Transitioning to Practice

I remember my excitement after graduating nursing school 12 years ago, but the true joy and freedom I knew wouldn’t be felt until after taking the NCLEX. Than the true work began first day of orientation as a new graduate nurse. Oh…the anxiety, nerves, and doubt!! Despite my fears I was (and still am today) determined to excel and be the best! Lol, any nurse who worked with me my first year probably doubted my capability to survive. I surpassed survival! By the end of my first year I excelled into a charge nurse role and enjoyed being a new leader!

Thankfully my educators knew the value of mentorship when they created a small cohort mentorship program the year I began. Many organizations today have implemented Transition to Practice Programs (TPP) geared toward new graduate nurses, but how do we bridge the gap for experienced nurses changing settings, specialities, advancing professionally after completing their masters? 

How have you proceed as an experienced nurse when you transition from a medical surgical unit to the ED, critical care, or when you become an assistant nurse manager, nurse manger, director, or nurse practitioner? There is so much we can learn from each other by sharing our stories and experiences. Everyone’s journey is variable, which is the essence of nursing practice. Below I’ve shared a few of my own personal strategies.

A negative mind will never give you a positive life.

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  • Have a positive mindset!
  • Know you’re going to feel overwhelmed, but don’t let this cause you anxiety or stress! Why? Because #1 you’re going to stay positive and calm. But two, the information you’re learning right now will become ingrained it won’t be new! 
  • Trust God! Have faith in what you’re doing. There is no substitute for time so live in the moment. Focus on today ONLY and what you’re learning because tomorrow is another day. 
  • Embrace flexibility! You’ll have to refocus and readjust your plans based on the present moment. That 30, 60, 90 day plan is a guideline not set in stone!
  • Be gracious to yourself as you embark on this journey of transition!

Practice self-sufficiency:

  • Identify a mentor. You’ll hopefully be assigned a preceptor, but seek out a mentor displaying characteristics you admire for guidance. 
  • Seek learning opportunities on information or skills you find challenging! Make your weakness’s your strength! 

Thank you for reading todays blog post! Please comment below on any strategies you’ve implemented along your nursing journey of transition 🙂

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