IMG_6654I wanted to publish this blog so that new nurses had a much needed outlet to vent about life after nursing school and why being a graduate nurse can feel like a roller coaster ride.

If you are anything like me and my group of nursing friends- you are so happy come graduation time that it’s FINALLY over.  You heard rumors that being a graduate nurse was not fun but you don’t care- you’re ready for that paycheck!  So- you nail your interview and get that first GN position.  You go through the hospital orientation, get matched with a preceptor and you’re off!  Let the fun begin right?  Wrong!  My friend (also a new nurse) said it best when she said, “Andria, I seriously feel stupid every single day!” Welcome to being a new nurse! Don’t worry- I’ve heard it gets better after years of practice…

I have a BSN and graduated in May of 2009.  I went directly from nursing school into an ICU rotation program that began in August of 2009.  The program I am in is specifically for GN’s (Graduate Nurses) and it provides 8 weeks of education mixed in with time spent in the ICU with a preceptor as well as independent study of the AACN critical care modules.  My first ICU assignment was the Neuroscience ICU where I worked until January of 2010.  After that, the ICU assignments were 10-14 weeks in length. I have rotated through the Coronary Care Unit, Vascular Intensive Care Unit, Cardiothoracic Surgery ICU, Medical ICU and the Trauma ICU.

For me, blogging about the difficulties in gaining experience as a new nurse helps to get things off my mind and also lets other new nurses know that you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed and intimidated.  I really hope other nurses out there will share their “duh” moments and their “ah-ha” moments so we can all learn, laugh, and cry(??) together!

  • Sabrina Dombrowski

    Hi Courtney,
    You have no idea how pleasent it was to go through podcast and find you. I was struggling with vasodilation and vasoconstriction, etc and my ride to school is an hour so I was able to listen to you several times. I am in pre-nursing. I am taking my last class before I take the NLN to get into the program. I am going to my BSN because I already have a Bachelor’s and they are taking most of my credits.
    I am really struggling right now. I feel down and feel like i am losing control. This is my second time taking A&P 2 and I am struggling, yet again. I have never wanted anything so much in my life. I am 34, have no children and really, really feel like nursing is my calling. I guess I am looking for some advice and support. The people around do support me, but sometimes they just don’t fully understand. My biggest struggle is with learning the different types of gas exchange in the Respiratory system. It was my downfall last time and becoming mine again. I can’t wait to hear more from you.

  • Chad del Rosario

    Hi. I have been listening to you for about a year. I was toying with the idea of starting my own Podcast similar to yours. I’m a new grad, May 2014, and I am working in a Vascular-ICU. Can you give me some insight in what it takes to get started? Please PM me if you can. Thank you.

  • AndriaCRNA

    Hi Sabrina, I’m sorry I didn’t see this message sooner. Do you have any updates now that it’s been a few more weeks? I think we all struggle at times with certain material or trying to get through the program with life going on in the background. The best advice I have with a tough topic is forming a study group, talking with your professor about the material outside of class, and finding someone in your program that can be a vent-partner! Hope everything is going well now! Keep us posted.

  • AndriaCRNA

    Chad, that’s awesome! We need more podcasts for nurses! I am a horrible resource for you though…I got into doing it because my roommate had all the equipment and set everything up for me, including the hosting and streaming, etc. I know that one of the biggest challenges is finding the right equipment. It is very hard to listen to a show that has poor audio quality. Maybe try checking out a podcast like Art of Podcasting? Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  • Sean Eaton

    Hi Andria,
    I started listening to your podcast only 6 months ago and have am sad you’re no longer making episodes since heading off to CRNA school. I’m a Critical Care Flight Paramedic with 13 year experience in EMS and have just been accepted into a BSN program. For a little while now I’ve been hosting a blog where I try to translate all things Emergency and Critical Care into management strategies in the flight environment. I’ve also toyed with the idea of starting a podcast, and am currently working to build a website with this same theme in mind.

