Need advice and encouragement

  1. I'm just about to graduate from an LPN/RN transiton program. (I never worked as an LPN, just went from school to school) I understand that our 'real' education begins with our first job but, I'm apprehensive to say the least! I don't feel like I have much in the way of clinical skills just a head full of theory. We are only given one day a week clinical and I continually remind a new instructor that I'm the guy without the basic skills. But, I still need lots of practice with everything! I suspect that I'm not alone in feeling that way but I'm in a class of well experienced LPN's who can work circles around me in clinical! I'm not afraid to say I don't know something and will always ask. I don't know other 'non-experienced' nurses and would like to hear some thoughts and opinions. My plan is to go to a Tele unit, once I have my license in hand, for a year, and then try to move on to a specialty. I don't want med surg and feel like I can get a great variety of experience in Tele as well as some good critical skills to build on. Does this sound right? What should I ask for in the way of orientation and preceptor as far as length of time? What's normal for the 'green GN '? Thanks for any help and advice.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   MollyJ
    I remember the weeks before graduation as a time of renewed fears and doubts about my career choice, my skills, just everything. I think it comes because you are in your leadership rotation and you see what it is you don't know. You also know you are getting ready to leave the protected student status where there is that safety net of an instructor.

    I had a MSN student colleague who said it well. She understood that in nursing you commit yourself to the life-long pursuit of knowledge.

    You are right. There's a lot you don't know. Experientially, you are behind the curve. Prepare to work very hard. Prepare for a tough year or two. Hopefully, your hospital will have a great orientation and mentoring program, or you will find a natural mentor.

    Study alot. Observe nurses you admire, even if they hassle you sometimes. Learn from them. Show a willingness to admit that you don't know it all, BUT keep in mind what you do know. Show some dignity and keep contact with new grads, either from your class or other new grads you will meet on the job.

    Have your long term dream beyond the tele unit, but live in the now. Right now, there is a lot to be learned. Right now, there is lot to be experienced and felt. Give yourself credit each and every day for something you did well. There will be something. On the day that the surgeon yells at you and the other nurses treat you like kitty litter on the bathroom floor, there will be all the meds you did right, the new skill you did well, the patient that smiled, the other new grad your supported. Meaning in our lives comes from what we give away.

    Good luck.
  4. by   bedhead
    DougRN,

    Experience comes in time, and always remember common sense, its a nurses safety net. Think, Plan, think, and take your time, Its very easy to rush, and make mistakes, always listen to the angel on your shoulder. From my experience I worked in Med Surg after graduation, Its a wonderful mix of learning, and a great stepping stone. I am now a Critical Care RN and feel that med surg has always prepared me for every encounter. Don't rush into a specialty become a bit seasoned, and learn as much as you can, Its a great way to become well rounded. GOOD LUCK>
  5. by   gillbee1
    Originally posted by DougRN:
    I'm just about to graduate from an LPN/RN transiton program. (I never worked as an LPN, just went from school to school) I understand that our 'real' education begins with our first job but, I'm apprehensive to say the least! I don't feel like I have much in the way of clinical skills just a head full of theory. We are only given one day a week clinical and I continually remind a new instructor that I'm the guy without the basic skills. But, I still need lots of practice with everything! I suspect that I'm not alone in feeling that way but I'm in a class of well experienced LPN's who can work circles around me in clinical! I'm not afraid to say I don't know something and will always ask. I don't know other 'non-experienced' nurses and would like to hear some thoughts and opinions. My plan is to go to a Tele unit, once I have my license in hand, for a year, and then try to move on to a specialty. I don't want med surg and feel like I can get a great variety of experience in Tele as well as some good critical skills to build on. Does this sound right? What should I ask for in the way of orientation and preceptor as far as length of time? What's normal for the 'green GN '? Thanks for any help and advice.
    Doug, my advice would be to shop around for the hospital with the best orientation and one that is not suffering from a shortage of nurses.(If there is such a place) That way you have a better chance at a positive experience and greater teaching opportunities.
  6. by   Tim-GNP
    The experience will come in time. Nursing skills require practice-- give yourself some time. No matter what you do in nursing [that is, if you ever advance to an administrative position], make sure you do SOMETHING to keep your basic nursing skills. Because remember, nursing skills, statistics & fish all have one thing in common...

    --none keep well if not used.
  7. by   theboss
    i would begin on medsurg to learn and sharpen your skills. theres nothing better than hands on experience..except time. if you arent comfortable with your skills i wouldnt start in a tele unit to get your feet wet..but no matter where you decide to start when you get out there, i would encourage you to find someone you feel you can learn from and start soaking up the knowledge, ask alot of questions have them show you everything you are unsure about and just jump in there...the reason i say medsurg is in some hospitols this could include peds,postop,cardiac,general medsurg,variety is good. no matter what they have on the floor its good to get your feet wet there...good luck !!!dont worry to much theres always a great nurse at every hosp. to show you the ropes!!!
  8. by   laurasc
    Doug, I agree with everyone else that said it...start with Med/Surg. I worked 3 or 4 years in a general surgery floor then moved on to med/surg ICU and am now in Peds. To this day, I still use the skills I learned on the gen surg floor. It's a great training ground and believe me, you won't regret it.

    Laura

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