just got my first RN job...advice?!

by TraumaQueenRN4 TraumaQueenRN4 (New) New

i just got my first rn job, i'll be working on a discharge unit/alternate level of care unit, basically caring for people awaiting discharge to nursing homes and such. i'm working overnights 7pm to 7 am. i guess i'd just like some advice or words of encouragement. i got this far, so i hope i do well! i'm just nervous, as i suppose most if not all new grads are. so....any advice for me? TIA!!



200 Posts

I'm in the same boat! I start my first position next month, and it's 7p to 7a as well. Nerves are starting to kick in, but I also can't wait to start.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience. 67 Articles; 14,008 Posts

Congratulations on your jobs, both of you.

The first year of nursing is very difficult, and there will be periods when you cry all the way to work or all the way home. (Unless, of course, you are male, and then you're more likely to punch something.) You're going to feel stupid and miserable and inadequate, and that's all part of the deal. We have ALL been there. Some of us remember is acutely. When walking through hell, keep on walking. Don't give up. Don't quit. Don't waste your time looking for other jobs that will be less miserable. There usually isn't one because the misery is all part of becoming a real nurse. Persist until you make it through, until you become competent.

Ask questions, but ask the right questions. There's a difference between asking "What should I do?" and asking "I've done this, this, this and this but I'm still having that issue. What do you suggest?" One suggests you've been actively seeking a solution and the other suggests you want to be spoon fed information. A bad preceptor will spoon feed you; a good one won't.

Respect your elders. I'm not talking about anyone who is actually older than you, but about those who have more experience than you. Even the slow, stupid or really OLD nurse knows something that you don't and potentially even a lot that you don't. If someone offers you feedback, accept it. Thank them for pointing that out to you, showing you or whatever. Even if you really don't like the delivery. There are those who have a lot to teach you who aren't really good at teaching and lousy at giving feedback. You can learn from them despite that.

Take care of yourself. That should have been my first suggestion. Take care of yourself first. If you have to go to the bathroom, go to the bathroom. There isn't much that cannot wait long enough for you to go have a quick drink of water, although I probably wouldn't delay starting CPR. Get enough sleep, take time for lunch and decompress in the way that is most successful for you.

And know that you're going to need to study at home in your time off. That's part of learning any new specialty, and when you're brand new, basic nursing is it's own specialty.

Good luck, and let us know how you're getting along.


sammi2006, ADN, BSN, RN

Has 7 years experience. 36 Posts

Congratulations! I am in the same boat as well. I start orientation for my first nursing job on LTAC (long term acute care) tomorrow! I will also be working 6:30pm to 7am, and I am kinda nervous too.