New grad feeling left out - page 2

by lovelylady3 6,648 Views | 36 Comments

I quit my first nursing job in med surg due to being mistreated. I was there for almost 8 months and I felt like I was being targeted by some charge nurses. They would yell in the hall, refuse to help me, told the director I... Read More


  1. 0
    While I understand the difficulty of working there, I don't really understand having quit at 8 months... both too soon and too late.

    I would echo the prior statement about "new grad insecurity." Based on my experience as a new grad and then working with new grads, at 8 months, you really should be leaving most of the insecurity behind, even as you encounter new situations. It doesn't mean that you might not need to seek help in new situations but you should be developing some comfort and some coping skills for those.

    Insecurity at 8 months is something which you need to explore and resolve.
  2. 5
    I don't think feeling insecure at 8 months is abnormal. It took me a year to feel somewhat confident and most of the nurses I know have echoed that statement. My hospital considers you a resident nurse until you've been a nurse for at least a year. It's a high-stress job and I'd feel more worried about the person who thinks they know it all in 8 months than the one who is still asking questions.

    That said, certainly there are good ways to ask questions and bad ways. But I think the tone of this thread reflects why so many new grads are afraid to ask questions and why so many leave their jobs in the first year. Now I don't personally know the OP and maybe she is oversensitive, etc. Maybe her questions aren't well thought out. I don't know- but I do know that she isn't alone in her sentiments.

    The rates of new grads who report that they've experienced lateral violence is staggering and surely they can't all be oversensitive babies who can't handle criticism. I have worked many, many jobs before entering this field two years ago at the age of 30 and I found my first year miserable. In fact, in terms of hostility to newbies, this career was only surpassed by the time I spent cooking under a stressed-out chef who thew pans and had tantrums in the kitchen. But I digress...
  3. 0
    Quote from MECO28
    I don't think feeling insecure at 8 months is abnormal. It took me a year to feel somewhat confident and most of the nurses I know have echoed that statement. My hospital considers you a resident nurse until you've been a nurse for at least a year. It's a high-stress job and I'd feel more worried about the person who thinks they know it all in 8 months than the one who is still asking questions.

    That said, certainly there are good ways to ask questions and bad ways. But I think the tone of this thread reflects why so many new grads are afraid to ask questions and why so many leave their jobs in the first year. Now I don't personally know the OP and maybe she is oversensitive, etc. Maybe her questions aren't well thought out. I don't know- but I do know that she isn't alone in her sentiments.

    The rates of new grads who report that they've experienced lateral violence is staggering and surely they can't all be oversensitive babies who can't handle criticism. I have worked many, many jobs before entering this field two years ago at the age of 30 and I found my first year miserable. In fact, in terms of hostility to newbies, this career was only surpassed by the time I spent cooking under a stressed-out chef who thew pans and had tantrums in the kitchen. But I digress...


    I agree. I would have preferred more support and kindness from my managers. If they thought i needed to work on something, they could've talked to me about it and not others on the floor.

    They could have taken me under their wings, showed me how they do it, and given me opportunities
    To practice . Not say they've given up hope and suggest a last resort improvement plan.
  4. 0
    Quote from lovelylady3
    Than you for the advice! I am actually applying at 2 different magnet hospitals with a nurse residency. This hospital I came from did not have a residency and was not magnet. It was 10 weeks of preceptor training. There was also a very high turnover of staff. I will definitely be more selective about where I work. Nursing is too stressful to work at a place that doesn't support nurses. New or experienced.
    Not to burst your bubble, but a hospital being "magnet" does not mean that it is a supportive environment for nurses. It means that the hospital spent the money to apply for the status- my former hospital was "magnet" despite the fact that it didn't actually meet any of the official magnet criteria. Magnet is a joke.

    If you go into a job expecting to find a family, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Work is work. People are there to earn a living, not to make friends or family. Unlike TV hospital dramas where no one has relationships outside of work, I've found it to be actually rare that people truly become close friends with their co-workers.
  5. 2
    I think removing yourself from the negative environment was probably best but learning how to manage and move forward is also important. In this economic downfall any job is a blessing. Nursing jobs for newer grads are so few and far between in New England. I hope your area has more opportunities and you find a place that supports you.
    Ir15hd4nc3r_RN and lovelylady3 like this.
  6. 2
    OK I'm going to keep this short simple and sweet (KISS). I'm a new grad of 6 months and still trying to fit in myself. First off you need to be honest with yourself. What are your strong and weak points, in personal, work, public,

    Your entire post is "me centered' all about me and how I feel how I learn. Try to see it from your bosses and coworker's perspective. What are you there to do? certainly not just nursing and patient care. You are there to learn how to fit in with their team and work with thier team. When in Rome do as Romans do so you must adapt to how they do things there.

    work is work supportive and friendly is nice but should not be something to be expected. Uhm sorry but no crying at work it just makes the bullies think they've won some points and can continue. It sjust not professional. if you need to cry then you either wait until you go home or you keep a straight face until you get to a bathroom /someplace private and cry there.

    you cannot run all decisions big and small with your coworkers, charge nurse because that means you are not taking responsibility instead are passing the work, judgement calls to them. pay attention to how they chose to act with the same info you got. Think on the thought process how they arrived at it. (do this on your own time after work). Next time you do the same thing apply the same process. EIther way you must be comfortable with your own skills.

    No one cares why you cannot perform to standards the only thing that matters is getting results. Making excuses is not solving the problem. "i still have new grad insecurity" no you are a professional registered nurse with a license to protect, according to the law you are held to the same standards as the 25 yr seasoned nurse. Work is work and no one will praise you for the good, right, perfect stuff you do but you will be executed for the slightest wrong.

