First day as a licensed nurse


Lets just say that it was awful.. I got stuck passing meds on 35 people on 6-2, and didnt even get finished with 8ams until about noon. Needless to say, the carts in this SNF are all totally disorganized, and I have to search for at least 10 meds elsewhere. I usually just dont do med pass, but started as documentation nurse straight out of school. On top of that, I did a 16 hour day! Anyways, hopefully tomorrow is a better day!


5 Posts

Give your self a bit of a is better to take 4 hours to med pass then to rush and have a med error. It took me about 3 months of FT work on the same unit to get the med pass down. Now I generally take about 2 - 2.5 hrs for 20 pt. who I have to search out for, lots of OTC meds as well as the usual Narcs and other meds. Don't stress it as a new nurse take time to learn, it does come. I didn't think it would but it does.

Best to you.


266 Posts

Specializes in labor & delivery. Has 7 years experience.

Congrats on your first day....sorry it was awful. I hope it gets better. You won't even believe how fast the first year goes by, and how much you learn and grow and improve. Best wishes!!:)

Just remember it is not a race. Remember some important things, like blood sugars. It does feel overwhelming. Nursing is perfected by the art of repetition. The more you do it, the easier it will be. First, and foremost, take care of yourself first. Take your breaks, Go to the bathroom, drink water. One last thing, Have a scratch piece of paper you can write notes, or things you need to remember when you go back to chart. It's nothing like school. LOL

Specializes in LTC. Has 7 years experience.

Nothing in your post surprises me. It takes a few hours to do the heavy med pass when you are new. Hell even when I'm having a busy night it takes me until 8pm to finish the 4pm med pass.

The med cart for my hallway is usually neat because we (me and the other nurses on previous shifts) keep it neat and organized. I recently worked on another hallway. The cart looked like it had been shaken upside down. It was messy, everything was unorganized. Thank god that med pass takes me 2 hrs because I had to stop and attempt to organize it. Meds were out of order in the top drawer and bottom drawer, the stock meds were out of order, there were treatment creams in the top drawer(one of my pet peeves).

Give it time, you'll gain confidence with your med pass and speed up.


113 Posts

You will develop a method to pass medications more efficently. Each nurse tends to do this so don't worry. I suggest you start as early as possible setting up your cart ( right after report if possible). Check to be sure your well stocked with cups/spoons/applesauce etc. As you get report note any abnormal blood sugars/B/p's/Temps etc from prior shift and if patient recieved coverage,those you should assess first ( I used highlighter on my sheet for those. Start BS/VS as early as possible also. Also note patients who need narcs/crushed meds/tube feedings/IV's. Once you have your rhythem set you'll be a pro in no time. I worked LTC many years and it can be very daunting. You can do will take time and remember don't be hard on yourself.

Specializes in substance abuse, psych, LTC, corrections. Has 9 years experience.

You are right on track, the very fact that you are sweating the first day tells me you have what it takes--you care!!!!


27 Posts

I know this has nothing to with the post per se, but the number of patients caught my attention. u actually have 20 patients per nurse? O_O.

I will be newly qualified in the summer but the hospital where i do my clinical placements nurses have on average 6 patients the most of ever seen per nurse is 10 (on days that the ward is short staffed)

Specializes in Med/Surg, DSU, Ortho, Onc, Psych.

Nobodies first day that I have ever heard of was wonderful! (though my first shift as a licensed RN was pretty good overall).

You did great by the sounds of it. Never rush meds, no matter what the pressures or time constraints - then you will start making serious errors. Go in a bit early, get your handover, get your cart organised, etc. I always used to go in to work 20-30 minutes earlier, and it does help (it's a PITA to do but it helps especially when ur new).

Hope it gets better!