Brand new nurse: Feeing lost

Nurses General Nursing


  • Specializes in LTC; Home Healthcare;Hospice;Med/S.

i'm an brand new nurse who is being trained at a new job to go out on my own but i'm worried that i'm not getting the training that i need. all of the nurses that i train with are using me as a cmt( certified med tech). i feel i need to focus on nursing work; you know the paper work, like taking doctors orders and knowing the proceedures of tranfering the orders and how obtaining labs processes go. i mentioned this to my don and she's putting me with the NEW staffing developement nurse and i'm afraid that she might not know the company nursing policies and wonder if she can deliver the skills and the advice on what to do. if this dosen't work out can you give me some advice on what to do next because success in nursing is something that i want to achieve and in the end i want to write a book on nursing. please give me your opinion.

Specializes in Med-Surg; ER; ICU/CCU/SHU; PAR.


You say you are "being trained at a new job to go out on my own"...what exactly do you mean? Are you working in a hospital on a unit? Or are you with a temporary staffing agency? Just a tad more detail and then I'll try to offer some advice.

Lori RN, BSN


22 Posts

Specializes in LTC; Home Healthcare;Hospice;Med/S.

i'm working in long term care. trying to cope as a full funtional nurse.

Specializes in Med-Surg; ER; ICU/CCU/SHU; PAR.

OK, that helps. A couple of thoughts...first, every new nurse feels overwhelmed and underprepared. I think it's always a bit of a shock when you realize that nursing school doesn't make you an independent nurse when you get out. Nursing school teaches you the theory of nursing, the science of nursing...but beyond the basics of hands-on-nursing, this is a profession that is learned largely on the job. When you first get out of school, you know enough to go on your first job and hopefully not hurt anyone! That's why there are preceptors to work alongside you.

The fact that you're passing meds is fine. You say you want to do "real nursing" like paperwork, transferring orders...oh, this isn't real nursing! This is the bane of a nurse's existence! Do not worry about the paperwork. If you're passing meds, do you know what each med is for? Why is the patient taking it? Are they making a difference for the patient? What do you need to watch out for with these meds? Use the opportunity to keep learning! Take the time to practice your skills that you learned in your clinicals/labs...are you giving injections? Get really good at painless injections! Are you giving baths? Take the time to assess your patient's skin integrity, and chart any changes or problems. Take whatever experience they are giving you at any given time, and try to go "over the top" with it, to do the very best that you can and get as much as you can out of it. Be respectful and ask for more and di9fferent experiences as you feel the need. Be respectful when you ask. Can I say it once more? Be respectful when you communicate your needs. Be helpful, be positive...and ask for what you would like to learn. An unfortunate reality of nursing, and I think it has largely to do with the fact that we are a female-dominated profession, is that "nurses eat their young." Not all nurses, but many. That's why the repeated admonition to "be respectful." It's not because I think you are in the wrong to want more's just a hint about how to go about getting those experiences! Be will take time to gain the skills you'll need before you can "fly" on your own. Months and months, maybe even a full year! This is normal. You do not yet even realize how much you have to learn, so pace yourself. Buy a pretty little notebook that you can, privately and on your own, make a list of the things you would like to learn how to do, and why you think they're important. Check them off as you go. You'll begin to see which ones are the most important, and which ones weren't so important afterall as you go along. It will help you to prioritize what you ask for.

I hope this has helped some, best of luck to you, and hang in there!:hngon:

Lori RN, BSN


32 Posts

Hi Lori,

Im not the one who started this conversation but I would like to say that what you wrote in reponse to the new nurse was very encouraging. I am getting ready to start nursing school in July and I am very excited and nervous at the same time. My best friend is an RN and I keep asking her, "How am I going to know everything, or remember everything?". I think this is probably the fear of most new nurses but for you to take the time to write such an encouraging letter to someone you do not know is great! I really appreciate your suggestions and I will defintely remember them when my time comes to start my new career.

Thanks for being a great RN.



172 Posts

Wow.... thank you for that, Lori. I am in my last year of NS and will definetly keep all those points in the forefront of thought as I start my new career!

Thanks again!


44 Posts


Let me share with you some survival tips that might be able to help you:

1. Ask questions! Don't be afraid to ask for advice or help.

2. Introduce yourself to fellow nurses, doctors, and members of the healthcare team.

3. Keep learning. Research patient pathologies, diagnostic tests, lab values, and so on.

4. Know your clinical limitations. Be honest about yourself and your abilities, and remember, you're not alone as a novice nurse.

5. Take a deep breath. Realize you're not going to know it all. The transition period from student to RN is just the beginning of the journey from novice to advanced beginner.

Hope these help and good luck.


22 Posts

Specializes in LTC; Home Healthcare;Hospice;Med/S.


thank you sooooo much. you gave me alot of advice and i'm going to print your comment out and keep it with me; especially when i'm feeling overwelmed, which is alot of the time. you were right when you said older nurses eat their young, that's what made me start this thread, i got yelled at by an older nurse for not knowing something and it made me feel low and stupid which led me to want to know everything about nursing so something like that would never happen again.


18 Posts

Specializes in Oncology/Med-Surg.

It's like this, if you don't feel that you are getting the training that you need, tell the unit manager. Let them know that all you are doing are meds and that you feel that you need training with the other aspects of the job. They should understand this, especially if this is the first nursing job that you have had.

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