Hospitals invest a lot in their new graduate nurses. Most have a residency/orientation program which can last anywhere from 3-12 months depending upon the unit in which the new graduate nurse will be working. It can cost upwards of $82,000 for each new graduate nurse in the program. Which is why most require their new grads to sign a contract of at least two years in duration in an attempt to justify that cost. It is also why hospitals do not hire very many new grads.
For my residency, I just finished my first week of orientation as a new graduate nurse. I expected to be overwhelmed – expectation confirmed. I did not expect to be sitting on my butt all day. The first week was a lot of powerpoint presentations, lectures, and teambuilding exercises. In other words, it felt a lot like nursing school without the improbable syllabi. I will also point out they were paying me rather than the other way around – a situation I much prefer!
Next week I will be on the unit for a couple of shifts, so the real work begins – cue nervous twitching.