Thursday, May 22, 2008

Congratulations New Grads!!

Welcome to the world of nursing! The best advice I can give you is to find a job where you have a long orientation. If you can find one that offers a new grad residency program, go for it.

This is a new model in new nurse orientation and is beginning to appear in hospitals all around the country. It's a year long program designed to support new nurses through the ups and owns of their first year as a nurse.

Most orientation programs are six months or less, and usually about six months is when new nurses suddenly feel overwhelmed and stupid. And just at the point where they need even more moral support, they get thrown into the real world to sink or swim. Unfortunately, too many times they give up.

Whether or not you are lucky enough to find such a program, do remember that you need to give yourself a WHOLE YEAR before you're going to begin to feel comfortable in your new role. Somewhere about six months down the line you'll really feel like this has been a mistake. Don't listen to that little voice!

Give yourself credit for what you have accomplished and time to feel comfortable. About nine to twelve months into it you will begin to find your confidence again. And you will see that you ARE a good nurse!!!

Research has shown this to be the case with the majority of new nurses so you are not alone! This will be the time to really seek out a mentor or to go back and review some of your text books. This will help you to realize that you do KNOW what you are doing.

Remember also that nursing is a lifelong learning experience. There will always be new things to learn how to do and procedures that change. You will have to leave your comfort zone often. But in doing so, you are doing something that makes a difference in someone's life everyday. Take stock in the little accomplishments everyday!!! You are a NURSE!

photo: Justas Cekas