I have been working as a nurse for six months already: half-way through my first year of nursing.  I can’t believe it!  The time has gone by so fast!  I had the opportunity to re-read the article that I had written when it was my first week off orientation.  I have grown so much as a professional and become more confident and comfortable in my abilities and in this work environment.  It was exciting to see such growth in a relatively short time period, so if you have the opportunity to journal throughout your first year of nursing, I would recommend it!  I’ll expand upon some of these changes in hopes that they are a helpful look into the career trajectory of a new graduate nurse.

At this six-month mark, several things occurred. First, I am now eligible to float to other units.  The first time I floated to another unit was a good learning experience.  I familiarized myself with another unit, worked with an entirely new set of a patient population, met some new nurses, and had the capacity to apply my skills in a different environment.

On that same day, a group of nursing students had their pediatric nursing clinical rotation on the unit to which I floated.  It was really rewarding and affirming to be able to educate a future nurse.  I was confident in the skills and parts of the nursing process that I taught, and I enjoyed implementing teaching techniques that I had remembered being most effective when I was a nursing student only a few short months ago.

The experience also gave me an idea of how I may progress in my career path.  It gave me the chance to consider pursuing preceptorship or nursing education in the not-so-distant future.  Since six months have gone by so quickly, the full-year will be just around the corner!  So, I have been looking into graduate school programs and advanced nursing positions to continue my nursing professional development (and will definitely continue to refer to RNDeer blogposts for references and inspiration!).  I guess the take-away here is to keep an open mind as you never know where your keenest interests in nursing may exist.  Nursing roles are extremely versatile, an exciting part of this chosen profession.

Additionally, since I have become much more comfortable with the time management piece of nursing and balancing patient care, I felt like I could start to contribute even more to my unit.  So, I have recently joined a committee that reviews current issues on our unit and takes an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solve.  For other new grad nurses and for nursing students, I would highly recommend getting involved in extra committees, councils, or clubs about healthcare that interest you.  It gives you a new perspective and a fresh way to contribute to the systems to which we are so dedicated and ultimately to serve and advocate for our patients.

All in all, happy studying to the nursing students: you have so much to look forward to in your future career, and best wishes to fellow new graduate nurses.  I hope you’ve been able to share some of these rewarding experiences as I have.

Nursing love <3

Katie O’C

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