Im a new nurse and not learning much, HELP!

Nurses General Nursing


  • by NoeIssa
    Specializes in MedSurg/Tele.

Hello, I just started on a MedSurg floor about a month ago, and I am in orientation and I feel like the nurses are not really teaching me anything, I feel like for the most part Im just watching them do their job, and when I ask them questions they not explaining it to where I can understand, I just seem them so busy but not understanding why they are doing cetain things, etc. Im just so confused and upset, I thought my orientation would be so much better but the nurses seem so busy with their 7-8 patients on the night shift, I dont know what to do. Please help!

nkara, CNA

288 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg/Pedi/Tele.

If your questions are going unanswered and you feel like you can't be on your own speak to you DON and ask for help? Maybe they can assign you to a different RN or make it where the RN who is orienting you has less patients for a week or so for you to be able to obtain hands on practice? :heartbeat


44 Posts

Specializes in Adult ICU (All over), NICU, Education.

Talk to the educator of the floor or at least the nurse manager. The person that is orienting you may need to have a lighter assignment to be able to accomodate teaching you.


138 Posts

I agree w/ the above posters & I would like to add:

You should take some ownership for your education & request that you take a few pt's ... I'm sure your preceptor will be happy 2 assign you a couple of pt's.

Just talk it over w/ her/him & explain yourself. They may just be trying 2 prevent you from being overwhelmed ...

Good Luck! =)


414 Posts

Hmm it is unfortunate that your co-workers are so unsupportive but maybe you can learn things on your own by for example subscribing to a nuring journals, read the mannual of nursing practice and even practice the skills on your own,start a diary and write about your encounters with the patients,I promise it it will help you to put all the missing puzzles into one piece and most imporantly give yourself a takes months,years to become fluent in nursing practice,wish you all the luck and motivation and thick skin.One day everything will start to fall in to place,hang on to it.


331 Posts

Specializes in Ortho and Tele med/surg.

Wow, I'm sorry that you are having this type of experience. Even though I'm not a nurse yet, I did an externship and my preceptor was treating me the same way. Stand up for yourself. It is your license that's on the line if something should go wrong and you weren't aware of what to do. Talk to the nursing educator, but don't make yourself public enemy number one. I wish you all the best of luck.

pagandeva2000, LPN

7,984 Posts

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

I think that people have posted great suggestions. It is hard to be a new nurse in this current atmosphere. We are overloaded, nervous about the outcome of our patients and trying to dodge around the wild expectations of an unfeeling administration. I am not speaking up or supporting those nurses that are not being supportive, mind you.

Most times, we are working on a timeclock and most also know that a new nurse needs plenty of nuturing, which (unfortunately, the same seems to go for our patients), there is not enough time to give, or the resources TO give are low. I also think that you may need to become a bit more proactive.

Also, keep in mind that even seasoned nurses eventually experience the 'new nurse' syndrome. It happens when we change jobs, float or are unceremoniously transferred to different departments. The seasoned nurse is in someone else's territory and has to relearn what is expected in that particular area. Sometimes, the same skills we have performed for years are shifted a bit to accomodate the ebb and flow of a new place. It may be that certain providers are only available at certain times, or have their private eccentricities that are honored because they are sacred cows, etc...

Take a deep breath, take it one day at a time, and try to speak to someone who may be able to influence the right people to come towards you. I used to pay attention to specific nurses, see if they are more welcoming and would ask them if they would precept me. Most times, they said 'yes'. Good luck!


116 Posts

Im sorry to hear this. I remember being on orientation at first and HATING it. I agree with other posts saying you should take 1 or 2 patients and ask questions as you go. I started learning the most (as scary as this would sound to those who aren't nurses) when I took care of my own patients. It takes awhile to learn time management which is a biggie and thats why you should only start with 1 to 2 pts. that way you can look stuff up and things like that. I wish more hospitals were able to have lower nurse pt ratios, 7 to 8 pts is really way too much for one nurse to get things done for each pt. the way they really should be.

Specializes in Peds Hem, Onc, Med/Surg.

I would like to give my 2 cents: when I first started on the floor I felt like i was learning NOTHING! I felt like I was just completing tasks. Once off orientation though I was surprised at the amount of info in my head. Even while just watching you are learning. In regards to questions, even though you feel like the nurses are busy, ASK! There is no such thing as a stupid question. Ask now while you still have got a chance and time. Also orientation doesn't end when you get home, at home you should be looking things up that you didn't get a chance to ask. I know it sucks but remember you got to get it done now before you don't have a preceptor who is going to back you up.


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