here at Vanderbilt. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the institution is perfect. There are things we are trying our best to improve on. But if you want an organization that will have your best interest at heart and creates a safe space for you to practice as a nurse, this is the place for you. 

“With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.” The nightingale pledge. I remember reciting this on my pinning with a big grin on my face. Excited is too small of a word to describe how elated I was. I finally did it. I am a nurse! I always knew nursing wasn’t going to be easy, what I didn’t know was how much I was going to have to uphold that pledge. So, as you get ready to say these words too, remember why you chose nursing! We need you now more than ever. Your patients are waiting for you! Finally, my name is Aderonke and I am a proud Vanderbilt nurse. You can be too!