• RnMindset

Motivation For The New Nurse

Updated: Nov 19, 2018



Every nurse needs encouragement and a helping hand at times. When you are a new nurse your need for help may be overwhelming. The nursing field is very broad with lots of jobs to choose from. As a new nurse in any position there are a principles that will help you on how to be successful in your first job.


#1. Remember careers take time.


It shouldn't come as a shock to any new nurse that it takes time to become a nurse. It is not possible for a random person to wake up and start interviewing for nursing positions. A nurse has gone through years of school, spent countless hours studying, crying, debating if nursing school is worse than hell. A new nurse is a successful person. It is no small achievement to pass a nursing program, and pass the NCLEX. Remember that as a licensed nurse you are already a successful person. You may have ambitions beyond nursing, or you may aspire to be a nurse working in a critical unit, and these are good aspirations for nurses to look up to. Don't forget that your career as a nurse will take time to grow. As a new nurse it is important to have powerful ambition, but it is also important to remember that just because you may want to be a CRNA, DNP, or charge nurse, you are still a new grad to the other nurses on the unit. Your knowledge as a nurse will continue to grow and deepen in understanding as you spend time on your unit. As you get to know your job, and build friendships with your coworkers, it will be easier for you to ask questions and learn more about nursing. As time goes on you will not have the same level of stress that you had as a new nurse, and you will be able to progress towards the next steps of your career.


#2. Learn from everyone.


There is a unique diversity among nurses with the fact that nursing has been around a lot longer than we have been alive today. There are new nurses graduating in their early twenties being trained by nurses who are in their fifties. The problems that arise from ageism won't be discussed here, but be aware that it can be an issue. So if you are a young new grad, please don't be offended by a nurse who is old enough to be your parent, and is training you, or even being supervised by you depending on your position.



Be motivated to learn from your peers. There might be a nurse out there that knows absolutely everything, but it's not likely. Odds are nurses have strengths and weaknesses, and nurses feed off each other. (no pun intended about nurses eating their own) As a nurse you can learn from nurses who have been working on your unit and will have bits of knowledge that will help you grow.


#3. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. (The small ones).


It doesn't matter how good you think you might be as a nurse, you are going to make mistakes, and this is ok. Nurses are superheros, but they are not superhuman. Nurse school will have trained you to have as low of a risk as possible to go throughout your career without making mistakes, especially the really big ones, but you will still eventually make mistakes, it is human nature. Be as careful as possible to not make a big mistake, such as a medication overdose, or administer a medication that the patient is severely allergic to. But remember that throughout your career, and especially when you are first starting out you will make mistakes along the way. When you do make a mistake, man/girl up and own your mistake and learn from it. Your mistake has meaning and purpose to you if you learn from it. If you do not learn from a mistake the mistake really was a hindrance to your life. Making mistakes will help you grow, and will help you learn what you need to watch out for in your career.

The important concept to understand here is to not have the fear of mistakes hinder your growth as a nurse. If you are too afraid to ask questions, too afraid to try a new procedure, too afraid to question a physicians order, you will have a hard time making progress in your career. You did not become a nurse by being afraid to take risks. You took a risk going to school for years, possibly taking out a large loan for tuition. You took risks by accepting your invitation letter into nursing school, not knowing if you would pass or fail the program. The risks of your career will come frequently, and if you are afraid of making mistakes, you will not be able to grow. So be motivated at work to push yourself and look for opportunities to learn, even if it might mean you have the potential of not doing or saying it right.

If you do make a serious mistake, understand that it is not uncommon. Nursing is a job where you are working with human life. If you seriously hurt someone it will affect who you are as a person, and possibly your career. Again, if you learn from your mistake, your mistake will have meaning. It will be very uncomfortable for you if you make a serious mistake and potentially lose your job or even license, but remember that other nurses have been in your shoes if you do make a big mistake. Hospital administrators work hard to ensure safe practice for nurses to make the nursing role as easy as possible without causing harm. Even with these barriers, mistakes still happen. If a big mistake happens to you, own your mistake, and work on correcting it. It will be painful, but if you learn from it, at least one positive result occurred.


Key Points.


#1. Remember careers take time.

#2. Learn from everyone.

#3. Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

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