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How to accept criticism and not be scared of any managers or families?

by DK123 DK123 Member Nurse

Specializes in ACE.

As a new Nurse I always panic hearing these stories about people being fired / suspended for not doing this, not documenting this etc...

So far so good, but no one has told me anything in myRetirement home that I work at, since management is super busy dealing with the pandemic and public health.

I always sometimes feel I forget something, and usually the director of care comes to talk to you and question you on certain things. Even if you make mistakes a Nurse told me to just be confident in yourself and know how to speak up. Also to take everything as a learning curve and not let anyone step all over you


Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking, but here goes...

First and foremost, know the policies and procedures of your facility. Secondly, take care of your patients in a manner that coincides with those policies.

If you are told that you’ve done something not in line with the facility’s practices, look at what they say you did, ask yourself if you are guilty as charged, either own up to it, or deny it (whichever is TRUE). If you’re told that you need to improve in a specific area, accept it and try to improve.

If you are absolutely innocent of a situation, there are ways to be ‘defensive’, such as saying something like, “oh yes, I can see how you may have believed me to do XYZ; (here is where your side comes in): “But I couldn’t have done that because...”

As far as not letting people step all over you, as a new nurse, don’t listen to people who give you that kind of advise. You need to learn and until you’ve learned how to be a nurse and take care of your patients independently, don’t put yourself in a position to alienate anyone.

If the person advising you were referring to CNAs, that’s kinda-sorta different. But you can form allies with that bunch as well. That’ll have to come from a supportive management style rather than a dictatorship. Over time, you’ll learn when to be assertive or passive. Timing is everything, and experience takes time.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

Your manager probably wants you to succeed. They hired you.

I am a manager myself, and that's absolutely true. If I hire you it's because I like you and think have potential. I'll do whatever it takes to help you along the way.

Lynker, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 2 years experience.

Give it time. Coming from a LTC point of view, I've made many mistakes and my managers and DoN always backed me up. They want you to succeed. If you have a question, ASK. Even if it's another floor nurse. That's what I do, and I've been a nurse for about 8 months now. Ask ask ask!!

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

Something that really helped me as a new grad who was super-anxious and self-conscious:

I know it's really counterintuitive, but whenever somebody offers you feedback, make a concerted effort to view it as "constructive criticism" and not just "criticism." When people correct us, our natural response is to feel dumb and get defensive. That mindset really isn't helpful, but you can take steps to overcome it.

As a new nurse, everybody knows that you're still learning, and that's totally OK--we've all been there. You'll probably make some minor mistakes, and that's normal. The only way you're going to realize you made a mistake in the first place is if somebody corrects you. When a manager or another nurse points out a mistake or an area for improvement, 90% of the time they're doing it because the want to help you, even if it doesn't feel good in the moment.

One of my manager's one told me that feedback is a gift, because that's how we learn and grow.

If you're not getting any feedback right now, then it's probably because you're doing just fine. However, try not to be afraid of feedback; we all have areas for improvement and can benefit from constructive criticism every so often.