Overwhelmed New Nursing Home Nurse


  • Career Columnist / Author
    Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I have currently started my orientation at a nursing home. I applied at a nursing home because I don't have any experience working as a nurse here in the US. I'm a foreign graduate from the Philippines and I'm really overwhelmed with the jobs/responsibilities of an RN at a nursing home. What would you suggest that I should do. Any tips? I'm done with my 1st week orientation.


Dear Overwhelmed,

Congrats on your first job here:) I wish it was easier.

Skilled nursing is notorious for heavy workloads. At the same time, one week is not enough time for a final evaluation of yourself or the job.

I would trust that (being the smart person that you are), you will learn safe and faster ways of providing care, and how to batch your tasks. Make every trip into the room count. Pass meds on patients who can swallow pills easily first, and on the slower ones last. Every time you choose to do a task, you are also choosing not to a multitude of other tasks at the same time, so have a rationale for your prioritization (patient safety, time-sensitive, etc) so that the most important things get done.

Look around and see if there are nurses who seem to be

getting it all done, and understand that if they can do it, so will you. It will just take a while.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!