Are new nurses adequately prepared? - page 4

:confused: As a nurse, I see more and more new grads who have little clinical experience and who are overwhelmed, more than I was and that was a lot. Many have had no more than 1 or 2 patients during... Read More

  1. by   woundnurse
    As a CWOCN (certified wound, ostomy, continence nurse) I now specialize primarily in wound care but remember in nursing school I did one dressing change!!! Very sterile procedure with mask gloves...the works... Found I wanted to get into the field so took as many classes as I could to learn the ropes before precepting with someone in the same speciality.... and taking a two month course... If you have an area you are not feeeling comfortable with see if any instruction is offered.
  2. by   NightNurseKathy
    That is so true, Cory, I really don't remember doing ANY wound care as an SVN, OR as an SRN. Course did my SHARE of wound care OUTSIDE of school.... I KNEW technique.... it was DRILLED into me my my first nursing instructor, Mrs. Piel at the county program in Oroville back in the 60's.

    When I think how MUCH wound care has changed.... Alot of the older time nurses here will remember the good old HEAT LAMPS!!!! MERCY! Hey it worked, though knowing what I know NOW, I don't know how!!! ) Those were the days!!!!

    At our hospital, my problem is I KNOW what the wound needs, but still have to call the WOUND CARE NURSE!!! That is hard after 12 years of doing wound care!!! But that is ok, I am happy!!!
  3. by   mamabear
    I've said it before and I'll say it again: you don't learn nursing until you get out on the floor and DO IT!! And keep doing it until you've got it etched into your brain.
    It doesn't matter how many degrees a person has, or how many letters after their name. If you don't know how to do trach care, a MSN won't give you a clue.
    I regret not being able to attend a diploma program. They are practically non-existant, even around Chicago. I know nurses who had that opportunity and they had days of clinical, not just 4 hours twice a week in their final year. When they started their job, they knew how to run a unit because they'd done it while in training. What a concept!!:chuckle
  4. by   Flo1216
    I guess I am lucky. I come from an old school 3 year diploma nursing program that focuses mostly on clinical.(people can say what they will about diploma programs but we take thesame boards as everyone else) I have given tons of injections, inserted foleys, NG tubes, suctioned trachs, did major wound care etc. A new grad I work with came from a program where she never got the opportunity to do any of those things. My instructors always make sure to assign us pts who have a lot going on, as often as possible and as students we seek out challenging patients. It also helps to work in a hospital setting so you can realize the difference between clinical and the real world. I am graduating in June and I am still overwhelmed so please don't be mean to me. And Matt's mom, sadly, a lot of seasoned nurses can be quite nasty to newcomers without just cause. I am a person with a thirst for knowledge but find a great reluctance on the part of nurses who want to teach me.I can't learn EVERYTHING from school. It's really not that much of an exaggeration, unfortunately. I wish it was.
    Last edit by Flo1216 on Nov 17, '02
  5. by   KaroSnowQueen
    I have been an LPN for eighteen years. We were taught NG care, how to do iv's, read monitor strips, trained to be charge, all that in clinical. I have to say we had a very gung-ho instructor, which I didn't care for at the time, but she did us good in the end! I have seen brand new RN's come to me who didn't know what sort of things to use in a dressing change, who didn't know alot of clinical skills. I don't mind to show them when I have time, but on the other hand, what the heck are the schools teaching them besides theory. Theory is fine for lessons, but nursing is hands on unless you are going straight to research or teaching. Helloooooo!!!!!
  6. by   MishlB
    I am an LPN, ADN student, and I have met LPN's that are "supernurses". I was even told by my clinical instructor that LPN's shouldn't even start IV's, because they don't understand all that comes along with them. I was PI*$ED.
    I have respect for all those nurses who work hard, regardless of their title.
  7. by   wsu.rn
    nothing can prepare you for nursing in the real world.i will say that i was given the basics and thought how to think as a nurse. this i build on. i have had wonderful preceptors, professors, nurses etc. everyday i learn something new
  8. by   knapejc
    As a former nurse educator in the hospital setting, I know that the new grads coming our way were not really prepared for what they were facing. . . either in theory OR in clinical skills. We could teach equipment, procedures, and special skills in orientation and the work setting, but the critical thinking component and the attitude that learning must be on-going are essential to workplace success. Sadly, there were still a percentage of newly hired RN's who chose to "blow off" orientation information, and even the opportunities we provided for hands-on practice with mentors and patients. I've had nurses make cell phone calls in the middle of explanations about code procedures! Most new grads, though, are willing and actively seek out learning opportunities. The old-fashioned skill labs in nursing school would be better if they weren't so sadly out of date with their equipment and even their procedures.
  9. by   EmeraldNYL
    This coming quarter we have clinicals three days a week. I think the important thing for students to remember is when you get the opportunity to do something, DO IT! Students need to be active learners and try to get all the experience they can, even if they are afraid. Practicing something in clinical is sooo different than practicing in the lab, where you could throw the Foleys in the plastic models from across the room! I agree that most of what you learn is on the job, but clinicals can be a valuable experience too, if you try to get everything out of them that you can.
  10. by   nursbee04
    I am a student nurse, and I do wish we had more time in a clinical setting. Anytime there is ANYTHING they will let me do in clinicals, I jump at the chance. I am so afraid that I will get out into "real nursing" and be clueless. A friend of my mom's (a nurse, of course) told me when I was accepted into nursing school: "Nursing school will teach you how a nurse should think and act, but nursing school does not teach you how to be a nurse. You learn that on your own." I am finding out how true this is.

