Why are new nurses treated poorly? - page 2

by rnckr | 9,035 Views | 66 Comments

I am a new RN. I am also a 46 year old man. I graduated in May, passed NCLEX and started work in July. I started in a new nurse bridge program that was basic but nice and informative. I worked in several units before ending... Read More


  1. 8
    I read a response once here that has really stuck with me. If someone starts to interrupt your report and interrogate you, calmly put your paperwork down and just look blankly at the interrogator until they stop talking. Showing no emotion, just say "I'd like to finish my report please. If you still have questions after I've given it, I can answer them then."

    As long as you stay calm and matter of fact, they really have no option other than making a scene vs. complying with your request. And you can bet that the 1/3 who are doing this are not really interested in knowing the answers to their questions. They're likely not even listening to report because they're too busy trying to think of questions to trip you up.

    Hang in there.
  2. 1
    The valve question is VERY important because it determines which kind of meds the patient will be on for the rest of their lives. So there is a lot of patient education riding on that answer. She was right about asking that question but she should have cut you some slack knowing you were a new grad and taken the opportunity to teach you about pig/artificial valves. View this incidence as a learning opportunity. You didn't know about the relevance of the type of valve and now you, thanks to the mean nurse who exposed a gap in your nursing knowledge. Hey, what if patient/family had asked that question (and they will)? That mean nurse actually did you a favor for saving your face next time a patient asks you that question since you will now for sure know the answer. Let me add that I am a new male grad and also experience the same problems. I think it has to do partially with gender; you know, we are breaking into their exclusive "girls club" and some of them resent that intrusion. But hey we knew it was female dominated profession before we got in so we can't complain too much now.
    Last edit by trueblue2000 on Nov 20, '12
    anotherone likes this.
  3. 6
    Yup...there are mean nurses, therapists, social workers, doctors, pharmacists, etc, etc.

    College education doesn't magically change a meanie into a nice guy...
    SCSTxRN, AtivanIM, anotherone, and 3 others like this.
  4. 2
    No offense but you are 46, shouldnt you have come across this before in another line of work or with friends/family? Dealing with less than pleasant people is sadly a day to day thing it seems like.
    Quantum_Leap and anotherone like this.
  5. 2
    Greetings new nurse.....all nurses can be treated poorly so its nothing about being new. just a place to jab, but if it was not that, they would find another.

    well, I am an older nurse- And I see changes among people everywhere, but
    to stay on point....there is increased hostility meanness pettiness gossip ego competitiveness in nursing.

    There is also caring love support...a
    spirit of helpfulness with the focus on good quality patient care.

    So you have seen, or are seeing, what there is....its strange, you would expect nurses to care about people, to be respectful and professional. I did:-)


    I have worked in some pretty dysfunctional hostile environments and in some wonderful ones.
    Well....my whole point is to acknowledge your clear observations.

    Sometimes the only cure to dis-ease is a change of diet to a wholesome one. Best to you!
    Last edit by Kashia on Nov 20, '12 : Reason: clarify
    RN2BKT and AGRN1 like this.
  6. 1
    We have all been there. Unfortunately some people are unprofessional and lack common courtesy and respect. I find that nurses that ask the most questions during report, give the worst report themselves. Give them the most pertinent information. They can look up the rest. Unless they are too lazy. I come in 1/2 hr early before each shift and read up on my patients. Speak with confidence. No one has all the answers. I have been a nurse for over 3 years and still ask questions. Keep your head up and don't let someone else's negativity affect you. You know you are doing your best and that is all that matters!
    LPNnowRN likes this.
  7. 3
    Quote from That Guy
    No offense but you are 46, shouldnt you have come across this before in another line of work or with friends/family? Dealing with less than pleasant people is sadly a day to day thing it seems like.
    I have to say...this kind of behavior seems to me to be more common in nursing.

    It's not just me. There's the whole, "nurses eat their young" saying.

    I don't know WHY it is, but for some reason, it seems like a lot of nurses get some sick pleasure out of seeing others fail. There's more tattling, condescending, and passive aggressive behavior in nursing than anywhere else I've ever experienced.
  8. 0
    Thank you, thank you!! These brains are great. I'll pass them down the line too, with your permission, of course.
  9. 0
    I get so fed up when i hear about nurses being nasty to newbies! It is so annoying, they were once newbies too and they should remember that. If they dont want to help then they should just stay quiet rather than being rude. I feel that nurses should all work as a team and help each other out in order to provide better and safer care to patients.
  10. 5
    Quote from That Guy
    No offense but you are 46, shouldnt you have come across this before in another line of work or with friends/family? Dealing with less than pleasant people is sadly a day to day thing it seems like.
    Quote from Ntheboat2
    I have to say...this kind of behavior seems to me to be more common in nursing.

    It's not just me. There's the whole, "nurses eat their young" saying.

    I don't know WHY it is, but for some reason, it seems like a lot of nurses get some sick pleasure out of seeing others fail. There's more tattling, condescending, and passive aggressive behavior in nursing than anywhere else I've ever experienced.
    Just putting in my .02 here: I'm 44 and got the calling to become a nurse 5 years ago. Before that I spent 13 years in the corporate world and before that, 11 years in hospitality. You just don't see this kind of thing in either industry. Or other industries I've worked alongside like banking, credit, insurance, retail etc. Yes, there's more subversive politics at play, like dealing with an Old Boy's Club but nowhere, not even with the jerkiest of coworkers have I ever dealt with this type of flat-out aggression. It's not that we haven't dealt with difficult people before, but we're learning and navigating a whole new arena, so yes, it's going to be frustrating until we learn some good tools. Plus, you can go tell your family member to go stuff themselves.
    Anyway, thanks to the many helpful nurses on this thread, we have some tools and strategies we can use.
    Cauliflower, gummi bear, netglow, and 2 others like this.


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