Jump to content

What you wished you knew before starting your first job......?


Hi to all,

I'm just beginning to look for my 1st job and I would love to know:

What would you recommend to a new LPN to make the transition from student to real world nurse easier?

Is there anything you wished you had reviewed, studied more or did before taking that first job?

I Know:

"Good Luck if I can even find a job."

I really appreciate any tips or advice.

Thanks so Much,



Specializes in LTC, Neurology, Rehab, Pain Management,.

As overwhelming as it is, I would have asked more questions about what the expectations are and would reqest a really organized mentor to show me the ropes. I like being very organized and floundering in nursing is not an option for me.


Specializes in LTC.

I agree you must have organization . A scattered nurse isn't productive. That's the kind that trained me and omg was I confused. Always keep an extra pen and sticky note pad w you . I keep neon ones w me and joy notes down as I go on my medpass and it helps me when I chart. Learn the paperwork and protocols even if it means making a notebook for yourself to use as a reference . I did that as a newbie and lots of the more experienced nurses used my book when they would run out of forms or forgot how to fill something out.


Specializes in LTC, Neurology, Rehab, Pain Management,.

Learning the paperwork is key. We have a paperless system, but for med passes we have a printout to keep us organized which is key and very helpful. I use this along with different colored highlighters to bring my attention to certain things and/or at certain times. I usually use pink for fingerticks and a line for inserting the result, I also use say blue for prn's given and a follow up outcome for pain management. You can come up with your own thing for whatever works for you and your particular style to make documentation doable.

When you get an interview, no matter how lovely the facility seems--request a "shadow day" to follow a staff member around and see what it's really like doing that job there. It is easy to think a facility sounds great from all the perks they offer, but sometimes the job load can be too much for a new nurse with little or no experience. Most facilities are more than willing to agree to that because it saves them from having a large employee turn-over too.

And, for the love of your license, if you where taught a protocol in school, and the staff at your facility thinks it is "silly" or a waste of time, it is still okay to err on the side of caution and follow the protocol you were taught. There is nothing wrong with working with a safety net. Even if that means asking another nurse for 2 minutes of his/her time to clarify something for you or refresh you on a skill.

I'd rather be laughed at for admitting I didn't feel safe or didn't know something than be laughed at for harming a patient with my own incompetence.

Good luck to you!


Specializes in A and E, Medicine, Surgery.

The biggest piece of advice I would give to anyone newly qualified is to walk before you run. This is time that you set the foundations of the practice that will define the course of your career. Get it right now and you will be well set in the future.

Enjoy the luxury of people not expecting you to know everything. Identify the nurses with the personalities that lend them to enjoying supporting and empowering new nurses.

So often I see new nurses who desperately want to run up the promotion ladder and if you have the want this and have the ability that is all there for you but right now kick back and indulge in this protected time.

Oh and of course enjoy ther experience you have worked so hard to achieve this so indulge in a little bit of self praise. :)