Why Do I Care? - page 5

by Ruby Vee 19,905 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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    May I add, the new graduates are much older these days. Meaning, most have made the decision to go into nursing for financial gain & are not interested in maintaining their position as a nurse. I have seen many new graduates come onto my unit with finance, engineering, accounting degrees etc.. While I am not discouraging anyone from following their passion for nursing, if that's truly your passion. But, if you wouldn't make your other degrees work for you how do you suppose you're going to make nursing work for you?

    This age old mindset that "You'll always have a job as a nurse" is what drives the wrong people into the field. All that we, as nurses, have done to pave the way will soon be gone. I am not middle age, yet, but I feel as though my 13 years fighting for my organization & union should be respected and carried on.
    elkpark, teady012002, Fiona59, and 3 others like this.
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    Ruby if you have not already, I'd suggest that you either start or join the a Retention and Recognition Committee. Like you, I've witnessed both new grads and seasoned nurses up and leave a job due to stress or workplace drama. I won't even say bullying because bullying is subjective and I refuse to open that can of worms today.

    I actually care about my colleagues and often feel sad when a good nurse decides for whatever reason to put that notice in. I've been there and done that plenty of times which is why I felt compelled to do something. I'm now a member of the Retention and Recognition Committee at my place of employment. In a nut shell: we work diligently to make sure our staff work in a positive work environment so that they do not want to leave. We recognize our hard working staff on a regular basis and make sure that patient have the tools to nominate nurses and techs for awards. I've found what we do at our hospital boosts the moral of the units and make going to work easier. No it is not all sunshine and roses but this does alleviate some of the stress especially for new grads. Perhaps it is the culture of your unit that needs to change, and maybe you can be apart of developing a system to boost the morale on your unit.
    barnstormin', fetch, canoehead, and 9 others like this.
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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.
    ^^^This ^^^
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    Quote from wooh
    So crusty old bats should care about making new nurses' jobs easier, by being super nice and supportive. But we shouldn't care when new nurses make the crusty old bats' jobs harder?
    No, the Crusty old bats ( I hate this terminology but I'll play along) should be open to discussing how to boost the morale of the unit so that nurses don't want to leave.
    It is not only NEW nurses that leave, seasoned nurses get fed up to with the daily melodrama cattiness. I've seen more seasoned nurses leave than new grads because unlike the new grad that seasoned nurse has experience and can get a job any where any time.
    If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.
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    Quote from Ruby Vee
    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.
    Just curious, but what percentage of your preceptees are jumping ship "too soon"? From your post, it sounds like you are experiencing an epidemic. Could it be the unit? The nature of working in ICU (and the steep learning curve)? Could it be their preceptor?

    There is nothing wrong with people looking out for themselvs. As harsh as it sounds, you are not their (main) concern. These new grads may have obligations that you don't know about. Or they scored their dreeeaaammm job. Or they have found that they aren't a great fit for your unit or ICU in general. Keep in mind that the ICU is a steep learning curve (and many ICUs don't hire new grads for this reason).

    My personal stance? I think new grads should stay in their first nursing job for the first year or so. Not out of loyalty or for the employers' benefit, but to get down the basics and learn how to be a nurse. I do think people should look out for themselves because employers sure as hell aren't.

    This "me, me, me" mentality is a product of our society. Let's face it: our society isn't as community-focused as it once was. My parents and grandparents can remember a time when people look out for each other; people didn't need to lock their doors and or look over their shoulders. There was a sense of camaraderie. People put in many years with employers, and employers valued and rewarded them for their hardwork. On top of that, people had more financial and social security.

    Now capitalistic greed reigns supreme, and people MUST put themselves and their families first. We are quick to throw others under the bus. There is more competition. People who decide to leave your unit may do so to out of fear of losing their licenses because of a mistake. People may leave because a family member or child is battling an illness and they are not eligible for FMLA. People may leave because they really feel that in their heart of hearts, they are not happy and don't you want to work with people who actually want/like their job?
  6. 1
    Quote from ThePrincessBride

    This "me, me, me" mentality is a product of our society. Let's face it: our society isn't as community-focused as it once was. My parents and grandparents can remember a time when people look out for each other; people didn't need to lock their doors and or look over their shoulders. There was a sense of camaraderie. People put in many years with employers, and employers valued and rewarded them for their hardwork. On top of that, people had more financial and social security.

