Editorial: Reflections on being a new nurse: 10 insights after four weeks as a registered nurse by Emma Blakey and Debra Jackson (2016)
When describing to student nurses what it is like when you first graduate I typically use the analogy of learning to drive a car: the ‘real’ learning happens after you pass your test. You pass the test and you are now a ‘driver’ – good luck to you, and everyone else on the road. While the analogy holds true to some extent – you are now a ‘nurse’, good luck to you and your patients – thankfully there is far more support for newly registered nurses compared to newly qualified drivers.
In the above-named editorial, newly registered nurse Emma Blakely generously describes ten insights based on her first month in practice which you will find useful, especially if you’re due to qualify soon. Emma does not shirk from the scariness of having to make autonomous, accountable, decisions on behalf of patients, including worrying about forgetting something:
“I had to stop myself from calling the ward at 11pm about a patient I had left earlier that evening” (Blakey and Jackson 2016)
She does also however highlight the support she has been offered – it is understood that she, like any other newly registered nurse, is not the finished product.
The learning curve is huge, but with the right support (don’t forget your old nursing tutors!), you will get there. The transition from student nurse to registered nurse can understandably feel scary enough but get this, Emma is also doing a PhD – now that is scary ; )