Rn

  1. Hello all! My name is Candi and I am a 35-year-old married mother of 3. I am an associate degree nurse who graduated in Dec. 2003. I have been working since Jan. I am very overwhelmed and insecure since I am really a "nurse" now. I feel I should know more than I do - I passed the NCLEX on the first try, didn't I? There is so much I don't know and I'd like some advice/encouragement/comments from new grads, experienced nurses, etc. I'll take anything I can get! I don't want to confide in co-workers about my fears and insecurities. Please help! Thank you and I hope to correspond with you all for a long time to come. Candi - RN in KY
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   susan18
    Quote from CandiRN
    Hello all! My name is Candi and I am a 35-year-old married mother of 3. I am an associate degree nurse who graduated in Dec. 2003. I have been working since Jan. I am very overwhelmed and insecure since I am really a "nurse" now. I feel I should know more than I do - I passed the NCLEX on the first try, didn't I? There is so much I don't know and I'd like some advice/encouragement/comments from new grads, experienced nurses, etc. I'll take anything I can get! I don't want to confide in co-workers about my fears and insecurities. Please help! Thank you and I hope to correspond with you all for a long time to come. Candi - RN in KY
    From susan18 to CandiRN: Hi Candi! Congratulations on joining the ranks! It will be worth it, I promise you! You will always have job security, too! I wanted to teach foreign languages in the 70's, and my dad steered me into nursing because the teaching market was "glutted". I am so glad he did! I started out for 8 years as an LPN, went back to get my BSN as a single parent, and graduated at age 30. I have worked med-surg, ICU, and 4 years of ER. Most of my years have been in critical care. I remember feeling the same way you do when I was new as both an LPN and also an RN. You feel like you are on your own. Is there some kind of mentor thing at your facility where an experienced staffer could work with you when you need advice, someone who ENJOYS precepting? That is important for new grads, to be with someone who does not see helping steer new nurses as a burden. If there isn't, consider getting linked up online with some nursing websites where you can do some reading to hone your skills better, and subscribe to a general journal for nursing. I don't know if I can mention their names, so I won't! Also, don't be afraid to ask your supervisor for more detailed orientation time. You are a brand new nurse, and your practice will not be like mine, or a nurse with even 3 years' experience. The NCLEX exam is not the gold standard for what you know- remember that. It is an exam tool only. Nursing practice is a learning curve. Don't panic! I applaud you for being willing to be so transparent with us here in this forum, and I hope other nurses will remember their own start, and come alongside to encourage you. I am a new member here, but I will try to keep up with you. Susan18
  4. by   jnette
    Quote from susan18
    the nclex exam is not the gold standard for what you know- remember that. it is an exam tool only. nursing practice is a learning curve. don't panic! i applaud you for being willing to be so transparent with us here in this forum, and i hope other nurses will remember their own start, and come alongside to encourage you. i am a new member here, but i will try to keep up with you. susan18
    wise words.

    yes, although we spend years with our noses in the books, and supervised clinincal experience, it is a whole different ballgame when suddenly you're on your own !

    you are not alone with these feelings. this bb is a marvelous place to learn. although i work in hemodialysis, i love to read threads on all the other forums as well, just to keep up with things in all areas of nursing.

    stick around, read, ask all the questions you want... noone here will fault you for that. this is what this bb is for. to learn, share, grow, and improve our skills.

    and welcome to allnurses !!!
  5. by   CandiRN
    Susan Thank you for your wisdom and rational thoughts! Currently, I still have my preceptor, but I'm trying to gain my independence. I'm having trouble with my time-mangement skills, organization, and priorities. My 8-week orientation is over on Saturday; however, I "can" have 12 weeks if I so choose. But I'm afraid to say I need the additional time because it will look like I'm relying too much on someone else to do my job. What do you think?

    A Mentor program was just started March 1st and I will definitely be participating. We can choose anyone in the hospital as long as they've been there at least one year. This person will follow my progress, advise me, allow me to vent - all confidentially - for one year. This person will get a $500 bonus at six months and another $500 at one year - on the condition that I am still employed at that time. I think this is a wonderful program, but I haven't decided who to choose as my mentor. I was considering the nurse recruiter for a couple of reasons 1) She has the most to gain if I stay for the entire year (retention), and 2) I have been in contact with her since I started school 2 years ago (I got a scholarship from Jewish) and she is very receptive, discreet, always returns calls and e-mails and truly cares about the new grads' success. I know I'm going on and on, but I don't have anyone to talk to about my frustrations and concerns. This is so new to me. Before this job, I was a housewife and full-time Mom for 10 years! I've gone from that to working 3- 12-hour days a week with an hour of drive time each way. It's been hard on me and the children - I do my best at work to be a reponsible, caring nurse to all my patients and their families, but when I come home, my children are so starved for me and I am so mentally and physically drained, I have trouble giving them all that they need. They are 6, 9, and 10.

    I'd better end this or I'll never get it sent! Finally, do you know of any web sites that provide a support network for new grads? I have done a lot of searches and come up empty. Again, Susan, thank you for your kind reply and promptness. Please write again and tell me some more about you and your family. Candi
  6. by   CandiRN
    Jnette, Thanks for your reply. I feel so welcomed already!! I plan to utilize this site as a sounding board. And, of course, I will help anyone else that I possibly can. Candi
  7. by   susan18
    Quote from CandiRN
    Susan Thank you for your wisdom and rational thoughts! Currently, I still have my preceptor, but I'm trying to gain my independence. I'm having trouble with my time-mangement skills, organization, and priorities. My 8-week orientation is over on Saturday; however, I "can" have 12 weeks if I so choose. But I'm afraid to say I need the additional time because it will look like I'm relying too much on someone else to do my job. What do you think?

