Meet nurse Nacole, the newest ScrubsMag Nurseonality!
It’s no secret that we here at ScrubsMag love our Nurseonalities. Brimming with stories, positivity, advice and, of course, sheer personality, our Nurseonalities help keep ScrubsMag original, authentic and very much in tune with all things nursey.
Today, we are more than pleased to announce that another Nurseonality is stepping out onto the ScrubsMag scene. Needless to say, we’ve already fallen in love with her, and we think you will, too.
So, without further ado, meet the lovely and lively nurse Nacole!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Nacole Riccaboni. I was born and raised in Kissimmee, Fla. (I LOVE that name—go Kowboys!) I now live in Orlando, Fla. I’ve been married (for more than 10 years) to my husband, William, and we have a 16-month-old son, Rocco. Why Rocco? Well, Saint Rocco is the protector against contagious diseases (among other things). My husband had a heart attack when he was 30 years old and had a quadruple CABG surgery soon after. It took us five-plus years to have our son. The success of conception was due to a reproductive endocrinologist. Doctors and nurses helped my husband and I to expand our family. Medicine and nursing have both played a huge part in our lives and we wanted our son’s name to show this.
How long have you been a nurse?
I’ve been a nurse since 2011. I got laid off from a job and my husband told me it was time to do what I wanted (find a career) and NOT just get another job.
Who or what inspired you to go into nursing—did you always know that this was the path for you?
Kelly Moore—he was my A&P I and A&P II professor at Valencia Community College in Orlando. I went there when I was working on prerequisites for nursing school. He explained to me how important nurses are and how powerful a profession nursing is. He said nursing is beyond simple bandages and beverages; it’s about helping people in need. It continues to motivate me to this day.
Tell us about your most memorable patient, moment or experience.
I had a patient who was a kidney transplant and he told me something that changed my perception of care. He said, “You can’t control how people decide to live. All you can do is care for them and educate them. Nurses are amazing people, but as people, we decide how we want to live and on what terms.” As an ICU nurse, I enjoy being organized and having a plan of care. But sometimes, the patient doesn’t want that plan and/or care at all. I’ve learned that my job isn’t to fix everything; it’s to heal, educate and allow my patients to have options. That patient wanted to listen to Elvis while I gave him a bath. We did, and it was a day I haven’t forgotten.
What is it you love most about nursing? What about nursing presents the greatest challenge for you?
I love the opportunity of entering someone’s life and changing the trajectory with medical care. There is nothing like it. Watching someone go from critically ill to seeing him or her come in with a newborn. I’m not a physician, but as nurses, we are the bedside care. Being with someone for 12 hours a day…a bond, a relationship is created there. I love it! The greatest challenge is understanding the limitations of medicine and science. Sometimes I want a drug or I want a procedure to be successful regardless of a patient’s comorbidities. I care for many patients with oncology issues. It breaks my heart to see someone go through years of drugs, procedures and tests to find the cancer has returned, even more aggressively than before.
If you could change one thing about nursing, what would it be?
The introduction many graduate nurses have into the inpatient hospital setting and how they are trained during their first inpatient hospital position. Nothing prepares a graduate nurse for the repeated, extensive and detailed documentation required, on top of performance expectations. I feel many graduate nurses are ill-equipped and don’t have to the proper tools for long-term success.
What’s your number one piece of advice for fellow nurses?
Don’t let the politics discourage you from doing what you love. Yes, the staff meetings, limited resources and leadership issues might drive you crazy, BUT don’t let that hinder you from helping people.
What’s a goal in nursing that you’ve set for yourself?
Passing my upcoming training—Fundamental Critical Care Support (FCCS) training. My goal is to obtain new training or receive a certification every year. This year, I chose to do this one.
What are your top three nurse essentials and why?
Nursing mini binder (I made it for the patient population on my floor), drug cards (because I work on a multisystem unit and we give everything from cardiac drugs to chemo drugs to psych drugs…jack of all trades) and labels. I’m one of those nurses who carries around labs and a black marker. All my pumps are labeled and all my tubing is labeled. I must know what is infusing where so there are no issues in code situations.
Finally, where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, I’ve graduated from my DNP program. I love bedside nursing and will still do per diem work once I become an advanced practice nurse. But I want to create the plans of care and be a provider in the future.
Share your own questions for nurse Nacole in the comments section below!
Nacole Riccaboni BSN, RN is a critical care nurse living in Orlando, Fla. She currently is in school for her Doctor of Nursing Practice in family and adult acute care. Nacole, also known as Nurse Nacole, has a YouTube channel with more than a million views. The Nurse Nacole channel provides advice and tips for prospective, new and current nurses. Nacole also shares daily nursing tips and tools for bedside nursing success at nursenacole.com.
By Nacole Riccaboni