Entry Level Positions without a "New Grad" program


I am about to graduate with a BSN in nursing. I would like to get in at a hospital with a "new grad" program. However, many hospitals do not have these. When a hospital hires a new graduate do they expect you to hit then floor running or do they still provide orientation, some initial extra training, and time with a preceptor, even if only for a few days?


22 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg. Has 3 years experience.
I am about to graduate with a BSN in nursing. I would like to get in at a hospital with a "new grad" program. However, many hospitals do not have these. When a hospital hires a new graduate do they expect you to hit then floor running or do they still provide orientation, some initial extra training, and time with a preceptor, even if only for a few days?

No I don't think most hospitals expect you to hit the floor and be on your own. My hospital had a 3 week New grad internship program where you visit other nurses in different departments. Then you get 8 weeks (or more if you need it) with a preceptor on your specific unit.

Good Luck with finishing up school and on your eventual job hunt. :yeah:


30 Posts

Specializes in General medicine/geriatrics.

You will definitely get orientation with a preceptor, mine is 8-10 weeks, more if needed. At least where I work, you are not expected to "hit the ground running". It is recognized that you just graduated and will not know everything, and may not know much at all depending how familiar you are with the unit specialty. Good luck!


13 Posts

Dear AlmostRN88,

Does your hospital have a "new grad" program? Is the 8-10 week preceptorship considered a "new grad" program, or is that what they do in lieu of a "new grad" program.

dudette10, MSN, RN

1 Article; 3,530 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 12 years experience.

I'm getting 12 weeks orientation. It is not a new grad program. At the facility I work at, the orientation plan and length is determined by the nurse manager of each unit.


717 Posts

Specializes in neuro/ortho med surge 4.

Be careful and make sure they give you the 8-10 weeks. I got 3 weeks as a new grad because the hospital I worked at was cheap.

RNperdiem, RN

4,580 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

In my own experience, the amount of precepting and training was variable.

New grads were given a few more weeks than the experienced new hires.

No formal programs were offered, and of course during the last recession, many hospitals in my area simply didn't hire new grads.


23 Posts

I got about 7 weeks or orientation. Speak up and after your off orientation, make sure you ask to work with people who are receptive to lots of questions. I think the days of NEW GRAD orientation are few and far between.


13 Posts

The reason I ask is this: In my last semester of an accelerated BSN program I have a 6 day preceptorship at a local hospital. The preceptor I have is very good. This is actually the first time in the program we attempt to take over full responsibility for patients, with all charting included. (Clinical assignments in previous semesters have been somewhat scattered at different locations and with different nurses. They usually involved alot of "shadowing" while being released at times to do certain procedures on our own if the nurse felt confident with us.)

On the 5th day I had the responsibility for 3 patients, with guidance from the preceptor on any procedures or equipment I was unfamiliar with. For the next day the plan is for me to take over her full load of 3-5 patients, which she feels I am capable of. My instructor from the school visited on day 5 and spoke with the preceptor who told her I was doing great in all areas she asked about. However, the preceptor stated I need to work on time management, although I was improving and things were going smoothly with the 3 patients I had. The preceptor stated she feels I am doing fine and she has no problem recommending me as "safe entry level" nurse, assuming the position includes some orientation and time with a preceptor (perhaps 5 days).

Now, based upon this comment, my school is considering holding up my graduation. My preceptor is upset about this and thinks it is unreasonable to expect more from anyone after 5 days.

Does this seem reasonable? While my preceptor does not think after the 6th day I will necessarily be able to "hit the ground running" at a new hospital, she very much wants to sign me off as a "safe entry level nurse" as it is stated on an evaluation form. Is it basically a "given" in the nursing world that when we use the term "entry level" nurse it will involve some orientation and time with a preceptor, even if there is no "new grad" program. Is that what you would assume it means? Is there any reason why I or my preceptor should think the term "entry level" should mean you will be expected to "hit the ground running"?

I will talk to the director of the program at the school soon about what they mean by "entry level" on the evaluation form, but I wanted to gain some insight from people in the field about what you would reasonably expect the term to mean.

Thank you.


157 Posts

I graduated this past spring and got a job where I had my preceptorship... I had a 120 hour preceptorship through school there, and am going through orientation right now, starting a 112 hour orientation after I am done shadowing in the cath lab. Keep in mind, though, that schools can be ridiculous for holding grads... My nursing program held 48 of our nursing grads and delayed all of our boards and jobs by close to a month... Which was "funny" because our state shut down right after that, so even if we passed we couldn't work because the state couldn't release our license.


157 Posts

I just wanted go add, after reading your above response, that I have been told that just about all hospitals will give you truing, because they want to make sure you are competent and follow their guidelines and policies. Even the experienced nurses I am going through orientation with have the same long list and binder of competencies they have to fulfill...


827 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics, public health.

Your school only arranges for a 6 day preceptorship, and yet they expect you to hit the ground running at your first nursing job??? That's ridiculous. Most nursing schools in my area have preceptorships that range from 125 to 250 or more hours, but it's still expected that you'll need additional training at your first job, whether they have a "new grad program" or not.

At my first nursing job, there was no new grad program, but new grads were given 5 to 12 weeks of orientation with a preceptor (5-6 weeks for acute care, 8-12 weeks for critical care) before being expected to work on their own. I had a 125 hour preceptorship in nursing school but there's still no way I could have worked on my own straight out of nursing school without additional orientation.

Sounds to me like your nursing school is being very unreasonable -- not sure what you can do about it though -- that definitely sucks!