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5 Tips For a New Grad Nurse From a Former Preceptor

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

1️. Congrats, relax and enjoy being an RN & passing your NCLEX.

Now forget about NCLEX and studying for tests and remember that this is the real world where nothing is textbook anymore. The patients & your coworkers don’t care if you got A's or B's, they want to see that you CARE & that you’re willing to put the effort in. 2. Be Teachable.

Come to work fully rested and ready to learn. It’s also important to be open to constructive feedback. To all the perfectionist out there- it's OKAY to not be perfect at something the first time and its OKAY if you don’t remember something. PRO TIP: Bring a small notebook to your orientation and jot down things you learned or questions you had throughout the day so you and your preceptor can talk about it when there is down time. 3. Put your learning hat back on.

-In the PICU, like I was? Brush up on your peds & PICU principles by taking PALS & reviewing your peds drug dose & drip calculations and rates.

-Adults? Take ACLS and look up common diagnoses & medications. 4. Ask Questions.

As preceptors, we love to teach & meet someone who is genuinely interested in learning & passionate about working in the PICU (or whatever unit you have been hired on to!) Just be aware of the timing of your questions- if you fire a ton of questions at me while I’m running around with a busy/sick patient, you may not get all of my attention. Try to wait for downtime & jot it down to discuss later. The EXCEPTION to this is if you’re actively doing a task that would effect the patient if you did it incorrectly- please pause what you’re doing & immediately ask for clarification. 5. Support your new friends & co-workers.

Remember, nothing is a competition between you & your fellow nurses or new grads. We all have the same end goal: do the best that you can with what you have and keep the tiny or adult humans alive. You’ll need the support of these people in your first year as a new grad & they will probably end up becoming some of your closest friends! I caution you to not COMPARE if someone is getting sicker kids or has been in a code & you haven’t. If you feel you want different experiences, talk to your educator or preceptor.

New Grad and wondering what to do after graduation?! Here are some of my favorite resources that I have used as a new grad PNP to create a resume that stands out and to find my first NP job! Some are helpful for new grad RN's as well!

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