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Do you have any tips for a new nurse who is finding her first hospital job on a med/surg floor overwhelming?


Dear Donna,
I am a new nurse who was fortunate enough to find a hospital job right out of school. I work on a med/surg floor. I’m happy to have a job but finding it all very overwhelming. Do you have any advice to help a newbie like me?

New Nurse

Dear Donna replies:

Dear New Nurse,

It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed in your first year or so in nursing, especially in a hospital position. Believe it or not, we all went through it. There is unquestionably a transition process/time involved after crossing the bridge from student to licensed nurse. Read “New nurse, you can do it!” for some tips (

As this article mentions, it is important to join and get active in the American Nurses Association and your specialty association, in this case the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses. You have to immerse yourself in the community of nursing. You cannot stay isolated and thrive. Many associations have reduced dues for new nurses during their first year in practice. If you itemize on your taxes, your dues and meeting expenses may be deductible. Check with your tax preparer to make sure.

A few of my books that you may find helpful are “Your 1st Year as a Nurse-Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “A Daybook for Beginning Nurses.” Both offer advice as well as inspiration to get you through those tough first few years in the profession and detail how to position yourself for success.

I also want to assure you: things will get better and easier over time. When I was a new nurse I used to look at more experienced nurses and think, “I will never be like them.” Here I am, several years later giving advice and support to new nurses like you. You will eventually get there too. Hang in there. The destination is worth the journey.

Best wishes,

By | 2014-10-17T00:00:00-04:00 October 17th, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Nursing careers and jobs|0 Comments

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