New Grad Pains


Hey, Bambi could use some encouragement (Scrubs fans wya?)

I am in my 6th week of my 8 weeks of orientation.

I have a supportive floor, fabulous manager, etc. My coworkers are saying I am doing well (and my first preceptor says the same; I just met my new one yesterday who will be precepting me while the first is on vacation) but I definiteley feel like I a chicken with my head cut off sometimes.

I still have so many questions for everything. Paging doctors and using the pager, various ways to collect urine specimens (foley vs purewick vs clean catch / UA vs C&S vs pregnancy etc.), discharge details (how do I know if insurance is going to cover their outpt prescriptions? how is their home health involved?) , who I should call (is this a care coordination issue? or do I need to ask their primary care physician? ), and so on and so forth.So many details that I get caught up on. And this trickles into me struggling with time management because I have to hunt down a preceptor/nurse and wait for them to be available to help/answer my question, etc.

Am I expected to know how to do all of these things by 8 weeks? Everyone says "keep asking questions" but I am just nervous I will still not know how to do so much?


My main focuses that my preceptors want me to focus on is time management and being detail oriented. I sometimes don't see/read the fine print for nursing orders, medication administrations, etc.

I also have a hard time staying up to date with notes and plan of care and even finding things in the computer system.

I have always excelled at my jobs and am a hard worker, but I feel like my feet can't walk fast enough (and they HURT anyway!) and I just feel so panicked at times!

Please, any advice or encouragement or anything is so appreciated. I really appreciate this community.

I am just exhausted and feel so overwhelmed. (Oh, for what it is worth, I am on a Med/Surg floor with a 6:1 ratio).


Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,442 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

Many new grads feel overwhelmed and unsure for about the first year. Please do ask questions of those with experience even when no longer on orientation.

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

No, you won’t know everything after 8 weeks of orientation and that’s OK. It is huge to have a supportive team and manager and likely they will welcome your questions and be happy to continue to support you in your growth and learning. Wish you the best in your job!

Nurse Nora

19 Posts

Honestly this has been a rough year for new grads especially!