From the staff development bookshelf: Supporting new graduate nurses

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 1, 2011

If you organization does not have a nurse residency program or some other form of new graduate program in place and you are interested in supporting your new nurses, here are some tools you can use to lead new graduate discussions:

Organization tools: Ask new graduates to bring the organizational tool they use to plan their shift. Review the components of the tool for completeness. If they do not have a tool, provide samples. Encourage them to use the tool during several shifts and look for patterns, such as whether they are spending a disproportionate amount of time on one activity.

Complete shift-to-shift report: Develop three examples of a shift-to-shift report. 1) Incomplete report, missing data; 2) Too verbose and possibly missing pertinent data; 3) Clear, complete, and concise. Inform new graduates they will be receiving a handoff report for a patient. Instruct them to rate the report as complete or incomplete and invite them to give feedback on their opinion.

Prioritizing care: Provide information for a typical patient care assignment. Ask new graduates to prioritize their care. Ask questions such as, "Which patients should you see first? Should you see the more complex patients first or last?"

Source: Book excerpt adapted from Nursing Orientation Program Builder: Tools for a Successful New Hire Program by Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN, and Debbie Buchwach, BSN, RN-BC.

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