As a new nurse, you may be unsure of what you bring to the healthcare team. After all, your teammates have taken care of so many more patients than you have. They perform their tasks quicker and easier than you do. They may have rapport with the doctors and know how to work with difficult patients too.
You, too, will possess all of those skills. It will probably happen faster than you can imagine. In the meantime, let’s focus on what you excel at.
Chances are you have more experience with computers than your seasoned co workers. You may find that the nurse, who seems to know every hospital policy and procedure by heart, has difficult time accessing information on the computer. You may be a resource to the rest of your team due to your skill with computer technology and research.
You have enthusiasm. As a nurse who has recently chosen the nursing profession, you are fully present in your work. You want to help people feel better. The more experienced nurses do too. They are more likely to be caught up in “I am a nurse, its what I do to make a living” then “wow” , I actually took care of a patient with a tracheotomy today and I did a great job .Your enthusiasm may be contagious. Plus, older nurses love to see novice nurses start to “fly” on their own. You bring a sense of nurturing out in the other nurses. That is a wonderful gift.
You have just learned current nursing theory and information about diseases. You may be aware of medications or techniques that your colleagues are not familiar with yet. Through your community nursing clinicals, you may have been introduced to some resources in the community that are new and not utilized yet by other staff members.
As you are learning and asking questions, you are making the seasoned nurses think. That is a gift because when someone asks “why”, the seasoned nurse has to consider the question. Are we doing this because it is just the way we always have? Is this procedure necessary? Is there a better way to provide this service? Your question may be just because you need to know how to perform your job, but sometimes by asking a question, improved procedures or quality of care results.
You have energy. You may be more inclined to help your team mates turn a patient or assist hanging blood simply because you have more stamina. The average age of a nurse in the United States is over 50. It is harder to work three twelve hour shifts at fifty than it is at twenty. Your co-workers will really be happy to have you pick up that extra night shift.
So as you start your first job, concentrate on what you do know. Think about your core beliefs that led you to choose nursing as your vocation. You do have experience through your nursing education. You will develop expertise and skills throughout your career. You are just getting started. Welcome to nursing! We are glad to have you!