One year later....words of wisdom for new grads

  1. Hi Everyone

    I have no idea where the time went....a year goes quickly. I had to relocate miles away for my job, but it was well worth it. I read many posts from new nurses about their anxieties, which is the same for all of us. What I've realized is this:

    1) All the stuff you learn in school is important. You're building a foundation for your practice.

    2) Review regularly while you're on the job. You need to be willing to invest time in your learning.

    3) Make an effort to get along with your coworkers. You need to adapt to them, and be humble...not the other way around.

    4) Know that every day, every month, it will get easier. Stick out the job you have. It isn't realistic to think that your "dream job" will be your first.

    5) Safety, safety, safety! For you, your coworkers, your patients. Ask for help when you need it, and be willing to return the favour.

    6) Learn to manage conflict appropriately. There are always many personalities in the workplace, but you need to respect each other and work together.

    7) You are an advocate for your patients. No matter how upset the Dr gets, you need to call him or her. Just ensure you have a sound rationale for why you are calling.

    8) If you suspect something isn't right, investigate. Your intuition is often correct.

    9) Self care is important. Don't answer the phone on your days off if you don't feel like it. Say no to extra shifts if you don't want them.
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    About joanna73

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 5,489; Likes: 11,527
    from US
    Specialty: geriatrics


  3. by   MsBlissful
    What you learned in school is important, but ITS only the foundation.

    Your real skill set comes from on the job experience.

    New Grad.. 19 years ago.
  4. by   joanna73
    That's pretty much what I said. Pharnacology is one area that is very important. Your practice won't be very sound if you don't understand meds and disease processes.
  5. by   alby_dangle
    This is extremely helpful. Just reached one year myself and I have learned a lot of the same things, without realizing it. I have only had a prn job this past year, so it has been a lot harder to get used to a job while not having regular hours. I didn't want that, but it was the only thing offered to me after 70 resumes so I took it.

    Thanks for the advice.
  6. by   RNsas
    I just started a 'new grad' position in a small rural hospital that essentially will give me 6-8 weeks of precepting. I'm commuting 1.40 hrs, but decided to rent a small cheap apartment. I graduated a year and a half ago and feel I've forgotten some stuff and I'm so exhausted and stressed from the 12 hr shift that studying on my days off feel like the antithesis of "self care". The job feels like total chaos, so much pressure that nursing school did not prepare me for. My preceptor moved me to 3 pts last week and I felt like I was going to crack and he moved me back to 2 pts. Now they've decided to put me on nights which they feel will be better for me to orient on. When does it start to feel more manageable and sane? I already know that my temperment is not suited for med/surg hospital work but with the job market the way it is, primary care and OB (which is my dream job) were not available. Feeling down about the job. Any suggestions??
  7. by   joanna73
    Any new job is going to feel overwhelming. Take it one day at a time. At 3 months in, you will start to feel more confident, and by 6 to 8 months the confidence and skill increases. Nothing happens overnight. Be patient with yourself.
  8. by   breaktime
    Good advice, all of it. I would add that it is important (and difficult at first) to make an effort to remember you are taking care of pts, not just performing a series of tasks. What I mean by that is when you're very task-oriented, as most new nurses are (I know I certainly was) you may miss a change in your pt that only becomes noticeable when you look at the big picture. Being less task-orientated will also make prioritizing easier. When you run short on time, which happens a lot (again, especially as a new nurse) knowing why you are performing each task let's you better decide which ones can be put off and which ones can't than if they are simply a list of things you need to accomplish at a certain time. To any new nurses out there, keep at it, it DOES get easier!
  9. by   llg
    Good thread. Lots of good advice here.
  10. by   TheDreamJourney
    thanks for this post! very helpful.. i am starting the nursing program in Jan. as a second career and I give this post 2 thumbs up!!
  11. by   Lifeofanurse
    I have heard from other people all kinds of different things...

    ...don't take the first job your offered.
    ...Do take the first job. The goal is to gain experience.
    ...Take whatever your offered even if you don't think you can handle it.
    ....don't bite off more than you can chew..challenges are good but take your time.'s all too much!!!!

    I've decided to go with my instincts.
    I shadowed one place....I knew pretty quick it was not the shift/place for me.
    I interviewed for another...but am concerned two 16's back to back would be too much for me in my 40's. But I'll take it if I have to.
    another option....
    I interview for a position tomorrow that is what I consider ideal. overnights. four 8's and 2 off. My mentor says I'll be wasting my skills but I feel like it's right for me. I'm going w/ my gut. Right or wrong I'll have no one else to blame if I'm wrong...but no one knows me better than I I think this is the one for me. And I love the facility too. Location is drive time. It is literally less than a mile from my house...a residential mile...not a main traffic filled road mile. LOL.
    I've been excited ever since I got the call today. I want THAT job!
    It's good to know what's right...this feels right.

    ok so I hijacked...guess I needed to really give myself permission to go against the grain and be happy with getting what I wanted where I wanted. LOL. sorry op.
    Last edit by Lifeofanurse on Oct 20, '11 : Reason: forgot something