Here is some advise from a new grad, in an ED(total of 8 months now), who has been on my own for 3 months now. My hospital has a great education/orientation program. We are put through EKG, Critical Care Classes, ED classes, ACLS, PALS, etc. This program takes 6 months. The days we are not in class, we work with our preceptor..it works out to 1- 2 shifts a week on top of classes. Even with having gone through a traditional program, and with all the training...most everyday I am doing something I have never done before. Remember, the first two weeks new people are still trying to figure out where the bathrooms are!! I had a pretty strict, smart preceptor. For the first week I shadowed her, then took on an average of one patient each week. She jumped in when needed, and would put me in with other nurses if there was something I could learn from it. Starting out, one of the things I was most nervous about was starting IV's... one nurse gave me some great advice....Take the IV kit in with me when I first meet the patient, if there is any indication I might need to start an IV (at my hospital, we have standing orders to cover us with putting in a saline lock and drawing labs to send on hold to the lab).....that way, I had everything I needed, and could talk to the patient while I was doing my IV, part of my assessment.
I have to agree that the ENA modules are great, especially if you don't have a set training program. Our program was based around the ENA.
Finally, I was required to have a daily goal as well as a weekly goal. This kept me from falling in a rut and not taking on new tasks.
Remember, having a new grad is like teaching your 4 year old to cook....they are going to make a hideous mess, but will never forget the help you give them..