Why are new nurses treated poorly?

  1. 0
    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 up on a cardiac/pulmonary stepdown unit. I have been there 90 days. I still feel as though there is a lot of knowledge I am lacking. About 2/3 of the other nurses on the unit are great. They offer support and are very willing to answer questions. The other third are condescending and just plain rude. Giving report is the worst. I work hard to prepare for the report. I try to anticipate questions. I give more information than I typically receive. It feels like an interrogation. They inevitably ask a question I don't know the answer to and then they sigh and say things like "Don't you think that's important to know?" For example, I told the oncoming nurse my patient had an aortic valve replacement. She asked if it was tissue or mechanical. I didn't know and she made me feel stupid. She could have used this as an opportunity to teach why that was important to know instead of being mean. Sometimes I wonder if this is personal, if they don't like men, or if it's just because I'm new. Whatever the reason, it's getting old. Any advice?

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 66 Comments...

  3. 9
    If 2/3 of the nurses you work with are great, focus on learning from them. For the other 1/3, kill them with kindness, it's very hard to be snarky to someone who is smiling at you and thanking you for your helpful comments/suggestions. I wouldn't take it personally, some people are just nasty.
    osborncs, LPNnowRN, crichards00, and 6 others like this.
  4. 5
    That is irritating, she should have told you why, and then just gone on with it. I don't understand people these days.

    It's bleeding BTW. But then again you are on a stepdown and if postop you're gonna be looking for that kind of thing anyways along with everything else. Sheesh.
  5. 5
    Historically, it has to do with schools of nursing being"Millitant" and being a female occupation. It might have a bit to do with being a man, but moreover, it has to do with "when I was new, I was treated like crap. I will do the same to those up and coming". When I taught nursing, it happened to me. I had a new job, new clinical spot, and when I asked,nicely, to leave meds and AM care to the students on some of the patients, my requests were ignored. I looked like an idiot and the students got nothing out of it. I always told my students"Remember this; the good and bad, and treat those coming up with kindness and understanding
  6. 10
    I bet if you listened in to how that other 1/3 give report to non-new nurses, the attitude and tone of voice would be similar. That's just how some people are.
    osborncs, LPNnowRN, anotherone, and 7 others like this.
  7. 11
    Your experience has nothing to do with gender. One third of nurses are rude, two thirds are not.
    I am thinking this is about the average .. across the board .

    It is what it is.


    You will come across nurses that get their kicks , by putting you on the spot.
    In order to gain the respect you deserve, you need to look them in the eye.. be firm and assertive.. and ask..
    why is this important in report?

    Good luck.. it's a jungle out there.
  8. 2
    Oh **** NO! That approach will be seen as weak. Do not cow tow in this situation.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Nov 20, '12 : Reason: TOS/profanity
    JulieL and missladyrn like this.
  9. 3
    Some people are mean. Even nurses. You do not have to pattern your behavior from them and you do not have to accept their bad attitude either. Be firm and friendly. I hope this stress will not last long.
    anotherone, nrsang97, and missladyrn like this.
  10. 3
    ONce you have more experience, you will be able to handle those other 1/3. For now, do your best but don't let them walk all over you either. I treat people the same way they treat me. I am not going to kiss anyones but for being rude to me and I don't think you should either. Keep it short, to the point, and all business and don't let them rattle you. Your time will come when you know what you are doing and you realize they grill you so hard at report because they themselves know nothing unless they got it in report the day before.
    squatmunkie_RN, KitkatPRN, and nrsang97 like this.
  11. 10
    There will alwyas be the "Mean girls" in every group. I think there are always those passive aggressive ones in every group...not just nursing. Keep your cool.....never let them see you sweat....it's what they are looking for. Kill them with kindness.....for about six months....then let them know you are done. Firmly and professionally....but that you are done.

    In case you don't have a good one....I have some brain sheets you might find helpful.



    mtpmedsurg.doc 1 patient float.doc‎
    5 pt. shift.doc‎
    finalgraduateshiftreport.doc‎
    horshiftsheet.doc‎
    report sheet.doc‎
    day sheet 2 doc.doc

    critical thinking flow sheet for nursing students
    student clinical report sheet for one patient

    I have made some for nurses and nursing students and some other an members have made these for others.....adapt them way you want.
    eturner7, StinkMomBomb, LPNnowRN, and 7 others like this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top