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7 Things to Learn from a "Lifer" Nurse

Prisca Smith | Scrubs Magazine

You’ve got a lot to learn, grasshopper!

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the differences between seasoned nurses, whom we call “lifers” because they will likely retire on our floor and have been around a long time, and new nurses.

This probably has something to do with the fact that, in my new job, I am working with nurses who have been in the profession and specialty for 10+ years—there are not many newbies around. Some of these nurses will retire in a few years having been on the same unit their whole career!

The other night I watched a 25+ year nurse as she calmly took a verbal berating from a doctor — only to put him in his place using some evidence-based jargon that had my head reeling!

This is so different in that I am coming from a hospital where new grads moved up the ranks and ran the show at three to four years in, only to burn out and move on. In fact, when I was hired as a new grad, my previous manager told me that the unit had a “burn-out rate” of one year—new grads got their initial experience then moved on.

So, what does my future look like as a seasoned nurse? What can you expect if you’re planning on being a “lifer?”

What are the common traits in nurses with loads of experience?

#1: Lifers are Calmer →

Featured Author: SCRUBS MAGAZINE
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