When Jannel D. Gooden, BSN, RN, was a new nurse, the first six months were traumatic for her. Her short-lived time in an adult oncology unit had her second-guessing her decision to become a nurse.

“I went through a spectrum of emotions and confusion, and at the time, I felt very isolated in the experience,” Gooden recalls. “I now know that it is a common thread all nurses share. The novice nurse journey is difficult.”

After she left her first position, Gooden says she made it her mission to create and expand on helping guide new nurses. She currently works as a travel nurse in the pediatric critical care setting throughout California. In her free time, she makes videos which she posts on her Instagram account @NoviceIsTheNewNurse to give advice to new nurses so that they learn and no longer feel alone.

 

 

Some of Gooden’s videos came about because she read through the journal notes she kept during her first three years in nursing and came up with a topic. She will share what was troubling her at the time in a way that she feels will help other nurses. Other times, she makes videos in response to questions that new nurses have emails or messaged to her. Sometimes, she simply speaks directly from her heart.

“I believe everything I went through in my first few months as a new nurse shaped my passion for helping new nurses in their journey,” says Gooden.

Some of her videos even feature doctors giving advice to new nurses. But she has a specific reason for including them. “We work with physicians every shift, no matter what specialty of nursing we are in. It is vital to patient care that we learn to effectively communicate with our physicians, that we are not intimidated by them, and that we develop a healthy working relationship,” explains Gooden. “Using a physician to offer advice to new nurses softens their identity. It gently takes them down from that unapproachable platform and allows a new nurse to hear advice in their safe place. It allows the new nurse to receive the advice without the nerves of the workplace or the pressures of pending orders that need to be carried out. It provides a new perspective on how they are viewed in the workplace and what is expected from them as a team member.”

 

✨✨From the Physicians Perspective!!✨✨ Words of advice for novice nurses From Attending MD Sarah Buchman of Pediatrics (Part 1) 1-Speak Succintly 2- Plan ahead what you will say before paging or calling doc 3- Let doc know when you are unsure…preface dialogue with a question 4- Never be afraid to advocate for your patient 5- Find & use your MAGIC words to get doctor's attention 6-Keep QUESTIONING, in a respectful manner 7- We are a TEAM & your input matters ✨I will take the time to further breakdown some things that stood out for me in upcoming videos. ✨I also will continue to include advice from other members of the healthcare team for you guys as well! ? ✨✨If you have questions, feel free to DM or email for clarification. Happy Friday!❤️? #peds #pedsnurse #pediatricnurse #pediatrics #picu #icu #NoviceNurse #Nurse #NurseLife #NurseProblems #Nursing #NursingSchool #InstaNurse #futurenurse #LPN #RN #BSN #MSN #NursesRock #nursesofinstagram #NurseProblems #Nurses #RegisteredNurse #TravelNurse #inspiration #motivate #nursenation #Scrubs #littmann #littmannstethoscope

A video posted by RN, BSN (@noviceisthenewnurse) on

 

The term “new nurse” doesn’t just necessarily mean someone fresh out of nursing school. Gooden says that when she switched to the critical care field, she became a new nurse all over again. “Every day was a mental, physical, and emotional workout. The equipment was unfamiliar, the families were scary, the patients and all the wires, the time management skills—some days I was afraid to even tough my own patient,” she says. All that is in the past, but by sharing her experiences with new nurses, she is making a difference.

Gooden gets asked a lot of questions, and Minority Nurse asked her about advice she would give to new minority nurses who might be experiencing discrimination, bullying, and/or stereotypes. “Discrimination and bullying are topics we sweep under the rug in nursing school. No one seems to talk about it, but it is a very real thing for new nurses of all ethnic backgrounds,” Gooden says. “New nurses carry a certain enthusiasm and hope that all nurses need to be reminded of it. My greatest advice is to hold on tight to your light. Try not to get discouraged in your practice during the very inevitable difficult moments. Your work will speak louder for you than any words you could ever speak, so do not get lost in the stupidity of others. Be an advocate for yourself. Do not allow anyone to treat you unfairly. Know when and how to put your foot down, all while maintaining your professionalism.”

Top Five Pieces of Advice for New Nurses

Gooden has top pieces of advice that she would give to new nurses, and they focus on what she believes are not emphasized in nursing school, a consistent part of the nursing curriculum, or ingrained into nursing training.

1. Be Confident.

Your patient cannot trust you, if you cannot trust you.

2. Know How to Delegate.

We are taught the meaning but not taught how to execute the verb. One piece of advice I always suggest? Get to know your CNAs and PCTs. This creates a more comfortable environment for you to be able to ask them to complete a task for you. It also shows your respect for their line of work by getting to know them outside of your needs.

3. Vent.

Find a friend and let it all out—preferably a nursing buddy you can trust. If you do not release the frustrating energy in a healthy way, your patients will feel your tension. When you are tense, you are also more inclined to make mistakes.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions.

Question everything! Ask every why and how that comes to mind. The new nurse who does not ask questions is the nurse that scares everyone on that unit.

5. Be an Advocate.

Knowing how to advocate for yourself is truly what makes you a more comfortable advocate for your patients. So please, speak up for yourself.

Gooden is in the process of creating a YouTube channel featuring her advice for new nurses. In the meantime, you can find them on her Instagram. “I want to help new nurses because I am forever that new nurse. If one fails, we all fail because we collectively make up a profession that the world depends on,” says Gooden. “I want new nurses to gain confidence with their practice because people do not stop getting sick because we are afraid. Once you can overcome fear as a new nurse, then the door to growth is wide open.”

Michele Wojciechowski

Michele Wojciechowski is an award-winning writer and author of the humor book Next Time I Move, They’ll Carry Me Out in a Box.

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