New grad worried about getting off orientation


New grad RN on orientation in a telemetry unit and feeling like I won't be able to manage once orientation ends.  There is so much to learn and I just have a couple of weeks left.  Most of the time it gets very crazy so my preceptor takes over without explaining things just trying to make sure the job gets done.  All day I am taking care of medication and she does all the background stuff.  Talking to patients and their families, as well as doctors and the rest of the healthcare team is a struggle for me because I feel like I have a hard time seeing the bigger picture of what is keeping the patient in the hospital and have to try very hard to come up with answers to people's questions like during rounds.

I spoke to other new hires at my unit and they said they feel similarly and none of us feel ready.  I don't want to fail and will continue to try but I am really uncertain what my outcome will be.  Can anyone relate?



Specializes in Registered Nurse.

I absolutely feel you! I'm a recent new grad as well- I'm just getting off of orientation by the end of this week and I'm getting nervous. It's been really hard adjusting to nights. I'm also on a rotating day and night schedule and it has really sucked trying to connect with my relationships/friends/family when time is so precious. 

I'm still learning the balance.... but hoping that it comes more naturally. I've really been trying to take advantage of the longer stretches of time I have off - as well as just do something simple that makes me happy every day. 

Oh wow, rotating days and nights!  That's rough because you are always adjusting your sleep cycle to your schedule.  Would you ever talk to your boss about getting on a more consistent schedule like straight nights or days?  

That's good that you are making time for yourself.  I have been trying to keep up with hobbies and self care stuff myself too. Nursing is so stressful, especially as a new grad and you definitely need an outlet.  Wishing good things for you and your nursing career. 🙂

Specializes in Telemetry, ICU, Interventional Radiology. Has 6 years experience.

Hello, believe me, as nurses we've all been in your shoes. We've all been new grads before. It seems like nursing school really doesn't prepare you how stressful and anxiety inducing starting your first job is. Please continue trying to learn and get comfortable. I promise that you are capable. I went straight into ICU after graduating RN school after being a LPN for 3 years and even with my background it took me close to a year to become comfortable. Try to watch other more seasoned nurses around you. Try to figure out their method to the madness. You'll find your routine. It just takes time. Hope this helps and good luck!


11 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, BSN. Has 2 years experience.

Did you finish your orientation?

Can you share with us how its going?

We want to learn from your experience.

As of today, I have two more weeks of orientation left, and also plenty of insecurities, like you. I graduated 12 years ago, but was not able to get a job due to recession.

In my case talking to the educator did wonders.

She was guiding the preceptor and on occasion changing the preceptor and putting me on ICU for couple weeks.

I didn't trust in my abilities despite hearing from others, including preceptors, "You will be good".

Now, with only two weeks left, I trust it will go well, although stressful.

The staff on the floor is very supportive and understanding, which is a blessing I wish all you will have.

UPDATE:  I was supposed to get off orientation at the end of this week.  On Monday, my nurse manager and the nurse educator call me into their office to tell me all the things I am not doing up to their standards.  They said I have not progressed to where I need to be, as voiced by my preceptor, and that I have to change immediately or I am fired. 

They mentioned I did not do a follow up bp for a patient who was running low, quick enough.  They said I did not check labs for a patient's low potassium and did not intervene at all even though my preceptor told me the lab and I gave IV potassium and packets.  They also said I do not have a professional demeanor and verbiage with patients and when I asked for clarification they said I do not try to converse with patients and am not personable with them.  I admit I do struggle from social anxiety but I was always offering patients help with anything they needed and was always professional and caring.  (Clearly this comment was sparked from my preceptor who is the only one who could have observed this).

There were other things and on Tuesday they gave me a write up which was so harsh and discouraging to me.  Anyway, clearly my preceptor did not have my back and did not warn me it was coming to this as she talked to them extensively about my inadequacies behind my back without offering feedback to me directly. 

My preceptor has also insinuated to me that she thinks I do not care about the patients and how I should "treat them like my children."  She said if I want to just medicate all day I should go to a nursing home, but don't these patients really need to get their medication?  The whole orientation was so fragmented and I barely learned anything aside from medication.

Anyway, I have resigned because I could not stand how toxic the environment had become.  I have another nursing job I am taking more shifts at in the interim.  I feel better like a weight has been lifted.