New Grad Reality Shock!!!!!!

  1. I just recieved my ADN in May. I started work in early July at a rural hospital. The way our system is set up there is one RN on the floor with two LPNs. The floor can hold a total of twenty patients. This has been soooooo hard for me! Since I am a new grad I have so many questions myself, but the LPNs are always coming to me for advice. I feel so bad when I have to tell them "I don't know." My supervisor says that I have to get more confidence in what I'm doing, but I just feel so confused and overwhelmed all of the time. Everyday I get sick knowing that I have to go back to work and be responsible for so many patients with such little experience. Nursing school could have never prepared me for this!!!!!! Any advice?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   weetziebat
    I'd consider changing jobs to one where you are not the only RN, and have a lot more support. For a new grad you need time to learn, and other nurses you can turn to for advice, assistance etc. The last thing you need is to be the one where the buck stops. No new grad is expected to have all the answers.

    Sorry your first job turned out this way - kind of surprised they hired a new grad, but they were probably having trouble finding help at a small rural hospital. Your supervisor is wrong - confidence is fine, but does not take the place of experience. She is just putting the blame on you - where it doesn't belong!

    Good luck!
  4. by   llg
    I think Weetziebat hit the nail on the head. No new grad should be the only RN in any nursing environment. Every research study and learning theory (and common sense) indicates that it takes a while to make that transition from student to staff nurse and a new grad needs support to be successful. You are not an expert when you graduate from nursing school -- you are still a beginner.

    Talk with your hospital's recruiter ... or whoever ... and see if you can transfer to another unit in which you would not have to be the leader and not be asked to be the expert resource until you are ready for that. If that's not possible, then it is probably worth it to make some personal sacrifices for a while to find a job at another facility that knows how to support a new grad.

    llg
  5. by   Pompom
    I think one problem lies in the nursing schools. One instructor told me that her students are only allowed to care for one patient. That is ok at first but in the "real world" you have many more patients to be responsible for than that and school just does not prepare you. With time and experience you will gain confidence but if you are the only RN and are new with LPN's to supervise it will be very overwhelming. Your choices are to change jobs or give it more time. Good luck to you.
  6. by   royr
    Quote from Pompom
    I think one problem lies in the nursing schools. One instructor told me that her students are only allowed to care for one patient. That is ok at first but in the "real world" you have many more patients to be responsible for than that and school just does not prepare you. With time and experience you will gain confidence but if you are the only RN and are new with LPN's to supervise it will be very overwhelming. Your choices are to change jobs or give it more time. Good luck to you.
    I think that this is entirely up to the school polocy and the instructor. I have had teachers that have insisted on the one pt per student, other teachers that wanted us to double up on one pt, and a couple of instructors that chalenged me to add up to 3 pts to my clinical rotation - to get a taste of life in the "real world". I am a senior in a BSN program now, and clinicals always seem to take whatever shape and flavor a particular instructor decides.
  7. by   LauraF, RN
    I graduated in December. I just started a job where I am "the" RN. I have one other LPN and we have a total of 75 or so patients. What has helped me is that I was an LPN for 17 years. So I have the knowledge base that I was just expanding on. Also when the LPN has questions, we brainstorm. If you do this, what could happen? If you did that, what could happen? But I don't think I would have the confidence or the ability to do something like that had I not already had the experience.
  8. by   kit3375
    Thank you all so much for the advice! I really want to find another job, especially since I've had to go to night shift! That adds up more stress to my situation. I live at least an hour an thirty minutes from any other hospital,so my options are limited. I'm just trying to hang in there, praying it will get better.

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