Ask the expert: Welcome new nurses and educators to the organization

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, June 26, 2009

This week, Bonnie Clair, BSN, RN, shares best practices for welcoming new nurses and educators.

Q: How can we welcome new nurses and educators to the organization?

A: Healthcare organizations know the first year of employment for a new nurse is the trickiest, so it's important to let new nurse graduates know they are welcome on the unit and will be a valued part of the team. There are a number of ways you can welcome new nurses:

  • Make welcome flyers. Post welcome flyers around your facility—not only in nursing areas, but also in places physicians will see them.
  • Get to know them. It can useful to get to know new graduates before assigning them a preceptor or a mentor, because that way you have a better idea of their personality and can make a suitable placement. To accomplish this, consider spending the first two weeks of new nurses' orientation with them as much as possible.
  • Check in weekly. Most new nurse graduates are beginning their first-ever full-time job. The reality of this can be overwhelming, so check in weekly to make sure they are not overwhelmed.
  • Go out to lunch. Whether it's the new nurse's first or second week on the job, take the nurse out to lunch to get to know him or her. This shows nurses that you care about them.
  • Recognize the new nurse at staff meetings. Before you begin the weekly staff meeting, take the time to introduce everyone to the new nurse. This is a great way for the new nurse to remember faces and feel a part of the team.
  • Conduct meetings. Meet with new nurses in their first, third, and sixth months of employment to see how things are going and to establish goals and objectives for their career advancement.

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