Congratulations!! You have achieved those things that you really wanted – you’ve finished nursing school, passed the NCLEX and now you probably secured your first job as a nurse or you are waiting to get one. So what’s next, how ready are you for the tasks ahead? There are challenges ahead and most graduates feel overwhelmed and unprepared; as a matter of fact, some new nurses find it hard to keep their first job past their orientation time.
I remember when I finished nursing school, honestly, it was a great achievement to become a nurse but then the reality of this lovely and wonderful profession can be shocking. As a graduate or new nurse, you really do not know everything; yes, you passed every test but you are still learning and now you learn where you work. Note that as a new nurse, you are not expected to have answers to every question. So here are some ideas to help get through your first year as a Nurse.
- Be Patient: Remember you are still learning, you don’t know everything, and there are some questions you may not be to answer right away. Give yourself time to learn and you will surely get there. The same thing applied to the unit you work, it will take some time for you to know all the policies and get used to the unit in general. So do not be harsh on yourself. If there is anything you don’t know, don’t feel bad because it is okay. Be Patient; take one day at a time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask: one of those things that will help you to learn is asking questions. This is a sign that you are ready to learn, and that you do not want to make mistakes. Making assumptions when you don’t know what to do will only lead to mistakes. Remember you are a nurse, and that you are taking care of people – mistakes could be bad, so ask questions. Protect your practice.
- Take care of yourself: this is where you will need to do a head to toe assessment on yourself. Believe me; I do this all the time, even now. Working as a nurse is very demanding and you will be on your feet for longer hours. So it is highly important to look at yourself, assess and plan for the future. You do not want to break down, eat good food, drink adequate amount of fluid exercise and wear comfortable shoes.
- Don’t take it home: just like the employer does not want you to bring your home to work, don’t take work home either. Things will happen but once you give report to the coming nurse; that is the end of your shift. You need to go home rest your body, eat good food and prepare for another day. And when someone wrongs you on the job, remember no one is perfect; don’t take it home.
- Be grateful and believe in yourself: you have come a long way, look back at where you started and see where you are now. Take a look at the nursing curriculum that you’ve learned from, all the exams you took and passed, time to be grateful. Not everyone that started finished. Also belief in yourself, you are a professional nurse, you are licensed and authorized to practice. You can do it, with patience and readiness to learn all you can; it will surely come together.
Welcome to the nursing profession!!!