New RN, Having a lot of trouble! Need help


I'm in need of some advice. I'm a new RN that was hired last year to work in maternity and labor and delivery. I worked in maternity for a year when I started orientation in l and d. I thought my orientation was going well and I even got some good feedback from my preceptors. My last two weeks of orientation come around and all of the sudden I'm getting surprising feedback.

My boss told me that some midwives had the perception that I let my preceptors do the work for me in a delivery rather than me doing it all. What the midwives actually saw were these really experienced nurses trying to help and have a hard time keeping their hands off during orienting. Which I am sure is really hard to do! I was not confident enough to tell the nurses that I got this and push them out of the way. So all in all I was told to be more assertive, which I accept because I need to build assertiveness along with my confidence.

Now comes my last week and I ask one of my preceptors if they think I am ready to be off of orientation, they respond with "I don't know"....then I finally got some honesty about how I'm being perceived and its that I appear over confident! In my mind I'm thinking what!? I'm not that at all! I asked questions, but apparently not enough?

Basically I feel like I can't win

I guess I need advice on how to handle this. What's tough about my orientation, I never had the same preceptor for long. Also it's a very judgmental atmosphere and I'm sure I let that get to me when thinking about asking questions.

I thanked my preceptor for being honest, because I needed this kind of feedback all along...but I'm getting this my last days of orientation. My preceptor said that unfortunately it's a group of women and you can't expect them to say these things to my face, I refuse to accept that as an excuse!

Anyways sorry for the long winded story, but I'm feeling very defeated. I've never had a group of people have such the wrong impression of me and it's very frustrating. I never felt this way during my maternity orientation!

What can I do to prove myself? I'm off orientation and start normal schedule on Monday. I was nervous to begin with, now I feel like I have a lot of added stress.


52 Posts

Being a new nurse is really hard. Not.only are you trying to learn your job but you have to contend.with seasoned nurses who can be very critical.

Go ahead on your own. Ask questions when necessary, your co-workers will respect you for it. Soldier on and know that it will get better. This is not a new phenomenon unfortunately. Is there at least one person you trust? Having a good friend at work who has your back can make a huge difference!


7 Posts

There are other new nurses that will be doing this orientation after me, so I've been the first ever new nurse this unit has had in labor and delivery. Every other nurse on the unit worked somewhere else first for several years.

The preceptor who was honest with me is probably the one I feel most comfortable with. I'm just hoping tomorrow goes well for me !

Thanks for the encouragement


52 Posts

Oh good! It will be nice to have some other new nurses around for support. Hang in there :)