I've been doing the AN thing since I applied to nursing school about 6 years ago and have, like everybody, noticed some common themes.
One of the more frequent and emotional pertains to new nurses being eaten, being abandoned, being overwhelmed, being unsupported, and on and on. I don't know the degree to which this actually happens but there's at least a perception of a problem.
Last night I was doing a lot of patient transports. On one, I arrived on the floor and was met by the charge. She seemed a friendly type (not to be taken for granted as an ER nurse delivering yet another patient) who directed me to the room and said she'd call the nurse. With that, off she went into the maze of hallways as I hustled my lady down to her room.
As I rounded the corner to the room, the charge popped out of nowhere and slid into the room to pull the bed out. With that, a young nurse came out of the room to introduce herself to the patient. I'm used to being around young 'uns and didn't think much of it.
As we began the process of getting the gurney into the room and transferring the patient, I did notice that she seemed somewhat tentative in her actions. The charge would simply say things like, "ok, come over here... grab right there... put your foot there... be ready for the quick change in load... here, let's pull that out..."
It was refreshing to watch the easy, supportive, and encouraging style with which the charge was helping guide the nurse who clearly must have been very, very new.
To all the charges out there who support your youngsters (of any age), who look out for them, who give them enough freedom to learn but not enough rope to hang themselves... thank you. These are my future colleagues that you're training and I appreciate you creating a safe environment in which they can learn.
I also appreciated the positive floor-ED interaction that the charge was modeling.
For those who fear landing the job that so many complain about, know that there are some places where you will be supported in your launch.