    With my experience, and nursing school in my future, I was thinking what better time is there to create a podcast to help other nurses, and nursing students, make it through their nursing program and first few years after being thrown to the wolves. Have you considered passing the New Nurse Podcast on to someone else to continue the awesomeness you’ve already created.


  • AndriaCRNA

    Sean. Sounds like you have an awesome resume! I know it’s been forever since the New Nurse Podcast last episode but I DO have dreams to start doing episodes again when life settles out. I think some of the things I’ve learned as a CRNA could really help new nurses. I would highly encourage you to pursue your goals to do your own podcast. There is definitely a need for one and I would happily help you and promote you. Just keep in touch!

  • Hannah Christensen

    I’m glad I found this blog. I was just accepted into the University of Tennessee’s accelerated BSN program which begins this fall and I’m trying to gather as many resources as I can while I have a life. My goal is to get into critical care, I was in the Marine Corps and intend to work as a CCRN with the DOD/civilian sector in one capacity or another.

    Any advice you can share is always appreciated.

    Thank you for what you do, nurses are a rare breed, kind of like female Marines ;)

  • AndriaCRNA

    Congrats Hannah! Advice? Most BSN programs let you select a floor/unit for a preceptorship in your senior year. Find a spot in critical care ASAP. These spots tend to fill up fast. Once they see you’re a highly intelligent and hard worker, not to mention a marine, you’re in like Flynn. As far as the CCRN, you have to meet a certain number of un-precepted hours in the unit before you can sit for the exam. I have no doubt you’ll be one of the first to take it once you hit that magic number. There are some great review courses and some hospitals sponsor the review course for their nurses so they can claim more CCRN certified RN’s! Keep us posted on all your successes and let us know anything you learn along the way that can help other new nurses!

  • Rachel Roderick

    I think this is a great blog! As a nursing student in the LPN program I am excited I found this blog, I’m sure it will be a great resource as I finish my clinical. I plan to continue my education and become an RN, but decided to take it slow and see how things go.

  • MissKat Jackson

    I am so happy to have found this blog and your podcasts. Thank you for sharing!

  • http://livingthediagnosis.blogspot.com/ Vicky Warren

    What a great blog! So happy to have found it! I am an LPN (on hold for now, staying home raising my kiddos)! This has so much great information! Thank you for writing this! I have started a blog that is a collection of medical stories and information from the people living it everyday to help healthcare professionals understand the patients they are working with! http://www.livingthediagnosis.com Cheers!

  • Sally Gage

    Good morning. My name is Sally. My son died after a horrendous rare immune reaction to the swine flu. Long story short I have written a book for parents about parenting in the early years. In the book I do explain his illness. He needed EVD’s. I wonder if I could use your EVD picture from your article about ICU for beginners, in my book please. Kind regards

  • Phyllis Grabot

    How do I private message or email you, Andria, at New Nurse Blog?

  • Matthew Zajechowski

    Hello Andria,
    The United States is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified nurses. However, due to growing demand, the healthcare job market is rapidly expanding. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that registered nursing (RN) is one of the fastest growing occupations with an expected increase of 16% growth in jobs through 2024.

    I worked with the nursing program at Olivet Nazarene University to research further into which states in the U.S. have the highest demand for nurses. We looked at job listing data from Indeed.com across to calculate the active job listings per state per 10k people. We took the results of our research and turned it into a map that can be seen here (http://graduate.olivet.edu/news-events/news/nursing-job-demand-state).

    Some of the most interesting call out data from our research:

    • Demand for nurses is highest in New Mexico, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and North Dakota. Nursing demand is lowest in Utah, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

    • Some of the factors that go into high and low nursing demand are local and state budgets for schools and hospitals, healthcare and the amount of facilities in each state as well earnings potential.

    Let me know if this is something you would be interested in sharing with your audience or if you have questions on the data itself. I look forward to hearing back from you.

  • New Nurse

    Hi Andria,
    I’m a new ICU nurse and new nurse blogger. I love listening to your podcasts and reading your blog! I recommended your blog to my readers. Thanks for sharing your experiences!