What's up with veteran nurses hating on new grads?


Several times in the past few weeks, I have heard rather disparaging remarks about new grads all over the hospital. Maybe some of you veteran nurses can shed a little light as to what the issue is? I work as hard as the next nurse, and my actions and gestures are discounted because I'm a new grad? The sad thing is I worked with these nurses as a tech and they were all so excited when I passed NCLEX and got my job. Do they not remember that they once were new nurses too?


11 Posts

This is what I believe makes nursing unfair. The new nurses have the right to get the best orientation and learn in a positive environment. It is very unfortunate that this is not so in some circumstances. Some of the veteran nurses- just some--think it is a hindrance and time consuming to take in a new nurse and train them. It puts them in a bind with more stress to get work done in a timely manner and clockout on time. The preceptors are usually responsible for this but they may have been pressured to do this--or not-- and would rather pass it on to someone else. Like I said, it places more work on the veteran to have to deal with this and not get paid extra for it and also to be pressured to do this when they may not have a choice. It does not justify this behavior, but it is one of my gripes because the system we use is flawed and there has got to be a better way to make everyone happy-unfortunately, I have no answer.

allnurses Guide

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

2 Articles; 6,837 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 12 years experience.

This is not a 'dis on the OP, but I am just so tired of this topic (and I am a new grad). I think if one looks for problems, one is always going to find them. There are "not nice" people everywhere and being insecure/unsure/new makes one very aware of them, moreso than they would be if they were confident. But I promise, there are nice people everywhere too and if one put as much effort into tuning their ear and attention for them, they will be found. Life is just really what one makes of it. Toxic co-workers do exist, it is true. In every profession. Nursing is no different. Some places will be better (or worse) than others, just like any other field. Is it nice to have a warm, welcoming environment with plenty of hand holding and "atta girl/boy"'s thrown in? Yes. Does it suck when that is not there? Yes. Is there a higher prevalence of impatient experienced employees these days? Probably...everyone is already stretched to the limit due to low staffing, pay cuts, lay-offs, worries, etc. Throw a new grad into the mix and people are probably going to complain and be less than shiny happy. Does that warrant the amount of attention it gets? No. Shrug it off! Just like any crabby person, I pretty much deal with it with the attitude that maybe (just maybe!) it isn't about ME. They might be reflecting it toward me, but chances are I just am not that important.

If the workplace stinks, look for something else. Yes, it will take time in this economy to find something else and that too stinks. That is just kind of the way it is right now. Change what you can. Recognize what you can't. Half the battle to contentment in life is learning to focus where one expends one's emotional energy.

I am positive the OP was just trying to stir conversation, so this is not directed at her/him. More just a generality.

Altra, BSN, RN

6,255 Posts

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.
I am positive the OP was just trying to stir conversation, so this is not directed at her/him. More just a generality.


Think about the logic. Of course an inexperienced nurse is not functioning at the same level as a more experienced, competent nurse. It is a drain on the flow of the unit as a whole.

Better environments recognize this, and adapt accordingly -- by choosing preceptors who really have an aptitude to teach, maintaining a small number of new grads starting on a unit at any one time, building time for classroom/reflection/other off-unit activities into the orientation schedule, etc. But even in a positive environment, sometimes, in the heat of the moment when a patient's health/safety is at stake ... tempers may fray a bit.

It doesn't mean that anyone hates you personally. It doesn't mean that you need to look for a new job. It means that there was frustration/stress expressed at that moment. And that's all.

Life isn't fair. It isn't even about "fairness".

So OP ... consider the possibility that no one is "hating on" you. Does that make a difference in how you perceive your next shift?

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.
:yawn:.........and the next post will be about nurses eating their young..:icon_roll
Specializes in cardiology/oncology/MICU. Has 3 years experience.
:yawn:.........and the next post will be about nurses eating their young..:icon_roll

That is for certain. I had to take a break from AN for a while due to the utter negativity. I like the technical posts about actual nursing practice, not the whiny nonsense that is put on this website about nursing school, old nurses, new nurses, no jobs, bad jobs, mean bosses and the like. Let us get back to talking about issues that will help grow our practice. If people are mean, oh well. If instructors are tough, oh well. If your job is terrible, oh well. Deal with it like the rest of the world does, and remember that YOU chose to be a nurse. If all else fails, there is always a job at walmart or as part of the waitstaff at the local dive!

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.

I agree with Altra. On my unit right now, we've had seven nurses leave in the past 6 months, all of whom had at least 3 years experience. We hired 2 new grads in the summer and another 2 started last week. Nothing against these new grads (I was a new grad myself once), but it IS a stress to the unit to have so many people who are not only new to the unit but new to nursing. For my unit, this means we are basically working 5 nurses down in the midst of a very busy time. It's just how it is.


308 Posts

Has 2 years experience.

Just to add another thought to the discussion.

In this day and age it may be job insecurity. The more established nurses may have a feel for the hospital that tells them that these newbies are being brought in for cheaper replacement purposes. I have nothing concrete to base this on other than the belief that there are some organizations that will nickel and dime the bottom line any-which-way they can.

Normally I don't go in for conspiracy theories but hey, Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they aren't out to get you.


247 Posts

Specializes in Oncall Hospice RN. Has 12 years experience.

I left the hospital scene after enduring "bullying" behavior from the veteran nurses. I now have to drive all over Houston to care for hospice patients, but it's worth not having to watch your back from disingenuous co-workers.

Has 33 years experience.

I enjoy teaching and mentoring every new grad.

I think the heart and soul of (veteran) nurses is proven with this situation.

You are either a good person.. or a beeyotch.


917 Posts

Is OP talking about veteran nurses working at VA hospital? So the working condition at VA is not good for new grads?