You are in your last year as an undergraduate registered nurse. Take a moment to think about your current feelings regarding becoming a newly graduate nurse or midwife. Think about walking into your first day on the floor.
1.Do you know what is expected from you?
2.Do you know what you are going to do next?
3.Many new graduates feel incapable, unexperienced and unprepared for what lies ahead.
The healthcare system is a well-oiled and well established machine. The degrees to train the clinicians who eventually end up working within the healthcare system are in themselves well developed and it’s important for you to trust the process.
In your first week of working you will most likely have several shifts of what is called ‘supernumerary’ (being paired with more experienced staff) and you will move through each shift together to give you time to settle in to the environment.
You develop more confidence and experience in your clinical setting and you will do more independently, but there will always be support and different resources at your disposal any time you have a query, even when it’s busy. You will earn way more respect and trust for becoming known as a safe new nurse or midwife, than you will if you just want to try and avoid ‘bothering anyone’ and get on with it by yourself. You unconsciously move through the transition stages from doing, being and knowing, to becoming.
Other staff, your team leaders, your educators know you’re new, they understand how you will be feeling. Just as other newly graduated nurses and midwives, and other clinicians that need a bit of extra support just like they did in their own first few months.
Pretty soon you will understand that becoming competent in every aspect takes time and that you need to work towards be the best nurse or midwife that you can be, using all the resources and support available to you. It is essential to also understand that you need to be aware of your limitations and that it is ok to ask for support and talk about your feelings and issues with a mentor.
You remember that the health outcome of each person does not and never will rest solely on your shoulders, it is the work of a collective effort with many different members of the healthcare team and you are an essential part of that team. Be assured that with the vast theoretical knowledge you already possess and with the extra clinical knowledge and experience you will gain in your practice, you will become a more critical, reflective and analytical professional. Remember that you are not just about to start a job as a nurse or midwife, you are about to become a newly registered nurse or newly registered midwife.