Are you a new grad nurse who is feeling overwhelmed? That is completely okay! Almost all nurses enter the workforce feeling unprepared, due to no fault of their school’s nursing program. In a profession as fast-paced and wide-ranging as nursing, it’s impossible to learn everything you need to know in the classroom. We recognize that there are a lot of overwhelmed new grad nurses out there who may be looking for advice, so we’ve put together some helpful tips that may make your work life easier!
Adjust Your Expectations
If you excelled in nursing school, passed all your tests, and learned all the proper terminology, you may have expected a smooth and painless transition into the nursing world. But if you’re reading this article, you know that this isn’t always the case. In clinical, you probably observed nurses who appeared to be working on their own, helping their patients without any assistance needed. You probably thought that you would be doing the same thing once you started nursing.
Unfortunately, the reality isn’t that simple. There are countless details and intricacies that you won’t have learned in nursing school. The nurses that you observed flying solo had to experience the same growing pains as you. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help from colleagues who have more experience than you, and some of them will even appreciate that an overwhelmed new grad nurse like you sees them as a source of knowledge!
Part of starting a nursing career is adjusting your expectations. Instead of seeing yourself as an expert upon graduation, you should see it as the first step of an educational journey that continues throughout your career.
Know That You Are Capable
With all the of the pressure and stress that can come from a career in nursing, your first reaction may be to feel like you’re incapable of figuring it out. You may even feel like an imposter in the workplace, something that is very common for new grad nurses. But just because you feel something, that doesn’t mean it’s true. You are just as capable as anyone else, you just have more learning to do.
If you made it through nursing school, you are prepared to take on the many challenges that are yet to come. Just because you’re an overwhelmed new grad nurse right now doesn’t mean that this will always be the case. As long as you push through and accept new challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, you will be just fine! And at some point, you will realize that you are cruising through things that would have made you feel helpless in the past.
Focus on the Little Things
If you are a new grad nurse, your day probably starts with clocking in and feeling like you are already two hours behind. With patients’ many needs and demands, it can feel overwhelming right at the start of the day. You may just shut down and have trouble getting started because you’re worried about having to stay late to get everything done.
The important thing to do in situations like this is to focus in on the small steps in front of you. Just handle one thing at a time and work through your list at your own pace. For the urgent tasks that you can’t get to immediately, ask for help from colleagues who aren’t as swamped. Someone will almost always be willing to help an overwhelmed new grad nurse.
When your workload feels like too much, taking a second to re-focus on the little things that need to get done will make the large challenge feel much more doable.
Keep Track of Your Priorities
It often feels like every task needs to be done right now, but you are just one person. You can’t possibly do everything right when you’re asked. This is why it’s important to identify priorities and work through your list accordingly.
A large part of your shift will be reassuring people that some things won’t happen as quickly as they want them to, and that’s okay. Being able to look at the big picture and pick which things actually need to be done immediately is an invaluable skill that will take some time to develop but will help any new grad nurse feel a bit less overwhelmed.
Work at a Hospital That Values You
One thing that will make your life as a new grad nurse easier is working for a hospital that values you and your wellbeing. When your fellow nurses and management staff is on your side, you can overcome any of the challenges that are bound to present themselves. Trident Medical Center in Charleston, SC is a great place to start your nursing career, with a fast-paced work environment balanced by a team that will help when you need it most. They also offer some of the best employee benefits in the country!
If you’re interested in working as a nurse in Charleston, submit your info today! If you want to see what opportunities are available, check out Trident’s open jobs on our site. We keep them updated regularly with RN jobs