Jump to content

Words of Guidance to New Nurse

Nurses   (796 Views 21 Comments)
by MiladyMalarkey MiladyMalarkey (Member) Nurse

5,914 Profile Views; 471 Posts

I'm starting on a Neuro Tele floor soon, and have gone through and have read some advice to other new nurses in past posts and have seen some very good tips.   I suppose I'm looking for any other pointers or tips on transition from student to actual nurse that veteran nurses would feel are most important to know or reinforce the importance of.  It can be anything, from how to adjust to night shift, working with a preceptor, dealing with the transition, talking to docs/other nurses, if I should review anything, etc. Any words of wisdom appreciated.  Thanks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

5 Followers; 2,924 Posts; 18,791 Profile Views

Do not ever let the phrase "That's not how we did it in school" pass your lips. 🤐There are better ways to ask why something is being done differently. If you need examples let me know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

471 Posts; 5,914 Profile Views

8 hours ago, Wuzzie said:

"That's not how we did it in school" 

Blows my mind that someone would utter that to someone more experienced! 🤦‍♀️It shouldn't be surprising I suppose, but still is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

15 Followers; 153 Articles; 20,874 Posts; 188,396 Profile Views

Here's a great thread:

Adjusting to Night Shift

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JBMmom has 6 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care.

1 Follower; 767 Posts; 11,655 Profile Views

As much as you are trying to prepare ahead of time, don't get discouraged if you feel over your head at times. The learning curve can be steep, it doesn't mean you're failing. Be open to feedback, and try to find a brain/report sheet that helps you stay organized. You can successful, many others have, and your commitment to starting off right will surely help. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmc51264 has 7 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in orthopedic; Informatics.

2,622 Posts; 38,536 Profile Views

Working as a nurse is a complete 180 from school. I feel that new grads are sometimes coming out with unrealistic expectations. Nursing is hard (nursing school is really hard too, just different). Be open, ask questions, and know that there is learning curve as others have said. You don't have to be perfect!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no.intervention.required has 5 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in SCRN.

166 Posts; 4,465 Profile Views

Know that no question is ever stupid. Preceptors like and encourage questions.  Practice SBAR communication, especially with doctors. I found that the R portion is often  hardest for new nurses, you can replace it with "please, advise" early on, until you get experience from different situations that you are in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

21 Posts; 159 Profile Views

I'm only about 6 months into my nursing career, so not a veteran by any means, but I was in your shoes a short while ago so I thought I would chime in. It sounds like you're starting out on a challenging floor. The most important piece of advice I can offer is NEVER be afraid to ask questions. I'm in the ICU, and I ask questions all the time. Trust me, it's way better to ask a lot of questions than to try and guess yourself through something that you aren't sure about. Some other things that come to mind:

-I personally wouldn't worry too much about reviewing stuff before you start on the unit. Give it a couple weeks to see what the common diagnoses on your unit are, meds you come across frequently, etc. If you come across something and you know nothing about it, google it. But as far as studying ahead of time, I wouldn't worry about it.

-Don't expect too much right away. I'm not sure what kind of orientation you get, but start off with very limited expectations

-Celebrate the small accomplishments. The first time you hang IV meds and program the pump alone, the first time a family member compliments you, the first time you give report. It's daunting starting out as a brand new nurse, and if you think about everything you don't know, you'll never feel like you're getting anywhere. Celebrating the small accomplishments is a good way to acknowledge your progress and prove to yourself that you are getting there.

-Lastly, coming off of orientation and being on your own is terrifying. I am very fresh out of orientation, so I am still in that phase of being uneasy and nervous heading into work. As you progress through orientation, your preceptors should be backing off and letting you run the show. I found that what helped me the most once I was officially on my own, was to not think "oh my god, I'm on my own and all by myself". I go into work with the mindset that I am still in orientation, and my preceptor (whether they are actually there or not) is on the other end of the unit if I need them. Meaning, I treat it like it's any other day, and if I need help or get lost, I can always ask for help. So much emphasis is put on "being on your own", when really you are never "on your own". Yes you will be the primary nurse responsible for patients, but there are always people on the unit who can help you.

 

Good luck, you can do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

beekindRN is a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU.

39 Posts; 585 Profile Views

50 minutes ago, Bearcat-RN said:

I found that what helped me the most once I was officially on my own, was to not think "oh my god, I'm on my own and all by myself". I go into work with the mindset that I am still in orientation, and my preceptor (whether they are actually there or not) is on the other end of the unit if I need them. Meaning, I treat it like it's any other day, and if I need help or get lost, I can always ask for help. So much emphasis is put on "being on your own", when really you are never "on your own". Yes you will be the primary nurse responsible for patients, but there are always people on the unit who can help you.

1000x times yes! I'm not sure how your schedule is done, but I'm able to view online everyone who will be working with me. I like to pick a "preceptor," so I never go into a shift clueless. I know who loves to teach and who is receptive to helping me improve my skills. Usually it's our charge nurse,  but sometimes a staff nurse is just that good! 

I'm also very honest. If I am experiencing something new or unfamiliar, I let our charge and a couple staff nurses know. This way, they check in frequently to see if I need help. That's a huge help, and I feel less dumb asking for advice and help.

Good luck! This is such an exciting time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

6 Posts; 325 Profile Views

On 8/12/2019 at 2:27 PM, Wuzzie said:

Do not ever let the phrase "That's not how we did it in school" pass your lips. 🤐There are better ways to ask why something is being done differently. If you need examples let me know.

Is it better to say "I was taught ______ way in school. In you experience is this applicable/a better way" etc? I am about to graduate and am doing my final rotation on an ortho med surg unit and when things aren't done the way they teach at school I just keep my mouth shut because 1) we are busy and I don't want to slow us down 2) I don't want to come off rude. I do want to learn best practice though.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

1,021 Posts; 7,285 Profile Views

6 minutes ago, kaha2321 said:

Is it better to say "I was taught ______ way in school. In you experience is this applicable/a better way" etc? I am about to graduate and am doing my final rotation on an ortho med surg unit and when things aren't done the way they teach at school I just keep my mouth shut because 1) we are busy and I don't want to slow us down 2) I don't want to come off rude. I do want to learn best practice though.

Thanks

I tell my orientees to forget nursing school and NCLEX.  You are being taught the NCLEX way in nursing school which is not at all close to real world.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×