By: Carly Henzler

I interviewed Kimberly Lucas, an RN at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth

Kimberly Lucas has been a registered nurse for 12 years and has worked in the cardiac care unit for 7 years. For what she wanted to do right out of high school at the time of graduation, it was possible for her to be an LBN right away but went to college to get her ADN (associates degree in nursing). In order to be a successful RN, lots of "hands-on" was required and many years of nursing school. Mrs. Lucas became involved in the medical field because she was a nursing assistant right out of high school and enjoyed the job thoroughly. She decided to continue working for the wellness of others and got her certification and began going to college.

There is much advancement for an RN. Once one gains experience and goes back to school, one may become a manager (BSN degree), a director (MSN degree) or a teacher (PHD). It is possible for one to get tuition reimbursement when you're an RN depending on how your grades look in school. If there is an A on the report card, one may get 100% back, a B can get 90% back and a C can get 70% back. In this time, a nurse's tasks will include checking the patient's vital signs, administering any necessary drugs or other medical products and changing dressings as appropriate. Nurses will send off for blood tests or check the results of these tests, too. The job outlook for an RN looks very well for the future. There will always be sick and dying people for others to take care of so nurses will always be needed.

Mrs. Lucas has been working at JPS so long that at this point in time she has about 200 hours of paid vacation time per year. She does not see herself retiring from being an RN anytime soon (within the next 10 years) since she is so in love with the job. She fears she is taking after her grandmother who worked until she was 83 and died while on the job.

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