6 things every new nurse on the block needs to know

Whether it’s a new hospital, new unit or completely new direction, every nurse has gotta start somewhere. And, for some time, that “somewhere” is going to be strange, unfamiliar and yes—slightly terrifying.

Of course, the important thing to remember is that it takes time to really get into the groove of things, from building relationships to simply locating the nearest restroom. However, like so many of the obstacles you’ll encounter as you grow your career, the new nurse blues are temporary—all you need is a little elbow grease and the right attitude.

In this week’s episode of “The Katie Duke Show” on ScrubsBeat, Katie explores some of the apprehension she’s feeling as she dives into the newest stage of her career, along with the plans she has to overcome it. Feeling stuck in a “new nurse on the block” rut? Check out Katie’s video below for a little positive reinforcement, then share your own advice, questions or concerns in the comments section below!

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Katie Duke


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2 Responses to 6 things every new nurse on the block needs to know

  1. OBWan

    This couldn’t come at a better time! I was a Maternity nurse for many many years and had to change out of that role. Have just started in home health because I love the seniors too, and want them to be able to stay in their homes as long as they can! But, talk about being a deer in the headlights! Wow. I agree with you. Just being forthright about what you know and what you don’t and saying, show me what I need to know helps a lot to show the team you care and aren’t fooling. Going home and looking up procedures you see with your preceptor and making notes helps reinforce what you learned that day so you can ask questions when you’re not in front of a patient. It helps whenever possible not to look like you just fell off the turnip truck today in front of the patient. 😀

  2. Amber Smith

    Hello…I graduated nursing school in May 2014 and this July I transitioned to the ED setting for my “dream job”

    With the end of my 14 week orientation in sight,I’ve been doing tons of reflecting on the experience of being a relatively new nurse (not quite still new grad,as I have some work experience to draw from) coming into my first specialty position. Saying the struggle has been real would be vastly understated. In saying that I mean there have been more drives home following shifts spent in tears than not,breaks,as few and far between as they may be,spent eating alone,feeling just how much I’m not part of the team, and countless moments questioning everything from what ever possessed me to become a nurse (though I do love nursing with the core of my soul) to if any one single thing I learned in school actually applied to what I’m doing now in real life,or did it simply prepare me to pass boards.

    I had heard the saying multiple times,how nurses eat their young,but I could’ve never ever been prepared for the way those individuals who had once,in most instances-not that long ago,had walked in my same shoes,would feel the need to berate,belittle,and undermine a new nurse’s efforts. I don’t understand how it isn’t clear that fostering a more positive and encouraging learning environment would be so much more conducive for nurses new to a department,new to nursing,etc.

    As I mentioned before,my orientation/preceptorship is coming to an end and honestly,I find myself feeling ill-prepared due to having to juggle the constant feelings of inferiority with the intensity of learning the skills necessary to manage the high level of acuity in an ED setting. All of these feelings are a lot to deal with,especially since I truly couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life/as a career. So,thank you,Katie Duke,for your video. It helped me a lot in my moments of reflection to have had some sort of validation in having struggled with these feelings. Perhaps it can help me to see that it just is how it is on a new unit,new specialty,or as a new grad,without taking it all so personally.