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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.