New-'ish' nurses on the job hunt: Having to advocate for training?

Nurses New Nurse


I'm writing to ask if other new-ish nurses are finding they have to advocate to be appropriately orientated/trained at new positions, or have even had to turn down positions because of liability/lack of training.

To give you a quick idea of my background: 2010 RN grad, 7 months of part-time LTC experience, then budget cuts (LTC facility re-staffed with LVNs), then unemployment, then 10 months working a telecommute job for an insurance company, then the entire department got laid off in budget cuts (yey! again! /sarcasm), and unemployment again.

Now I'm finding--despite only 7 months of passing meds PT and then having not touched/laid eyes on a patient for another 16 months-- the only hospitals/clinics that will consider hiring me are ones who want to hire me on as an experienced nurse. In the thick of budget constraints, they don't want to pay for GRN/new clinical nurse training despite my rather limited and somewhat distant (16 months ago) 'clinical' experience.

Now, I'm a 2010 RN grad, but I've held a previous career, and while I'm definitely not a seasoned nurse I'm also not a doe-eyed kid with stars in her eyes new to the working world. I bring real life and professional experience to the profession, and I've had some great nursing experience even when it was non-clinical (I feel like I learned more albeit non-clinical nursing in my last position than I ever did in LTC!). That said there's no way in hell I would step out onto a Med-Surg floor without appropriate orientation and training, and I truly don't understand how penny wise/dollar fooled these facilities are being by pushing limited-experienced nurses into the fire like this? I have another story of another job offer I received that I still cannot believe, but I'll post it later (if asked) as this post's already too long.

It's all nothing new, no new job is perfect, it's never easy at first, yadda yadda. We all heard it in nursing school. But my license, career and (future) patients are mine to protect and I'm not going to forego training so your hospital can save budget and I can say I have a clinical job.

Specializes in Pediatrics, Home health.

I'm in a similar situation to you, 2010 RN, only have experience in home health, trying to find a job at a hospital. While the hospitals do hire you as an "experienced nurse", its because they can't label you as a new-grad anymore. All the interviews I've been on they've told me that I'll get 6-8 weeks orientation. Have you specifically asked what your orientation would be? I doubt any hospital would just throw you right in, without orientation. Just because you're hired as an experienced nurse doesn't mean you don't get any training.

While I'm not in the same situation as you, I agree that most hospitals probably do have *some* orientation. The unit I did my preceptorship on hired 2 newer but experienced RNs while I was there. Both had at least a month w/ another nurse preceptor as their orientation. Any nurse new to a floor still needs to learn the ins and outs of that particular unit, no matter how experienced they are.

I would ask what type of hospital and unit orientation they provide and go from there!

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

I wanna hear the one you aluded to.

They have so many applicants for every position they can pick and choose and so they don't want to spend the money...........

Specializes in neuro/ortho med surge 4.

I worked 5 months at a LTC facility and then received 4 weeks oreintation as a new grad at a hospital. One week consisted of an introduction to a ton of forms and paperwork I had never seen before. The last 3 weeks consisted of floor orientation with the charge nurse of the day. I graduated in 2008 and got my current job in March 2009. Was told I would not get new grad training. I cried almost every day for the first year. I still have days that I cry at work. If you have good co-workers you will survive.

Hospitals will do it if they can.

Specializes in critical care, Med-Surg.

While I am most definitely a seasoned nurse (12 yrs exp), I just recently went back after being out for twelve yrs.

This was a question I asked at the end of my interview; "How long will my orientation be?" I was pleased when she said "four weeks, maybe longer since you've been out so long." I snapped at the opportunity. They should tailor it to your needs.

While it has been challenging, every day gets better. MUCH better. I think four weeks will be all I need.

I think four to six weeks should be plenty. If that's not enough, you may not be working in the right area for YOU.

After reading lots of posts on allnurses, some nurses are not cut out for acute care.

Through the years, I have found, for me personally, it takes about 6 months to become really comfortable in a position.

So after my four weeks of orientation, I will be taking a full load, but I know I will still be seeking help/advice as needed.

You really can't know exactly how much you need til you take the plunge.

HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF. My first day back was disorienting (I suppose that's why they call it orientation!), but as I said, my sea legs returned quickly. Depend on your training, always PRIORITIZE, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Be a sponge. Look things up after you get home. Ask your preceptor about meds if you are not familiar. Don't afraid to show both what you know, and what you don't. I strive to THANK my preceptor for sharing her knowledge/expertise. I was preparing myself to ask her how she thought I was doing (and preparing for constructive criticism), but she beat me to it by telling me I was doing great. Be objective about your strengths and weaknesses, and address weakness quickly. YOU WILL NO WHAT THEY ARE AS YOU GO TO WORK EVERY DAY. And don't be afraid to speak with manager about how things are going. They will appreciate your ability to be honest and seek direction.If you KNOW you are having problems with something, be the first to say it. It will demonstrate insight and judgement. Then, ask for advice! It will and should be given, and you will move forward from there. There will be resources all around...take advantage of them. Pharmacists, Respiratory and Physical Therapists, other nurses...BE A SPONGE. ASK QUESTIONS.

Again: have faith in your training, take the plunge, and know that you will have prob a 90 day period where you can walk away (or they can) if it's not a good fit. As long as you DO NOT do anything you are comfortable doing and render safe pt. care, (the purpose of orientation, when you will be working w an exp nurse), YOU WILL BE FINE. At the "end" of orientaion, if you do not feel comfortable or "safe", address w manager, and if your concerns are not heard, LEAVE.

Good luck!

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