New grad's experience with older nurses in their workplace and vice versa

  1. I'm doing research paper about diversity in Nursing. My part involves the relationship between young nurses and the older nurses. I want to know the experience of the new grads with the older nurses and also the point of view of the older nurses. How do they feel about us as new nurses? Do they feel threatened? Do they feel our work ethics are very different from theirs?
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   mustangsheba
    Personally, I love having new nurses around. They have learned some new things I might not have been exposed to. I enjoy helping them develop their skills. The one thing I have noticed with the young ones is that they tend to think us older nurses don't know anything because we have trouble with the computers. I have heard other experienced nurses complain about this as well.
  4. by   grnvillechick
    I have been in nursing for 10 yeas as a RN. I precepted quite a few young grads... I find thier enthusiasm and eagerness to learn refreshing in this world of stale or burnt out nurses. I am always reminded of myself just starting out...giving 150%..if only we could bottle up that new fresh outlook the new grads bring with them..On the other side of the coin, some nurses don't want to be bothered, because it does eat away valuable time when you stop and show a new grad something basic. And some grads either think they know everything and don't really listen...or think they are there to make big bucks and don't want to dirty thier hands. Some are lazy and skate as long as they can on orientation. But overall, I still love to see the new grad come my way. It is a gift really, a way to pass on to the next generation of nurses things you have learned along the way. Hope this helps..let us know your results!!! and godd luck in your career!
  5. by   spudflake
    I have been a nurse for many years and have ALWAYS loved the newbies. What an opportunity to precept a new nurse with all those high hopes and rosy ideals. I feel rejuvenated by their desire to do a good job, their energy, their total compassion and the love of thier first job as a NURSE!! I feel I learn as much from them as they hopefully learn from me. When I was a staff nurse I volunteered to preceptor, the old hag nurses were more then happy to let me. I'm in management now and although I don't usually hire nurses who don't have years of ER experience I did recently hire a nurse who was barely out of school for a year. After she finished an ER course and worked with her preceptor for 3 months she was ready to fly. She was a breath of fresh air to the unit. She recently had to move with her husband up to Washington but I'm sure she's knocking them dead up there too.
  6. by   ianurse
    I've been an RN for almost 3 years. I have found 3 types of older nurses:
    1.those that really want to help younger nurses learn and are competent with their skills and also enjoy learning from the new grads
    2. those that don't want anything to do with new grads, and the old ways are always better than the new!
    3.the I'm so old older nurse, they try to pawn off a lot of things on you, complaining I'm too old for that. Especially when the task is really physical, lifting etc.

    Most experienced nurses I've worked with are 1's, but also unfortunately see plenty 2's and 3's!
  7. by   nicola
    I've had the pleasure of working with great experienced nurses. In my first job, there was one nurse in particular who was a mentor to me. She ended up being my supervisor after a year, which was fine. Having been a nurse longer than I've been alive, she had a wealth of information which she happily shared with me. No question was stupid. I used to go to her and say, "Gerry, when you get a minute, can I pick your brain." More often than not, she'd put her pen down and give me her full attention. Bless her forever!

    There have been a couple of times when I've been asked to show the ropes to a new nurse - usually new to the agency more than nursing. It's always a joy to exchange ideas, tricks of the trade and to compare notes. I think the hardest thing for me is to present the positive side of nursing so I don't scare the newbies away!
  8. by   Chuckie
    How
    Last edit by Chuckie on Jan 17, '03
  9. by   cintorn
    The relationship between new and old nurses depends on the nurses. I have been a nurse for 14 years. I enjoy the new grads that come into the workplace ready to work, listen, and learn. I do not enjoy the new grads that come out knowing everything and I cannot tell them anything. I enjoy working with new nurses that believe nursing is an art. I do not enjoy working with the new (and old for that matter) nurses that entered the profession because "Damn, I look good in white". I enjoy working with the new nurses that want to share the new technology, care plans, etc. with us "old" nurses. I don't enjoy working with nurses that don't see their career as an opportunity to help others and grow themselves. I enjoy working with nurses that after the worst shift of our careers we look at each other when its over and say "Can you believe we got through that?" and never once complained during the shift.
  10. by   CashewLPN
    I've found that some newer nurses get miffed by haveing another 'older' nurse who's much younger then they are... and I'm not talking about a nurse in her 30's+
    I'm talking about 22yo new grads...

    back when i was 18, I found I had to work my tail off for respect from new grads b/c the age difference... I also had to work my butt off for the respect from the other nurses who are old enough to be my mother.... Theres nothing I hate more than a person who is my co-worker in a futile attempt to act as my mother/father...
    --sigh...

    but... sometimes, it fits right in... we work like clockwork now... (years later)
    but... then again, i'm older...

    --Barbara
  11. by   BrandyBSN
    I had a fantastic experience last week with an "older" nurse. I was working in ICU for the first time, and my preceptor was only 4 years older than me, and that went pretty well, but she spent a lot of her time telling me about how BSN nursing students dont have as many clinical skills (blah blah blah), and I was just there to learn! I didnt want to compare the validity of degrees. But besides her attitude, she was an excellent nurse.

    But their was another nurse who was 59, and she was just a GEM! She graduated from one of the old "hospital based diploma programs" a long long time ago We talked about how much schools and nursing education had changed. She showed me a lot of neat skills that I hadnt been taught yet. She took the time to show me how to use a pressurized bag to keep pressure on an Art line (which I hadnt seen yet). She also took the time to go over all the telemetry settings, and different ways to adjust the lead placements to get a better picture. I helped her put her charting information into the computer (she couldnt type very fast), and she got a break! She said that because she types so slow, she rarely gets to take a break at night, but with my help on the "computer" stuff, she got to take a full meal break. I learned a lot, and she got to take her time eating supper. It was definately a win-win situation. She didnt mind that I was going to school for 4 years, and ASKED TONS of questions, which I happily answered. She kept asking me questions to "quiz" me, which is something that I love, because it makes my brain work harder, and helps to solidify some of that knowledge that doesnt always link together. She was fantastic! Gave me a good role model about how I want to be when I am older

    BrandyBSN
  12. by   essarge
    While I am a nursing student, I plan on picking the brains of the nursing population, no matter what their age, educational status etc. is.

    I think that it shouldn't matter what age you are, it's the knowledge that you have to share that should work both ways. A student may learn a newer procedure and be able to share it with a seasoned nurse, and as we all know, an older nurse has valuable assets that they can teach to us.

    It works that way not only in nursing but all aspects of life too!
  13. by   P_RN
    Older, senior, grey haired, rockin' chair nurse just a sittin' and a grinnin' here. Lookin' at how things are and how much I like the new nurses. You guys are fab.

    P
  14. by   nur20
    originally posted by pati
    i'm doing research paper about diversity in nursing. my part involves the relationship between young nurses and the older nurses. i want to know the experience of the new grads with the older nurses and also the point of view of the older nurses. how do they feel about us as new nurses? do they feel threatened? do they feel our work ethics are very different from theirs?
    older nurse here !!!!!!!!! love working with the younger nurses. it snatches me back to reality.over the years nurses tend to get nonchalant and jaded. you guy's are a breath of fresh air.i haven't been in nursing so long that i don't remember what it was like fresh out of the starting gate.working with you all reminds me of why i became a nurse.don't mind taking you under my wing.welcome to a little corner for caregivers visit my website

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New grad's experience with older nurses in their workplace and vice versa