The first few months after becoming a new nurse will be very stressful. It’ll definitely take some getting used to as you transform from the nursing student to the fully responsible nurse professional in a short period of time. Typically, it takes about 90 days after you receive your first position before you begin to fully comprehend all your responsibilities and really get comfortable with your new environment—each day you will be gaining new skills and confidence! By the end of the first year, you should be pretty set!
- Patience- as a new nurse, it is essential to be patient with yourself. There is no way you’re going to know all of the answers or how to do everything exactly right off the bat. It will take time to learn from your facilities specific peers and mentors—not everywhere will operate the same. It is common to feel as if you aren’t prepared, but you will learn through experience and be an expert in no time.
- Optimize your knowledge– familiarizing yourself with the multiple systems used in facilities across the nation is a must. Utilize the free training of systems used at your hospital, having beyond the basic knowledge of the programs used will help to make you stand out in the sea of new nursing grads.
- Volunteer– the best way to get your foot in the door is to do volunteer work. Most agencies seek to hire nurses with experience, and volunteering will give you just that. It will also allow you to learn hands on from mentors within the facility. It is very beneficial to volunteer for positions in the specialty field you’d like to flourish in, that way you get hands on experience with materials you will be using most.
- Ask questions– if you are unclear about a certain procedure or report do not hesitate to ask questions. Your mentors will be more than happy to take an extra minute explaining something to you. You want to be sure you’re learning how to do everything the correct way the first time, rather than having to change your routine down the road.
- Help others- even though you may be inexperienced, you can always offer a helping hand to a needy coworker. You may be able to learn a few things from the person you are helping—it’s more likely that they will help you in return!
- Show initiative– just because you are a new grad, doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing. You may not have as much experience as others in your facility, but mentors love seeing initiative being taken from the underdogs. Don’t wait to be appointed during a familiar procedure, if someone needs an IV and that’s your expertise, go ahead and do it! Also, make it a point to ask to be apart of procedures that are new to you, so you can gain the experience you need from them.
Being a new grad from any school is a challenge, but we’re here to help you land that perfect nursing job! Especially if you dream of becoming a travel nurse, it’s good to know what qualifications travel-nursing agencies are looking for so that you’ll need to help you be ahead of the bunch!