In the know: Fitting new grads into the work environment

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, April 6, 2009

Many new graduates have to learn to work with many different personalities and work cultures. To do this successfully, they must understand themselves and how they work so that they can fit in with the rest of the team.

Socialization or fitting in on a unit is as important for new grads as increasing their nursing skills. If they do not work at trying to be part of the team, their experience at their facility may not be a happy one, and they may run the risk of becoming one of the statistics of new-grad turnover.

If you are a new graduate, the following are some tips that can help you fit in:

  • Take your breaks off the unit, and with your teammates. Do not isolate yourself in the break room.
  • Take the first step and make every effort to get to know your coworkers. Ask them about themselves, their family, their grandchildren, pets, outside hobbies, etc. Listen to what they have to say.
  • Avoid getting involved in any workplace gossip or issues, which can lead to conflict and interpersonal tension. This just adds to an already stressful work environment.
  • If there is a retirement or holiday party, join in. Or better yet, since you are the newest member of the team, offer to work for one of the more senior members.
  • Every once in awhile bring food to the break room. It doesn’t have to be home made—everyone likes a good coffee cake or some bagels with their coffee.

Source: Stressed Out About Your First Year of Nursing, HCPro, Inc. 2006. Be sure to pick up your copy today!


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