Jump to content
2019 Nursing Salary Survey Read more... ×

Tips for new grads

First Year   (769 Views 7 Comments)
by cassandraspangle cassandraspangle (New Member) New Member

123 Visitors; 2 Posts

advertisement

What are the biggest tips you would tell a new grad? Is there anything you wish you would have known your first day on the job as an RN that no one told you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

River&MountainRN has 3 years experience.

141 Likes; 1,614 Visitors; 156 Posts

1. As eager as you are to jump right in and accept that first job offer, take the time to take a good look at the facility making the offer. Sometimes the first one isn't the greatest. Likewise, keep your eyes open during your interview(s), observe how the staff interact with each other, their demeanor, how they seem to feel about their jobs; ask about staff morale and keep your ears and eyes open for hints of discord/trouble keeping staff.

2. Make sure you get a thorough orientation, not just lip service of one.

I sometimes wonder if my entire career trajectory would have been different if I'd held out a little more to get a decent start in nursing versus jumping at the first offer I received. In three years, I've yet to receive a decent orientation---at first it was just due to lousy workplaces that needed a warm body and then past one year other workplaces just figure I'm experienced enough not to need one. I've made it work, but it would have saved me a lot of anxiety, depression, job-hopping, existential angst, and wondering if I'd chosen the right profession if I'd gotten off on a better foot with the nursing profession.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

831 Visitors; 10 Posts

I fully agree with the first poster. I was told I would have a thorough orientation, and that consisted of someone spending an hour with me for three days then throwing me on the floor with 20 patients and a book full of treatments and medications to give. Ridiculous. If a company isn't willing to invest in their staff then in my opinion, they are not worth working for-and you shouldn't want to be affiliated with such a careless organization. Clinical excellence is still out there, and I would look for private pay facilities, privately held companies, and others that aren't governed by outside sources, because they have a lot more freedom to make better staffing decisions, alot less regulatory nonsense, and generally are better known in the community as being higher end facilities with happier employees that stay. Tenure is important. If the five people on your unit are all brand new, yet the facility has been open for 30 years, you have to wonder why...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 Likes; 1,025 Visitors; 211 Posts

Like others said. Pay attention. I graduated earlier this year. I applied only to places that said new grads welcome and was called for multiple interviews. One I was convinced I didn't have. It was my first interview. The manager said the position was open quite some time and in a short time they were suddenly swimming in candidates. They never called when they said they would. After I received three other offers, I received an email that said, "If you're still interested and I hope that you are. Please call me." As I was trying to formulate a response I received a second email and a phone call because the one thing I took away from the interview was the hiring manager wanted someone there ASAP because she hadn't had any time off in a while. I just thought the wording of the email strange. It sounded to me as if others were made offers and refused and she was moving through a list of candidates. I politely declined.

Another offer... They upped their offer. It was a nursing home. It seemed decent until I was told my hiring was going to force someone who was on light duty for a year into the desk job she previously refused. Great... Making enemies before even starting.

Received another interview request. I had verbally said I'd take an offer not an hour before the call. I went in thinking it couldn't hurt to hear what they had to offer. Never thought of it as anything other than just an interview and received a call early next day with an offer I couldn't refuse. I'm there over two months now and everything promised has happened. This place seemed genuinely happy about me. They've been great. Training is extensive but really good. If the rest of my career there is anything like the first few months have been, I'm going to be very happy.

I'm just saying pay attention to the littlest things. Tone, things said in passing... It might speak a lot louder than saying something directly you.

Best of luck to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Newgradnurse17 has 2 years experience as a BSN.

62 Likes; 2,810 Visitors; 246 Posts

I'm just finishing up my first year of practise. This is what I've learnt.

1. You will make mistakes. Report them appropriately and learn from them. Don't hide them or think or a bad nurse or think you'll get in trouble

2. There will be nurse that don't like you. Maybe a personality clash? Maybe they don't like new grads? Or maybe they are just a b***h. Either way. Remain profession. Don't let them get in the way of you doing your job. It will become clear who is in the wrong.

3. Document everything. Even if something happens during hand over that the oncoming staff know about and you don't think it's a bug deal. Every little thung needs to be documented. I had a nurse make up stories about me, luckily my boss could go back and read my documentation. My name was cleared. Hers was damaged.

4. You will have bad days where you think you can't do this. And you will have amazing days the reconfirmed why you became a nurse. Take it day by day. Stay in the same place for at least a year, you will notice you will have more good days as you get more experience. And even some of those nurses that you didn't like at the beginning might seem like they actually not to bad. It takes time to find you place. Things get better.

5. Never stop asking questions. Even if it's a really simple thing that you might be embarrassed by. Don't be. Better to do it right than messed it up. I remember asking someone how to change a catheter bag. They were shocked at first. Then happily showed me. Yes it was simple. But I had never done it before. Now i know what I'm doing. That goes for many new skills I've learnt this year, big and small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

neonn965 has 2 years experience.

2 Likes; 243 Visitors; 50 Posts

If something doesn't seem right with your patient or if you have any minor concern that something might not seem right in the future, keep assessing over and over and over. It's annoying to repeat a BP, or keep checking on output or something that you assume will remain WNL, but there are a few scenarios in the beginning that I really kicked myself for thinking "hm, I really should check on that again just in case, but I'm certain it's fine". The tasks are important, and being task oriented is normal in the beginning, but it is the ability to really ensure that your patient is 100% stable in every possible way and to address any deviation from normal immediately and thoroughly that will make you a good nurse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
advertisement

Meriwhen is a ASN, BSN, RN and works as a Psychiatric sheep...er, nurse.

38 Likes; 2 Followers; 2 Articles; 58,853 Visitors; 7,837 Posts

Never be afraid to ask questions.

Better to ask the question, even if you're afraid you'll get an eye-roll and a sigh, than to not ask the question and find out--usually the hard way--that you should have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×