What Kind Of Orientation Did You Get?

Nurses General Nursing




6,011 Posts


Formerly Ortho

4 days



It was in 1977 however. The "good" old days.


118 Posts

mental health

2 days included corporate orientation plus computerised community mental records program training and aggression management course of another 2 days

I had a pretty "Bad" orientation. Lord knows it was stressful! They hired me for 11-3 on Ortho. Then they changed me to 7-7 on Neuro. Then they closed the wing. *sigh*

I was assigned to a pretty good nurse, but a pretty bad preceptor. She was continually out of sorts (Maybe it was me?) and patients actually complained to charge nurses about the way she treated me. Once I was looking at a chest tube drainage system (I did mention that they closed our floor and we floated?) and something about the way I did it irritated her and she said something I won't repeat and took a sheet that I was going to kneel on and THREW it on the floor just muttering and muttering.

Then they opened a floor for us to work on and there I was with weeks of experience, but not on THAT floor. I think there is a reason that they discourage new grads from floating. *I* ended up doing it, without the extra pay!!!

Then I went to nights, and I got a night preceptor who immediately went off on holiday and I was with a *different* preceptor who was actually the victim of "mobbing" like in a different thread. So I got into the middle of that.

Oh yeah, I didn't get a lot out of my orientation, that's for sure!

But I think my REAL orientation (eye-opener) was when a nurse got pregnant and her doctor wanted her to go to lighter duty. Because she didn't have a work-related injury, the hospital wasn't REQUIRED to give her light duty. So they didn't. I don't remember if she used up all her sick time and vacation time, or if she lost her job or what... But I do know she is now working elsewhere!




626 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Long Term Care.

Just out of nursing school and a week after taking my boards in 1993, I started full-time 3-11 shift as a GN at a LTC facility. I had three days of orientation and that was it. Somebody got fired and I was off orientation. I likened it to being a non-swimmer, and after only three swimming lessons, being thrown into deep water (and the sharks were circling, too... :eek: ) Suffice it to say, my first few months were pretty horrendous. There were nights I drove my 35-minute route home wailing and weeping, seeing the traffic lights through a blur of tears. :o

Subsequent orientations in previous Med-Surg positions I took were not much better. A mish-mash of preceptors, none well-trained at orientation, and my first year on Med-Surg was on night shift with only one other RN as my resource person.

I could say more, but I'm trying to forget about those times in my career; I sometimes feel like I have a small amount of PTSD from those beginning years and it's only by the grace and help of God that I stuck it out. :stone Sorry to be negative here-- Just my own experience. On a positive note, I've witnessed some excellent orientation occuring with the new grads and a number of new hires returning to nursing on our Med-Surg floor and am envious of their orientation, but also happy for them.

The blessing from my own bad experiences is that I am extremely empathetic to new nurses and I love to mentor and encourage them. I've held GN's while they were crying and also given pep talks as needed, and it gives what I suffered some meaning and purpose when I can help.:p


458 Posts

Operating Room

9 month training period

I think I will be very well prepared when I get off my training in a month. It will still take at least another year to be "comfortable", or so I've been told.



29 Posts

I work on a medicine unit. I had one day of orientation (7-3 pm, although I was hired to do both 7-7 days and nights) and then one day (7-3 again) with another nurse "available" to me. I've been there for 4 months, had 1/2 a shift of orientation (we were short) to charge and now I'm doing it!


4,516 Posts

Orientation?? What is that? LOL! ;)

After the mandatory classroom 1-2 days of hospital orientation, I've then gone to my new unit which is ALWAYS understaffed, and nobody EVER has time to orient...so I've never really had one. It's all been OJT for me and I've always taken responsibility for my own learning. But I'm also a quick study and was fortunate to have attended an excellent diploma nursing program within a teaching hospital which gave me good preparation for being 'thrown to the wolves' after graduation. We really were functioning as medsurg teamleaders by our senior rotations and were capable practitioners on graduation.

IMO, it's too bad all nurses aren't trained more in the old 'diploma style'---there would be lots less 'bailing' of new grads who never knew what they were getting into ahead of time; they would have more confidence and be less needy out of school. So many new grads come onto the unit with so very little practical experience that it's stressful for everyone involved...possibly a reason so many feel "eaten alive". The new grad's needs are just one more stressor added to an overworked nurse's day. So new grads, try and understand if us old nurses get a bit cranky sometimes! We love ya but we're SOOOO tired!!


296 Posts

4 weeks orientation on day's. 2 weeks on midnights. I hired in on midnight shift.

The supervisor was/is willing to give longer orientation if they find it necessary.


626 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Long Term Care.

Mattsmom, in my experience, the Diploma graduates trained in hospitals that I've worked with have always been way more prepared, confident, and competent as new grads. I envied their training and preparation, and learned a lot from them.

nursedawn67, LPN

1,046 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, LTC.

My very first nursing job I came in at 9am to sign my paperwork and do the hiring process and they informed me that I was orientatating that night (mind you I worked the 7p-7a shift for the first time ever!) I orientated with a nurse that night, all night long followed her around and tried to learn while I'm half asleep. The next night I was scheduled to "orientate" again, I got there they looked at me and said you start on that hall someone will try to come help you in bit. Someone came alright but just kept leaving because she had her own hall! The 3rd night was exactly the same. And that was it for orientation. I was so nervous, I was never a nurse before, this was my first job. And in nurse school you have maybe 2 patients to take care of, and now I have 23 or 25 residents!

My current job I had 2 good weeks of orientation, that was great gave me time to learn the facility and the residents. The only thing was I orientated day shift most of that time, even though I was night shift. But at least I got an orientation here.


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