Finding the unit that feels like home

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When you’re on the hunt for a new job, that whole “evaluation” thing really ought to be a two-way street. So while your potential employers and colleagues are asking themselves, “Do we like this person?” you should be asking yourself, “Can I see myself here for longer than 48 hours?”

Needless to say, it can’t hurt to mull over some of your workplace priorities before and after the big interview. Below, Kati Kleber offers some personal assessment food for thought.

I have loved reading your blog over the last several months! I’ve bookmarked some of my favorites to come back to when I find a job. I had an interview today and it went really well. I set up a job shadow with them on Monday. What are some questions that might be good to ask the nurses on the unit while I have a chance? —Jessica

Jessica, great question. I’ve had the opportunity to do some peer interviews as the person being interviewed and didn’t ask the right questions. Now, I know what I would ask.

1. Do you have to float? If so, how often and to which units?
2. Do you typically clock out on time?
3. What do you think of the charting system you use?
4. Tell me about the doctors you frequently work with.
5. Is the whole “seasoned nurses eating their young” thing a problem on this unit?
6. Do you have a shared governance, magnet council, etc.?
7. How long do people usually work on this unit? (I’ve worked on some where half the staff had been there 10-plus years—a good sign—and another where the most experienced nurses had been there three years, and nurses with one year of experience were charge nurses of a 20-plus-bed unit.)
8. How many nationally certified nurses are on this unit?
9. Do you guys have a clinical ladder and do people actually go through it?

Hope this helps! I’ll try to think of more, but those were just the ones off the top of my head! Anyone else have good questions for peer interviews?

To read more, visit

Nursey-123x18511Becoming Nursey: From Code Blues to Code Browns, How to Take Care of Your Patients and Yourself talks about how to realistically live as a nurse, both at home and at the bedside…with a little humor and some shenanigans along the way. Get ready: It’s about to get real, real nursey. You can get your own copy at, Amazon or Goodreads (ebook).

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