As I near the edge of finishing my precepting and schooling, I realize how much I DON'T know! Which is a little intimidating since I will be working as an RN in only a matter of months. With this being said--what are some tips from those of you who were once in my shoes, about to begin their new career. What are some things you wished you would have known before starting? What are some things you would have brushed up on? What were some things you looked for in a job before applying or accepting on a job offer? What are some words of wisdom or encouragement before I begin?
Oct 27, '12
by Nurse_, BSN, RN
Nursing is constantly changing. New things are added and removed all the time. There is no way anyone can possibly know everything. There’s no way to truly prepare because each hospital, patient, day is different from the next.
Before accepting a job offer, look at the population of nurses. How many nurses quit the hospital? Is this a hospital that is just a stepping-stone for new grads or do they stick around and last for years? You need to consider how much you are going to get paid. Once you accepted a pay rate, it’s hard to get a raise so make sure you are not selling yourself short.
Word of advice… HAVE FUN and ALWAYS REMEMBER WHY YOU BECAME A NURSE! You may not always have the perfect day, things happen, but at the end of the day, you have to look back and be able to tell yourself… I did everything I can possibly can for my patients.
My advice to new nurses:
1. Observe – observe your preceptors. How did they arrange their patient information, what data did they look at, what things did she pick up and asked at shift report… even what’s on her pocket
2. Ask questions – Ask how about the prioritization process, why was those questioned asked. Don’t be afraid to let ask questions
3. Show initiative – Tell your preceptor what you want to do, ask her to observe you, jump into the opportunity of doing something ANYTHING!
4. Ask for feedback – ask what else you need to work on.
5. Be ready to roll with the punches – doctors will yell at you, CNAs will not always be there to help, patients will not always be grateful. You have to be able to shrug, pick your head up and give it your best. You have to adapt to the changes and not take everything to heart. At the end of the day, YOU have to do whatever it is best for YOUR patient and if that means you have to argue with a doctor then so be it.
Last edit by Nurse_ on Oct 27, '12