As a new Nurse is it important to get out of your comfort zone?

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in ACE.

Basically I have been working at a REtirement home since the pandemic started and I have been working on the floor giving medications assessing residents etc...

Now they were offering to train me to do something called "RAI" which is like an office type of work gathering data and sending it to the Government so the home can get funding from the Government.

While I do wanna do this I feel scared starting something new. I will still work my shifts on the floor cause that to me is what Nursing is, but they say they need me in the office cause the staff are going on vacation.

It is a morning shift 7am-3pm. It is decent since I don't have to count narcotics or give report so I can always leave on time, on the floor things happen like falls, skin tears, staff coming late so there is that.

My supervisor on the floor told me I should do it because I aam new and its best to learn all parts of the job. Seeing how things work cohesively.

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

A new grad should not be assigned to "cover for vacation" + perform independently RAI nurse functions. There are specific timelines that must be met in performing assessments + reporting to Medicare; RAI involves multidiscipline's performing parts of assessment + keeping after staff to get their assessment done ---not something one can learn in a quickie teaching to successfully cover a 1-2wk vacation. If they are asking you to orient as part of your orientation , that's OK.



Providing care to residents with post-acute and long-term care needs is complex and challenging work. It utilizes clinical competence, observational skills, and assessment expertise from all disciplines to develop individualized care plans. The Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) helps facility staff to gather definitive information on a resident’s strengths and needs, which must be addressed in an individualized care plan. It also assists staff to evaluate goal achievement and revise care plans accordingly by enabling the facility to track changes in the resident’s status. As the process of problem identification is integrated with sound clinical interventions, the care plan becomes each resident’s unique path toward achieving or maintaining his or her highest practicable level of well-being. and Publications/Federal_Resources/RAI/RAI Chapter 1_March2006.pdf

I don't have experience in the specialty, but I've always taken advantage of opportunities to learn something new, and have never regretted it. 

Specializes in Dialysis.

RAI is not something a new nurse should be doing or training for, especially to cover short term for someone. For your employer to do this, speaks for their lack of integrity. It's time sensitive and there is a lot that goes into it. 

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development.

There's getting out of your comfort zone, and there's getting in over your head in something you don't have the experience to support. This sounds like the latter.

Specializes in Dialysis.

I want to add, unless the nurse that is currently doing this really behind and is taking a 2+ week vacation, short of an emergency, they shouldn't need coverage.  I've done MDS before and took a week here and there and never had to worry about coverage

"While I do wanna do this I feel scared starting something new". You are learning something new everyday. You will be fried with " working on the floor giving medications assessing residents" soon enough.

The opportunity to be trained to any position in an office setting position is priceless.   This training could be quite beneficial to you in the future.  You will have experience with government policy and reimbursement. That will open many doors for you in the future.

Specializes in Psychiatry, Community, Nurse Manager, hospice.

It seems like some posters are concerned that you will be in over your head, and while that is possible, there are things you can do to prevent that from happening as you learn this new, extremely valuable skill.

If I were you I would say yes, get in there with your supervisor or whoever is training you and take your time learning the ropes. Don't sign anything you don't understand. Your sup or trainer can sign until you feel comfortable. You do have some power here. 

That's what I do when I'm learning. I refuse to rush, and if I can't complete something in time, I tell my trainer to sign off on what they finish for me. My name only goes on what I do, and I never tick boxes when I don't understand what the boxes are about. That keeps me on the right side of the bus.

The consequences are that sometimes people roll their eyes and get annoyed that I'm slowing everything down with my need for accuracy and competence. So what? That's their problem. And once I know what I'm doing, I make up for all of that with independence and support. 

So, my advice is,  be a goody two shoes, insist on thorough training, and get in there to learn.  


That sounds amazing and you will have skills for something different.

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life).

I would not recomend it. I took a similar job to cover for a nurse going on vacation for a month and it was very hard to do. Someone from corporate came a trained me.  I was to be the covering MDS Coordinator. Do the job right and make a lot of monry for you facility do it wrong or miss something and you can cost your facility thousands. I wouldn't do it again.



Specializes in Dialysis.
9 hours ago, hppygr8ful said:

do it wrong or miss something and you can cost your facility thousands. I wouldn't do it again.



And management will throw you under the bus so quick, you won't even know what hit you 

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