After only 6 weeks orientation............................

Nurses General Nursing

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on a med-surg tele unit (orientation is only 6 weeks), my manager called me into her office to discuss my progress. She asked if i felt ok being on my own. I told her i was nervous but happy to have good co-workers/preceptors that i can always ask questions.

She said everyone has said nice things abt me and we started discussing abt the new graduates coming in this june.

There will be 10 graduates, so i asked her who is going to be there preceptor (since most staffs are leaving and we are always understaffed). She said she will split them between shifts and diff. rotations or 1 nurse can have 2 new graduates :dzed:. She said for example i could also have a graduate rn come to me for questions or i could have one "following me" and if i was ok with that. I was in shock and said something i now regret saying "that is fine with me as long as there is an experience nurse on the unit which we can ask questions".

OK did i just agree to be a preceptor or she basically just want me to be a resource for the New graduate???

And if she wants me to be a preceptor, how can i refuse becos i am technically still a new grad. and want to keep my license (since i don't know much myself).

I am really nervous abt this because a new grad should not be training another new grad. and i really disappointed at myself for the response i gave her.

Thanks for u comments in advance.

Christen, ANP

290 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Orthopedics, Hospitalists.

Wow, that is a bit quick! I worked with my first orientee about 6 months after graduation. I was okay with that because other nurses who'd had orientees this soon said it really helped them build confindence in themselves and realize they do know what they are doing!

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

Don't sweat it now. Concentrate on learning your job. When you are approached about "working with a new grad" then ask your supervisor about expectations. Experienced nurses are valuable as preceptors, but "experts" may forget what it was like to be new and may become frustrated with the new person. You will be able to provide insight as to what the new grad needs to know now. Meanwhile, assume the supervisor gave you a big compliment!!

Aneroo, LPN

1,518 Posts

Specializes in Cath Lab, OR, CPHN/SN, ER.

I wouldn't be ok with being a new grad preceptor, but a resource would be ok (although it should still be one with more experience, no offense).

I was asked to help orient travelers to our unit. That was a great way to start learning to precept- they were experienced and didn't need to learn assessments, time management or skills. They just needed to learn our charting system and our unit, which I was comfortable with.

At least you realize you still need that person with more experience. There is nothing wrong with saying "I don't know, let's look it up" or asking someone else, but if you're precepting a new grad, that could leave them at a big disadvantage (if you're constantly having to go look up or ask someone else).

Good luck.

Specializes in cardiothoracic surgery.

First of all, 6 weeks of orientation?????????? That is not enough for a new grad. Ours is three months and sometimes I think that is too short. I certainly don't agree with a new grad precepting a new grad. You are still learning yourself, how can you teach someone else? Personally, I don't think anyone should be precepting until they have at least 2 years experience. And one nurse with 2 graduates? I would never agree to that either. I would be interested what staff are leaving your floor (new or experienced) and why they are leaving.

Specializes in Peds Hem, Onc, Med/Surg.

I had a six week orientation and I am doing fine. It depends on the person really. If my preceptorship would have been longer I would have been upset. I am more of hands on learning.

Secondly I know a new gn isn't the same as a student but I have already worked with last semester students and you will be surprised at what you know, and if it were me as long as you had someone to go to for questions it should be ok. I am sure you will be fine.

Specializes in Geriatrics, Transplant, Education.

I oriented for 7 weeks and I did fine...it really depends on you, though.

I also precepted another new grad when I was about 4 months out (I'm 9 months out now). It actually gave me a lot more self-confidence that I did know what I was doing...and she's doing fine now. You're always learning...but you really know something when you can teach someone else. There's always someone to go to for questions.

allnurses Guide

NurseCard, ADN

2,847 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.
First of all, 6 weeks of orientation?????????? That is not enough for a new grad. Ours is three months and sometimes I think that is too short. I certainly don't agree with a new grad precepting a new grad. You are still learning yourself, how can you teach someone else? Personally, I don't think anyone should be precepting until they have at least 2 years experience. And one nurse with 2 graduates? I would never agree to that either. I would be interested what staff are leaving your floor (new or experienced) and why they are leaving.

I'm going to play devil's advocate on the whole orientation thing and say that, depeding on what kind of unit you will be working on, six weeks can be enough, not nearly enough, or way MORE than enough.

Cardiothoracic (sp?) ICU? Not nearly enough.

Most med/surge units? May or may not be enough.

The psych hospital that I work? Probably way more than enough.

I have to agree though, I think that a med/surge nurse should have two years before being an orientee, though I know that isn't the reality in most places.

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

Generally, I think that a expierenced RN would be the best one to have a preceptee....that being said, I've been on our unit about a year now....and we all have the relationship on night shift of.."I've done x, y, z....pt is still having x problem....would you give x, or do y, or call doc?" I would feel comfortable having a new grad with me...but would know that I would have to ask other staff ?s for some things and admit when "I don't know" would be the right answer.

Specializes in Medsurg/ICU, Mental Health, Home Health.

This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. And by that, I don't mean you precepting someone, I mean the business of 2:1 precepting (how would that ever work?), brand new people being precepted by people who are almost as new...that sort of thing.

When you were hired, were you told the length of your orientation? It sounds like she's also trying to kick you off of orientation right now, even if you're due a few more weeks.

My new grad orientation was eight weeks, but in my health care system three years later it's twelve weeks. I think what's long enough depends on a lot of factors, especially on a MedSurg floor. Etiher way, I don't think six weeks is enough time...I feel that eight weeks should be the minimum.

I'm glad that you admitted you'd be nervous if put in that position. Continue to stand up for yourself and your license. It sounds like she was trying to butter you up a bit so you'd soften to the idea of being on your own and precepting, but you didn't fall for it.

CTMMaine

51 Posts

Specializes in MS.

Thanks for all your comments.

Just to clarify:

the length of orientation is 6 weeks (today is the last night of orientation) which i was told when i was hired and will get additional weeks if i want more training.

Most nurses are leaving because of better pay and moving to bigger cities (rural hospital).

Specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD.

Wow! you're a new grad and they want you to precept another new nurse only 6 weeks after you're hired? I would have a big problem with that. I have 32 years experience and I wouldn't even do that. Six weeks would not give me enough time to feel really comfortable in the institution, let alone know all the policies and procedures. This situation would raise a lot of red flags with me.

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