    PS - To all of you nurses that are understanding with student nurses, THANK YOU!! We know we're clueless and we can be annoying, but we are trying! To all of you that say learn it the hard way, THANK YOU TOO!! I realize that we need to think for ourselves as much as possible and not run to you before we assess things for ourselves.
  11. by   MishlB
    I think senior nurses forget they were once a new grad. We know we don't know it all, since most of it comes with practice and experience. Just give us a chance, and teach us what you can.
  12. by   MishlB
    Originally posted by Merry1
    dddd [FONT=century gothic]dddddd I have survived 13 years of being a certifiable nursing assistant and I have seen/trained more new nurses that I care to think about! I am about to get paid for what I know when I graduate later this year. Anyway, the nurses I see are book smart, can pass a paper test with no problem, but when they have to change thier first dressing or deal with someone going critical on them the newbies are at a loss without a clue in the world what to do for the most part( most forget the ABC's so fast it makes my head spin!!). I believe in more clinical experience and less book learning would do most newbies a world of good, being a CNA first should be a requirement and then we wouldn't have the newbies dropping out of nursing(after all the money on tuition and time in school) within 5 years of graduation. I spent 2 1/2 years on a step down unit and 1/2 med/surg and the experience I got there as a CNA can not even be touched by the clinical experiences I am supposed to be getting now. I worked with pts on nitro, lido drips, vents, head trauma, post-op.... anyone at high risk in other words. I had a group of nurses who were kind, paitent, and educators and what an education I got(even got paid for it!). That is how I learned to be a great nurse and how I teach others to be as good or better than I. To teach is to show love to one another.
    Can I just say that even with experience as a CNA, being a nurse is very different. I think it's great that you have experience with patients of all kinds, but you are not ultimately responsible for them. In fact, you don't do for them what the nurses do. Don't be so quick to judge a new grad for their lack of knowledge. It takes time and practice. Everyone was new at one time, right?
  13. by   zacarias
    Wow, what a thread!

    I'm graduate in June from an ADN program here in WA. I totally feel unprepared for the real world of nursing. I have OB and public health next and only three more weeks of med/surg in the spring before I graduate.
    I haven't done a lot of skills that I would have liked to have done. I try and let the nurses know that I'm willing to learn/do new things, but sometimes certain procedures never come up.
    I have a new MA/nurse tech job that may afford me some opportunities to do some procedures, but a lot of the job isn't bedside, although I do my share.
    I really want to be ready to enter the workforce come June, and so I'm doing all I can to get there.
    I have also noticed that some nurses aren't so willing to help/show new people and this is annoying/distressing. Occasionally (unfortunately it can be a rarity), you can find a wonderful nurse who will teach you new things and understand that you're new at these things. I know they exist! I plan to be one of them when I have years of experience down the road!