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10 Tips for Starting a New Job Off on the Right Foot

10 Tips for Starting a New Job Off on the Right Foot

Megan Malugani | Monster Contributing Writer

Starting a new nursing job is a time filled with promise and expectations, but it’s also tinged with uncertainty. To help assure your success, heed the advice of experienced nurses. They can help you steer clear of potential missteps and suggest strategies that can help ensure a smooth transition to your new environment.

1. Leverage Your Orientation

Take advantage of every learning opportunity, urges Jean Mills, RN, MS, clinical instructor with the University of Illinois College of Nursing. Even experienced nurses actively engage in new employee orientations. At the end of your orientation, if you don’t feel comfortable working without your mentor, or if you feel shaky in certain situations or with certain procedures, ask to be reoriented by the staff education department, Mills suggests.

2. Get the Max from Your Mentor

Work closely with your assigned mentor or preceptor to share in her wisdom. Mismatches do occur, so if you aren’t hitting it off, speak to the unit manager about getting assigned to a new mentor. Once formal mentoring ends, seek out informal mentors. “Find seasoned nurses willing to take you under their wing,” says Nancy DiDona, EdD, RNC, coordinator of the traditional program in nursing at Dominican College.

3. Stay Out of the Dirt

It’s tempting to get caught up in unhealthy dynamics when you’re new and trying to fit in. But don’t do it. Step back, assess the situation and develop an appropriate professional response. Ask, “Is there a better way we can handle this?” Or say, “This is what I’m hearing.” Both are positive ways of getting people to reflect on what is happening.

4. Bond with Your Team

Build good will by offering to help colleagues in a difficult situation. Hopefully, they’ll return the favor. Get to know your coworkers. “Socialization is so important,” says Patricia McLaughlin, MSN, staff nurse at the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. “You don’t have to go out to lunch or send birthday cards, but at least find out about people.” As a new nurse, you’re vulnerable to being dumped on, so being a team player can help prevent that from happening.

5. Be Teachable

Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions — doing so can benefit both you and the person you’re asking. “Sometimes questions from new people make you as the leader see things differently,” McLaughlin says. Questions can also prevent mistakes, notes McLaughlin who recalls the time a question from a colleague prevented her from making a medication error.

Next: Keep Your Eyes Open >>


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  • Nurse-jackie-showtime_max50

    afterwop

    almost 3 years ago

    58 comments

    If you are a brand new nurse, how would you want the experienced nurses to treat you? Would you want them to cut you some slack for the mistakes that you make or would you want them to gossip about you behind your back and talk about how incompetent you are for making those mistakes? If you were hired through peo companies then you're most likely one of the best candidates for the job, and it's important that you start off on the right foot. Sometimes it's good to worry about yourself, your job, and your studies.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    omeconium

    almost 5 years ago

    2 comments

    "...to share in her wisdom." Ladies, please get used to the idea that nursing is not a woman's world. For years, you fought against sexism. Now that you have the opportunity, you are doing the same to male nurses that men did to female doctors. We are in OB/GYN and L&D just as you have been in urology. Sexism is wrong from males or females. Do you really want to go back to the days of white dresses, silly hats, and standing when the doctor comes in the room? We are all professionals doing all we can for our patients. Our gender should be (and is) irrelevant.

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    srfaller

    over 5 years ago

    22 comments

    Very enlightening article. As a graduate nurse the article helps shed light on how to keep things running as smooth as possible and how to successfully start my career.

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    kstiltner1

    over 5 years ago

    7170 comments

    Good article.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    gavkei

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I think that this article about one's first year in nursing is very good. Oftentimes a person can get disenchanted during their first year on the job. Keep up the good work.

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