Are new nurses adequately prepared? - page 3

:confused: As a nurse, I see more and more new grads who have little clinical experience and who are overwhelmed, more than I was and that was a lot. Many have had no more than 1 or 2 patients during... Read More

  1. by   melissa24
    Originally posted by UVaRN2Be

    I know that I will make a darn good ICU nurse one day. Right now I need to prepare for that day.
    UV...your great attitude alone tells me that one day you will be!
  2. by   CraftyLPN
    I am a grad of LPN for 2 years. I started a new job yesterday...and was "promised at least 10 days of orientation". I was at a LTC before...but everyplace you go is a bit different.. Well.. last night (first day of orientation) it was dropped on me that I may have to manage 50 pts by myself...and I am scared!!
    I may start a thread on this...so pleeeeeeze visit and give me your opionions(sp)
  3. by   Merry1
    dddd [FONT=century gothic]dddddd I have survived 13 years of being a certifiable nursing assistant and I have seen/trained more new nurses that I care to think about! I am about to get paid for what I know when I graduate later this year. Anyway, the nurses I see are book smart, can pass a paper test with no problem, but when they have to change thier first dressing or deal with someone going critical on them the newbies are at a loss without a clue in the world what to do for the most part( most forget the ABC's so fast it makes my head spin!!). I believe in more clinical experience and less book learning would do most newbies a world of good, being a CNA first should be a requirement and then we wouldn't have the newbies dropping out of nursing(after all the money on tuition and time in school) within 5 years of graduation. I spent 2 1/2 years on a step down unit and 1/2 med/surg and the experience I got there as a CNA can not even be touched by the clinical experiences I am supposed to be getting now. I worked with pts on nitro, lido drips, vents, head trauma, post-op.... anyone at high risk in other words. I had a group of nurses who were kind, paitent, and educators and what an education I got(even got paid for it!). That is how I learned to be a great nurse and how I teach others to be as good or better than I. To teach is to show love to one another.
  4. by   mattsmom81
    I'm glad to be reading all the posts from students who ARE getting good clinical experiences...as it seems that so many new nurses today feel they did NOT get sufficient clinical experiences.

    Kellie, Mish and UV...sounds like you're in awesome programs!

    Good luck to you all..altho it sounds like you won't need it!
  5. by   charissa
    I started in a bsn program and finished with an adn due to $$$. I got into practice, then a year later a girl i had gone to class with came to work at my hospital on my floor having just graduated. Boy could i see a difference. We both seemed to be able to dicuss reasoning and so forth, but i had a much more hands on experience than she did in school, and you could tell when it came time to perform proceedures. The skills lab has a place, but a small one. You learn the steps in the proceedure. But it is the first hands on experience that count. I had 2 8 hr clinical days per week throughout my education. By the end I had 8 pts at a time. I was not however, adequetly prepared to fill the charge role. The thinking at my school seemed to be that ADN's didnt fill that role, so we didnt cover anything about it. The reality in this day and age is more like, "You an RN? Good, your charge precepting starts Monday"
  6. by   MidwifeWannaB
    I don't start school until spring, but the school I am finishing my prereqs at (not the school I will attend for my training) is notorious for graduating students that are totally unprepared for working in any healthcare setting. The RNs are always griping about them and telling them that they need to go back to school. Not surprising to me after hearing some of the comments made from the 3rd semester students in my Micro class......
    I just hope MY program isn't like that. Even if it is, though, I'm gonna do my darndest to learn everything I need to know. I'M not gonna be a slacker nurse.
  7. by   whipping girl in 07
    I agree that a lot of the clinical experiences I got in nursing school were jokes. We had to do vision & hearing screenings for the parish public schools for one of our peds days, for god's sake. And some of our community clinicals were a waste of time, IMO. But I think I came out of nursing school knowing how to take care of patients, and a pretty heavy load to boot, because of my second med-surg clinical instructor, who would not pass us unless we could handle a six patient assignment. The nursing school that I attended is changing the cirriculum to include hospital clinicals in the last semester and longer rotations in specialty areas. (I had community and psych during my last semester of nursing school, and I hadn't touched a patient except to do vital signs since April 2001, when I started my job in Jan. 2002.) I think it's an improvement.

