Why Do I Care? - page 3

by Ruby Vee 20,167 Views | 109 Comments

Why do I care that new nurses leave our unit after less than two years -- often after less than one year? Why do I care, when they're adults. They're going to have to live with the consequences of being out of work, or having a... Read More


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    Getting my RN license in my 40s has made me realize that I can't sit on my laurels and coast. I want to learn all I can and be the best nurse possible. I only worked on the floor for two years so I had my feet under me before moving to the ER. I see new things and learn lots every shift I am working. I depend on the seasoned nurses in my department to have my back while I am learning about all the nasty stuff coming through the doors. The medical floor I worked put me in charge of the unit after only being there one year. Luckily for me there were experienced nurses on the unit to help me learn how to be in charge of a unit and still take care of my patient load. I took my turn teaching new grads, and some even learned a thing or two from me. I do recall one in particular who knew everything before I had a chance to teach him, so I hope that where ever he is today, he hasn't killed anyone figuring out what he really doesn't know!!

    I have no intention of getting more formal education and moving around jobs to find my dream job, but I hope to try different types of nursing before I am too old to do so. When I was hired, the interviewer asked me specifically what my goals were and where I wanted to be in 5 years. I was honest and told them that I wanted to do travel nursing eventually, but for the next 5 years I would like to get as much experience in their hospital which included floor and ER nursing. They hired me and told me that they appreciated my honesty. I have watched many new grads come and go in the last few years, and it is sad to know that this is the trend everywhere.

    IMHO today's grads want to get a big paycheck and be just like the nurses you see on tv. I wish they had the work ethic that was around 50 years ago when you worked hard to get a job, and you worked harder to keep it!!
    Satori77, teady012002, imintrouble, and 1 other like this.
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    Zzzzzzzzzz... are we still on this?
    Not_A_Hat_Person and naptimeRN like this.
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    The common denominator is the unit, not the new grads. If there is high turnover rate, blame it on the unit, not the new nurses. Too many units treat their nurses like disposable crap, don't give their new nurses enough time in orientation, and don't provide a contract to give a person an incentive to stay at a job.

    Until a contract is made between new grads and hospitals, I highly doubt anything can be done. I have had the opportunity to work at great facilities and awful ones. The great ones give new grads extensive orientation and tons of support and resources. At my clinicals a couple days ago, I was talking to a nurse who has worked at the unit for three years. Her orientation was sixteen weeks, but the hospital wouldn't hesitate to give a new nurse twenty or more weeks to ensure that she/he feels comfortable in his/her new role.

    I would be FAR more inclined to stay at a job for AT LEAST three years if THEY invested in four, five months training and orienting to help me feel more comforable and secure versus two or three weeks of a crappy orientation and being thrown to the wolves and expected to know it all. The places with high turnover rates typically don't invest a lot in their new nurses. A three week orientation for a new grad isn't sufficient for even the smartest and brightest of the crop, much less for the average new grad.

    That being said, if you are tired of orienting new grads, then talk to management and put your foot down. You are misplacing your anger and frustration. If your unit is losing new grad after new grad, there is something wrong on their end because I can assure you that not all of those new grads are racing to NP or CRNA school or even their dreeeaaammmm job.
    canoehead, Lennonninja, RNfaster, and 14 others like this.
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    I think the question Ruby Vee is answering here is one that she gets attacked with a lot. I personally am glad she cares enough to keep coming back and answering questions in an environment that is frequently hostile to her.

    With that being said, I think the larger, underlying question is "What is causing this huge amount of turnover?" I don't think that anyone is realizing that keeping the same position for more than a year is no longer a given. Our society is so mobile and malleable these days that it is often hard NOT to change jobs every year or two.

    I think the focus needs to change from the traditional five year plan to a two year plan. Because that is most likely all that employers are going to get out of their workers. Instead of bemoaning what is clearly a paradigm change, perhaps we should be looking at ways to streamline and standardize so we stop losing so much time to training. Just a thought.
    canoehead, RNfaster, teady012002, and 10 others like this.
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    Quote from dudette10
    Huh? This is a post about people changing jobs too quickly for the OPs liking, as if it was a personal slight to do so. People change jobs! Maybe the hiring practices in her workplace need to be looked at rather than telling the newer nurses that its all their fault.

    for christ's sake, where did the COB and NETY crap come from?
    Could you translate COB and NETY into English. thanks.
    Marshall1 and Esme12 like this.
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    Crusty old bats and nurses eat their young.
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    Quote from libbyliberal
    Could you translate COB and NETY into English. thanks.
    Crusty Old Bat Nurses Eat Their Young
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    Quote from dudette10
    All I'm seeing in this post is, "I care because it makes my job more difficult." I really thought this was going to be about how patient care is made more difficult and potentially less safe by a nurse constantly being in charge of the patients and preceptees in a high-acuity environment, but it's all about how "demoralizing" and "heartbreaking" the job is for the seasoned nurses where you work.
    Please -- if you have something to add about the subject of new nurses jumping ship immediately and how patient care is made potentially less safe, contribute it. I'd love to read it.
    Crispy Critter, teady012002, wooh, and 2 others like this.
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    This happens in a lot of facilities even great ones and great units like the ones I have worked in. I have come to accept it as part of the job. Staying for more than 2 years seems to be the rarity and part of me thinks those who stay much longer are looked at with disdain or viewed as less ambitious (?) even by management. stagnant(?) Does anyone else get that feeling?
    teady012002 likes this.
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    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    The common denominator is the unit, not the new grads. If there is high turnover rate, blame it on the unit, not the new nurses. Too many units treat their nurses like disposable crap, don't give their new nurses enough time in orientation, and don't provide a contract to give a person an incentive to stay at a job.

    Until a contract is made between new grads and hospitals, I highly doubt anything can be done. I have had the opportunity to work at great facilities and awful ones. The great ones give new grads extensive orientation and tons of support and resources. At my clinicals a couple days ago, I was talking to a nurse who has worked at the unit for three years. Her orientation was sixteen weeks, but the hospital wouldn't hesitate to give a new nurse twenty or more weeks to ensure that she/he feels comfortable in his/her new role.

    I would be FAR more inclined to stay at a job for AT LEAST three years if THEY invested in four, five months training and orienting to help me feel more comforable and secure versus two or three weeks of a crappy orientation and being thrown to the wolves and expected to know it all. The places with high turnover rates typically don't invest a lot in their new nurses. A three week orientation for a new grad isn't sufficient for even the smartest and brightest of the crop, much less for the average new grad.

    That being said, if you are tired of orienting new grads, then talk to management and put your foot down. You are misplacing your anger and frustration. If your unit is losing new grad after new grad, there is something wrong on their end because I can assure you that not all of those new grads are racing to NP or CRNA school or even their dreeeaaammmm job.
    Orientation for new grads in my unit is six months; more if we feel that the new grad would be a good fit for the unit and just need more time. It's the best orientation program I've seen in 35 years of nursing. We have nurse educators, classes, a simulation lab -- all the support and resources you could think of and some that would not have occurred to me. I don't know what more we as a unit could do to get new grads to stay . . . a contract has to occur above the unit level.

    My frustration is not misplaced. It's not the institution or the unit I work on. It's the culture among new grads that say "I'll do what I want and it's no concern of yours," or "I'm going to do the best I can for MEEEE, and you're not my concern." I'm not saying all or even most new grads suscribe to that culture, but you see it here an awful lot.
    Crispy Critter, ICULINDA, Reader007, and 7 others like this.


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