Name: Janine Tranfa
Class of: 2009
Position: Registered Nurse
Employer: Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Summary: While attending Rivier College, Janine became a member of the Women’s Cross Country Team her freshman, sophomore, and junior years. During her senior year, Janine had the opportunity to travel to Houston, Texas to volunteer at Casa de Esperenza de los Ninos, the House of Hope for Children in Crisis due to abuse, neglect, or HIV. In 2009, she was inducted into the Rivier-St Joseph Nursing Honor Society which recognizes students for their superior achievement, qualities, and commitment to the ideals and purposes of the nursing profession.
When did you know a career in nursing was the right decision for you?
To be completely honest, when I first started at Rivier I had no idea what area of nursing I wanted to pursue and if nursing was truly what I wanted for my career choice. It was during my clinical rotations and nursing classes that I truly fell in love with everything nursing has to offer an individual. The classes at Rivier are excellent at explaining and encouraging all the different paths you can take as a nurse. I learned how important education is and how you as an individual can contribute to the nursing community and to the nursing profession as a whole. The amount of information you need to learn and study in order to become a nurse can be very overwhelming. However, being able to focus and pursue one area of study granted me even more opportunities to learn and benefit from the community around me. Being a nurse allowed me to experience different places, meet and work with all types of people and these things helped me to grow not only as a professional nurse but as a human being.
What made you decide on Pediatric Nursing?
It was during my clinical rotations at Rivier and my experience working at a summer camp in New York that helped me to discover my true vocation was pediatric nursing. The camp consisted of 600 boys and girls ranging in age from 7 to 16 who were there for the entire summer. This was a great experience. I was part of a close knit medical team consisting of six Registered Nurses and four Physicians. I loved working with the members of the medical team and I enjoyed helping the campers with their medical needs, everything from daily administration of their routine meds, to mending broken bones, to treating allergic reactions. My time at camp allowed me to experience an RN role outside a hospital setting.
What was your most important accomplishment while attending Rivier?
There are two events that stand out in my mind. The first event was passing NCLEX-RN on my first try. This was definitely a major accomplishment. I remember leaving the exam and not feeling as though I had actually taken the nursing boards. I had studied so much and done so many practice questions that when it came to actually taking the NCLEX-RN it felt as though all I was doing was answering more practice questions. The second most important accomplishment was being selected as one of ten senior nursing students to receive the Honors Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement.
What type of services available at the Career Development Center (CDC) did you utilize?
I utilized the resume and cover letter writing services at the Career Development Center. I met with Marie several times, working one-on-one, writing an effective resume and cover letter. She helped me formulate what needed to be said on both but in fewer words and in a more professional manner. I am very thankful to the CDC for helping me. Marie was very patient. She showed me how to express and explain exactly what I was looking for in a nursing job.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give current students to better prepare them for their careers?
I would definitely tell current students to keep an extremely open mind about where to start their careers. It is very important not to have your heart set on one nursing specialty or on obtaining a job in a specific city. Students should be open to starting out on a medical/surgical floor and then pursuing a nursing specialty. I would also tell current students at Rivier or those just entering the nursing program to always remember how smart you are and not become too overwhelmed by school or a job. Choose a style of studying that works best for you. If you study better by yourself then study by yourself. If making a million flashcards is how you memorize things then do that! Don't listen to others freaking out about an upcoming exam or how hard a class supposedly is or how terrible a place is to work. Remember; take one class, one exam, and one job at a time. Focus on what you need to do in order to do well and get yourself where you want to go.