Nurses across the continuum experience stress unknown to most professions. Long, high-paced shifts, life-or-death decisions and the constant push to provide high-quality nursing care in a flawed healthcare system puts pressure on nurses from day one. This constant stress leads to burnout, compassion fatigue, and high turnover. New graduate nurses (NGNs) spend a great deal of their first year learning their roles and responsibilities.
This one goes out to all the new graduates or soon to be new graduate nurses out there. You have worked so hard for the last few years and you are finally ready to start working as a registered nurse. You are excited to put your learning into practice and have begun the job hunt. You have been told that the first year can be a little difficult and that you should look for a hospital that offers a nurse residency program. Maybe you have already started your search and were disappointed to find that the places you are most interested in don’t offer a residency program.
In November of 2019, I had the privilege of visiting Opelika, Alabama. There I had the opportunity to work with Lea Howell, Jennifer Terry, and many other team members from the East Alabama Medical Center to kick-off implementation of the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program. For the year prior we had been collaborating on the project of bringing IONRP’s Blended Option to the medical center to support the transition to practice of newly graduated nurses hired by the organization.
When the World Health Organization declared 2020 the year of the nurse, do you think any of them imagined what nursing in 2020 would look like? The importance of nurses, their wellbeing, and professional development needs were put in the spotlight. As we start the new year, I have been reflecting a lot on how we can take the struggle of 2020 and use it as fuel for the future.
Here are my 5 takeaways from 2020: