Dear New Grads

by MPKH

9,610 Views | 21 Comments

The journey of transitioning from a new graduate nurse to an independent nurse is not always smooth or easy. Sometimes it is accomplished through trials and tribulations, and sacrifices and tears. But things do get better. This article serves as a testimony of my own transition from a new graduate nurse to an independent nurse.

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    Dear New Grads

    I want to let you know that no matter how bleak the job market looks right now, how many "no"s and rejections you get in your job search, how badly you bombed interviews, it does get better. Even if you were terminated from that first job, things do get better.

    I was in your shoes a year ago. I graduated from a university nursing program situated in the city that I grew up in and started my job search after I passed my nursing licensing exam. I sent out applications after applications to local hospitals and clinics; anywhere that might hire nurses. When all I receive was silence, I started applying to areas in my province outside my city...again, nobody replied to me. I tried talking to managers in person, making cold calls (both to HR and managers), asking friends who are working for referrals, but none of that turned into an interview, never mind job offers. I tweaked my resume and cover letter, had both editted, and practiced interviews with friends...and tried the applications again. Still nothing. By this time, much of the summer had gone, and student loan repayment start date was approching.

    So I decided to branch my job search out, to the province next to mine. At this point in time, I wanted a job, and if that meant going out of my city, then I will do that. I had figured that someone, somewhere, must need a newly minted nurse, and my job is to find that employer. And I did find that somone, and the somewhere was a rural town in the province next door.

    I was born and raised as a city girl, and knew absolutely nothing about rural life or nursing. And I was a bit hesitant in accepting the job offer, being away from the city scene, but I needed a job. And getting a job was more pressing than living a city girl life...that and I figured once I have some experience, I can get a job in the city. And so, I began my nursing career.

    Like many new grads, I had trouble trasitioning from a student to a fully independent nurse. I did not do well in my first job, and was let go after a month. That was devastating. I reflected on what led to me being let go, and I planned ways to improve myself at my next job. I found a job in another rural town, and vowed to make the job my "ticket" to a city job.

    I applied myself at work, improved on my weakness, and honed my skills. I took every available opportunities to learn new things at work, asking others for help, and taking the initiative to be responsible for my personal growth as a RN. I made a conscious effort to get along with my coworkers, to get to know each doctor, and each member of the wider healthcare team. I took constructive criticisms from coworkers seriously, and took praises from my manager humbly. I wanted to make good on my promise to myself.

    And I did. I receive "The Call" yesterday, and have accepted a full time position in one of the metropolitan cities in the province. The journey to get there wasn't smooth sailing, but I learned a lot along the way. And I think that made me a better nurse.

    So new grads, chin up. You may have to make some sacrifices to get to where you want to be, but the journey is well worth it. You will be successful, and you will be great nurses! Don't ever give up hope! Someone, somewhere, is waiting for you to apply...go get 'em!
    Last edit by Joe V on Aug 11, '12
    cnursetobe, sweetf, jennyx33, and 27 others like this.
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  4. About MPKH

    MPKH joined Jul '08 - from 'Edmonton, Alberta'. MPKH has 'Since Sept 2011' year(s) of experience. Posts: 278 Likes: 237; Learn more about MPKH by visiting their allnursesPage


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    21 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING!! I really really needed to read something inspiring like this!! (: CONGRATS, it's well deserved!!!
    factorviia likes this.
  6. 1
    i needed this too. all i've been getting is that silence while i watch classmate after classmate get jobs. it's been discouraging.
    LizzyB1209 likes this.
  7. 3
    Great Article!....I am still transitioning into my first gig at my place....I work in corrections and the tranistion from being a caring, comforting nurse to a stoic and very firm nurse has been hard.....I am doing well, but like most newbies I have stubbed my toe a few times but I have taken it in stride....I am lucky that I have had such great "senior" nurses to mentor me, they have been very kind and patient....any suggestion I would have for new grads is this, keep being the student!....learn, take notes, prsctice and devote extra time to studying new Rx's and Tx's.....make it a point to keep being a good student and try to do what I say to myself before each shift, and each med pass, "Calm the F*** down, Breathe, Think It Through".....I say it every time, and it really centers me.....keep positive and keep being a student.....Good luck to all of us!......
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    Great post! What you say about sacrificing is all too correct.
  9. 1
    Quote from Wild Irish LPN
    Great Article!....I am still transitioning into my first gig at my place....I work in corrections and the tranistion from being a caring, comforting nurse to a stoic and very firm nurse has been hard.....I am doing well, but like most newbies I have stubbed my toe a few times but I have taken it in stride....I am lucky that I have had such great "senior" nurses to mentor me, they have been very kind and patient....any suggestion I would have for new grads is this, keep being the student!....learn, take notes, prsctice and devote extra time to studying new Rx's and Tx's.....make it a point to keep being a good student and try to do what I say to myself before each shift, and each med pass, "Calm the F*** down, Breathe, Think It Through".....I say it every time, and it really centers me.....keep positive and keep being a student.....Good luck to all of us!......
    I know how you feel ! I'm in corrections too & it's been a challenge to be a "firm" nurse. I think I'm finally getting the hang with the med pass though
    Wild Irish LPN likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from Nurse2bKimberly
    I know how you feel ! I'm in corrections too & it's been a challenge to be a "firm" nurse. I think I'm finally getting the hang with the med pass though
    Awesome!....we need to be friends huh?....lol....my med pass is the one thing that stresses me, so many inmates, and grumpy deputy's kinda stress me too.....all in all though, everyone has been very kind (including the inmates)....one day at a time, right?.....being that I am a guy, I thought it may be harder being a nurse in this enviroment....actually it isn't the truth at all, the deputy's and inmates think it is pretty cool....so happy, and lucky.....
  11. 0
    This is really inspiring! Thanks!
  12. 0
    Ditto. Thanks for the post. I can relate. I start my first RN job next week and to characterize the locale as 'rural' would be a gross understatement. I know that a few miles away there is a 'market', but that's about it. I'm super excited, ready to learn and so very happy to be working as a nurse. :-)

    Congrats to you!
  13. 1
    yay!!! congrats!!!
    factorviia likes this.


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