Not a New Grad anymore?

  1. Morning everyone,

    I am new to the nursing field. I graduated in December, passed my NCLEX in February, and acquired a job on a Med-Surg unit in late March. I feel very overwhelmed, usually I have 7 patients but I have had up to 9. Since I finished the orientation I have not left work on time. Most of the time I feel like I am a drug pusher. Is it just the Med-Surg unit or is this the way that all nursing is?

    I really came on here to ask a question about being a new grad. I am thinking about going and looking for another job. I am curious though about how long a new grad is considered a new grad in the eyes of a potential employer. I don't want to waste my time looking for another job and sending out resumes if they are just going to tell me they aren't hiring new grads. I have asked some of my fellow employees and they have said everything from 3 months to 1 year and everything in between. Let me know what you all think or experiences that you have had.
  2. Visit Gonzo13 profile page

    About Gonzo13

    Joined: Jun '10; Posts: 7
    Med Surg RN


  3. by   Fribblet
    Where I work, people stopped considering me a new grad about a year out. At the minimum an employer might consider you not as "new-gradish" after 6 months, but, really, you need a year.

    I've never seen a nursing job advert that states "at least 6 months experience." Leaving your first job at the 3 month mark does not look good for you. Give your current employment situation at least 6 months. It's going to take time before you really hone your prioritization and time management skills.

    I started out in the ER, but after my orientation, I felt that I was running around considerably more than my fellow nurses. After a year, I felt like I wasn't wasting as much time. My nursing school buddies who did start out in med-surg lamented about the same things you are. After about 8-9 months they started to get a handle on time management and weren't having to stay late so often.

    Hang in there. You'll be better off for it!
  4. by   Manatee111
    I have been told by mult. people that after 2 years nurses are no longer considered "new grads".
  5. by   SummerGarden
    the problems with being a new grad are universal!!! i felt the same way not too long ago and i have been a nurse going on two years (i was a new grad in med surg and the ed). the learning curve to become a competent nurse is so steep it takes at least a year to be average by most employers’ standards. thus, new nurses are considered new grads with less then 1 year of work experience and in some specialties we are new grads with less then 2 years!

    if your work environment is not the problem (i.e. it is not toxic or dangerous), then i agree with the above poster that you should keep this job. a different nursing job in the hospital setting will feel the same because you are not going to be any different. as mentioned above, the more work experience you get the more you will see your time management skills improve.

    specifically, you will find that you will no longer waste time with small talk because you will know how to redirect and manage interruptions. also, you will better understand how to document events as they occur rather then playing catch up at the end of your shift. plus, you will be faster at performing nursing tasks proficiently. most importantly, you will know more about the human body and disease processes to allow your critical thinking skills to kick-in rather then constantly being confused or at a loss. to sum, you will be in more control of your patient load then you are at this time. gl and join us on the first year after nursing licensure forum:
  6. by   nyteshade
    Most job ads state experience is 1 year, however, it is very important to note that if you want to switch specialties, they may require 1 year in that speciality. This market is tough for everyone, but it won't hurt anything trying.

    My only piece of advice to you is if your unit, work enviroment and co-workers are generally good, I would stay just a little bit longer...
  7. by   RNperdiem
    You know what you want to get away from. Now is the time to look around and see where you want to go.
    I agree with the others about keeping you job for now. Keep your job and find out more about other areas of nursing. I have been told that a new grad is new for about a year.
    Having a paying job gives you the chance for landing a job you really want rather than the desperate grab for any job (which might be worse than the one you have now).
  8. by   Meriwhen
    All of the hospitals in my area have told me that you are considered a new grad until you have had one year of employment.
  9. by   Eiano
    Well, 7-9 pts at a time would make anyone feel like a new grad.
  10. by   PostOpPrincess
    You are an overwhelmed new grad and what you are going through is normal.

    NEW GRAD = for a LONG TIME until you can say to yourself...okay, I think I got all of this and can handle just about ANYTHING that comes my way...there is NO time span for that.
  11. by   gentlegiver
    It truely takes 5 yrs to become competent in your skills. That said, your skills are always growing so the learning never ends. All Nurses feel lost and behind during thier 1st year. Time Management is difficult to accomplish, but, when you do, you probably wont even realize it. Stay where you are (if possible), ask "older" nurses for tips to decrease time spent on less-important matters (this will allow for more time spent where it should be .. on the patients). Try not to become frustrated with yourself. Time is what you need, give it to yourself, your bosses will let you know if your not on the learning plain, and they may even be able to help you out in speeding things up.
    Good Luck
  12. by   MarieAngel
    7-9 patients is quite an assigment, especially for a new grad. When I was a new grad I had 6 patients and felt overwhelmed! I thought I was a incompetent nurse, and was dissolusioned with the reality of nursing. I even thought about leaving the profession my first six months on the floor. In my nursing school they talked about how you would be making a difference in patients lives, the wonderful conversations you will have with them, how you will put your critical thinking skills to work, etc... Reality is, as a new grad, you barely have time to get your meds out on time, let alone have a real conversation with a patient, or critically think about anything! But what you don't know is that you are making a difference and you are critically thinking, you just don't have time to realize it! Your organizational skills will come with time and your frustration/tension will ease slowly. Unless you feel that your patient load is dangerous and you can't get help when you need it, stick it out for at least a year. What you are feeling is completely normal.
  13. by   are n
    stick to your job for at least 6months t0 a year then decide if you still want to change jobs. it's hard to get an RN job without experience. it's almost a year now since my graduation and have not landed any job as an RN yet. and i'm just one of the hundreds or maybe thousands of new grads out there who are jobless and already desperate and frustrated.
  14. by   Gonzo13
    Thank you everyone I feel a little better knowing that feeling overwhelmed is normal. I am planning on staying with the unit for a while. I have a daughter on the way and the Wife and I are planning on buying a house. I mainly wanted opinions about the situation.

    @MaryAngel that is exactly how it is with me right now. If my patients talk to me about things other than their health I feel like it is making me late for my med passes with other patients. It's not that I don't want to talk to them I do it's just that I don't have the time. The only time that I thought the patient load was dangerous is when I had the 9 patients. I made sure that the charge nurse and nurse manager knew about it and they brought someone else in.

    @are n I have friends and fellow classmates that are still looking for employment. I just told one to keep her head up and that something would come along.

    @Fribblet you are probably right about the 8-9 month mark and me being able to go home on time.

    @MBARN I have been trying to chart events right when they happen it just seems that half way through it something else comes up and I have to either hurry or stop and take care of it. I am looking at going into Peds. I like kids better than adults so I care more about their health when I am around them. I don't think that it is considered a specialty area but I could be wrong.

    @nyteshade The unit isn't bad or anything. I have heard that it is a tough unit and that if a person can be a competent RN there then they can be one anywhere. I'm not sure how true that is though.

    @RNperdiem thanks I think that I already know what I want it's just that no one was hiring new grads for those positions. I was searching for employment for months with no luck before getting this job.

    @gentlegiver I have asked some of the "older" nurses to no avail. I'm going to refrain from badmouthing my coworkers techniques in a public forum.

    Again I want to thank everyone for the responses. I feel better knowing that I am not alone in this feeling.