Being a new grad is a big adjustment in your career and in your personal life, but it doesn’t come with a handbook!
Most of being a new grad is just trial and error and hoping you find a mentor that helps you along the way. If you are like me and haven’t found that, this blog post is for you!
1. How to adjust to life and work as a new grad
2. 3 things I wish I knew
3. How to find support on and offline
The hardest part of being a new grad is feeling like everything is new! Many of us haven’t done 12 hour shifts, we are adjusting to new work hours and juggling life outside of work and it’s so important to take care of yourself.
The best way to adjust is to set a routine. Take time for yourself to prepare food that makes you feel good, move your body and spend time with friends. Set a sleep schedule whether you work nights or days and stick to it!
Tip 1: Set aside time for yourself every day!
This could look like taking a walk after your shift, journaling or reading pre shift or listening to a podcast in your car. This should be YOUR time to disconnect from your identity as a nurse.
Tip 2: It’s okay to leave your first job!
I left my first job at 6 months. After deciding that the unit wasn’t for me, I made the decision to leave. It’s okay to feel like something isn’t for you and you DO NOT have to stay for a certain time period in order to have good standing. Your mental health and your happiness should be a priority!
At the end of the day, you will be way better at your job when you're mentally healthy and actually want to go to work. Debilitating pre-shift anxiety, bullying and an unhealthy environment ARE NOT NORMAL! Finding a job you love will help you be the best nurse you can be!
Tip 3: Find a mentor to debrief with or talk to
Sometimes this is provided to you as a new grad, but it’s more beneficial to find someone outside of your immediate nursing circle. This person should be non bias and should provide you with a listening ear. Nursing is hard and it’s even harder to do alone.
Nurse mentors are common in the online space and could be beneficial! If you feel that you are having a hard time finding a mentor local to you, check out some of the mentors that work specifically with new grads to help with the adjustment and give you a space to transition!
1. Take care of yourself, you are MORE than a nurse.
2. Don’t stay in a job just because of a timeline.
3. Don’t do nursing alone!
Contrary to the belief that ‘nursing is a calling,’ nursing is a JOB. You can love your job and feel called to do it, but please don’t sacrifice yourself for a job that would replace you in a day!