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first year students

by swswr4 swswr4 (New) New

I am starting as a clinical instructor (novice) in a few weeks. I will have first year students and it is their first time in the hospital. I want to get off on the right foot and am just looking for suggestions on how to set the tone and keep track of them all.

I have met with the unit manager and am job shadowing for meds and report this week for 2-3 hours. Any other suggestions and help appreciated.


Specializes in ER/Tele, Med-Surg, Faculty, Urgent Care. Has 39 years experience.

If you are not familiar with the facility, try to give them a brief tour of the facility if it is allowed. Quick walk thru ICU/ER Pre op etc.

Have a list of skills they are allowed to do for the nurses & nursing assistants. If they can only do ADLs make sure everyone understands. IF meds have to be supervised by you alone always have that in writing on the list, make copies and give the list to every nurse that will be working with a student every time. Make sure students know not to leave the floor without reporting to you.

I used my cell phone to send/receive texts but some schools/facilities may have policies on cell phones prohibiting use.

Remember you are there to teach, you are not their "friend". Set & keep- professional boundaries. Do not let them address you by first name, Ever. You are there to supervise & guide their learning.

Have you thought about what you will do in post conference?

I agree with everything the previous poster said except not allowing them to call you by your first name. All of my clinical students call me by my first name. What else are they supposed to call me? This seems like more of a personal choice to me.

Good luck! :)

Agreed on the name. My own nursing school insisted we call our instructors "Professor Soandso" and I thought it was pretentious as hell. Those clinical instructors who weren't also in the classroom hated it. I went to a fancypants liberal arts college before nursing school and never had a professor introduce him/herself by anything but first name. Respect is in the tone, not the name. My students now call me Sister Bonnie, which is the tradition in this country.

I think you have gotten great advice so far. Remember that the students will have a range of backgrounds. I stepped in a hospital for the first time as a student, while others in my group had extensive experience. Be patient with both groups. Make sure everyone feels very free to ask you questions. If someone does something "dumb", at the beginning you can probably assume they just didn't know and educate accordingly.

Don't be afraid to let the students see that you don't know everything; model for them what to do when you aren't sure, even if it's just asking where to find a dressing.


Specializes in LTC.

From personal experience when I was a novice like you - once in a while, I had to remember that my students were just that - STUDENTS. They weren't RN peers yet. And I had to check myself.

On occassion, you may catch yourself having expectations that might be a bit on the high side.

Good luck to you.