New Oncology nurse


so i recently graduated and am now in orientation on an oncology floor. i am pretty sure this is where i want to be, but i keep feeling so unconfident and go home worrying what i forgot to do or what i left for the next shift. i recently got called at home for something that was in question that i did.....not a major error, but they just needed clarification on something. i just feel as if i won't "get it" and am not sure if this is the first place to start out at. i'm not afraid to ask questions, but i feel that i get and then i turn around and see that i did it wrong or not good enough. do all new grads feel this way?

please help.


12 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

Wow, sounds like me 2 1/2 years ago. The one thing I don't think school prepares you for is how to organize your daily meds and tasks so you can go home at night and not worry about what you might have forgotten to do. I still, along with some of my more experienced counterparts, go home at the end of a busy day and relive my whole day- did I miss something, pass too much work along to the next shift, ect? I make myself check boxes so I won't forget things. For example- nexium's missing, call pharmacy, and make a box so I remember to give it later when it arrives, follow-up on cultrures, PT referal, ect, all get check boxes. Several times a day, especially when it's busy, I regroup and review what is going on with my patients and what I need/want to get accomplished. At the end of my day I carefully review my medsheets- is everything signed off? All all my boxes checked? In my first year I would even have a peer glace at them- sometimes your eyes only see what you want them to. I review all the orders written for the day. Remember there are only so many hours in a day and it's okay to pass along work to the next shift. Just make it clear what you did not get done. I spent most of my first year dreading the phone ringing after I got home. Find a system that works for you. Just know it gets easier. Good luck!


5 Posts


Just want to say, Completely Normal. I am relatively new to oncology nursing as well. My whole first year, I defined it as a "good day" if no one died that wasn't supposed to and I didn't cry. I am completely neurotic about finishing my work and still I have a hard time leaving things for the next shift. I'm learning to let go.

I also use a checklist. It gives me a quick visual for those hectic days. You just need to figure out your system for organization. For about the first 6 months I asked the oncoming nurse to leave me a quick note in my mailbox letting me know about anything I might have forgotten to do. Most of them were accomodating and helped me with this. This helped me to identify areas that I needed to improve.

Hang in there. It does get easier.


6 Posts

You have hit in right on.....that is exactly how i feel. Thanks so i know it will get better and that i am not crazy or a bad nurse. Thanks again.


10 Posts

Specializes in picc line.

i exactly know how u r feeling this moment. during my first days in oncology many times after the shift i had 2 call my ward (the night 2) 2 say something i forgot.

resist. in few time u r going 2 organize your work n u r able 2 manage the care.

bye from an almost newbie onco-nurse

Specializes in Gyn Onc, OB, L&D, HH/Hospice/Palliative.

Cut yourself some slack, you would feel this way ANYWHERE as a new nurse, give yourself 6-9 months you'll learn a lot, gain confidence, nursing school is not the real world, you WILL get organized, it will all come together, good luck

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