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10 great tips for new nurse grads

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Whether you started your nursing career yesterday or 30 years ago, you probably remember (all too well!) the unique challenges that come along with being a freshly graduated nurse. Being a new nurse is, um, HARD!

Luckily, you have the advice of those who have gone before you to help guide you through your journey. One great resource? Brittney over at the Nerdy Nurse just hosted the first Scrubs Blog Carnival, featuring a fantastic roundup of wisdom especially for new nurse grads. Whether you’re racked with anxiety during your first month, are facing burn out (already?!) or still looking for a killer first job, here’s expert advice to help you out.

Being a new nurse can be really scary. You’ve learned only a slice of the nursing pie and you are expected to jump in and take care of patients. If you are lucky then you have a lengthy amount of time that you get to spend with your preceptor. This will help you practice your skills and increase your confidence. However, it will all end quickly and you’ll be on your own.

I know that I personally didn’t feel like a nurse until a year after I became one. Everything seemed foreign and time management was so difficult. I wish I had a good nurse mentor to guide me along my way. I had a few nurses who were helpful and they really made a bid difference in my early days as a nurse.

Because we know how hard it is to be a new nurse, nurse bloggers have decided to team up and share some words of wisdom with all you new grads. We know what it was like to be a graduate nurse just getting our feet wet and want to make your journey a little easier. Keeping reading for a roundup of great nurse wisdom aimed especially at new grads.

Letter to Nurse Graduates from Self Employed Nurse is a great post that touches on entrepreneur nursing and the job search for a new graduate. She has some great tips related to loan repayment that you’ll really want to pay attention to if you graduated with more than a few dollars of student load debt that you need to pay off.

Have you ever thought about being a travel nurse? Travel Nursing Tips for New Grads is a great post that gives new nurses some valuable information if they are seeking a career in travel nursing. She talks about specializing and getting needed experience. Even if you aren’t a new grad, if you’ve ever thought about travel nursing this is a must-read post!

If you want to avoid falling flat on your face as a new nurse then you’ll definitely want to check out A Soft Landing for New Nurses. This post talks about how we need to do a better job of easing new nurses into nursing. The content of this article speaks as much to the seasoned nurse as the fresh-faced nursing graduate.

Turn Fears Into Success is an excellent post that will really help you to channel your emotions and anxiety’s as a new nurse and use them for good. There is a lot going on in your mind as you step out onto the floor for the first time and this blog post has some excellent ideas of coping with these feelings and using them to your advantage.

Starting as a brand new nurse can really change your routine. You really need to make sure you check out Health Tips for Transition so you can take care of yourself during this transition. You’re going to be great at taking care of others, but that’s only if you make sure to take care of yourself first!

We know that it might seem a little early to be thinking about burnout, but it’s better to be prepared than have this very real career-derailing potential sneak up on you. 10 Tips to Help Avoid Burnout as a New Grad gives some excellent insight on how you have stave off the ugly burn-out monster and is definitely worth a read.

You likely already know this, but the job hunt for a new grad can be tough! How To Get That First Nursing Job: 5 Marketing Tips for New RN Grads gives some awesome tips to help set you apart from the rest and earn that coveted nursing job.

3 Tools to Help You LOVE Your Nursing Job!!! is an excellent Vlog (video blog) that can really help new nurses get into the right mindset. Her video is extremely uplifting and will really help you to fee empowered.

New Grad: Advice To Help You Succeed At Your First Job is a first full of tips that will help new nurses make the most of the new grad experience. He suggests getting to know your preceptor and the other people you work with. He’s also got a few other gems that will make your life easier.

Have you found a your first nursing job? If you’ve been at it for any amount of time you may find yourself questioning if you’re a good fit for it. Is your nursing job right for you? is an excellent post that can really help you to start thinking about where you will ultimately be happy as a nurse.

I’m going to wrap things up here with a focus on a topic that new nurses probably don’t think of much: your feet. You’re going to spending long shifts on our feet all day and you’ve got to make sure you are taking care of it. Lucky for you I made a round up of the 10 Best Nursing Shoes for Women and Men! Make sure you take care for yourself and buy quality. Your feet will thank me later.

So guys that’s the first round up. What did you think?

This post is a collective effort of nurse bloggers as part of the Scrubs Mag Blog Carnival. If you are interested in participating find out more details and sign up here.

Got a great idea for a future Blog Carnival topic? Head on over to the Nerdy Nurse and share your thoughts! Don’t forget to come back and tell us your top tips for new nurse grads in the comments below.

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The Nerdy Nurse

Brittney Wilson, RN, BSN, also known as The Nerdy Nurse, is a Clinical Informatics Specialist practicing in Georgia. In her day job she gets to do what she loves every day: Combine technology and healthcare to improve patient outcomes. She can best be described as a patient, nurse and technology advocate, and has a passion for using technology to innovate, improve and simplify lives, especially in healthcare. Brittney blogs about nursing issues, technology, healthcare, parenting and various lifestyle topics at thenerdynurse.com
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4 Responses to 10 great tips for new nurse grads

  1. Raindancer10

    I remember those first few months as a new nurse, So much to learn as time never went the way it was suppose to. Then it all clicked and the team spirit hit. A lot depends on your coworkers you work with. Helpful and experienced nurses are your best tool for a smooth transition. Being new the freshness of school makes us zealous at times. Don’t try to upstage your team as being the new know it all. Time management is a key and on your first pass note all your IVs, feedings, checking patency and drip rates and can help you to estimate when these need new bags and you can prepare for them. The biggest time crusher is also having to run for supplies. Be sure you restock the carts fully at end of shift for the next nurse and empty your garbage. Its unnerving to come in to a cart that isn’t ready to go. Good Luck in all your futures.

    • Your are right! This is such good advice. Time management is one of the hardest thing to learn. No one can really teach it to you. You have to figure it out for yourself.

  2. Hi
    Nice post. Being a new nurse can be an exciting time; however, it can also be difficult to navigate among the tumultuous waves that can occur in the healthcare profession. Maintain relationships with other new grads and also connect with expert nurses. Maintain hope and be positive that you will one day find your niche.

  3. jessiebnrobc

    When I made the transition from student nurse to Registered Nurse, I was scared yes- but I had taken a year off in the middle of my schooling to take my LPN boards and work in a long term care facility for some extra confidence. In this setting I was able to start slow and work my way up to charge nurse duties- so when I found the DREAM RN job at the tail end of my schooling, I wasn’t as intimidated as I might have been if I hadn’t had the experience under my belt.