Currently the Nurse Recruiter at Lake West Hospital, Cathy Araps, BSN, RN, CR, looks back over her long nursing career. She explains that it has been very rewarding, saying, “I could never imagine doing anything else.”
While I always knew I wanted to help people, I was not sure in what capacity. Once I became a nurse, I needed to fine my niche and the Emergency Department filled that need. It was fast paced, with a variety of patients, and a great group of co-workers--I absolutely loved the ED. At the time, I felt that life could not be any better so I stayed in the ED for 27 years and loved every moment.
I was very fortunate to have two mentors who took an interest in my career and mentored me along the way. They felt I could take on more responsibility and grow in the department. I did become a charge nurse and eventually became the Nurse Manager. After eight years of managing, I knew it was time for me to make a change. I needed something new in my career and the department needed a new leader to take them in a new direction.
The position for Nurse Recruiter became available; I applied and was selected. This position has been a great fit for me. To improve myself, I became a certified recruiter. Whether it is the managers from whom I recruit, or the candidates I interview, I always try to find the best fit. Having a good relationship with the managers is so important. Having been a manager helps me understand their viewpoint. I thoroughly enjoy talking with new graduate RNs who are so enthusiastic about starting their careers. Speaking with RNs looking to make a change and take on a new challenge in their careers is also exciting. Such a change can be difficult but I try to help them look at all of the opportunities. My interviews are conversations designed to obtain information, but also to be encouraging to help them find the right fit. I have been the Nurse Recruiter for ten years and those years have been very rewarding. I could not have made a better choice in careers!