Helping New Nurses One Video at a Time

Helping New Nurses One Video at a Time

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.”

Twitter for Professional Use

Twitter for Professional Use

Many have spent time addressing the misuse of social media by health care professionals. True, there are dangers of using social media without a policy in place, but my guess is that there is no lack of policy at your facility. Please review your facilities’ policy before starting to engage in social media for professional use, even if the use is under your own name. In my opinion, the time spent on the dangers of social media use has not been equal to the time spent speaking to the value of social media for professional use. This is unfortunate, as many influencers are in this space waiting to hear from you! Additionally, there is a generation who uses this platform almost exclusively as their preferred communication tool. There are many members of the public who need the knowledge you have, but e-mail and phone are not the best way to reach them. I’d like to share how I have found Twitter to be useful for me.

How to Start

Signing up for a Twitter account is very easy. You do not have to use your real name. You can always change your username later; just choose something that could be used on a resume, as this platform will reflect you professional brand. Start with a review of the Twitter feed of a nurse or disease association that you would like to follow. Take a look at the type of content they produce or curate. You can even go behind the scenes and see who this association is following for their information. Be sure to look at who they respect enough to follow for valuable information—you can learn a lot from this alone. You may wish to follow similar people or companies since you will now be feeding on the same information as this huge association. However, try to be selective about who you follow as your news feed may get cluttered with personal stories of others, which will not help with professional growth. An alternative to this would be to create a list of people who produce valuable content so you can always refer to this list for a quick update from time to time.

Listen Before Speaking

Spend time listening to conversations first. Notice what these associations or other influencers of your field are sharing with the public in terms of their content and tone of voice they are using. Twitter is not a place to vent or engage in negativity. Doing so will quickly detract from the brand you are establishing on this platform. One way to find relevant conversations is to use this platform as a powerful search engine. If I search for a topic in Google, the results may have broken links, or the information may not be up-to-date. Twitter yields more specific, up-to-date results. Peer-reviewed journals are very easy to find here as well. You may even be able to interact in real time with the authors or publishers of the journals.

Twitter as a Ear to Even More Conversations

Take the term value-based care. It is interesting to take a quick glance on the latest on this developing topic. Once you sign into Twitter, in the upper-right hand corner, search “#valuebasedcare” and look at who is speaking to this issue as well as what other topics they have tweeted about. Do you feel you have something of value to add to the conversation? This is an open conversation so there is no need to wait to be invited to the table. Some people still feel as though they need a more formal invitation. For that, participate in a Tweet chat. Find a relevant conversation with the Healthcare Hashtag Project. Select a topic that will highlight your expertise and join in the conversation! You can easily build profitable professional relationships, establish thought leadership, and demonstrate expertise on this social media platform.

Nurse Speaker?

Say you are a nurse speaker and you are curious about a particular nursing conference. You can easily find the name of the conference, the hashtags for that conference, and start learning! Often, conversations around the conference hashtags carry on months after the conference is over. For example, search for #AONE, which was used for the American Organization of Nurse Executives conference. You can still interact with any of these tweets.

I invite you all to take a moment to stop looking for an invitation to join the conversation, pull up a chair, and share your value.

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for Nurses

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for Nurses

Most nurses are comfortable using social media to connect with family and friends, but are unsure about how to use it in a professional context. As the world of health informatics collides with the world of social media (or “new media,” as some health IT experts prefer to call it), it has wide-ranging implications for clinicians, patients, and public health policy.

Here are some tips on making the most of social media, brought to you from nurses on the floor—and on the forefront of these new technologies.

1. Let social media curate health news and research studies for you.

You may not be interested in the social aspects of social media (“I don’t care what my coworkers had for lunch!”), but dig deeper and you will see that there’s a world of opportunity and information, according to Lorry Schoenly, PhD, RN, CCHP-RN, owner of the blog, 

“Twitter is my news and information source,” she says. “I follow nurses, doctors, radiologists, and others so they curate the news for me. I can quickly stream the different content areas I’ve set up and skim through them in a couple of minutes, a few times a week.”

There is so much new research to keep up with—social media can save you the time and money (for journal subscriptions, say) that you’d otherwise have to invest, Schoenly adds.

In social media, “it’s all about knowing, liking, and trusting sources,” says Schoenly. If you’ve developed streams from trusted sources, you can quickly come up to speed on important health issues, public policy, and gray areas of clinical practice.

