WORK/LIFE BALANCE FROM A MOM AND NURSE PRACTITIONER

Nurses nurture their young

5/6/16
This week marks the beginning of nurses week, and thus I would like to address a nursing topic. Every nurse has heard the expression "Nurses eat their young" which refers to the hostile culture new nurses are often faced with starting their first job. Most every nurse has a story that can reflect this phrase as well. I can personally say I've experienced this from former preceptors, instructors, and coworkers alike, as I entered into the world of nursing young and na├»ve. I am in no way advocating nurse on nurse hate, however I now have a better understanding of why the bullying targeted towards new nurses can happen. Nurses are notorious for getting the blame from everyone; the patient's angry family, the doctor, the nursing supervisor, etc. Staffing ratios are often not adhered to, shifts are long, work demands on nurses keeps increasing. Nurses are not paid to precept a student or a new hire in the hospital in most cases. Even in my clinical rotations in my Master's program, my clinical preceptors were volunteer positions. Having a student and giving them thorough guidance takes time and patience, which often isn't available in the busy life of a nurse. I have however, so much respect for the seasoned nurse, even when they are burnt out and angry. I know they have put up with so much more in their career than I ever have, and have so much knowledge from their many years of nursing. For every time I was bullied or thrown under the bus as a new nurse, there were 10 more instances a seasoned nurse came to my rescue or gave me the guidance I needed in that particular moment. I have seen the nursing culture and education move away from this more hardened approach toward new nurses, and I hope this does continue as we need more compassionate and competent nurses.
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