New Grad Programs

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    We are a group of 4 senior BSN students who are curious about your opinions of existing new grad programs. Our general feeling is that there used to be extensive training and orientation for new RN's and that now you're lucky to have that same training. Please respond with comments related to programs you are aware of and any suggestions of what you'd like to see. Thanks so much!
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    Hi there!
    Unfortunately, with the "bottom line" being more emphasized than patient care, I feel that in general, hospitals are shortchanging new grads on the amount of orientation they are willing to provide. The only area where you will still get an extended orientation is intensive care. As far as what I would LIKE to see--I think a 4-6 month orientation for new grads right out of school should be a minimum; there is so much to learn, and with all the responsibilities,plus the patient loads you'll be handling...to provide a 4 to 6 month training period will allow new grads to develop a good sense of judgment about dealing with the myriad patient care issues you will face. Alas, the reality is that if you get 3 months, you are probably lucky! I would certainly advise asking a lot of questions about what kind of orientation you'll get and how long it will be at any job that you interview for. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourselves! If your interviewer seems annoyed that you're asking so many questions, that should be a tipoff, and maybe it isn't the right place for you. I wish you all the best of luck, and feel free to email me privately if you have any other questions or concerns.

    Laurie, RN
    Critical care
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    Thank you Laurie for your reply! If there is anyone else who has an opinion, it would be greatly appreciated! I began my official job search this weekend ( I even remembered to ask if they had new grad programs--1 out of 3 did!), and I would love to have any information or comments. Who knows, maybe we can change things for the better! Thanks!

    Amanda, almost an RN
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    Hi SSUleader,
    I work in LTCand we have had a few new grads. In fact as a new grad, I started in LTC.
    At my facility the orientation time frame is individualised. We ask the nurse or CNA to give us feed back and tell us if he/she feels that more orientation is necessary.
    As a new grad in LTC 6 years ago, I had 5 weeks. One week on each unit. After that I had my own assignment, but there was always another nurse on the unit with me and the unit manager. I was lucky I got day shift. It would have been perhaps a little harder on pms, and a lot harder on nights, because of the lower number of staff.
    I would recommend that you ask if the orientation is carved in stone. Ask if they would allow you to let them know you might need more time.
    The facility I work at is flexible. I hope others are too.
    Good Luck, and WELCOME. NA

  7. 0
    Originally posted by Nancy1:
    Hi SSUleader,
    I work in LTCand we have had a few new grads. In fact as a new grad, I started in LTC.
    At my facility the orientation time frame is individualised. We ask the nurse or CNA to give us feed back and tell us if he/she feels that more orientation is necessary.
    As a new grad in LTC 6 years ago, I had 5 weeks. One week on each unit. After that I had my own assignment, but there was always another nurse on the unit with me and the unit manager. I was lucky I got day shift. It would have been perhaps a little harder on pms, and a lot harder on nights, because of the lower number of staff.
    I would recommend that you ask if the orientation is carved in stone. Ask if they would allow you to let them know you might need more time.
    The facility I work at is flexible. I hope others are too.
    Good Luck, and WELCOME. NA

    I thought I would tell you about an article in Nursing Management, March 2000 that gives a preceptor program defining the role of the nurse preceptor, the orientee, and the nurse manager. If anyone is interested let me know. NA
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    i actually just finished a 6 week new grad program. I feel that i am ready to maintain a full load of patients (As i have been doing that for over a week with minimal or no assistance from my preceptor) I know that i still have lots of questions and know that i am not prepared for everything that can go wrong. But who really is. I know that i have a great staff of nurses who are willing to offer assistance if i have any questions of concerns. I'm very happy that i got a new grad position because i got a more extensive orientation then if not in a program. I think that the 6 weeks were enough for me, to learn the hospital policies, to become comfortable with the patient load, and to begin to master some of my nursing skills. I do know some nurses that are taking extra time in the program which is allowed, but for me i feel comfortable being on my own. there is always someone that i can ask for assisstance.
    Meghan
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    Thanks for all your replies. Sounds like new grad programs are better than I thought. A friend of mine, who recently finished a 8 week new grad program in a county hospital, quit work because she did not get much support from the regular staff. Is this a common practice for regular staff members to expect new grads to be experts after completion of new grad program? Thanx.mk


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