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What are some challenges as being a registered nurse ?

I was wondering about some of the challenges as a newly graduate.

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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Mireya,

[Personally, I am a dietitian-nutritionist, but 50 years ago I was a first-aid officer in a surf lifesaving club. We were taught to reassure frightened patients, to tell them they will be alright. Nurses often have to reassure patients, for instance before operations.]

Challenges as a Registered Nurse:

As a newly graduated registered nurse, you may encounter various challenges as you transition from student to professional. Some of the common challenges faced by newly graduated nurses include:

Transitioning to Practice: Moving from the controlled environment of nursing school to the fast-paced and often unpredictable healthcare setting can be overwhelming. Newly graduated nurses may feel unprepared for the realities of clinical practice, such as managing multiple patients, making critical decisions, and dealing with emergencies.

Time Management: Nurses often have heavy workloads and must juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. Time management is crucial in nursing to ensure that patient care is delivered effectively and efficiently. Newly graduated nurses may struggle with prioritizing tasks, organizing their workflow, and managing their time effectively.

Critical Thinking and Decision-Making: Nursing requires strong critical thinking skills to assess situations, analyze data, and make informed decisions about patient care. Newly graduated nurses may find it challenging to apply theoretical knowledge to real-life clinical scenarios, especially when faced with complex or unexpected situations.

Emotional Stress: Nursing can be emotionally demanding, as nurses frequently deal with patients who are in pain, distress, or facing life-threatening conditions. Newly graduated nurses may find it challenging to cope with the emotional toll of caring for patients, particularly when witnessing suffering or loss.

Interprofessional Communication: Effective communication is essential in healthcare to ensure safe and coordinated patient care. Newly graduated nurses may struggle with communicating effectively with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, therapists, and colleagues, which can impact teamwork and patient outcomes.

Professional Development: Nursing is a dynamic field that requires continuous learning and professional growth. Newly graduated nurses may face challenges in keeping up with advancements in healthcare technology, evidence-based practices, and changing regulations while balancing their workload and personal life.

Work-Life Balance: Nursing schedules can be demanding, often involving long shifts, night shifts, weekends, and holidays. Balancing work commitments with personal life responsibilities can be challenging for newly graduated nurses who are still adjusting to the demands of their new profession.

Handling Conflict: Nurses may encounter conflicts with patients, families, or colleagues in the workplace. Newly graduated nurses may find it difficult to navigate these conflicts professionally while maintaining positive relationships and focusing on patient-centered care.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

American Nurses Association (ANA): The ANA is a professional organization that provides resources and support for registered nurses across the United States. Their publications and guidelines offer valuable insights into the challenges faced by nurses at all career stages.

National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN): The NCSBN sets standards for nursing practice and licensure in the U.S., offering research-based information on nursing education and regulatory issues that impact newly graduated nurses.

Journal of Nursing Education: This peer-reviewed journal publishes research articles on nursing education, practice issues, and professional development for nurses. It offers evidence-based insights into the challenges faced by newly graduated nurses entering the workforce.

God Bless You,
JC.
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John’s Answer

Everyone is different, so what might be challenging to some, might not be for others. If you start like many of us did on the night shift, then learning to sleep, and get quality sleep during the day, can certainly be a challenge. It was the one thing that I never did become good at even after several years. I found that when the sun is out, and the rest of the world (seemingly) is alive, it was hard to sleep soundly. There are lots of other things and the folks above have covered many of them, but sleeping during the day was the hardest thing for me.
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Patti’s Answer

The learning curve of a new nurse can be challenging. Putting what you know from school into real life situations, while figuring out prioritization and time management is difficult at first. Learning how to advocate for patients/families and communicate with patients, providers and your co-workers is not something not really taught in nursing school a lot. The 12 hours required at a lot of hospitals can be difficult on some peoples' bodies and minds. Also, if you have to rotate from days to nights often, or too often for your needs, can be rough. Learning to set boundaries with patients is difficult to navigate at times. Physical and sexual assault and battery does happen to nurses with often little to no punishment to the perpetrator. However, this is getting more light these days and nurses have the right to press charges like anyone else. Nursing is physically, emotionally and mentally draining for some nurses. The income is also low in some areas in the US considering what nurses are required to do. Good luck!
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Iris’s Answer

Time management and learning to deal with interruptions in your day were (and still are) a challenge for me. Those come with time and experience. You will also continue to develop critical thinking on the job.
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Georgina’s Answer

Hello Mireya,
So wonderful that you’ve chosen the nursing profession. If you are a recent graduate, I would encourage you to prepare to take your board exams to become a registered nurse. RN’s will give you a higher salary. I agree that you need to be prepared for long 12 hours shifts at times and perhaps even nighttime hours may be asked of you.
It does take a lot of physical stamina to be a nurse with many hours on your feet. Also, you will see some adults or children who may be gravely sick, so it can be emotionally challenging at times.
But most patients will appreciate a kind and sympathetic nurse 😊
Good luck in your career !
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