Am I gonna get fired or...?

Nurses New Nurse


As a new hire on an LDRP floor, I have a weekly meeting with my manager and the hospital nurse educator. Today ( my 5 th day on the floor) the nurse manager told me I'm not showing enough initiative and motivation. Huh??? I'm 5 days in. Did I mention I'm a new grad? They knew when they hired me that I know next to nothing. I'm adjusting to nursing in general let alone OB. I love the job, it's my dream job. I do not want to lose it. Up until now I have been observing a lot, simply because I don't feel comfortable performing a skill I've never even SEEN (receiving a baby after delivery)..what should I do? Just do whatever and if I do it wrong oh well? After she said that I did a couple vag checks and a couple Straight Caths. I've been trying to get aquatinted with the charting and paperwork because I feel like that is a huge part of the battle but I was told today that I should worry about all that later. Also today the educator told me "these people will eat u alive" if they feel ur not ready. Is this stuff her version of negative feedback? Should I ask to transfer to a med surg or tele while I get used to being a nurse before they just up and fire me? I'm going to do the best that I can..but I'm stating to worry maybe that isn't good enough

Specializes in Ambulatory Surgery, PACU,SICU.

Do you have a skills check off list? If you do, have your preceptor help you achieve those goals. If you do not ask for one. Ask the educator what your weekly goals are, and study things you have never seen at home with an OB text book. I don't know which one would be good, as I don't work OB, but your educator should have a title for one. Are you getting education for your area at your hospital? If not, ask if there are classes you should be in (ACLS, and what ever applies to OB). Show some real interest in learning, come in early to see your assignment for the day, so you can write down details about your team.

Offer to do all the things you can do, get water, change beds, whatever.

Do not say, I don't want to do that, but say: I have never done that, please show me how and then watch me do it.

Be positive. And nice to everyone.

Specializes in Cardiac/Neuro Stepdown.
...enough initiative and motivation...because I don't feel comfortable performing a skill I've never even SEEN...I've been trying to get aquatinted with the charting and paperwork.

During clinicals my CI was busting my chops about initiative, i was way uncomfortable with the whole situation. I forced myself, jumped right in with comfort measures (harder to mess up :D) not super critical nursing stuff, but it did show the initiative CI was looking for.

I would get acquainted with the paperwork and charting after your shift, it probably looks like your hiding.

if its your dream job, earth would you give it up??!?! push yourself, you can do it.

I completely agree!!!!! If this is your dream job then go for it and work your butt off!

When you are presented with something new to do/learn simply say " I have never done this before, can I talk through it and then you correct me while I do it?"

You have to remember that as a nurse you will NEVER know how to do everything. So your preceptor is trying to see what kind of nurse you are deciding to become.

Would you tell the doctor " um I have never done that before, so can you prescribe something else?"


are you going to be the nurse that looks up the hospital policy on a new procedure, look it up in your text reference, and then find another nurse that can be at the bedside to make sure you're doing it right?

Seek opportunities and show them this is your dream job!!

Specializes in PICU.

Looking up and knowing the policies on how to properly do the procedures for your unit is a great way to get more confidence in doing skills you haven't done before. Print off the ones that are most relevant and study them at home. Set goals for yourself every shift and let your preceptor know what your goals are, then work to achieve them. Maybe start with taking 3 patients and doing everything (including charting) on them.

Keep in mind, you are not a student anymore. Your preceptor is not there to do the work for you. You are expected to jump in and do everything and then ask your preceptor for help when there is something new. 5 days is plenty of observation. These are now your patients and you are responsible for their care. Not your preceptor.

With that being said, you may want to consider requesting a different preceptor. I had a situation where I had a very knowledgable respected nurse as my preceptor, but she didn't teach me anything. She just wanted me to jump in and figure it out, and I did not feel safe doing that. I couldn't figure out why things were going so badly for me on the unit. Everyone kept telling me how great my preceptor was, so I figured it must be something I was doing. It got bad enough that there was talk about me not making it through orientation. I talked to my educator about it, and she put me with a completely OCD, micro-managing preceptor, which was perfect for me. He corrected absolutely everything I did, told me every little detail about how to do things properly, and that was exactly what I needed to feel safe taking care of critically ill patients. If this preceptor isn't teaching you in a way that makes you feel comfortable trying skills you've never seen done before, then maybe you need to request someone else.

Be open with your manager and your preceptor. Let them know how badly you want to be successful in this job and work with them to figure out how to achieve that. Good luck!

Specializes in ICU.

You might be a new grad, but some of these basic skills like straight cathing someone should not be making you nervous. You are going to have to start jumping in and doing them. Transferring to Med/Surg or anywhere else is probably not going to be any easier. Nursing is nursing, every area has their own procedures that are kinda unique to them, but the majority of your job is going to be basic nursing skills. They obviously hired you because they thought you had what it takes to do the job. Now, show them they were right. You can't hide in the charts, your job is patient care. Charting is basically documenting what you did for the patient. So, get in there and do things for the patient, then worry about the charting.

Good luck!

I am a new grad 6 months in, and I am incredibly jealous of you! I wanted to work in an L&D sooooo badly but couldn't get hired, I am in medsurge now as my first job. You are lucky that your first job and your dream job happen to be one and the same - do whatever it takes to make it work! Everyone is nervous doing something for the first time, as long as you have an experienced nurse supervising you, they can guide you and stop/redirect you if needed. I really regret not being more proactive at first, you are in the stage where it is perfectly okay to say you want help/supervision and have never done something before. I was nervous to do this but eventually asked some of the friendlier nurses if they could come get me if they have something interesting for me to observe or even try - and a few times they have. Don't worry about the educator saying things that sound harsh she is probably like that with everyone (as was the case with mine). I am still struggling as a new grad myself so this is really the only advice I can offer, but don't give up!

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