Not a New Grad anymore? - page 2

by Gonzo13

4,991 Views | 15 Comments

Morning everyone, I am new to the nursing field. I graduated in December, passed my NCLEX in February, and acquired a job on a Med-Surg unit in late March. I feel very overwhelmed, usually I have 7 patients but I have had up... Read More


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    7-9 patients is quite an assigment, especially for a new grad. When I was a new grad I had 6 patients and felt overwhelmed! I thought I was a incompetent nurse, and was dissolusioned with the reality of nursing. I even thought about leaving the profession my first six months on the floor. In my nursing school they talked about how you would be making a difference in patients lives, the wonderful conversations you will have with them, how you will put your critical thinking skills to work, etc... Reality is, as a new grad, you barely have time to get your meds out on time, let alone have a real conversation with a patient, or critically think about anything! But what you don't know is that you are making a difference and you are critically thinking, you just don't have time to realize it! Your organizational skills will come with time and your frustration/tension will ease slowly. Unless you feel that your patient load is dangerous and you can't get help when you need it, stick it out for at least a year. What you are feeling is completely normal.
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    stick to your job for at least 6months t0 a year then decide if you still want to change jobs. it's hard to get an RN job without experience. it's almost a year now since my graduation and have not landed any job as an RN yet. and i'm just one of the hundreds or maybe thousands of new grads out there who are jobless and already desperate and frustrated.
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    Thank you everyone I feel a little better knowing that feeling overwhelmed is normal. I am planning on staying with the unit for a while. I have a daughter on the way and the Wife and I are planning on buying a house. I mainly wanted opinions about the situation.

    @MaryAngel that is exactly how it is with me right now. If my patients talk to me about things other than their health I feel like it is making me late for my med passes with other patients. It's not that I don't want to talk to them I do it's just that I don't have the time. The only time that I thought the patient load was dangerous is when I had the 9 patients. I made sure that the charge nurse and nurse manager knew about it and they brought someone else in.

    @are n I have friends and fellow classmates that are still looking for employment. I just told one to keep her head up and that something would come along.

    @Fribblet you are probably right about the 8-9 month mark and me being able to go home on time.

    @MBARN I have been trying to chart events right when they happen it just seems that half way through it something else comes up and I have to either hurry or stop and take care of it. I am looking at going into Peds. I like kids better than adults so I care more about their health when I am around them. I don't think that it is considered a specialty area but I could be wrong.

    @nyteshade The unit isn't bad or anything. I have heard that it is a tough unit and that if a person can be a competent RN there then they can be one anywhere. I'm not sure how true that is though.

    @RNperdiem thanks I think that I already know what I want it's just that no one was hiring new grads for those positions. I was searching for employment for months with no luck before getting this job.

    @gentlegiver I have asked some of the "older" nurses to no avail. I'm going to refrain from badmouthing my coworkers techniques in a public forum.

    Again I want to thank everyone for the responses. I feel better knowing that I am not alone in this feeling.
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    Quote from gentlegiver
    It truely takes 5 yrs to become competent in your skills. That said, your skills are always growing so the learning never ends.
    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Sounds like a cliche but it is true. I have almost 3 years experience now and I look back to just one year ago (when I had two years experience = technically not a new grad) and I feel like I am so much more competent right now.

    That said - in this economy you pretty much have to stick it out for a year. It is not so easy to jump around. At the very least, don't quit until you have something else lined up! I managed to jump from ICU to another specialty with about 9 months experience, but that was very tough and the nursing job market was very, very different two years ago when that happened.

    Personally, get f*@# out of Med-Surg nursing. It seems like nothing but sheer abuse. But make a smart move, not a hasty move.
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    Quick note, if you did leave your current job. You might not be able to apply for any other New Grad positions. Here in CA, if you've worked at all for any legnth of time after graduation, you are not eligible for most New Graduate Hospital Programs. And also, if a new grad has been unable to find a job, hospitals are now advertising that their new grad programs are for "recent" graduates only (within last 6 months - 1 year). So, be very careful before leaving a decent job. Yes it totally sucks and does not make sense. Because for those of us who are still new grads, but old grads, we are not eligible for new grad programs but we are also not experienced enough for a staff position! And one cannot start a master's in nursing program without 1 year of experience (which I understand). There has to be something that gives soon....
    NeverTooLate8 and mochamocha like this.
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    I have seen many jobs advertise that they want a year experience. Med Surg is a great background to have which will open doors to other fields such as outpatient, clinics, snf's, etc. If you are thinking of applying to a different new grad program, they usually want less than 6 months of experience. Have you considered transferring to a different unit at your facility? Do you have someone you can talk to about your situation at work, such as a mentor? I heard that if you stick it out for at least one year, you will be more competent, confident, and have more interest. After that, if you still feel the same, then I would suggest you look at other opportunities inside the facility. If that does not work out for you, find a job elsewhere. But with the job market being so bad right now, be thankful you have something to pay your bills with! Just my two cents. Good luck!


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