Episode 001 of the FreshRN Podcast Show Notes!

What to Expect During Your New Graduate Nursing Orientation

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Your first year as a registered nurse is challenging. This podcast is hosted by Kati Kleber, BSN RN CCRN and Elizabeth Mills, BSN RN CCRN and features experienced nurses from FreshRN.com, who discuss the basics of that first year. From nursing orientation, code blues, tricks of the trade, and personal experiences, to time management, delegation, patient deaths, and more.

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Download the Episode 001 Nursing Orientation show notes or view them below what to expect during your new graduate nursing orientation

  • New graduate nursing orientation can be structured differently and vary in lengths
  • Be prepared to keep track of a lot of paperwork
  • Your own file system at home is really helpful for organization
  • Don’t throw any papers away, even if your manager has a copy
  • Get a calendar together with all orientation dates and deadlines

Your Preceptor

  • Focuses on you becoming a safe bedside nurse
  • This is a formal role
  • They will correct you when you’re doing something wrong
  • They will sign you off on various competencies
  • They will participate in formal evaluations
  • Get to know their teaching style, make sure they know your learning style
  • Ask questions
  • Establish a relationship with open communication; tell them when you don’t know something or something doesn’t make sense
  • Don’t try to impress them with everything you know, be honest about educational needs

Your Mentor

  • Focuses on getting you socially acclimated to your role and encouragement
  • Less formal role
  • Helps navigate relationships
  • With other members of the healthcare team
  • With other nurses
  • With your preceptor
  • With your manager
  • Helps put pieces together away from the bedside
  • Helps process scenarios
  • Reinforces teaching and support from precept

General points

  • Preceptor and mentor must be different people
  • Build rapport with other coworkers throughout orientation
  • Orientation should be challenging: each shift counts
  • Shouldn’t have any easy shifts on orientation
  • Advocate for yourself if you need to care for a specific kind of patient
  • If your preceptor is jumping in too much, ask for some space to figure it out

General phases of orientation

Phase 1: Beginning

  • Get a lay of the land
  • How to get meds
  • Where is the supply room
  • How to use phone system
  • How to page an MD
  • Observe your preceptor
  • Take as much in as possible
  • Meet your nursing staff and healthcare team members
  • Tour of the facility and areas you may go frequently
  • Preceptor is taking report and primary nurse
  • You will be task-focused
  • You will be slow with documentation

Phase 2: Middle

  • Start taking patients on your own, going to preceptor for guidance
  • Preceptor should be backing off as you begin to take charge
  • You’ll begin to be more big-picture oriented and able to anticipate obstacles easier
  • If you weren’t sure at the beginning, now is the time to make sure you know how to use your email, how to submit and receive your schedule, how to complete online education modules, how to check your paystub, benefits, and so forth
  • Start to look for documentation shortcuts on computer systems to increase efficiency

Phase 3: End

  • You should be giving and receiving report with your preceptor listening in, only interjecting if absolutely necessary
  • Your preceptor should be hanging out at the nurse’s station most of the time, checking your documentation and task completion behind you
  • Go to your preceptor only when you need to get a second opinion
  • Try to be as independent as possible
  • It is you taking care of patients independently, not two people dealing with your patient assignment
  • Continue to build rapport with your nursing teammates so that you feel ready and supported when orientation is over

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