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Three Things I wish I knew In Nursing School

I work in a facility that has hired a new grad/charge nurse with limited experience. She has a great heart for nursing and good book skills. VERY limited floor experience.I see lots of issues in hiring a new grad. Frankly, they aren't experienced enough to recognize the subtle signs of an acute illness. This is not a slam against them. The rest of us who have learned this, have learned the hard way. Throw this on top of all the emergent issues and paperwork, it is frustrating for all involved.

New grads, go out into the field. Take the nursing home job, take the assited living job. Work for wages for a year or two. Don't buy into the hype that Nursing home nurses are crappy. Some are, but so are some ER nurses. Be the nurse you want to become. Develop skills. Skills learned in a nursing home: All aspects of meds, ventilators, trach care, G-tube care, Psych care, wound care, Acute illness, CPR, Dealing with families, End of life care, Paperwork, dealing with doctors, diabetic care, neuropathy care...the list goes on and on. You don't get this experience in a hospital...Bite the bullet and get into the field and suck it all in.

Secondly, many new nurses of my experience (and some of the older ones as well...), do not listen to their NACs/RAs. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN!!!! They know that patient inside and out, and know when something is "off". It is a poor nurse who can't learn something from someone else. I have even overheard, "Are you a nurse? Do you have a degree? Then don't talk to me about something you have no knowlege of." Is it any wonder we have a good caregiver shortage?

Thirdly, Nurses eat their young. I am not sure why this is. I see young nurses driven away because of lack of support and empathy. This business is hard enough without a shortage. Who do you think is going to take care of us when we are at that stage? I will never have enough money for a private caregiver/nurse. This one blows my mind. I certainly don't want to do everything by myself...I'll train a new one anyday....and with any luck and patience, she/he will turn out to be the next great one.

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