Truth time: There’s a huge difference between an experienced nurse and one just out of nursing school. So though you both may have the initials RN or LPN or LVN or NP (etc etc!) after your name, you’re going to need to revise your expectations a little bit. A brand-new nurse is not going to be able to function independently on the floor, and that’s okay. Your job is to welcome her and provide information and support as needed.
Here is our top advice:
Take the time to introduce yourself and to learn a little more about her. Talking to her for a few minutes will give you a good idea of her strengths; playing up her strengths can help her feel like an important member of the team.
Introduce her to the other staff members and give her “the inside scoop”—you know, how things really run on your unit. That doesn’t mean dwelling on gossip; it just means letting her know things like which doctor prefers to be paged rather than texted.
Be a role model for excellent nursing care—and that can include verbalizing how you’re going to approach your day after you’ve listened to report—and be available to answer questions. Answer her requests for help or information positively. Provide emotional support as necessary. Remember, a new nurse isn’t a burden, but a coworker.
With time and support, she’ll soon be flying alongside you.
For more Career Advice for Nurses pick up the latest issue of Scrubs magazine, available at a retail store near you!