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Adjusting to being a new nurse: How long?

Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

Dear New Nurse

It's really individual, and depends on many things, including your nursing speciality and the level of support you are provided.

That said, many nurses begin to feel fairly well adjusted by around the one year mark. It's generally agreed that nurses achieve a competent level of practice in their second to third years.

Adjustment to your new role is on a spectrum and sometimes it can feel like two steps forward with one step backwards. It happens gradually. One day, you'll look up to see student nurses down the hall and realize how far you've come. Another time you will know exactly where to grab a non-rebreather mask and how to apply it without asking.

It may seem to you now that you'll never adjust and arrive. But all the experienced, confident nurses on the floor started off just like you. And likewise, you'll be just like them.

Time flies. Remember back to first semester in nursing school, and how before you knew it, you were in last semester? You may be surprised at how soon you will learn to work faster, get to know doctors, give report and feel confident.

Check out the discussion forums here on site to talk with other new nurses- you are not alone.

Best wishes!

Nurse Beth

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Edited by tnbutterfly

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