So you graduated nursing school, passed the NCLEX, and got hired as a nurse. What’s next? The idea of starting your first job as a nurse sends butterflies to your stomach. You have a mixture of emotions swirling around, but you are just as excited as nervous. What will the unit be like? What will my co-workers be like? Do I have everything that I need? Am I ready?
The next step is to take a leap of faith and trust yourself. The butterflies you are feeling are good because it means you are humble. Nursing is not for the weak. We go through a rigorous program and still feel like we haven’t learned everything there is to know. There will always be something to learn everyday.
As you start your first day on the unit, remember to be confident and just breathe. I remember my first job as a new graduate registered nurse (RN) like it was yesterday. I got hired as a neurosurgical/orthosurgical RN at one of the busiest hospitals downtown. I woke up excited and ready to be a nurse. As I stepped foot on my new unit, my palms got sweaty and my heart started racing. I literally felt like I had forgotten everything. Thankfully, I had a great preceptor during orientation. Time will feel like it is flying by, but take advantage of your time in orientation, which is usually between 2-3 months. During orientation, you will be paired with an experienced nurse who will essentially show you the ropes of the unit and be there for you before your transition to working on your own.
It’s okay to be nervous when trying new things like starting that IV for the first time on a hard stick patient. Be confident and remember those endless hours of studying. It’ll all come back to you. Eventually you will find your groove and be able to spread you wings and fly on your own.
See my next blog on "7 Self-Care Tips for Nurses"