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Posted about 1 year ago
Do you remember what it was like to be a new nursing graduate? One day you were a student, and ‘poof,’ you were a nurse. Expectations ran high and responsibilities ran even higher. The cushion of ‘just being a student’ and having your instructor ultimately be responsible is gone in an instant. Do you remember the anxiety, fear and unsure feelings of those first few months?
When you are well into your own nursing career and overloaded with your own patients, it is easy to forget what it was like in the beginning. But wait, we need your active participation to help us integrate our new staff, now more than ever! In a profession that is one of the most trusted and respected in the world, it is embarrassing that we have a phenomenon known as ‘nurses eating their young’, the well known but little talked about, epidemic of senior nurses making work life even more challenging for their young counterparts. I am hopeful that the general public is unaware of this as it would be rather embarrassing for us!
Why do you think this exists? Do we feel that new graduates must ‘pay their dues,' that because no one supported us, we don’t need to support them? Is it our own insecurities? Are we worried they have newer, fresher knowledge, and that they will want our jobs?
Whatever our reasons, whether conscious or not, many of us are hurting rather than helping our new nurses integrate into our institutions. With the shortage of nurses so prevalent, wouldn’t it be in our best interest to help these ladies and gentlemen through their first and possibly most challenging year in the nursing profession?
Dr. Judy Boychuk Duchscher, RN, PhD, has made her life’s work helping new nurses transition into the workplace.
What’s in it for you? Well, supporting the profession, giving back to the nursing community and doing the right thing for starters.
Help your new staff not only survive but thrive with proper communication, patience and empathy. While you are busy with your own case load, consider a small amount of time and energy well invested by:
If you can help a new nursing graduate transition, not only will you likely have a fan for life, but you will be contributing to the profession. They will be more likely to pay it forward when they are senior staff, and you will be helping patients/residents/clients by ensuring that they have competent, capable and confident care.
You will be making a difference, and isn’t that what nursing is all about?