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First Year NP

Eating Our Young

Published April 11, 2013 4:05 PM by Anne-Marie Gitchel
So I've written about cases the last couple of times and I'm thinking it's time to give you guys an update. I've been in my position as NP in an acute care setting seeing cardiology patients for 3 months now. I can't believe it! It's going really well and I'm really grateful that this opportunity was given to me. I've learned so much already and I learn so much more every day.

I've had my ups and downs with administration with the adjustment of trying to maintain my family life and work life. It's slowly coming together and things are looking more positive every day. I truly love the colleagues that I'm working with and the doctors. They are all extremely supportive in regards to patience and teaching, and for that I'm truly thankful.

I think one of the biggest challenges that I've emotionally faced is having the feeling of distrust from the "older" nursing service. I feel like I truly developed a positive rapport with the floor nurses and I believe that they understand that I'm new but that I work my butt off make the best decisions that I can for the patients. They also like the fact that I was a floor nurse and I'm sorry, but once a nurse, always a nurse!

There will never be a day that I won't empty a urinal or take a patient's old lunch tray away. Where I've met challenges is with some of the higher-up nursing staff. I understand that I'm in a position that has great effects on their patient population. I get that they don't know me from Sam Jones and so there is that distrust there.

I just have an issue with the way that it's handles sometimes. Tone...That means a world of difference, you know? The way that you speak to someone will either make them want to listen to you, support you and respect you, or it will make them shut down.

That's where I'm at at this point. It's tough. I'm the new guy on the block. I get it. Don't run me off. You know why? You'll just end up with someone else new on the block and starting all over again. It's one thing I never, ever understood about the nursing community. Why do we "eat our young?" We should support them and teach them. They are the future! We are the future! We need to work together to support and encourage one another. That is truly the way to ensure the best possible healthcare is given to our patients.

So I'm off to another hectic week! It's been crazy, crazy and it's not even summer yet! Hope you guys are having a great week. Please give me some ideas on topics that you'd like to delve into. It makes for a more interactive environment, which in my opinion is always a good thing!


Keep your head up.  I would say that this is jealousy.  People want to criticize things they don't have the courage to complete themselves.  We don't have to like everyone we work with, but we do have to show respect in the work place.  I feel maybe you should call this to their attention. Then maybe you can move forward from there.

Amy McLaughlin, Internal Medicine - APN, IU Arnett October 22, 2013 8:52 AM
Lafayette IN

Cheryl, thanks so much for your positive feedback, but I'd like to let you know that I don't title my blogs. The magazine does. Thanks alot for asking. Have a blessed day.

Anne-Marie Gitchel April 27, 2013 5:58 AM

While I applaud you for getting through the trials and tribulations of being new to the field of nursing, I take issue with the title of your piece " Eating Our Young". I came to the field of nursing from another field entirely and heard this catch phrase many times during my training and never understood it. Seems to capture the old guard nursing beliefs which none of us like and stifle our growth professionally. I would love to see this catch phrase retired for good!  Lets talk about the need to support our new nurses and stop bringing this old and weary adage up. It's time we stopped saying it and move on to more productive catch phrases for ourselves and our profession like "Nurturing New Nurses".  Doesn't that say more about who we are and where we want to be as a profession in the future?

Cheryl April 21, 2013 9:51 AM
Philadelphia PA

Hang in there-it will get better, especially as those of us who have almost been "eaten" don't repeat that behavoir. Instead we mentor and inspire more from our profession, from ourselves and future nurses and NP's.

Gabrielle Schwilk, FNP-BC April 16, 2013 8:58 PM

Janeen, congrats on starting your new job! It's so exciting, I know. Exciting, scary, hectic... And the list goes on. Just talk to your family. Explain to them the frustrations that you're experiencing that way they can develop ways to help you better cope with them. And one thing that has to be done eventually is you learning to leave work at work. If there one thing that I've really tried to do, it's that. You can def tell the difference in the people that are able to do that. When you get to where you think of work 24/7, it takes its toll on not only you, but your family as well. Really affects your coworkers too b/c it will make you become more stressed.. It's all really a cycle. So just remember that we're here to support each other and if you ever need to vent, I'll lend an ear! Keep your chin up honey! You made the right decision!

Anne-Marie Gitchel April 15, 2013 2:34 PM

Wow...this could not have found it's way to me at a more opportune time!!! I am only eight days into my first NP job and had a bad day yesterday.... my family members are frustrated whenI come home upset and I am wondering if I made the right choice of career.....Reading this and talking to a former classmate though made me feel 100% better!!! Thank you for sharong your experiences and I will be following your blog daily!!!

Janeen, Internal Medicine - FNP April 12, 2013 7:37 AM
New York NY

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