Accountable Healthcare - How to Support New Nurses
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September 30, 2022

How to Support New Nurses

The nursing profession is challenging and one of the most rewarding careers out there. Nursing can be especially challenging for new graduate nurses. They are just starting their career, and they are trying to learn as much as possible. They also have to deal with the stress of being a new nurse. A new registered nurse may have to endure rude behavior and criticism from experienced nurses. They also have to deal with the anxiety of making sure they do everything right in the work environment.

Nurse managers need to support new nurses and tell them about their nursing experience. There are many ways that experienced nurses can support new nurses. Let’s explore a few of them.

9 Ways to Support New Nurses in Their Nursing Career

Veteran nurses can make the following effort to help provide advice for newer nurses and to set their workplace up for success.

Prioritize Mentoring New Nurses

One of the best ways to support for nurse leaders to support new nurses is to prioritize mentoring them. Many experienced nurses are not willing to take the time to mentor new nurses because of their busy schedules.

They are too busy with their own lives and careers. However, mentoring is one of the most important things a nursing professional can do for a new nurse and provide her an opportunity to learn more about the clinical setting.

The benefits of mentoring newly-graduated nurses in learning clinical skills and completing the job with satisfaction are great. It can also help a new nurse feel supported and valued. When an experienced nurse takes the time to mentor a new nurse, it shows that she cares about her development and creates a healthy work environment. 

Praise New Nurses When They Do Something Right

New nurses often feel like they are under a lot of pressure to perform well. It can be difficult for them to know whether they are doing a good job. That’s why qualified nurses and other health care professionals need to praise new nurses when they do something right. This will help boost their confidence and encourage them to keep up the excellent work.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should ignore errors or problems altogether. But when new nurses progress, even in small steps, you must let them know that you noticed and appreciate their efforts. A little recognition can go a long way in helping new nurses feel supported as they start their careers.

Help Them Gain Recognition for Top Performance

You can help new nurses gain recognition for their top performance in a few different ways. One way is to nominate them for a quality/safety program, such as the Magnet Recognition Program or the DAISY Award. This will help them gain recognition from their peers and also help to promote the importance of quality and safety in nursing.

Another way to help new nurses gain recognition is to write letters of recommendation or speak highly of them to those in charge of staffing and salaries. By doing this, you will be helping to ensure that they are given the opportunities and resources they need to succeed.

Support New Nurses During Moments of Overwhelm

There’s no doubt about it; nursing is a demanding profession. New nurses especially can feel overwhelmed by the levels of stress they get in hospital settings. That’s why it’s crucial for health care leaders who have been around a while to support new nurses when they’re feeling down.

Here are some things you can do to support your fellow nurses:

  • Listen to them: Sometimes all a new nurse needs are someone to listen to their concerns and frustrations. Just being there for them can make a world of difference.
  • Offer advice: But only if they want it. This one can be tricky. You don’t want to come across as preachy, but if a new nurse asks for your advice, feel free to offer it. Just be sure to respect their wishes if they don’t want to hear what you have to say.
  • Help them with their workload: If you see a new nurse struggling to keep up with their heavy workloads, offer to help them out. This could mean anything from offering to do a few of their tasks to taking on a larger project yourself.
  • Provide encouragement and words of wisdom: New nurses need all the encouragement they can get. A few words of wisdom from an experienced nurse can go a long way in helping them through tough times.
  • Be available to give answer questions: New nurses have many questions, and it can be helpful to have someone they can turn to for answers. If you can, make yourself available to answer their questions or help them find the information they need.
  • Mentor Them: One of the best things you can do to support new nurses is to mentor them. This involves taking the time to help them learn the ropes and feel more comfortable in their career. It can also help a new nurse feel supported and valued.

Be Patient and Positive When Training New Nurses

It can be frustrating when training new nurses. They may not seem to be grasping the concepts as quickly as you would like, or they may make careless mistakes. However, it’s essential to remain patient and positive. Remember that these nurses are new to the profession and are still learning.

Be sure to take the time to explain things clearly, and offer plenty of assistance when needed. Praise your nurses for their hard work, even when they make mistakes. This will help them feel encouraged and motivated to continue learning.

With patience and positive reinforcement, your nurses will soon be up to speed and provide quality care for your patients.

Share Examples From Your Own Experience

As an experienced nurse, you have a lot of knowledge, personal experience, and insight from which new nurses can benefit. When training new nurses, be sure to share examples from your own experience. This will help them understand the concepts better and see how they are applied in real-world scenarios.

