"Seasoned Nurses will eat their young" - page 2

by taydian

2,521 Views | 24 Comments

Probably a recurring question on here............but........... Is this still generally true? Have any of you seasoned nurses treated new nurses badly? I heard about this often, but I, nor other nurses I know who have... Read More


  1. 9
    Quote from cardiacfreak
    I have been told more than once by new nurses that they found me intimidating when they first started, but once we have gotten to know each other, they realize I am just direct, and not stand-offish. I don't want to come off as intimidating or even mean to come across that way, so when I ask why they found me intimidating it is usually for two reasons, "You seem to know everything" and "You don't talk as much as the other nurses." I always let them know I do not know everything, and that I try to learn something new everyday. I may not get into their conversations because I try to keep a divide between business and home. I don't want to know all about their personal business and don't want them to know all of mine, that doesn't mean I am not listening to the conversation though.

    Almost all of the nurses who have found me to be intimidating tell me that they are relieved to see my name on the schedule, because the night will run smoother regardless of what is thrown our way. I don't think I am intimidating, I don't yell at a nurse if she makes an error, and I don't correct a nurse in front of other nurses. I want to be respected and I am respectful of others, I don't understand how this comes across as intimidation.

    I had one nurse tell me that she didn't like it when she would ask me a question and instead of giving her the answer, I would say, "Let's think about this a second, if......." I was trying to get her to think critically, she just wanted the answer. She went to the manager and told the manager that I didn't like her. Thankfully, the manager knows me and was on my side.

    I agree with Esme whole-heartedly, being direct doesn't mean being harsh.
    You were reported for trying to get someone to think critically? Good grief, what a delicate little flower she must have been.

    This topic is so hurtful. If someone posted, "Are all new grads self-absorbed and lazy?," there would be a tremendous hue and cry.

    Some people are mean, and they can be experienced or new. We need to put a stake in the heart of this rumor. It makes people believe the exp. nurses will be out to get them, so the slightest problem will be deemed NETY.
    GrnTea, elkpark, cardiacfreak, and 6 others like this.
  2. 0
    Some people are mean. They were that way when they started. I think there is frustration when a new nurse comes on and management is expecting he or she to function like a seasoned nurse. So they are carrying the same patient load or getting only minimal orientation. Then when the rest of unit has to help out in addition to their own work that is when people show their true colors.
  3. 0
    It really depends on the culture of the unit, starting with management and trickling down to staff nurses. I later learned that the motto of the manager of the 1st unit I worked on was "We like to break our new nurses down before building them up." Needless to say, not the most welcoming environment. Since working other places, I have realized that this is not the standard everywhere- thank goodness!
  4. 5
    I'm a student currently and doing clinical on a MedSurg floor. I find that most nurses are willing to teach you as long as your not arrogant or lazy and are willing to work and know your place. By know your place, I mean get up when your looking at a chart and offer your seat to the nurse, same with the break room, etc. some nurses just don't want to be bothered with a student and I always ask if they mind if I am with them when I introduce myself.
    GrnTea, cardiacfreak, VivaLasViejas, and 2 others like this.
  5. 0
    Depends where you work. Some units have a terrible culture in general where bad behaviour seems to be tolerated. However, I've found most nurses to be very helpful if the new nurse is receptive to learning, and willing to demonstrate initiative.

    I was a new grad not that long ago and my experiences were very positive. I can also hold my own, and I know the difference between the nurse just being too busy with their own work vs "eating their young." The primary responsibility is the patient, not me.

    Some new grads are very quick to judge nurses behaviour, so it goes both ways. I've precepted new grads who can tell me all the textbook answers and use the flowery buzz words we all know, but they can't actually apply their knowledge to real scenarios. The concept of individualized care and critical thinking for some new nurses is foreign. That's why mentoring is important HOWEVER, certain basic concepts should be solidified long before that person graduates.
  6. 5
    When I was teaching I told my students that at my hospital we didn't eat the young. We ate the weak. There's a fair amount of truth to that.
    OCNRN63, GrnTea, llg, and 2 others like this.
  7. 3
    Quote from SoldierNurse22
    Oh good Lord... Cue the microwave. Pour me a rum & coke. I'm good for the night!
    Getting a glass and my bowl ready...
  8. 3
    Went to clinical on Friday, and 3 out if the 4 nurses that were there said they didn't want students. Gave us attitude and never made eye contact with us. My instructor was so upset. We almost went back to school because we couldn't take patients. Thank goodness there was one nurse who was do nice and let us follow her around and do skills. (The nurses who didn't want us didn't even want us taking care of their patients)

    Once we had a substitute at this same facility and the same thing went on where they didn't want students. The sub said 'what kind of foolishness is that! We were all students once!' She said she would be back. Came back and told us to go with those nurses anyway. They were sweet as pie. I don't know WHAT she said but I've never seen them that nice! Lol now they're back to their old ways again. When I graduate, I'm gonna put in our survey that we need a new clinical site. (They get mad when we talk 'bad' about a clinical site because we're guests) but we don't get treated as such) not to say you have to bow down to us or anything.

    The DON is super nice though. I think may be our director should talk to her.
    GrnTea, Not_A_Hat_Person, and Nola009 like this.
  9. 1
    Some seasoned nurses and even fairly green ones with less than 5 yrs. experience are... it just depends on how much of a natural *****

    At my 1st job I didn't get much orientation and I was just kind of a hand to the preceptor. I don't remember even getting ONE day where I watched her 'do her thing' it was always about attending to patients on my own. Really on my own. She'd come up missing for 1/2 the day so I couldn't ask Qs. I didn't complain about her though.

    I was just glad that my origionally scheduled preceptor, the one who announced as she was getting off the elevator and just stepping foot on the unit that she "didn't wanna train and didn't get PAID extra for doing it'" wasn't orienting me anymore. So, yeah, it was like bad or worse.

    Nice welcome wagon, huh?
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Nov 20, '13
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
  10. 3
    I think it varies widely from person to person and environment to environment to environment. When I precepted as a student, I was thrilled to be walking into labor and delivery, and I was eager and ready to learn. I'd already been in the hospital's postpartum unit for a few weeks, and I'd been accepted there and treated well. My first day in L&D, I walked in to meet the woman who would supposedly be my mentor and teacher for the next few weeks. The very first words out of her mouth to me? "Don't think you're anything special because you're getting your BSN." I was absolutely flabbergasted and heartbroken. She made my experience there hell, and almost ruined L&D for me. I made a point to come on days she was off and work with some of the other nurses, and I ended up working there. It amused me to no end that she left L&D soon after--to pursue her BSN!
    It left an indelible mark on me, though. I volunteered to precept students, and I tried to do a good job and be an encouragement to them. And the last place I worked had many negatives and drawbacks, but one of it's big positives was the awesome older, experienced nurses we had. We had many nurses with 20+ years of experience, and they were great to the younger nurses. And the younger nurses respected the older ones and tried to learn from them. I've got 16 years under my belt now, and I love young nurses. They usually have an enthusiasm and energy I find it hard to muster!
    GrnTea, Not_A_Hat_Person, and OCNRN63 like this.


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