Could really use some calming down right now

  1. 1
    New RN, just grad in May. Been in a long and grueling hospital orientation, working my butt off. Word is they're generally 10 weeks long, and I'm in my 9th week. I feel I'm ready to fly on my own. A few small mistakes, but nothing at all major. I'm tough on myself, but overall I'm meeting my own expectations. My weekly evaluations have been really good, being exposed to a wide range of patient diagnoses, been receiving high praise from my preceptors.

    So, why when I got my schedule for October it has me on 2 additional weeks of orientation? Not once during these past 9 weeks has ANYONE mentioned needing more weeks of orientation. I feel I'm blindsided without any explanation. I haven't asked for more time. Unless my preceptors have totally been lying to me, where is this coming from? I got an email from the orientation coordinator saying this is your schedule through week 12. I don't know how many of these weeks you'll need, so we'll assess where you are after you finish your 9th week this week. Didn't say I definitely will have more time, but obviously it's crossed their minds. My feedback has very positive. What did I do wrong?
    Joe V likes this.

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  2. 28 Comments...

  3. 18
    They might have just made the schedule that way so that if you DID need/want more orientation, it wouldn't create holes in the schedule. This way, they can still add you to shifts, but the other way could've left them short-staffed on some days. Ask them, though, we don't really know what's going through their minds. There is nothing wrong with more orientation, I would take all that I could get! You have your entire career ahead of you to fly solo. Enjoy the extra help and knowledge while you have it
    joanna73, azhiker96, RN1Each, and 15 others like this.
  4. 12
    You need to take the long view on this one ...

    You have likely been working as a nurse for 27 days (9 weeks x 3) -- assuming that there has been no interruption for class time/competency teaching/other time out of the unit.

    If you ask for clarification / additional feedback, I'd suggest you ask in a neutral way, such as "confirming" what has been written on your weekly evaluations or "is there anything additional you can tell me at this point so that I can improve" ... rather than the emotional "why am I being scheduled for more orientation time?"

    Good luck to you.
    Last edit by Altra on Sep 20, '12 : Reason: typo
    joanna73, RN1Each, CrufflerJJ, and 9 others like this.
  5. 6
    It is also likely that they sent the same message to every new hire, and they fully expect to sign most of you off orientation at the end of week 9.

    Did your sweet grandmother ever say, "Don't borrow trouble?" She meant that in situations like this, don't personalize and don't catastrophize. Sometimes it is really not about you. Let us know when you're on the regular schedule!
    joanna73, opossum, barbyann, and 3 others like this.
  6. 0
    Thanks for the input, guys. I don't frown upon the extra time to get the experience. The emotion is coming from thinking I've been doing a good job, then feeling like maybe I'm not afterall. This orientation has been very stressful.
  7. 1
    I am sure you're doing fine! Just ask, and the sooner the better - don't let it get you down.

    Maybe, "I just wanted to clarify my schedule because I thought we had talked about coming off orientation after week 9, but I am scheduled until week 12."

    And maybe you should express that you feel ready. I had a similar situation as a new grad, the orientation was 10-12 weeks. I emailed my manager around week 8 or 9 and expressed I felt confident (as could be expected) with a full patient load and felt I would be ready to come off orientation at week 10.

    Once, as an experienced nurse, I was scheduled for extra orientation simply because the floor had traveling nurses who were contracted and therefore unable to be floated or cancelled, so until they left a week or two later there was no room for me on the schedule. I too was worried I wasn't competent, but when I asked my manager she said, "I figured you might as well stay on orientation rather than be floated because I'm sure you wouldn't want to be floated first week off orientation." I'm not saying this is the situation on your floor, but rather, just an insight that weird things can affect staffing.

    Good luck!
    GrnTea likes this.
  8. 2
    No one says you did anything wrong...if they are giving you two more weeks of orientation, grab it! I have been a nurse for nine years love and at my new job I am going to be on orientation for three months too...they want to make sure you are ready to fly to their standards, so take the opportunity to have two more weeks to learn...good luck Hon you will do fine
    opossum and tewdles like this.
  9. 0
    Being the worst critic of myself, I can certainly understand why this would have you not only questioning your performance, but also the word of others that have praised your performance. What I don't understand is why, in a situation like this, you didn't immediately go to your "orientation councilor" and simply ask why? I find it incredibly interesting how many posts I read on here that involve an issue that could easily be cleared up by simply engaging in the proper dialog with the proper person. Just sayin...
  10. 0
    One thing I have learned in a short period of time is that nurses tend to be very critical of themselves, and that is including me(I'm not a nurse yet). I bet a million dollars that you are doing great, and that your letter was generic. I would look at orientation as free education. I also understand that you are ready to jump in and start doing everything you have been taught. Good luck!!
  11. 4
    Be grateful you have more orientation time. Many new nurses aren't given enough time. View this as a positive when requesting their feedback.
    QueenMangin, opossum, VivaLasViejas, and 1 other like this.


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