I’d love to find out how our graduates are finding things in their first year out.
Likewise, how are seasoned RN’s finding our new graduates?
One of the more common questions that seems to arise with nursing students, particularly in their last year, is whether it’s better to obtain a position in a grad year program or similar transition package, or whether it’s better to just try to find employment as an RN and worry about preferences later on.
Having been on a grad program myself & worked in many different clinical areas, I’m of the opinion that to start with I don’t think it’s particularly necessary to obtain a specialised grad year rotating program, as long as your clinical area has good support for new nurses. That’s not to say that it isn’t nice to land one of these jobs & try out some different areas, just that it doesn’t really matter so much if you don’t.
What’s more important is that you receive good support from your place of employment. Whether this is through debriefing sessions, supernumary time, buddying up with seniors or ongoing education, the important thing is that you feel like you are practising safely and know where to go for answers if you are not sure of something.
Additionally, remember that the transition period is always the hardest – it’s important that you stick things out & don’t take things too personally.
Even though it may not be to the same extent, I’m sure the difficulties in a graduate year are not exclusive to nursing. Similar professions such as physiotherapists, radiographers, or any number of allied health positions come across similar issues in their first year out.
So, what are your thoughts or experiences – if you’re a new nurse, how is your graduate year going so far?
If you have grad nurses in your clinical area, how do you think they are going??
What can be changed or improved, and do you feel like we are practising ‘safely’?