With a decade of critical care experience under his belt, Jason Fortunato, BSN, RN, has moved into a new role of Rapid Response RN. He explains that that role entails and also offers advice to nurses thinking about pursuing a graduate degree.
During the ten years I’ve been a Registered Nurse, I’ve worked in a variety of departments including the medical ICU and the Emergency Department. Currently I am working as a Rapid Response RN. If you have never heard of a Rapid Response RN, let me share a little about my current role. My days are jam packed and very fast paced. My primary responsibilities include responding to medical/surgical and telemetry units to assist with a patient who is deteriorating or to assist with any other clinical emergency situations. Once we arrive, we utilize our critical care background and experience to assess the patients, collaborate with the floor nurses and the physicians to develop a plan for this patient. Sometimes we can get them turned around and keep them on the floors, but many times they need to be transferred to a higher level of care (ICU) and we help with that as well. We respond to most Code Blues, STEMIs, stroke teams, inpatient falls and any other situations in which the floor nurses feel they need another set of eyes to assess the patient. Honestly, we are kind of jacks-of-all-trades in the sense that we really are a go-to for a lot of nursing care related concerns.
I am also currently working my way through graduate school. The best advice I could offer someone who wants to pursue an advanced degree is to remember your goal. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So take it day by day to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Keep focused and try to avoid extraneous distractions as much as possible (but find some time for fun!). Pursuing a graduate degree can be very, very overwhelming but remember, many of your peers have been successful in completing advanced degrees and you can too!