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New Older Grad Nurse Not Fitting In?

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by Onecoolwife Onecoolwife (New) New

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Need some guidance, I am a new nurse as of Dec. I am also an older nurse at 41, been on my own a month now. Apparently I am having a hard time being accepted by my peers, since coming out of orientation. I was told I isolate, think I am better than others and have built no rapport and half the staff has requested not to work with me. I am still learning, getting the charting down, and a lot of times I don't have time to think about anything other than patient care/vitals. No tech at night, acute care setting, only 2 nurses most nights lately with 6-8 patients. I was told I am a great nurse, on top of things and provide great patient care.

After being emotional (this was a big blow, caught me off guard) and losing sleep, I feel singled out and almost bullied by the other established nurses for not fitting a mold, when I can see the younger new nurses fitting right in. I do have a black/white personality, I don't lack confidence in myself as an individual, although I still lack confidence in nursing decisions and skills as a new nurse. I won't hesitate to ask for help or advice if I need it. 

My background is mostly IT, this is my second career. I have been married for 23 years with a high school junior and a first grader, so an established home life aka no partying, drinking or night life. I did work as a PCT PRN for almost a year while in RN school to get comfortable with the hospital, and patient care but had minimal interaction with the nurses since I stayed so busy on the unit I was on. I did not hire on at that facility as an RN bc they were not hiring new graduates at that time. 

Do I hold out, hope it changes or start looking around for a new opportunity. I love my boss, the faculty and the learning opportunities I have but not sure my peers will ever accept me, for who I am. 

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

2 Followers; 6,714 Posts; 49,830 Profile Views

There's something missing here, you are told you are a great nurse, but people have requested not to work with you. Why? They must have told you why.

You have to be clear eyed and brutally honest with yourself. You need to know what the problem is before you can respond. Maybe you'll decide they can go pound sand, but know the issue!

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

5 Followers; 6,344 Posts; 70,508 Profile Views

You are correct, this is bullying. A crew of nasty minded individuals  feel you are not playing nice in the sandbox. Your need to focus on your job responsibilities , is perceived as a social slight.

You have two choices. Suck up to them.... smile, talk about their kids, bring cookies. If that doesn't do it after a month or so... move on. The Nasty Minds have decided you are not fun to play with.

Good luck.

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

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On 5/5/2020 at 10:09 AM, Onecoolwife said:

Need some guidance, I am a new nurse as of Dec. I am also an older nurse at 41, been on my own a month now. Apparently I am having a hard time being accepted by my peers, since coming out of orientation. I was told I isolate, think I am better than others and have built no rapport and half the staff has requested not to work with me. I am still learning, getting the charting down, and a lot of times I don't have time to think about anything other than patient care/vitals. No tech at night, acute care setting, only 2 nurses most nights lately with 6-8 patients. I was told I am a great nurse, on top of things and provide great patient care.

After being emotional (this was a big blow, caught me off guard) and losing sleep, I feel singled out and almost bullied by the other established nurses for not fitting a mold, when I can see the younger new nurses fitting right in. I do have a black/white personality, I don't lack confidence in myself as an individual, although I still lack confidence in nursing decisions and skills as a new nurse. I won't hesitate to ask for help or advice if I need it. 

My background is mostly IT, this is my second career. I have been married for 23 years with a high school junior and a first grader, so an established home life aka no partying, drinking or night life. I did work as a PCT PRN for almost a year while in RN school to get comfortable with the hospital, and patient care but had minimal interaction with the nurses since I stayed so busy on the unit I was on. I did not hire on at that facility as an RN bc they were not hiring new graduates at that time. 

Do I hold out, hope it changes or start looking around for a new opportunity. I love my boss, the faculty and the learning opportunities I have but not sure my peers will ever accept me, for who I am. 

I think you need to go where you are comfortable. Why stay at a job where you feel awkward or frustrated because they won’t accept you for who you are?

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12 Posts; 516 Profile Views

Well after debating on it, I sought out an older nurse who had been employed there for a while and just casually mentioned the issues I was having. She eventually pulled me aside this week and told me it wasn't me that this is a common thing and the ones I am having issues with are known to be bullies to others. They receive lots of complaints but have been there so long it just gets overlooked. Basically they get out of control, get a talking to, brought under control, then repeat. This is a group that hangs out after work, drinks together, parties on days off, and goes on vacations together. 

I actually witnessed them doing it to someone else and couldn't believe the unprofessional behavior. From what I have heard if you can just put up with it for a few months they usually move on to someone new. Not the ideal environment, but I have had so many learning opportunities that I feel that if I let them run me off it would be worse than just dealing with it at this point. 