    Now capitalistic greed reigns supreme, and people MUST put themselves and their families first. We are quick to throw others under the bus. There is more competition. People who decide to leave your unit may do so to out of fear of losing their licenses because of a mistake. People may leave because a family member or child is battling an illness and they are not eligible for FMLA. People may leave because they really feel that in their heart of hearts, they are not happy and don't you want to work with people who actually want/like their job?
    None of what you've mentioned here is some random spur of the moment occurrence. I am not sure where your grandparents are from. But, I will assure you it can not be New York!
    No matter if they're leaving one company and going to another, you never know the security of your job. You have to place time in and build a foundation somewhere. Because, if they (New Graduates) think they're going to more money over at Institution B and leave Organization A on bad terms ( in this care leaving before your probation period), if Institution B begins layoffs, New Grad( now seasoned nurse) will be looking for employment elsewhere and she can count out Organization A.
    LadyFree28 likes this.
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    Quote from Ruby Vee
    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.
    I have something to add. I quit my job in the CVICU because of workplace bullying made new nurses prone to mistakes which made it "potentially less safe". I have witnessed much bullying with my co-workers but I'll start with my self.
    1. Had a nurse call me stupid/retarded in front of my peers
    2. Had a nurse yell at me " hurry up at the pyxis" as I wanted to take 3 extra seconds to make sure I was grabbing the right medication for the right patient.
    3. One of my preceptors left me alone to take care of a patient actively having a MI with little to no support because " this is the best way to learn". This was 3 weeks into orientation. Ofcourse, she talked about me behind my back when I had a hard time dealing with a sick patient.
    I could go on and on, but my point is don't blame new grads. Blame the unit. I'm not saying that you all need to give hugs, kisses and skittles to new grads but obviously what ever you all are doing now is not working.
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    Quote from RNGriffin
    None of what you've mentioned here is some random spur of the moment occurrence. I am not sure where your grandparents are from. But, I will assure you it can not be New York!
    No matter if they're leaving one company and going to another, you never know the security of your job. You have to place time in and build a foundation somewhere. Because, if they (New Graduates) think they're going to more money over at Institution B and leave Organization A on bad terms ( in this care leaving before your probation period), if Institution B begins layoffs, New Grad( now seasoned nurse) will be looking for employment elsewhere and she can count out Organization A.
    Actually, my grandfather is from Long Island.

    Oops.
    nae312213 and Satori77 like this.
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    Quote from prnqday
    I have something to add. I quit my job in the CVICU because of workplace bullying made new nurses prone to mistakes which made it "potentially less safe". I have witnessed much bullying with my co-workers but I'll start with my self.
    1. Had a nurse call me stupid/retarded in front of my peers
    2. Had a nurse yell at me " hurry up at the pyxis" as I wanted to take 3 extra seconds to make sure I was grabbing the right medication for the right patient.
    3. One of my preceptors left me alone to take care of a patient actively having a MI with little to no support because " this is the best way to learn". This was 3 weeks into orientation. Ofcourse, she talked about me behind my back when I had a hard time dealing with a sick patient.
    I could go on and on, but my point is don't blame new grads. Blame the unit. I'm not saying that you all need to give hugs, kisses and skittles to new grads but obviously what ever you all are doing now is not working.

    I'm sorry this happened to you. But, I blame you for not advocating for yourself. If you couldn't tell the nurse who yelled at you to hurry while pulling your meds "I'm sorry but I am going to need some time to make sure my patients are safe", you won't be able to advocate for the patient with the physician.
    I am certain you're experienced now. But, a lesson everyone can use is "You're only the victim to bullying if you allow yourself to be". I would have been more than happy to explain to my nurse manager why nurse dee didn't care for me, rather than I am quitting because of Nurse dee.
    canoehead, Ruby Vee, wooh, and 2 others like this.
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    Quote from Ruby Vee
    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 previous employer had all of the things you mentioned and more nurses still left. New nurses and seasoned nurses. You can have your sim lab and extra classes. What needs to happen is getting rid of the US versus THEM attitude. I would love to be a fly on a wall at your ICU. I'm willing to bet my whole pay check that it is not the unit or work of the ICU it is the people these nurses have to work with.
    Fiona59 and Not_A_Hat_Person like this.


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