4 shifts of orientation for new grad

  1. New grad here - accepted a full time RN position on a med/surg floor in an acute care hospital being told that orientation was flexible to our needs. Was super grateful to be hired full time. I've had 4 shifts of orientation have been told it's time to be on my own. Requested extra orientation time and was denied. Was told that other nurses on the unit will be there to help.

    I feel that I am so new that I need more support than just asking other nurses who have their own assignments. I need someone co-responsible for my patients to watch me closely until they are confident I can safely care for these patients alone. I need someone who has the time to answer my many (many, many) questions I still have after only 4 shifts.

    I am wondering if 4 shifts of orientation has been anyone else's experience as a new grad? Am I right to feel that this is very unsafe and refuse to work on my own unless I have more time?

    Thank you!
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    About hmnewgrad

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 2

    7 Comments

  3. by   cyclone67
    I had 3 months of orientation with a preceptor; oncology unit. No, 4 shifts is not enough or the norm for a hospital job. I would keep my eyes open for another residency opportunity.... And that is not flexible to your needs -- but is totally flexible to their needs for a warm body.
  4. by   Chazzie_Made_It
    Wow!! I wouldn't feel comfortable after 4 shifts either. My new grad residency program is 12 weeks long, minimum. I am on my 4th week and still have a ton of questions. I feel slow at times and am grateful for my preceptor. I feel bad about your situation. I'd be looking for another position, elsewhere. Sounds like they're forcing you to either sink or swim.
  5. by   Newgradnurse17
    4 shifts will be ok as long as your in a supportive environment. While on orientation you will never feel confident. When your alone you will learn so much more and gain that confidence. Try it, put all those negative thoughts out of your head, and ask plenty of questions. And if it's a disaster, you'll get more orientation!
  6. by   Medic/Nurse
    Are you expected to hit the ground "running"? Full load. Say 5-8 patients or whatever is normal.

    Any prior healthcare experience - where/kind/how long? At this facility?

    Any other issues? New city/moved, long commute, any sense that things are (in the extreme) going great/not going well overall.


    This seems less about a "fear of leaving the orientation nest" and doesn't scream afraid to try. I think unless you have an exceptional circumstance (super supportive unit - in which case why are they pulling this horsecaca) or experience in healthcare/with this facility - yeah, my spidey senses would be sensing badness potential.

    Keep us posted. Good luck.

  7. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from hmnewgrad
    New grad here - accepted a full time RN position on a med/surg floor in an acute care hospital being told that orientation was flexible to our needs. Was super grateful to be hired full time. I've had 4 shifts of orientation have been told it's time to be on my own. Requested extra orientation time and was denied. Was told that other nurses on the unit will be there to help.

    I feel that I am so new that I need more support than just asking other nurses who have their own assignments. I need someone co-responsible for my patients to watch me closely until they are confident I can safely care for these patients alone. I need someone who has the time to answer my many (many, many) questions I still have after only 4 shifts.

    I am wondering if 4 shifts of orientation has been anyone else's experience as a new grad? Am I right to feel that this is very unsafe and refuse to work on my own unless I have more time?

    Thank you!
    New grads should expect orientation to be within the range of 8-12 weeks, specialty areas more like 16.

    Even experienced nurses can expect 2- 4 weeks. Was there an Orientation checklist to be completed, and was it completed in your 4 shifts? For example, have you been observed managing a tube feeding, independently performing the discharge process, and so on?

    Can you ask your manager what the criteria is for readiness to come off Orientation?
  8. by   nursiee
    I personally do not think that 4 shifts is enough. When I worked in adult med/surg as a new grad, I only had 5 orientation shifts. I didn't think it was enough, but I still thought I would be okay working on my own. I worked on my own after that, and the shift was a gong show to say the least. One of the nurses I worked with on that shift encouraged me to advocate for myself and ask for more orientation shifts. I then asked for 2 more buddy shifts, and I still didn't feel ready after that, but I just didn't want to keep having to ask for more shifts. I just sucked it up and worked on my own. It was still quite overwhelming. Some staff were helpful, some staff were not so helpful, but meh.

    They don't usually give many orientation shifts for med/surg because it's not a specialty area. I don't think it's fair. If you don't feel comfortable after 4 shifts, then you can try asking your manager for more shifts again. I also agree with what NurseBeth said: you can find out where you need to be at in order to come off orientation. It may also be helpful for you to find a really supportive nurse on your unit who would be willing to mentor you when you work on your own.
  9. by   nurse528
    4 shifts?!?!?! I had 4.5 months on floor! Granted it was 10 weeks in a med-surg unit in a comprehensive new grad program and another 8 weeks on the cardiac/tele unit I eventually transferred to.

    In my opinion 4 shifts is NOT enough. I was not at all prepared to be by myself by the end of my 2nd week of orientation. In my opinion either try to advocate for a few more weeks of training, or get out of there and find another acute care hospital that will be able to give you the proper orientation and preceptorship a new grad needs!!!

    4 shifts is what a experienced, per diem nurse gets. 4 shifts for training is very unsafe for a new grad. Don't jeopardize your license!

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