    ID the problem where are you weak in go home each day and study up on that issue, dunno IV starts? go practice on a string balloon, maniquin, take a few IV classes on your own time, phlebotomy classes helped me get confidence and tricks on getting a vein.

    Problem - can't keep track of what needs to be done when? make a check list, pt on admissions needs to complete 25 things you check off each one of those as you complete them. There is no forgetting just one form when you do it like that.

    Bullying happens unfortunately and you cannot change other people. What you can do is set boundries and let people know when they have crossed them. When someone yells at you, listen with your eyes, and ears what are they really saying? why are they so upset? clearly it frustrates them to the point of yelling so there fore they must really care about that issue and its important to them so do as you would a patient. OK I see your upset, so the problem you have is X, what do you suggest? Therapeutic communication reread your pysch text lots of tips in there.

    Fine they are just plain rude because its part of the game of bully. Two can play. You yell at me, I call for time out, "Stop" I will come back later when you are ready to discuss this calmly. You make sure you go back in a bit. They are sarcastic. Call them on it, "'Oh? I don't understand what do you mean by xyz comment can you explain it more clearly. Thank you. IF they are pointing our your flaws .. you say thank you and ask what can you do to fix it.

    if you learn by asking questions then you need to learn another way such as write the question down go home and look it up in your textbook, company policy procedure manual. This is not school where professors are paid to answer your questions. As your coworker I have my own patient load to do which is probably heavier and more complex than yours because your charge nurse assigned you easier patients due to your level of experience or lack of. Your asking of questions because you want to learn is slowing me down, interrupting my train of thougth and thereby putting my patients and license at risk. SO you ask why am I mad at you? not to mention are you even able to pull your own full pt load if not my workload just went up because i'm your coworker/ charge nurse.

    Orientation ranges from a few weeks to 3 months, 6 months or ocassionally if one is very lucky 9+ months. You are drawing a full nurse's salary however cannot take on a full load so that's costing monies, at 8 months you should be able to function independently, safely, competently and with some confidence.

    As a new grad nurse I know I drove my preceptor crazy with all my questions, but why? i dont understand, but but but, what if this happens, and I'd just like to know. Oh i annoyed her to no end as I was one of the scared newbies so I'd follow her all over asking questions nonstop so she had neither privacy or peace. And each question broke her train of thought as I never thought to look, watch wait and then ask when it was an appropriate time but rather just interrupt whatever she was doing because I had a question. Over time i realized that I already knew the answer but I just wanted the safety and comfort when she made the decision for me. Anyways you will get to the point where you are comfortable in your own assessments, pt care, judgement it just takes time and practice sometimes trial by fire. I'm sure that the me now is not the same one on day one and to the newest hire she's probably wondering how is it that I can just do it so "easily". I think about work before, during after work on weekends uh friday i'm already planning how i'm going to tackle Monday morning.

    Well good luck in finding a new job and this time around try to improve yourself in weak areas, fix those issues before it comes. persistence is key to success you fall you get up, dust yourself of and try again .. and again until you get there. Study up on whatever you need.
    Last edit by Inori on Mar 5, '13
    roughmatch and joanna73 like this.
  7. 1
    We all have questions, new grad and experienced nurses alike. Questioning should be encouraged....however, once you're hitting 5-6 months on a unit, you're expected to function much more autonomously. Unless it's unsafe, you should be able to organize a plan of care and proceed, while ocassionally saying, "This is what I've done, I've also looked this up....what do you think?" People are much more responsive when you're demonstrating critical thinking and initiative. I would also suggest that you invest time each week at home reviewing labs, procedures, etc, which will increase your knowledge and boost your confidence.
    lovelylady3 likes this.
  8. 1
    When I interviewed at my current (and first) nursing job, my now manager briefly and individually pulled two different nurses that had recently started off the floor and and allowed us a few minutes to chat in private. This allowed me to ask them a ton of questions about the floor dynamic, the nurse residency program, and the general environment at the hospital. It also showed me the manager knew his staff and was confident that after speaking with them, this would be a place I wanted to work. While that might not be usual, it certainly wouldn't hurt to ask to do something similar. If you didn't want to ask during an interview, you could always ask to come back one day before you accepted an offer.
    lovelylady3 likes this.
  9. 0
    hmmm you seem very defensive and you seem to have a very entitled attitude for a rather new nurse. As others have said you need to take a good long look at yourself first, because if you think that everyone else is the problem and you are the poor victim all the time, chances are YOU are actually the problem. I can only imagine how obnoxious that attitude must have been to your co-workers trying to orient/ deal with you. YOu would have driven me NUTS. Maybe take your ego out of the equation and realize that if you stop complaining, you might actually learn something. This attitude must be fostered by the schools now, because we see more and more of it in new grads and its recipe for disaster everytime. newsflash, you aren't entitled to respect, you have to earn it, and you miss have NOT.
  10. 2
    Quote from nurse_maya28
    hmmm you seem very defensive and you seem to have a very entitled attitude for a rather new nurse. As others have said you need to take a good long look at yourself first, because if you think that everyone else is the problem and you are the poor victim all the time, chances are YOU are actually the problem. I can only imagine how obnoxious that attitude must have been to your co-workers trying to orient/ deal with you. YOu would have driven me NUTS. Maybe take your ego out of the equation and realize that if you stop complaining, you might actually learn something. This attitude must be fostered by the schools now, because we see more and more of it in new grads and its recipe for disaster everytime. newsflash, you aren't entitled to respect, you have to earn it, and you miss have NOT.


    Wow. This post explains new grad attrition.
    bowlofsurreal and MECO28 like this.


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