Some advice for newly qualified nurses

Posted on Thu, 13/09/2018 by Vicky Jobson, Lead Nurse for Recruitment and Retention

Joining the NHS as a newly qualified nurse can be a scary time so here’s some advice from one of our senior nurses in Gateshead.

Well done. You’ve made it, all your hard work has paid off and you’re finally a registered nurse. It’s time to remove your invisible cloak and don your crisp new uniform with pride. However, the transition from student to fully qualified nurse can be quite daunting and it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous at the prospect.

So, to help you stay calm and start nursing, here are my 6 top tips:

  1. Keep calm you’re a nurse! You have already successfully completed all the training, passed all the exams and gained all the knowledge and skills you’ll need to perform the role so just believe in yourself.

  1. Stay committed to learning now that you’re in practice. A previous mentor of mine encouraged me to learn one new thing each day and retain it. This is advice that I now give to my own students.

  1. Pick a role model in your workplace. Choose someone who you really aspire to be like and try to mirror their behaviours and practice. I still have mine and regularly ask their advice, despite being qualified for more than six years.

  1. Delegation is key. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as newly qualified nurse is to try and do everything yourself. Remember you’re not Super Nurse. Don’t be naive enough to think you can manage a team of acutely unwell patients alone. You’re part of an amazing team where each member plays an integral part in the recovery of a patient. Utilise everyone’s skills and remember this wider team isn’t just nurses, it includes doctors, physios, occupational therapists, ward clerks, domestic staff and many, many more. We all share the same goal.

  1. Nursing friends are the best friends. As much as your family and friends love you dearly they don’t really understand what it’s like to be a nurse. It’s a unique profession where joy and sadness come in equal measure. No matter how resilient you are, friendship and peer support will prove vital throughout your career. In this job I’ve made many lifelong friends who I now consider as part of my ‘nursing family’.

  1. Enjoy it and be proud. It’s a privilege to care for people and their loved ones, often when they are at their most vulnerable. You are pivotal in their journey and can really make the difference to people during the hardest of times. So get out there and be proud to be a nurse.

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