Nursing Book Club
First Year Nurse: Wisdom, Warnings and What I Wish I had Known My First 100 Days on the Job by Barbara Arnoldussen, RN, MBA
Helpful Advice for the New Nurse
I look back on my early years as a nurse as having been really difficult. We still had glass IV bottles and no IV pumps. We mixed our own antibiotics. Patient/nurse ratios back then would probably be illegal now. We often rotated all three shifts each week, working three weekends out of every four.
Today, 40 years later, I have a vast amount of nursing wisdom that I wish I could share with that terrified earlier version of myself. If you know a new graduate RN who is (or will shortly be) in the same boat I was back then, Kaplan Publishing has made it easy to share a veteran’s wisdom with fledgling nurses.
The current edition of a book first published in 2004 (as Training Wheels for Nurses), First Year Nurse outlines what every new nurse needs to know, amplified by advice and quotes from nurses in almost every specialty, from every corner of the country. This small volume, which could fit in a scrub jacket pocket, is one of those rare books that make you feel proud each time you can say, “I knew that!”.
First Year Nurse begins by acknowledging how difficult it is to bridge the gap between nursing student and working nurse. The book then offers worthwhile suggestions on finding that first job, knowing what to expect when you get it and learning how to fit in. For instance, you may not have anyone to shadow, which could leave you feeling like you’ve been thrown in the deep end. Finding a mentor to help you, even an unofficial one, can be huge step toward success.