From student to newly qualified nurse: finding out who's who
You will be bombarded by information when you start a new job. Keep on top of it all by getting to know who does what at your new organisation, says newly qualified nurse Jessica Ross.
You will be bombarded by information when you start a new job. Keep on top of it all by getting to know who does what at your new organisation, says newly qualified nurse Jessica Ross
As a recently qualified staff nurse, I understand what it's like to start work in a new area, with lots of people to meet and skills to learn.
Being the new person can be scary. While there is no foolproof guide to guarantee a seamless transition from nursing student to staff nurse, certain things can help ease the journey and make it more enjoyable and less worrying.
I found one of the most daunting aspects of starting a new job was not knowing where to go for help, so a major factor in enabling a good transition and successful first few weeks as a newly qualified nurse is knowing who's who in your organisation.
In your first few days or weeks you will be bombarded with new information. You'll have to sign contracts, fill out paperwork, get to grips with your new rota system and pay, attend training and learn how to book annual leave.
You will also need to understand the general structure of your new organisation and know who your senior nurses and line managers are and what their roles entail. All of this can seem intimidating and unmanageable, but it can be resolved easily.
My tip would be to get a pocket-sized notebook in which to jot down important pieces of information as you receive them. Note contact details, such as those of your supervisor or line manager, and of colleagues at bands 6 or 7 who you'd normally go to with queries or general questions about your employment.
Make sure you find out the name and contact number of someone in human resources or the payroll department, and if there is a preceptorship or newly qualified nurse team, have the contact details handy. They can help you settle in and address any training and development queries, alongside your ward manager.
Try also to find a contact number for someone from the uniform, security and car parking departments as well as the access control department, all of whom you will need in your first few weeks.
Book of contacts
Armed with your book of contacts, any issue you have will seem a lot more manageable. Knowing the right person to go to for certain information or advice will make you feel more supported and able to cope with your transition more positively.
Building up this portfolio of contacts means you are likely to know someone who can point you in the right direction if you have a query that is difficult to resolve. Most importantly, having contacts and getting to know people you work with underlines the fact that in nursing you are not alone.
Creating a support network is imperative during the first months of your nursing career. Finding out who's who will enable you to do this.
About the author
Jessica Ross is a newly qualified staff nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust