Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Being a Newly Qualified Nurse

Now 17 months qualified as a paediatric nurse, I thought I'd take a look at what it means to be newly qualified, and how I don't feel like an 'experienced' nurse!

I think that's probably due to the fact that although I started my first job as a qualified nurse in November 2018, I've been in 3 different roles! I worked in PICU from November until May... and then got a new job quickly after moving back home (I remember I had an interview on 13th May and got offered the job that day), but it took just over two entire months to start working in A&E following that initial offer. So I started in A&E with 6 months experience behind me, although I'd technically been qualified 8 months. In addition to that, I never actually did a proper preceptorship - I brought it up in my A&E job but as I was 6 months qualified they didn't see me as 'newly qualified' anymore and so saw no reason for me to do it! At the time I accepted that as that, and thought that 6 months must have been the point that you stop being 'newly qualified' but reflecting now I think nurses should be classed as newly qualified for the first year of their careers, regardless of if they move trusts or not.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

A Massive Update

So... seems like I abandoned blogging, and A LOT has happened since I last posted here! Next month I will have been a nurse for 18 months. That seems crazy considering all the jobs I've had (bear with me now haha).

The last time I posted here I was working in PICU. I actually only ended up working there for 5-6 months, for a number of reasons, but the main one was that I was just too homesick with no support network around me! I moved to a new hospital trust in a new city, chose a job in an area I'd never had experience in before, lived by myself in a flat, was long distance with my boyfriend, and didn't have any friends or family in the area. I felt a bit like I'd failed when I decided to quit and come back home, but looking back I think I was being a bit hard on myself - I'd set myself up for a tough start as a newly qualified nurse!

(Although, maybe not as tough as the newly qualified nurses who are currently qualifying during COVID-19... but that's another blog post altogether).

PICU was a great experience though, and I learnt loads. I worked with such a nice team and loved the city, but it just wasn't the right time & circumstances for me. In my future, I can see myself working in PICU again and giving it my all, and spending many years there, but for now I'm very happy where I am (I'll get to that in a few paragraphs). One good thing that came out of me struggling as a newly qualified nurse is that I made a support group on Facebook: Newly Qualified Nurse Support Group, which started off with just me and as of today has 1.6k members and growing! 😊