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New Grad Struggles

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by atxgirly atxgirly (New) New Nurse

246 Profile Views; 6 Posts

Hi everyone! 

Typical new nurse rant here, just wanted to share my experience/concerns and just rant a little...

I've been a nurse now for 10 months, and off orientation for about 7. I'm having a difficult time fitting in with my coworkers and it's been a challenge to even make conversation with most of them. I was put on days and I feel like most of the nurses are experienced and have been around for at least a couple of years (3-5 ish). I am 1 of 2 newbies on days and something just feels totally off. I've tried for the past several months to engage my coworkers  and get to know them a little better, but I always get short responses and/or a lack of response. I'm the type of person that acknowledges people if I pass by them or walk into a room and just ask how they're doing! I'm generally friendly and open to conversation, but I don't feel like it's received well by other nurses. I find it really difficult to ask Qs sometimes, and it pushes me out of my comfort zone to ask the charge nurses to help me if I'm slammed with new orders or admission/discharges. They always make excuses as to why they can't help with vitals if we have no CA, or talking to an upset parent, helping me with whatever I may need.

I'm always getting assigned the most admits/discharges while the rest of them sit around chit chatting all shift, taking an hour long lunch break, etc. Whenever they're gathered around the charge's office or in the break room and I walk by, they all look at me and get really quiet. I sometimes will leave the break room if they're all eating lunch together bc it's so unbearable at this point. 

Also, they are always throwing lake parties with half of the other nurses, taking ski trips, going out, etc and never have I once been invited. Some will even call out sick on days they're having a day party because they really want to go, which means more pts for the rest of us:-)

I'm just really frustrated bc my other cohort that is on nights is LOVING their work environment. They are all super close and love to hang out together after work. I just feel lost/why the hell did I get myself into this career because I literally have NO support from most nurses at work. I feel excluded and they treat me like I don't belong. However, I do like a few people, so when I do get to work with them, I feel much more at ease. But for the most part, I feel like an outcast. 

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speedynurse is a RN, EMT-P and specializes in ER.

110 Posts; 434 Profile Views

I am sorry that you are unsupported in your work environment - it is an awful feeling as a new graduate nurse.

1. In all honesty - some units are just like that. Maybe everyone is unhappy with their jobs....maybe there are cliques....maybe it is a perception issue.

2. You mentioned another new grad on days with you - have you talked with her about these issues to see if she is dealing with the same concerns?

3. It sounds like nights are a better, more compatible team. Do you think you could move to nights or are you willing to move to nights if you felt more supported?

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15 Posts; 683 Profile Views

I hate when that happens. It is the worst feeling ever. I had it happen once last year. It bothered me more than I like to admit. I am sorry, hopefully you get to work with the cool ones more often than not. 

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

15 Followers; 3,879 Posts; 42,370 Profile Views

You probably wouldn't mind not being invited to things if they would at least help you when you need help.  An ounce of professionalism would mitigate a ton of social boorishness.

Give yourself a time frame for things to get better.  Like maybe that all-important year.  Tell yourself you will keep doing your best until the year is up.  Then you will re-evaluate the situation.  Maybe you can change shifts, change units or find another workplace entirely.

Good luck.

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PGHNurse412 has 1 years experience as a ASN and specializes in Medical Surgical RN.

34 Posts; 1,319 Profile Views

It's so tough trying to fit in and trying to learn the job. Just keep being your chipper self (cliche much?) and those who are happy with themselves will migrate towards you. Regardless of who's the popular guy/girl on the floor, that should NEVER interfere with patient care. This seems to be an issue and you have to go to your charge nurse and ask for help, if they are letting you drown then it's time for the unit director or whoever is above the charge nurse. That is not fair that they would let a new grad feel so flustered and overwhelmed while they are all caught up. It shows a lack of professionalism and maturity. 

Edited by PGHNurse412

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

5 Followers; 6,342 Posts; 70,500 Profile Views

How does the other new nurse on days feel about the team?

It appears you are a victim of a clique. They form to develop a feeling of power.  I do not see this culture of bullying changing. I know it's not easy right now.. but get ready to transfer or change facilities .

 

 

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

5 Followers; 6,342 Posts; 70,500 Profile Views

8 hours ago, PGHNurse412 said:

It's so tough trying to fit in and trying to learn the job. Just keep being your chipper self (cliche much?) and those who are happy with themselves will migrate towards you. Regardless of who's the popular guy/girl on the floor, that should NEVER interfere with patient care. This seems to be an issue and you have to go to your charge nurse and ask for help, if they are letting you drown then it's time for the unit director or whoever is above the charge nurse. That is not fair that they would let a new grad feel so flustered and overwhelmed while they are all caught up. It shows a lack of professionalism and maturity. 

Charge nurse is part of the clique. Of course it's not "fair".. but that is the culture of cliques.

 

 

Edited by Been there,done that

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

7 Followers; 13,374 Posts; 60,763 Profile Views

In addition to what the previous posters have said ... the situation will probably improve once you are not the "new girl".    Once there are a couple of people newer than you, your work environment will improve.  They'll be the ones getting the worst assignments -- and you can be the nice, more experienced nurse who helps them and becomes their friend.

Are they hiring any new grads this Summer?

I had a similar (but not quite so bad) situation back in the Dark Ages when I was a new grad.   I even remember the name of the new grad who came about 6 months after me who took my place as the "new girl."  But early in year 2, I was learning to be the Charge Nurse on a regular basis and the experienced crowd started being nice to me as I had the power to make assignments -- and I had shown that I was a good nurse and that they could trust me.  Don't do anything to aggravate them and give it a little time.

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PGHNurse412 has 1 years experience as a ASN and specializes in Medical Surgical RN.

34 Posts; 1,319 Profile Views

On 6/16/2020 at 9:27 AM, Been there,done that said:

Charge nurse is part of the clique. Of course it's not "fair".. but that is the culture of cliques.

 

 

Luckily my unit is pretty much all new grads. We have a few seasoned nurses to help train but the new nurses are helping to create a new vision of leadership/equality. I love it!! 

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