Advice for 1st nursing shift as a new grad?

Nurses General Nursing


I start my first shift as an RN tomorrow (7a-7p). I'm a new grad--(this May) and I'm nervous! I've met my preceptor already, she seems like a nice woman. Also making me nervous is I'm on a ICU step down floor so of course the pt's will be more critical than just a med surg floor (where I wanted to start off). ADVICE please! I don't want to feel thrown into situations I can't handle

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

Advice? Take a deep breath and remember that NOTHING will be expected of you on that first shift.

That will free you to step back and observe.

Likely, nothing will be expected from you for some time. Your only obligation is to observe and learn. You will find yourself ready to step up and take responsibility as you pick up skills and knowledge from your observations.

Specializes in PICU.

Good luck! My biggest advice is to always ask questions, it doesn't matter how dumb your question may sound to you. =) Like my nursing instructors always said "the only dumb question is the one you don't ask." If you don't feel comfortable doing something, it's okay! Just ask your preceptor to show you, and then they can be there and watch you do it the next time.

One important thing I learned is that I absolutely need a cheat sheet. So for each patient I have, I will write down all 12 hours on a piece of paper, and I'll write down whatever needs to be done. For example: 8am - pass meds, 9pm - start feeds, etc. =) It just helps me organize my day that way and I know I won't forget what to do.


Specializes in icu, cvicu, case management.

You will be fine.... Your first day you will probably just buddy up..Watch and listen. THe preceptor picked was probablyf picked because she has experience and is good with new grads.... Get to know ythe envirorment first. Get to know the charts, ...find out who the " go to" people are... Make a list of quick extensions. like

1) resp 2) cath lab 3) code blue 4) Rapid response # 5) the nlurses station

Then find out who are the MAIN cardiologist....

You wll find your own way of organizing yourself. Listen in report, that is how you learn also.

AYou will be fine..and good luck..:nurse:

Thanks everyone. My 1st day went pretty good! Y'all were right, I did alot of observing. My preceptor is really good teacher, who like I had hoped, started everything off slowly.

Hopefully I get the hang of everything soon. :)

Specializes in icu, cvicu, case management.

Great, you are on your way.


Enjoy, and ask alot of questions...

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