What advice do you have for a new grad starting on a med-surge unit?

  1. I am excited and nervous and anxious to finally start my career as a nurse. I expect to be overwhelmed and feel like a fish out of water. I don't want to feel that way though. I am nervous about what the expectations will be of me.....how much the staff will expect me to know. I know skills will come with practice, but is there anything you would want a new grad to know? I plan to take lots of notes and find a brain sheet that I am comfortable with and will help me to organize my day as I try to be more independent. The hospital I will be working for has a good orientation program so they are committed to helping new grads/new hires succeed.

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    About Blue Cat

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 84; Likes: 17
    from US


  3. by   SoCalGalRN
    Well, as a new grad (8 months) on a med-surg unit, don't spell it med-surge. Otherwise, expect to be incredibly stressed. That's just how it's going to be. We have the most patients and are considered the "easiest" unit. Expect to be understaffed because hospital resources will be diverted to the "more important" units and med-surg has to make due without. It took about 6 months before I could come into work without fear of making a big mistake. I don't look forward to work now but I'm not terrified either.
  4. by   Blue Cat
    Thanks for the advice. I can't find the "edit" tab, so can't correct the misspelling.

  5. by   michi1962
    I've been a med/surg nurse for 23 years. Nursing is the most rewarding career in the entire world. I feel it's important for new grads to be hooked up with a good mentor/preceptor. Your orientation does not end the first day you have to take a load independently. Sure you will be nervous but there are other nurses around you can help. Ask questions and bounce your thoughts off the more experienced nurses. Organization and prioritization will be the key. Give yourself a good 6 months then one day you will realize that you know this stuff. After all, you did pass the boards. Good luck.
  6. by   ohioSICUrn
    Run while you can... lol not really helpful but thats how i feel after 1.5 years on medsurg
  7. by   eatmysoxRN
    I think the most important thing is to always ask questions. Of course it's important to think through things on your own but if in doubt always ask.

    Jump in and watch things you don't see all the time. Learn all you can. Take notes. Prioritize as well as you can. Take the time to look things up if you need to. Don't give a med just because it's ordered. You need to know why you're giving it. Don't be afraid to question orders but as a new nurse it's best to run it by someone experienced first.

    Don't let other nurses make you feel incompetent. If they seem angry at you they probably aren't. It can be stressful to precept.

    Best of luck!
  8. by   Blue Cat
    Thank you for the thoughtful responses!