    However, back in the day when my mom went to nursing school, they came out much better prepared because student nurses were free labor for the hospital! They did clinicals every day and classes every afternoon, after being in the hospital for six or seven hours. You can't expect today's nurses to be as prepared to take care of patients when nursing programs have clinicals two days a week and (at least in my program) the minimum number of patients to be cared for at once by a student nurse is three by the end of the second med-surg clinical. I was fortunate that I had an instructor that wanted to make sure we REALLY knew how to take a realistic hospital assignment, but she was the exception, not the rule. The other clinical instructors got by with the minimum.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    no.......you don't get "prepared" til you get your on the job training.......i don't know of a single new grad who was fully prepared for it all.....including myself.
  9. by   Q.
    Originally posted by charissa
    I started in a bsn program and finished with an adn due to $$$. I got into practice, then a year later a girl i had gone to class with came to work at my hospital on my floor having just graduated. Boy could i see a difference. We both seemed to be able to dicuss reasoning and so forth, but i had a much more hands on experience than she did in school, and you could tell when it came time to perform procedures.
    If I am reading this correctly it appears that this girl came to work with you a year after you'd already been working on the floor. Is this even a fair comparison? Do you suppose her inability to perform skills as well as you could be due to the fact that you had been working already for a year?
    Just asking...
  10. by   fairyprincess2003
    I agree with smilingblueeyes
    The only way you will ever be the most prepared is after you start to work. No amount of school can do that.
    Also, there is always going to be a first time someone does something. You can't just be born knowing how to do things. I have encountered many helpful "older" nurses. I will have my BSN come this May, and my best preceptor was a diploma RN
  11. by   mario_ragucci
    For the CNA's who are working part time at the hospital and going to nursing school full time, yall are special. Imagine you worked all summer as a new med-surg cna at the best hospital on earth, on the best floor on earth.. All the super power nurses at work know you are going to be a nurse, and help you with questions you might have. They have seen you from day zero of your health care career, and they see you now, bending your brain to learn to be the best nurse on earth.
    I am such a lucky person to have gotten a super great job as a cna on a med-surg floor and have worked there several months before full time RN school started in Sept02. It's takes so much of my mental power to consider the great foundation my school is laying for me with theory, lab and other clinicals, and to relate it to the super magical nurses I have observed on the floor where I work. Processing all relationships of all this is powerful stuff. Like, I have seen all bits and pieces of what a nurse does and now i am getting the foundation and seeing it fit together, and it's alot!
    For example, watching a nurse handle syringes is one thing. Learning and testing on parenteral meds and injection sites and dose computations is another. Honestly, sometimes I am just quiet and still and not thinking about anything during the day, but i know my brain is totally turned on. It's really something.

    I love and admire all you nurses, and especially allnurses.com, because yall or part of my HOLY TRINITY: RN school, med-surg cna, and all nurses.com complete my holy trinity of life at this particular time. AMen!
  12. by   delirium
    I am finishing up an ADN program, graduate in May.
    Right now we're each taking a team of patients on a telemetry unit... that's 5 or 6, depending on acuity.
    Next semester we also have a preceptorship where we take on an RN's patient load and work our preceptor's hours (usually for a total of 6 12 hour shifts).

    I think you also get out of clinical what you put into it. All the nurses on the floor know that I'm eager for whatever experience I can get and they'll come get me if they have an interesting procedure or something for me to try. Its cool.

    Can't wait to graduate... hopefully I won't be too much of a pain in the arse with my overwhelmed new grad self.

  13. by   NightNurseKathy
    [SIZE=1]Well I for one have to say ON THE JOB experience is superior to schooling experience, however I will NOT knock those "dummie" demonstrations. I was in an RN refresher course, and the only skills lab I took was on trach care, not having done ANY of that in Home Health, WELL wouldn't you know one of my FIRST patients had a TRACH!!! So that REALLY WAS a good skill to take.

    But when I went to nursing school the first time in the 60's, we learned skills then practiced them IF we were lucky. The majority of my actual "hands on" came on the job.

    New nurses should NOT be afraid to TELL IT LIKE IT IS...." I am NOT familiar enough to do that would you help me?" You will gain FAR MORE respect from long term nurses with that confession, than if you try to do something you really are not comfortable with, mess it up, then another nurse has to FIX the problem...

    I am new back on the floor after 12 years in Home Health, and BELIEVE me it is SCARRY!!! But my fellow nurses are SO HELPFUL and supportive.... never underestimate them!!! And if they come across difficult look at the whole picture, they are probably STRESSED out!

    That tis all I have to say for now!!!


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