“Are You New Here, RN?”

If the answer is “Yes” – whether you are a new grad or an experienced transfer, it will be in your best interest for you to mind a few simple principles.  They are easy to accomplish, yet effective and powerful in their implementation.  Good luck! and Welcome!!
Just take a look at this video about the five most common mistakes new RNs make:

You are here to learn our ways, not the reverse. You were chosen from a handful or more of others to join us – don’t make us doubt our hiring abilities by becoming obnoxious about “how you do it.”

Be quiet and observe. The working staff have many things to show you that you will never get from the policy manual or conversations.  Interpersonal behaviors, customer service, times to implement certain routines, mannerisms for phone conversations, time management, and clothing options only come from clear observation.

Smile.  Alot. When you smile, you are approachable.  When you scowl, you appear disapproving – and frankly, no one cares to engage another human being whom they think doesn’t like them or whats going on.  So, even if you don’t like someone or whats going on, smile. And then: smile more.

Be helpful. Regardless if you are a new grad or a new transfer, there are things you can do even during your orientation.  Find them and do them.  Your actions and ability to “pitch in” are being closely monitored as is your knowledge and skill.  There’s no need to spout off about what you know or can do or have done in the past; let’s see it.

Be interested. Be interested in what is happening here.  And keep the rest of your knowledge (“in my last hospital/unit…” or “in school we…”) to yourself!  When you compare what is happening at one hospital or unit to what you have done in the past, you are actually resettling conflicting data in your own mind.  We all do that.  It’s normal.  When you speak it aloud, however, you come across as bragging, disparaging and negative.

Bake us something. …ok.  This one is silly, but it works.  Bringing in a goody when you start orientation or finish orientation is really a welcoming gesture to your new co-workers.  It means, “Outside of work time and on my own time, I was thinking warmly of you all and I am grateful.”  It’s cheesy, yes, but I guarantee you the impression it makes is worth a thousand conversations. And it brings on emotional strength. And that really helps!

When can you assert yourself and your knowledge and your suggestions for better ways?  Give it a year or so.  Six months minimum.  Wait this amount of time to be accepted, trained, oriented, comfortable with the routines, and intimately knowledgeable of the formal as well as the informal lines of communication and leadership.  All of which you need on your side to promote a new idea or clinical method. Check also this post: RN Leaders/Academics – No Respect.

Cheers! and Welcome aboard!
…We’re glad you’re here.