From staff nurse to nurse consultant: Survival Guide part 3: Just qualified

25 July 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 14

There is an interesting mix of emotions that occur when you first qualify as a Registered Nurse. Initially there is the euphoria of passing all the examinations and the relief of being paid a living wage, there is the pride of achievement and the excitement of a new job. These positive feelings are soon mixed with the stresses of working in a new clinical team, being in charge and responsible, feeling that you should know everything, giving ‘handovers’ and the loss of your student group peer support and university mentors.

Some nurses find this transition from student to staff nurse relatively easy, others find it difficult. Some newly qualified nurses who 3 years ago were healthcare assistants (HCAs) have the additional challenges of returning to their original clinical area, but this time as a qualified nurse. Whatever the background and personality of the newly qualified nurse, everyone will find those first few months challenging, stressful and demanding. It is important to appreciate that although the change of role from student to qualified nurse is relatively instant at the point of ‘registration’, the adaptation and internalisation of the role takes a few months. Those early weeks can be pivotal in forming your identity as a qualified nurse. Consider some of the following key areas that you will face in your first months.

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