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14 Followers; 4,201 Posts; 32,750 Profile Views

On 5/5/2020 at 10:09 AM, Onecoolwife said:

I was told I isolate, think I am better than others and have built no rapport and half the staff has requested not to work with me.

My next move would likely have something to do with who conveyed the "concern" and how it was conveyed.

If it was the manager and was as blunt as the above, start looking.

If it was snarkiness/sniping by one of the in-crowd, ignore.

Do what you can to not come of as generally unpleasant. Say your hellos/pleases/thank yous, maintain a pleasant demeanor, etc. Other than that...ignore is the answer to many things.

Best of luck~

 

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BSNbeDONE has 34 years experience as a ASN, BSN, LPN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health.

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Personally, I wouldn’t even care. If they want to get to know you better, tell them that they’re more than welcome to “come, let’s do some nurse bonding over this code brown”. 

I’d start picking up an occasional shift here and there elsewhere in the facility just so that others can become familiar with my face and when the time was right, transfer and show your current coworkers your gratitude by allowing them to divide your patient load amongst themselves.

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

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Sounds like a mean little clique.  The question is, why does management take their word for anything if they frequently have to be spoken to themselves?

Next time you're "counseled" ask for very  specific info. If they can't provide it then remind management that your focus is on your work, not on meeting your own socialization needs.

Try to team up with the other adult nurses.  Not to form a counter clique, but to set a unified example of professional behaviour.  Be uniformly friendly and pleasant to everyone.  If they can't reciprocate at least that, that's their schoolgirl behaviour for all to see. 

If it becomes time to get out of Dodge, request an exit interview.

 

 

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laflaca has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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On 5/5/2020 at 7:09 AM, Onecoolwife said:

Do I hold out, hope it changes or start looking around for a new opportunity. I love my boss, the faculty and the learning opportunities I have but not sure my peers will ever accept me, for who I am. 

I was also a new nurse, changing from another career.  I was 43 when I started, and I went through a version of what you're describing...most of the nurses on my first unit, an ED, were under 30.  There was a smattering around 35.  Everyone close to my age was a charge nurse or manager, and only one person in the whole department was older than I was. Like you, I didn't really want to chitchat at work anyway.  I was laser-focused on what I was trying to learn, and somewhat terrified as well.  I was married and had my own friends outside of work; they were in a different stage of life.

I wonder if this is something you might think?:  "Of course I'm friendly, but I don't talk just for the sake of talking.  I'll ask questions when I have them, otherwise I just do my job."  Like you said, a black-and-white person.  You might give off fewer or less clear social cues than coworkers who are more effusive and demonstrative.  Nothing wrong with that, but it stands out in nursing a lot more than it would in IT.  Your coworkers' brains are trying to fill in the missing data....why doesn't s/he talk like we do?  S/he must think s/he's better than we are.  S/he doesn't like us.   There's a lack of social information, so they're creating a narrative to make sense of you.  

It might help to try saying things that make your narrative more explicit, showing that you do want to connect.  "My gosh, I've been trying so hard to get this protocol straight, I feel like I haven't even said hello!  How's your night?"  "Hey, I meant to tell you how much I appreciated you getting room 3 to the bathroom earlier - I got distracted because my med pass was huge, but I wanted to say thanks."   "I know I've been staring at this computer forever, but I heard that family member yelling at you - are you OK?"

Don't be self-deprecating, don't apologize for needing new-nurse guidance.  Just throw out a little line of connection from time to time.  Make an effort to chat at least once a shift with the people on your unit/pod - ask them about their new apartment, or visiting mom, or dog's kidney stones, or whatever.  Even if you have to write yourself notes about these things.  Even if nothing immediately changes. You're just throwing out a line, and they might grab it or they might not.  Your goal is to not necessarily to be everyone's best friend, but to become at least an unremarkable part of the social landscape.

Do you need your peers to accept you for who you are as a person?  Is it a black and white question of acceptance=stay and nonacceptance=quit?  I don't think it is.  You don't need personal acceptance.  What you need, I think, is to forge working relationships.   It's just hard to step back and figure that out, when you're still trying to understand nursing practice too.

As you get better at the actual job, you can earn some respect for your work ethic and your skills, even if they think you're a weirdo socially. 

So I say, don't give up the learning opportunities and the boss just yet.  It might go against your grain, but try investing in working relationships in the most positive and sincere (but not self-deprecating or apologetic) way possible.  If they're really a bunch of meanies, then there's no help for that.  But it might turn out OK, so you can at least get through this new-grad period without having to switch jobs. 
 
 

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