Tips for a New Grad


I just passed the NCLEX this past August and will be starting my first real job as an RN on a post-surgical stepdown floor in October

As excited as I am, I am also definitely nervous!

Just looking for any tips, words of wisdom, or advice from all the experienced nurses out there or others who are starting their nursing careers as well

RN403, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,068 Posts

Congrats! There are quite a few threads on this topic that I personally have found helpful, as a fellow new nurse, you might find them helpful too. Hoping you get some responses here, though, so that I might steal some new tips. :)

I can empathize with you as I am starting up my new job in a matter of days :nailbiting:. Best wishes to you in your new role!

scaredsilly, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,161 Posts

I am a new grad who started working my first job on a floor not too long ago. I am still in the orientation stage (we get 2 months).


1.You are going to be nervous-maybe even freaked out to learn how much you still have to learn. Don't let it get you down, every new grad feels that way, relax, understand that they expect you to have learning needs and learn everything you can every minute of every shift.

2. Find out if there are any of your classmates in the same facility, if not try to find other new grads that work there. I found that the best thing I have done was to get together with other new grad nurses to vent, and listen to each other's stories. We have a group of 5 now and we meet at least once a week, plus we know we can call or text each other for support. That sort of support group is SUCH a lifesaver--I am really surprised hospitals don't set these up for us. It just feels so much better to know you are not alone!

3. Ask questions-do not worry about feeling silly or looking stupid (because I am sure you are neither), no matter how big or small it is-if you don't know ask. Patient's lives are at stake, and questions are a lot easier to recover from than mistakes. The nurses you work with were all new once too-they will not get annoyed.

4. Trust your facility to be sure you are well oriented and not left alone until they feel you are ready-so don't freak out your first shift alone (easier said than done-my first one alone is coming up-EEK!) Just keep reminding yourself that they have done this before even though you haven't--they know how to train new nurses and they are not going to do anything that could harm a patient.

5. Most important: ENJOY THIS! You worked hard to get here, you earned this--now enjoy it!


2 Articles; 51 Posts

Congrats to you my friend and welcome aboard!! From one new nurse to another, my biggest piece of advice is buckle up and get ready for a wild ride. The past six months, for me, have been the hardest yet most rewarding in my life to date. You are about to embark on a journey and a profession that demands a soft heart, thick skin and patience beyond belief.

Because the transition from student nurse to real nurse is notoriously difficult it’s important that you remain teachable, be humble. You will learn more in the first 6 months to 1 year of nursing than you did in all of school. Be open to criticism, receptive to feedback and never be afraid to ask questions or solicit help.

Nursing school only teaches you about 10% of what you need to be nurse. The other 90% you will learn on the job. Please know that the first year is rough, especially the first 6 months- you will feel stress, you will question yourself and your competency, you will feel overwhelmed, you will make mistakes and, for a while, you will feel uncomfortable in your new role. But also please know that these feelings are completely normal and are experienced by all new nurses. Proficiency takes time- and with that time these feelings will eventually diminish.

I have also found that organization is a key factor in surviving as a nurse and a good ‘brain’ will soon become your best friend.

I’m certainly not trying to scare you- but often times new grads enter their career with a slanted view of nursing and are subsequently blindsided by reality. With that being said, be prepared for a challenging year but also be prepared for a year of immense personal growth and the humility of knowing you were given the unique opportunity to truly make a difference in the life of another human being- that is a great privilege.

So- take a deep breath, say a little prayer and knock em’ dead! Welcome to the world of nursing!