I'm trying to handle this professionally.....

Specialties NICU


Ok.....what would you do in this situation?

I have been going through my orientation for the past 6 weeks and I still have 6 more weeks to go. So the charge nurse comes up to me the other night and asks me how long until I feel like I would be able to be on my own. I tell her "My orientation is 12 weeks and I still don't feel comfortable yet taking a full assignment by myself." Her reply was "Well, you're doing well so would 2 more weeks be enough?" To which I say "Uh....no. I told you that I don't feel comfortable yet." Well, I think I must have pi***d her off because we just got the next schedule and I am off of orientation in 3 weeks.

How should I handle this? I don't want to rock the boat too much since I am still new but I certainly don't want to keep my mouth shut. I want the 12 weeks and to feel comfortable.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Heather :confused: :confused:


712 Posts

If you don't feel comfortable then you don't feel comfortable she has no right to state when you will get off orientation because she is short of staff or etc. I would go to the manager you are entitled to have what the orientation stipulates. When I work in different facilities they usually tell you if you want more orientation they will be more than happy to give it you. Don't take a chance and be in a situation that you are not prepared for. She sounds very unsupportive and I wouldn't tolerate that.

Biggest problem for new staff is to keep your mouth shut! Remember it is your license you got it alone and you can lose it alone. Don't be anyone's scape goat. She has a boss too.


1,334 Posts

Specializes in NICU.


Tough situation. I realize it's hard to rock the boat when you are new to a unit AND a new nurse as well (I believe your other posts said you are a new grad?). Teshiee is right, it IS your license and you don't want to make a mistake that could have been avoided by more experience. Yes, maybe you are doing "well" but "well" when you are in orientation with a preceptor and "well" when you are on you own is different. Of course you'll ask questions if need be... but what about the situation where "you don't know what you don't know?" Think about it-- you really are holding these little ones' lives in your hands at times. How easy would it be to make a 10-fold FATALl med error simply by giving 1cc of med vs. 0.1cc?

Feeling competent and comfortable is a big part of BEING competent I think. If you feel like a chicken running around with its head cut off trying to keep up with care AND checking and double-checking yourself because you're uncomfortable you are at risk for mistakes. And I know that's the last thing you want. Not to mention the stress!

I can't explain why the charge nurse would ask this of you. All I can think of is that you DO seem to be doing well and your unit is short-staffed. If this is the case, I think the ONLY way you should agree (and I'm not saying you should--just if it does come to that) is if you are given a LEVEL II type assignment. I've seen my unit do this to new staff before to stretch staffing. Of course, they don't actually do that to new grads. Your basic organizational skills are still green!

Let me also say that I did see my unit take a new hire off orientation early to give her a level II assignment (to stretch staffing)... She even had previous PICU experience. She ended up making several potentially life-threatening mistakes with a LEVEL II assignment! Now herr problem was more cockiness than inexperience, but... she didn't know what she didn't know...


1 Article; 2,394 Posts

Specializes in Everything except surgery.

I totally agree with the above posts! I would fight for the 12 weeks that you and they agreed to, and nothing less. Unless you feel you're ready before than! Being able to ask questions is pretty hard...if you don't the questions to ask. Also if this is a question of short staff...then the last thing you need to be ....is a newbie...with everyone sooo busy...they don't have time to stop, and assist...or be a resource. Seen this happen before! I have also seen a new grad have to leave a unit position, because of failure on the part of those who made the promise to orientate for x amount of time...to provide that time, or a willing preceptor.

In fact that person is someone I know personally right here. She was hired into a ICU postion at another hospital here in AZ. She ended up leaving that position...as they kept changing her preceptors...d/t scheduling...and because most didn't want to do it! Before the time was up..she had had..5 different preceptors...and one who was a male...who just refused to orient her! When she finally got somone who did want to orient her...they took her off the day shift, and placed her on nites with someone who didn't want to be bothered!

Stick to your guns...and get the orientation promised you..:cool:

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