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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
Scrubs Magazine is a lifestyle website 100 percent for and about nurses. Here you’ll find articles written by and for nurses about beauty, money, style, health, and wellness. Scrubsmag.com features active conversations with nurse bloggers ranging from a newly minted nurse to a seasoned RN to a misunderstood male nurse. Follow us on Twitter and friend us on Facebook.



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    HerbalNurse

    almost 4 years ago

    466 comments

    Great article. I would consider myself a long time nurse. I have been in management and currently am staffing. However, I am very entrepreneural, and my plan is to be self supporting as a nurse entrepreneur...

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    neerukp

    almost 4 years ago

    7442 comments

    Experience in the area of Work is always essential to gain confidence in rendering services and meeting the needs of individuals

  • Blue_birds_max50

    neerukp

    almost 4 years ago

    7442 comments

    One has to take care of themselves also., then only they are able to take care of others effectively., Basic Personal care like rest, relaxation, nutrition, air etc., are very much needed to have sound mind in a sound body

  • Blue_birds_max50

    neerukp

    almost 4 years ago

    7442 comments

    Education & Experience always makes the Professional to be confident in their Professional life

  • Blue_birds_max50

    neerukp

    almost 4 years ago

    7442 comments

    Advocation is always beneficial

  • Blue_birds_max50

    neerukp

    almost 4 years ago

    7442 comments

    Admitting our own mistakes is always beneficial either in personal & Professional life., Though at that moment it may be embarassing, but it will give calm mind, the person will not have any inhibitions or hesitations to interact further., moreover for their genuine nature they will be appreciated

  • Blue_birds_max50

    neerukp

    almost 4 years ago

    7442 comments

    Effective Therapeutic Communication skills always needed in all Professional activities. Concise, brief, accurate communication is very much needed., It helps the Nurses in our Interactions

  • Blue_birds_max50

    neerukp

    almost 4 years ago

    7442 comments

    "Experience makes men Perfect" yes i.e., true., It gives very confidence in all walks of life

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    carose1952

    almost 4 years ago

    6 comments

    Excellent article. There is always things to learn from "lifers" to a "newbee" I have been in nursing for over 32 years. I have seen so much change since being a grad. to now a "Lifer". I can no longer do bedside nursing so I now am a Nursing Supervisor. I advise any nurse to always feel challenged and continue learning. If not it is time to move on to another challenge. There is are always areas of nursing to seek our new challenges and learning.

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    Account Removed

    almost 4 years ago

    I really enjoyed reading this article. I have been nursing for 15 years. Only 15, wow. Anyway, nursing is really getting me down, I am thinking of moving on, which is sad because I never wanted to be anything else but a nurse. My mom is a nurse and my hero, but I may not make it to retirement as a nurse. I find the changes in nursing to be innovative in some areas, and down trodding in others. Sad!

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    jarebu

    almost 4 years ago

    2 comments

    The article brought out some great points. I have been a nurse for 32 years in a hospital, wow the changes. I miss actually taking care of the patients. With management changing policies daily , so much more computer documentation and demands of families of the patient it is hard to actually take care of the patient. Working 12 hours shift is the worst thing our hospital has gone, I have begged for an 8 hour shift, they will not give. The shifts are exhausting because it is not just 12 hours, many times ther is a need to stay over to chart. Nursing is very rewarding in many ways but the menta and physical stress is more than I can handle. I never can take a break at work and many times not a lunch . I think our profession needs an over haul. Many say why don't you change jobs , I checked other , but with so much to loose such retirement large cut it pay it would be difficult. I wish the new nurses the best and hope for changes.

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    chloelhuber

    almost 4 years ago

    2 comments

    This article is one huge "DUH". You get these qualities from experience; it doesn't take advice from a "lifer" to point this out.

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    nurseXY

    almost 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Thanks for the wisdom! I love reading about this stuff. Maybe I'll be a step ahead when I hit the floors for the first time in January. :)

  • Jen2_max50

    atyourcervix

    almost 4 years ago

    14 comments

    Excellent article! I have only been a nurse since 2001, but I can see the changes I have made from being a novice nurse upwards towards the more experienced nurse. I am much more laid back and relaxed in urgent/emergent situations - because I have a greater experience and knowledge base nine years later. I've always been hesitant about taking charge on the unit, but after doing it several times (actually, being tossed into it), it makes me appreciate other nurses even more for their charge nurse experience. I'm also working on my Masters degree - which has opened my eyes to so much more than bedside nursing.

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    dstavala

    almost 4 years ago

    4 comments

    Beautiful article; I feel the say way when I watch a seasoned nurse. Nice to see someone talking about what is admirable about our colleagues.

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