Career Advice for New Nurses
What advice do you have for new nurses?
Marijke Durning | NursingLink
We’ve all been there: a new graduate nurse, trying to find her way now that she’s no longer a student; or a nurse who has changed specialties with no experience in that area. Did we want advice? Did we solicit advice? Chances are, yes, we did want it, but soliciting it may have been a bit harder.
Now, as a more experienced nurse, if you see someone who could use a helping hand, do you offer advice? Or do you wait until it’s asked for?
Advice can be a touchy thing, both appreciated and resented, depending on the situation. It’s a balancing act: you want to avoid making other nurses feel like they aren’t doing their job, while still offering helpful and pertinent advice based on your experiences. It’s especially hard not to share advice if you see someone struggling when you know there’s a much easier way to do something.
Just as in other professions, nursing has issues that are both unique to nursing and fairly common to new nurses. And, while most hospitals and facilities arrange for orientations and preceptors, there may be a time when a new nurse feels alone and unsure of what to do.
1. Everyone makes mistakes. The difference though, is between the people who make mistakes and learn from them, versus the people who deny their mistakes.
2. Don’t guess, ever. Ask, look up, and double check if you don’t know something.
3. No matter how educated you are or how much experience you have, you are never above taking a moment to speak with a patient, touch a shoulder, or share a smile.
4. Talk TO the patient, not at her.
5. Never ignore the patient in the room while giving care, no matter what his conscious state may be.
6. Any nurse who says he has never made a mistake is unaware or not being truthful.
7. Trust your gut instinct. You can double check, but there’s a reason why we have first reactions.