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So I have a question for all of you nurses out there: I am a new grad, and I just started a new job. I have currently had only 6 days working with a preceptor. They want me to start on my own tomorrow! Is this normal? How long was everyone elses' orientations??? I do not feel ready to be on my own yet. HELP!

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 9 years experience.

What kind of facility are you working at? Hospital? LTC? SNF? In general, orientations in LTC are much shorter than in the hospital setting. 6 shifts isn't unheard of. Is the position full time, part time, or per diem? Again, per diem positions will receive much shorter orientations- even in the hospital- because the hospital doesn't return their investment as quickly.

What were you told during your job interview? You should always, always, ask about the orientation process when you are applying for a job. Unfortunately, as a new grad, you might have been so ready to accept any job that you didn't think to ask. In the future, remember that this is an important question to ask during your interview, before you accept a position.

If you truly don't feel that you are able to practice safely at this point, approach your manager, explain the areas where you feel uncomfortable, and ask for a few more days of orientation.

Good luck!

Thank you for your response! I am working full time in a hospital.


Has 5 years experience.

What kind of unit are you working on? Though 6 days would be scary for any floor, you've posted this in the OB/GYN forum, and I don't even want to believe that 6 days in L&D or even maternity is a reality ANYwhere.

babyktchr, BSN, RN

Specializes in Nurse Manager, Labor and Delivery.

WOW. WOW. WOW. Say no. Say it loud. Say it strong.


Has 4 years experience.

WOW. WOW. WOW. Say no. Say it loud. Say it strong.

THIS. Dangerous. Say no in writing, document your concerns and keep in hard copy any answers you get even if you have to take notes on verbal conversations. Cover yourself.

Wow! 6 shifts and your on your own? Are you Mother/baby, L&D, gyn surgical patients? I can't imagine a new unseasoned nurse being ready to be on their own after such a short orientation. I am at a new facility but 2 years experience and already had 5 weeks orientation, could ask for more and have a resource person for as many weeks as I need. I would talk to your nurse educator or nurse manager.

I am working on a postpartum unit. Thanks for all the responses everyone!

jodyangel, RN

Specializes in L&D.

Nopw 6 shifts is still crazy. Protect your license.

Wow... we get 14-18 weeks for experienced nurses. 6 MONTHS for new grads... plus more if needed. I would be very worried about a facility that would put you on alone after 6 shifts. I not only would be worried about my license but the standard of care provided by that facility.

Thank you everyone for the opinions and advice! I have decided that it is not worth it to jeopardize my license, and I will be leaving the facility. I should never feel uncomfortable providing care for my patients, and that is what is happening. I will not put my patients at risk due to the fact that they will not train me.


Specializes in Med/Surg, Surgery, Post Partum, GYN. Has 10 years experience.

Did you approach your manager and tell her your concerns? What is your staffing ratio? New grads typically get an 8-12 week orientation and it tends to be very structured (i.e. 3-4 couplets WITH your preceptor, ensuring that you have both vaginal and c/s postpartum patients)...what does your preceptor say to all of this? You mentioned that you were leaving your facility - what part of the country are you in? Please keep us posted....I wish I could give you a proper orientation!

Every time I said that I was uncomfortable, I was told that it was fine and I should just ask the nurses on my unit. The nurse to pt. ratio for the nurses is 1:4, but it can be 1:5, which I was told is too high. When I started on my own I had 3 patients, and then they added another the other day. I have resigned as of yesterday. All of the nurses on my floor do not understand why I am on my own and they feel bad for me. I am in IL- I would very much appreciate a proper orientation! Thank you for your response!


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