    A Mentor program was just started March 1st and I will definitely be participating. We can choose anyone in the hospital as long as they've been there at least one year. This person will follow my progress, advise me, allow me to vent - all confidentially - for one year. This person will get a $500 bonus at six months and another $500 at one year - on the condition that I am still employed at that time. I think this is a wonderful program, but I haven't decided who to choose as my mentor. I was considering the nurse recruiter for a couple of reasons 1) She has the most to gain if I stay for the entire year (retention), and 2) I have been in contact with her since I started school 2 years ago (I got a scholarship from Jewish) and she is very receptive, discreet, always returns calls and e-mails and truly cares about the new grads' success. I know I'm going on and on, but I don't have anyone to talk to about my frustrations and concerns. This is so new to me. Before this job, I was a housewife and full-time Mom for 10 years! I've gone from that to working 3- 12-hour days a week with an hour of drive time each way. It's been hard on me and the children - I do my best at work to be a reponsible, caring nurse to all my patients and their families, but when I come home, my children are so starved for me and I am so mentally and physically drained, I have trouble giving them all that they need. They are 6, 9, and 10.

    I'd better end this or I'll never get it sent! Finally, do you know of any web sites that provide a support network for new grads? I have done a lot of searches and come up empty. Again, Susan, thank you for your kind reply and promptness. Please write again and tell me some more about you and your family. Candi
    Candi, I used to do my Army Reserve annual training at Fort Knox, and spent some time in E-town and Radcliffe! Which hospital are you working for? I think personally that your leaning towards the nurse recruiter for a mentor is a good one. Personal integrity has a lot to do with your comfort level with her. She sounds like she has a good grasp of what those responsibilities are as a mentor. I also would not worry about what others think of you if you request your orientation to go 12 weeks instead of 8. Those that bad-mouth others in this profession are shooting themselves in the foot in the long run. Nurses have GOT to learn to come alongside and nuture the next wave of nurses. Only then will the nursing shortage ease up, when being a nurse does not mean you shoot your coworkers to shreds! Ask for what you want (empowerment) and ignore the comments. You will shine in the end, and have more confidence. Use the time well. it would be helpful to me to know what area you work in... are you in a correctional facility, too, or a public hospital?
    In response to your comments re fatigue at the end of the day, feeling you aren't giving enough to your kids...I still go through that at times! I am in a new marriage, I have a teenage son and an 11 yr. old daughter, 2 stepsons who are teens every other weekend, and aging parents in Florida! I believe that any woman who works and gives a lot of energy will feel this way by the close of the workday. Plus you drive an hr. each way, correct? I think my cronies here will back me up with that one! Sometimes the pressures of the workplace can so frazzle one that there seems to be an empty well at the end of the day. I have found that at times I have to pull back emotionally more than I would like with my nurses and my peers, so that there IS energy for my spouse and kids when I get home. I also do not stay up really late, and I have learned to lower my expectations of being susie homemaker! I love to cook, but have resigned myself to simple meals I pre-plan with a menu list, and I don't keep my home immaculate, just moderately presentable. I don't know if you are single or married, but if you are a single parent, I truly feel for you, because I have been there, for more of my life than I was married! That can drain you in a heartbeat...I had to develop a church support system with other single parents, and a couple close phone friends, as my parents live so far away, and I am an only child. Thanks for sharing with me...talk to you soon! Hang in there, Candi! We are all pulling for you!!!
  8. by   jazznkate
    Hi Candi, I know how you feel. I just graduated too in Dec 03. I"m 25 and have a 6 and 5 year old girls. I am also extremely overwhelmed about being on my own as a new nurse and at the same time coming home to hungry and attention seeking kids and husband. All we can do now is pray. This too shall pass. :uhoh21:
  9. by   Tweety
    Welcome. I've been a nurse for a long time and I still feel that I don't know all I should. Relax, you're doing fine. That first year or so is hard on the self-esteem, or at least it was to me. You're sounding perfectly "normal".

    Good luck and welcome!
  10. by   nekhismom
    I just graduated in Dec. 03 as well. I say don't worry about what others think of you wanting additional orientation time. It's YOUR confidence level that is important. If YOU don't feel confident enough yet, the by all means, take advantage of the extra 4 weeks. I think it's great that they offer you extra time if you want it. I wish you the best of luck and look forward to hearing from you on the boards!
  11. by   Loving Life
    I was a LPN for seven years, got my ADN. I found the transition alot more difficult than I thought. I had a hard time with organization, delegation, etc. You go from being told what to do to the one who is telling (asking) others what to do. It will come in time. If you feel you need more time with orientation, take it. I will have my BSN this April after being an ADN for 15 years on pediatrics heme/onc BMT. I have loved my job and will miss it, but I must move on. I am burned out. Good luck to you and keep in touch.
  12. by   traumaRUs
    Candi - welcome. Above posters are absolutely right that it takes about a year to gain a level of confidence and even now with years of experience there is a lot I don't know. Asking for the the 12 weeks of orientation isn't a bad thing at all - it shows initiative on your part and desire to succeed. Good luck...as to the exhaustion thing at the end of the day - after 14 1/2 hours - I'm tired too. Don't be too hard on yourself.

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