For instance, if you’re teaching a new nurse about medication administration, share a story about a time when you had to deal with a difficult patient who refused to take their medication. This will help the new nurse understand the importance of following protocol and staying calm in challenging situations.

By sharing your own experiences, you’ll not only be helping new nurses learn, but you’ll also be building relationships and trust.

Stay Open to Feedback

It’s essential to stay open to feedback from new nurses and your colleagues. Feedback can help you improve how you train new nurses and ensure they’re getting the most out of their education.

New nurses may have suggestions for improving their training methods, or they may have questions about something that wasn’t clear to them. Be sure to listen to their feedback and make changes accordingly.

Your colleagues can also provide valuable feedback on your training methods. If you’re open to hearing what they say, you can make improvements that will benefit everyone. By staying open to feedback, you’ll be able to ensure that your new nurses are getting the best education and support possible.

Be a Trustworthy Sounding Board

As you know, a new nurse’s job can be very stressful, they may feel like they’re constantly bombarded with new information, and they may be worried about making mistakes.

As an experienced nurse, you can be a sounding board for new nurses. They can come to you with their concerns, and you can offer advice and support. This will help them feel more confident and capable in their role.

It’s essential to be a trustworthy sounding board for new nurses. This means that you should keep their confidences, and you shouldn’t gossip about them with other nurses. Being a reliable sounding board will build trust with new nurses and help them feel supported in their careers.

Give Constructive Criticism

It’s essential to give new nurses constructive criticism. This will help them learn from their mistakes and avoid making them in the future. However, it’s also important to be sensitive to their feelings. When critiquing a new nurse, focus on the behavior or action you want them to change rather than attacking them personally.

For instance, instead of saying, “You’re so lazy,” try saying, “I noticed that you didn’t take the time to double-check the patient’s medication list. In the future, it’s important to double-check to avoid giving the wrong medication.” Giving constructive criticism will help new nurses learn and grow in their careers.

Final Thoughts

New nurses play a vital role in the healthcare system. They provide care for patients and help keep the wheels of the hospital running smoothly. As an experienced nurse, you can play a crucial role in supporting new nurses. By sharing your knowledge, staying open to feedback, and giving constructive criticism, you’ll help them become the best nurses they can be.


What Advice Would You Give to a New Nurse as a Mentor?

One piece of advice that I would give to a new nurse as a mentor is always to be professional and courteous, even when things get hectic. You never know who is watching and will be observing your behavior as a nurse. Another essential piece of advice is never to stop learning; continue expanding your knowledge base to provide the best possible care for your patients. Lastly, remember that being a nurse is more than just a job – it’s a calling, and it’s important to always maintain your sense of compassion and empathy for your patients.

How Do New Nurses Gain Confidence?

By asking questions and seeking the advice of more experienced nurses, new nurses can gain the confidence they need to perform their jobs effectively. It’s also important to remember that no one is perfect and that mistakes are a natural part of learning. So don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Experienced nurses will be happy to share their knowledge with you and appreciate your willingness to learn.

What Do You Teach a New Nurse?

New nurses need to learn a lot of things, and it can seem overwhelming at first. However, with some guidance and some basic instruction, they can quickly get up to speed and become an integral part of the healthcare team. Here are some things that new nurses need to know:

  • The basics of patient care. This includes taking vital signs, providing personal care, and assisting with activities of daily living.
  • How to safely lift and move patients. Nurses need to be able to transfer patients from their beds to chairs or wheelchairs safely and vice versa. They also need to know how to lift heavier patients properly to avoid injuries.
  • Infection control procedures. New nurses must know how to wash their hands properly, use personal protective equipment, and clean medical equipment.
  • Basic laboratory tests. Nurses often have to collect blood or urine samples from patients, so they must know how to label and transport these specimens properly.
  • Medication administration. New nurses must know how to administer oral, topical, and injectable medications properly. They also need to be familiar with the different medication errors that can occur and how to avoid them.

Why Is Being a New Nurse So Hard?

It’s not necessarily hard to be a new nurse, but it can be challenging. Nursing is a demanding profession that requires compassion, intuition, critical thinking skills, and a lot of hard work. It’s also essential to be able to work as part of a team and to be able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously. That said, nurses are in high demand, and there are many opportunities for advancement. Nursing is also a gratifying profession, both emotionally and financially. There are many different specialties within nursing, so there is something for everyone, regardless of their interests or personality type.

Article by: Brittney Wilson, BSN, RN at