Your alarm clock buzzes, and you sprint to get up, you’re filled with feelings of joy, nervousness, excitement and curiosity. You’re a new nursing graduate and it’s your first day putting that degree into action! You’ve worked hard earning those letters behind your name (LPN/VN, RN, ADN, and/or BSN), but now the moment of truth…how will your first day go?!
It’s a sure bet that you have preconceived ideas of how your first day will go and are questioning if your preceptor will be encouraging or one of “those” crotchety nurses who eats their young. Regardless, you’re stoked to be a nurse, make money, and start your career!
Picture this: As you arrive to the floor and meet your preceptor, he/she seems cool however, they are ambivalent to your presence and not the nurturing nurse you had hoped for. If this scenario rings true for you, don’t get discouraged. Many of us have experienced this same scenario at the beginning of our nursing careers and I promise you IT GETS BETTER!
As a seasoned nurse, I still remember my very first day on the job, you never forget those terrible preceptors. My preceptor’s name was Karen (yes, seriously) and she was the most wretched nurse you could imagine. By lunch time, I was in my car crying and feeling inadequate and questioning my capabilities as a nurse. She had broken me down and failed to build me up and I was spiraling down a hole of self-deprecation. By now, you may be feeling the same or perhaps you were lucky enough to have a wonderful preceptor.
The advice I’m about to share with you will help you along your journey as you transition into your role as a nurse and tackle the obstacles that will ensue. I want you to remember we were all new nurses at some point – unfortunately, some fail to remember what it was like.
As a new nursing graduate, you’ve got all the textbook knowledge, but until you’ve been on the floor seeing your own patients, textbooks aren’t enough. I’ve compiled a list of the top 4 things to remember as a new nursing graduate when clocking-in on your first shift.
About the Author
Special thanks to Christine Diltz RN, BSN, the Founder and CEO of NurseRX, for providing the content of this article. Christine is a neonatal and pediatric ICU nurse who’s been in the travel nurse industry for over seven years. She’s helped numerous nurses learn and understand how to become a better, smarter travel nurse.
NurseRX is a launchpad that streamlines the process of transitioning staff nurses to travelers. We pride ourselves on teaching you all there is to know about reading and understanding your travel nurse contract. For more information, please feel free to check us out at www.nurserxusa.com and follow us on Instagram @nurserxusa.