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8 weeks of orientation for a new grad?

Posted
by DU15 DU15 Member

Hello all,

I just had an interview for a position as a med/surg RN at a local teaching hospital. I was told that the orientation is about 8-10 weeks. Is that enough time for a newly registered nurse?

I went to nursing school straight from high school, so it's not like I've had any other work experience. I am worried that I might not be able to pick things up as quickly as they need me to. Does 8 weeks sounds doable?

I was hoping for at least 12 weeks minimum. I don't really know if it would be a bad idea to throw myself into this or not. I was also told that the floor is very very busy and difficult and that my work load will be heavy and very high acuity. So this is all just making me very nervous. I want to succeed and be a great nurse, but I'm worried that this is setting me up for failure.

Any advice from experienced nurses out there?

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Are you the first new grad that has been hired on this floor? If not, how did they handle other new grads who weren't quite ready to be solo after 8 weeks of orientation? It's quite possible that the unit would be willing to extend orientation for those who need it on a case by case basis.

SubSippi

Has 2 years experience.

You'll feel overwhelmed, but you'll be fine. 12 weeks is excessive for med-surg. I think I got six weeks and it was okay. Just remember that when you're working in a hospital, you will always have lots of people around to help you and to answer questions.

And I'm pretty sure most places will add an extra couple of weeks to orientation if you're struggling. Good luck!

Thank you both for your responses.

I was told that the floor is a "medical" floor, but it also has a INCU section that I will also be working in. They said that they take anything from a stubbed toe to trauma patients (gun shot wounds, etc). I will need to be telemetry and ACLS certified as well.

That's really what made me nervous. It's not JUST a med/surg floor. It's much more than that. I'm just hoping that I can be allowed some extra time IF I were to need it..

Everline

Specializes in public health, women's health, reproductive health.

I am not an experienced nurse. But for what it's worth, the way you describe the floor makes me think 8 weeks is not enough time. But then, everyone is different and you may be a faster learner under intense pressure than I am. Just make sure, as others have said, that they will extend your orientation if needed. Good luck to you!

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Are you the first new grad that has been hired on this floor? If not, how did they handle other new grads who weren't quite ready to be solo after 8 weeks of orientation? It's quite possible that the unit would be willing to extend orientation for those who need it on a case by case basis.

I agree, hopefully they will work with you until you're comfortable. 8 weeks is on the short side, but it is what it is, and it is a job in acute care (not always easy to get). Best wishes

I agree, hopefully they will work with you until you're comfortable. 8 weeks is on the short side, but it is what it is, and it is a job in acute care (not always easy to get). Best wishes

Thank you so much! I didn't really see it that way. I should be grateful to even have the opportunity. I just don't want to disappoint.

Thank you all for your kind replies :)

SubSippi

Has 2 years experience.

Thank you so much! I didn't really see it that way. I should be grateful to even have the opportunity. I just don't want to disappoint.

Thank you all for your kind replies :)

Don't worry about disappointing them, they know you're a new grad and don't expect you to be any kind of expert.

Your coworkers will expect you to have a good attitude, ask questions, pay attention, and be proactive.

But your first code? I'm willing to bet you'll have way more help than you need.

Hey DU15, BSN, RN!!!!

Technically speaking, 8 weeks of orientaion is not really enough for a new graduate on a med/surg floor especially if one was not exposed too a lot of clinical experience whilst in nursing school. I only had 6 weeks of orientation on the unit am currently working on. Also, My main preceptors had less than 1yr experience. What really helped me was my exposure to a lot of clinical experience because I went to a Diploma school and am also a fast learner. Some people I started with struggled and had to ask for extra orientation days because they were not comfortable being on their own. Usually, your assignments are based on your level of experience. Make the best out of your learning experience and ALWAYS, ALWAYS ask questions when you're not sure of something. Anyways, hope you accepted the job offer because its nowadays, its quite challenging to get a job as a new graduate. Best wishes!!!

Thank you, Pearl83!

I haven't actually received the job offer yet. This was all information that was shared with me during the interview process. I am still waiting to hear back from them, hopefully it won't be much longer. If I do receive an offer, I will definitely accept it. I was only concerned due to being a new grad and not wanting to put my license or my patients in danger.

I have worked previously as a nursing assistant for about a year. Although that does help to a certain extent, I still feel that being an RN is entirely different. Perhaps I am just doubting myself too much!

Either way, I am crossing my fingers and hoping to have supportive staff that will be willing to help me learn and get better at my job. I don't want to be rushed to take my own assignment because of low staffing, especially if I haven't had enough training. But I guess that could be a possibility at any hospital, the way things are going.

Still, I am willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. I won't let myself down! -ends rant- sorry :)

8 weeks is enough for you to manage low to mild acuity patient load. also, keep in mind you WILL NOT learn everything during orientation. it's not possible. there are parameters in place to keep you from making mistakes. however, they WILL happen.

use your charge nurse as a resource.

patient care/safety is priority... not customer service. REMEMBER this well.

cover your ass when your gut tells you to. PERSONAL NOTES

don't worry about time management... it will come with experience. you'll learn how to cut corners that will not get you fired or kill your patient.

8 weeks is enough for you to manage low to mild acuity patient load.

Thank you so much for your advice. As far as acuity goes, the floor that I got hired is very high acuity and a very heavy load for nurses. I was told this straight up during my interview to be prepared.

I was told that orientation can be extended up to 10 weeks depending on how I'm doing. Hopefully 10 weeks will be enough. I know that it'll take time for me to feel like I can take a whole assignment by myself, but I at least want to get to a point where I'm not chaotically disorganized and frantic the entire shift haha.