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November 28, 2016

Meet Nacole Riccaboni: Helping Nurses Thrive

Nacole Riccaboni is a passionate registered nurse who enjoys helping prospective, new and experienced nurses through her YouTube Channel and blog, Nurse Nacole.

In this interview Nacole discusses her nursing career path and gives industry advice to current and apsiring nurses.

What does a typical day in your week look like? With your YouTube channel, blog, and nursing career, how do you manage your time?

I work nights so my life begins when the darkness falls. That sounded super cool, right? Haha. No seriously, I start at 7AM with my son jumping in our bed and waking me and my husband up. He’s a human alarm clock. Weekend or not, he will wake us up at 7AM and he will expect breakfast ASAP. After the niceties are over, it’s time to play and study. I’m currently in an Emergency DNP program so I study when I can, usually between playdates and taking my son to the pool. Once my son naps, I try to either write a blog post or film a YouTube video (or nap myself). If he doesn’t sleep, those don’t happen. When my husband comes home, I kiss him, give him an update and I’m off to work. I work from 7PM-7AM. When I get home at 8AM, I kiss my husband and he’s off to work. We play tag like that 3-4 days (a week) and miraculously have two days of being a normal couple who eats dinner together.

What inspired you to create a YouTube Channel dedicated to helping prospective, new, and experienced nurses?

I started nursing school and wanted to document my process. At the time, I didn’t think anyone would see the videos I made. Boy was I wrong, haha. After I passed the NCLEX-RN and got a job, I vlogged about the stressors of nursing and it took off from there. We need more nurses in the world, I’m just trying to help.

Why are you doing what you do? What motivates you?

For my community and family. I do what I do for my son, it took us 10 years to meet him. Thanks to reproductive endocrinology. My main motivator is my husband, who had open heart surgery while I was in nursing school. Medicine was and is a big part of my life. I want to be there for people in their times of need because I’ve been there and needed someone. And that someone was always a nurse, doing his or her job and helping me above and beyond.

What are your biggest stumbling blocks and what are the best ways you've found to overcome them?

My biggest stumbling block is understanding we are human. We break easy. Understanding human limitations has been tough for me. Sometimes, you can do it everything right and someone still pass away. I overcome this barrier through my faith and appreciating my family and loved ones as much as I can.

Why did you want to become a nurse practitioner? What are some challenges in reaching that goal?

I want to be a nurse practitioner because I want to have a bigger role in medical care plans. I want to go beyond the bedside and work with providers in caring for acutely ill individuals. The current challenge in reaching this goal is finding preceptors. Sounds easy in theory but it’s been tough. Many are busy themselves and overwhelmed with large patient loads. They don’t have the resources or time to take on students. It's taken some time and tons of networking but it has worked out so far. I have a year left in school. Hopefully, this hot streak keeps going.

What’s an accessory or item that you have to bring with you to work everyday? Why?

The Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200. It’s a great piece of machinery and it enables me to perform my job at a rapid pace. There is no hesitation or second guessing. I heard it, I heard it well, and now I can move on to the intervention. It cuts my assessment time down my 30%. I would spend so much time, re-listening and fearful I missed something. Not anymore.

If you had the chance to go back to nursing school again, what is one thing you would do differently?

I would expect more from my professors. Often I took the, “I’m so grateful” position. This allowed professors to do minimal teaching and left me without a proper understanding in some areas. I wish I had expected more from my professors and instructors as nursing student. Perhaps, the learning curve as a graduate nurse wouldn’t have been so steep.

What’s 3 pieces of advice you can give to current and aspiring nurses?

1. No one is an expert at the beginning. Allow yourself time to develop

2. Take your time and understand the nursing foundations. You build upon them.

3. Don’t give up. Even when you want to. Don’t.

Want to become a nurse practitioner? Find out the pathway from RN to nurse practitioner.

Next Up: Nurse Spotlight|Kathy Quan

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