We are a group of students working in a BSN class regarding Nursing Leadership/Management. We would like to get a conversation going regarding how nurse managers are dealing with the issues of ensuring that new hires (mainly new graduates) are competent to deliver safe care to patients. It is impoortant that new nurses have adequate support from experienced nurses in addition to hospital supported education / training. It seems that with the nursing shortage and high staff turnovers, this must be a difficult dilema for managers. In addition, with the budgetary constraints that hospitals are increasingly being faced with, it would seem that employee education is the first department to suffer. It would be interesting to hear from nurse managers how these issues are being dealt with. Thanks in advance for your responses, P.Tomko
Apr 1, '01
I am a manager for Telemetry units that are considered critical care areas in our 600 bed hospital. I hire new grads with enthusiasm. They need to present themselves on interview with a yearning to learn and an asssertive nature. We have an excellent orientation progrma which I believe is the key to sucess for any new grad. When interviewing, ask for specifics regarding the orientaiton that you will receive. We have a four week course in critical care ...the orientee goes to class 2 days a wekk and is on the unit for three days. There are three exams that must be passed during this time....rhythm strip interpretation, critical care nursing, and a pharmacology exam - all material on the exams is taught in the class. After the four weeks are completed and the exams are passed (if anyone fails the first time, they are given a second opportunity to pass - our goal is for everyone to pass) - the nurse then is assigned to work 12 hours shifts with one preceptor on the day shift....this can last for 2 weeks up until 2 months.....then the Rn goes to the night shift and again works with a preceptor for 2 weeks or more, whatever is necessary for the individual (and the manager)to feel that he/she can provede safe and effective care for the patients. Many new nurses orient for the 4 weeks (class time & unit time), 2-4 weeks on the day shift and 2-4 weeks on the night shift......this is about average. I never promise anyone specific time frames because we like to treat everyone individually - we all have different learning styles (and the preceptors are unique also) Hope this helps you.....the key to success is a very good orientation. The manager can not put the new grad on his/her own too soon because of staffing shortages....this is a disaster.....keeping the new grad on a longer orientation is costly but in the long run it is financially sound....we retain RNs. Please contact me if you have any further questions.