How hard is it to make the transition from student nurse to new graduate nurse in the hospital setting?
May 2, '04
It depends on the person. They call it "reality shock." It was hard for me, personally. I went from dreamy nursing student providing wholistic care for 2-4 patients to suddenly having 6-10 patients and flying by the seat of my pants.Sometimes I actually went into the med room and cried, it was so hard (med surg floor). I pulled myself together of course, but it was very stressful. There is so much to know...and I felt so unconfident at first. It can be a real ego blow. Luckily, I worked with some very nice nurses who took the time to share a few tips, etc. It takes about 6 mos to a year to get acclimated. I don't think I was really confident till after about 2 years. Be kind to yourself and know that we all start out as novices. I am not afraid to ask for help even now, as you can never know it all.
May 2, '04
I had a difficult time made more difficult by a very poor preceptor and being put on 3 12 hours shifts 7p-7a. Since I'd never worked a night in my life, I was totally wiped out plus stressed to the max. Don't want to scare you. I would recommend you make sure with the hospital you hire into that you have an option of a different preceptor if there are problems. I was suppose to be precepted for 12 weeks. At the end of 6 weeks, I asked my nurse support trainer to be cut loose from my preceptor and they allowed it. I made mistakes and had problems, but at least I didn't have someone berating me constantly. I learned quickly on my own. Ended up probably being a better nurse because I was cut free of the abuse and allowed to build my wings on my own.
May 2, '04
I agree with Orrnlori,
Check with the precepting policy. I ended up having 3 preceptors when all was said and done. But I was happy to be free of my original preceptor as she hovered too much and would not allow me to do my own skills.
As far as reality shock, I didn't experience too much of a "shock" more of a reality "set-in". I saw things I'd never seen as a nursing student and even as an aide. I would suggest however, chosing a highly adjustable nurse manager to work for. Mine has been wonderful working with me. She has made the difference.
Also, learn from those nurses that are willing to teach. Many do. And they can make or break your transition. Steer clear of those who have negative attitudes and remember no one is perfect and even the most seasoned nurses started where you did.
Aug 2, '07
I have heard one of my friends that also just graduated in May with me talk about having a million diff. preceptors and how it sucked not just having one. I am fixin' to start a job in which the nurse manager told me that they try to keep u with one, no more than 2 preceptors during your orientation. I hope that it is not too much of a culture shock hitting the floor as a real nurse and not a student.
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