With all the noise out there on the web, how can you single out reliable sources? For starters, has a list of free health care social media resources on 140 topics. They curate them based on recommendations from thousands of health care professionals (a form of “crowdsourcing”) to ensure that these blogs, Facebook groups, Twitter feeds, and YouTube channels are high quality.

As you tap these resources, be on the lookout for these health care social media “stamps of approval”:

• Health on the Net Foundation (HONcode);

• The Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics (group is no longer active, but designation is still used);

• Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

2. Start your social media journey with training wheels.

Some nurses are so intimidated by social media and fearful about making a mistake that they avoid it all together, or go into “lockdown mode,” blocking their profiles and activity from public view. Example: the nurse manager who has only a Facebook profile (under a phony name) and ventures on it just to see photos of her grandchildren.

That type of avoidance makes some administrators and recruiters wonder about a nurse’s ability to leverage technology, or suspect that it’s a deliberate attempt to hide something unsavory.

Andrea Hill, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, an assistant nurse manager at University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill, took a brief course on social media at work. She was instructed to “be careful what you put out there,” so she’s eager to avoid any activity that could be “misconstrued or misjudged,” she says. She is comfortable, however, communicating with fellow staff members on her unit’s Facebook page because of safeguards.

“We have to invite staff to be members, and you can’t necessarily see their personal page unless they invite you. We don’t invite patients or outsiders and wouldn’t accept their request, if that ever happened,” she explains.

Hill also belongs to a Doctorate of Nursing Practice online community sponsored by a professional group and enjoys discussing global health issues there. Locally, she participates on the North Carolina Organization for Nurse Leaders Facebook page as time allows.

3. Empower your patients through medical social media.

“Social media is a whole new tool to empower patients,” says Ramona Nelson, PhD, RN-BC, ANEF, FAAN, author of Social Media for Nurses. “We should be educating patients about it. Nurses should learn about their patient population and possible resources for them. You may be surprised what’s out there and what resources patients are using. For example, where are adolescents going to get informed? I looked at the Seventeen magazine website and it has some very interesting information on various adolescent issues, such as sexual health,” she explains.

According to Nelson, research shows that patients often go to the Internet first to prepare for a doctor’s visit; it helps them compile a list of clear and concise questions. Then, after the visit, they use the Internet to reinforce what the doctor told them. When clinics provide access to a computer and digital resources for patients, patients can make good use of time spent waiting for an appointment, she concludes.

Nurses should also educate patients about privacy concerns and the associated risks of social media, says Nelson. “There are numerous apps you can download onto a phone. They send that information somewhere. Who’s getting that information? If it’s not a covered entity—a software company, and not a physician—that information is not protected by HIPAA.”

Also, she adds that some of that social media user health data is collected, packaged, and sold to organizations, such as pharmaceutical companies. “That’s not a bad thing, necessarily, because it may help develop better drugs. But patients have to be aware when sharing personal information so they can do that safely.”

4. Level the playing field for minority populations.

Social media can make health information more pertinent to minority patients. For example, a Spanish-language diabetes app may appeal to Hispanic patients who reportedly have a higher than average rate of cell phone ownership.

Beyond the technology, minority nurses and those who care for minority populations “should push for culturally sensitive and appropriate information,” says Nelson. “It’s as simple as a parent looking up a rash in a child. They will notice there are many images of light-skinned children with various rashes. But a rash looks different on dark skin rather than light, and the number of examples of children with darker skin is more limited. We need more resources that are sensitive to the race, culture, and health literacy of patients and their families.”

5. Start a nurse blog—or contribute to one.

In 2002, an RN who goes by only “Gina” started Code Blog—Tales of a Nurse (, and has updated it ever since. “I had a personal blog with my husband and was writing nursing type stories on it,” she explains, “and a friend suggested that I start a whole blog just for nursing stories.  So I did.” She was an ER nurse at the time (and in total has 15 years of nursing experience), so the name is a play on words for “code blue.”

“My experience has been extremely positive so far! I wrote more pre-children for sure, but I enjoyed writing about interesting experiences I had and getting reactions and feedback,” she adds. “I’ve met some great nurse bloggers, even in person, and that was a great experience as well. The benefits of blogging are—you get a platform for writing. Sometimes people read it and comment on it! And that’s wonderful. Sometimes it starts an interesting dialogue.”

Have your own compelling nurse tale to share with the whole, wide blogosphere? Gina accepts submissions, sans identifying details that may breach patient confidentiality.  “In other words, use your noggin’,” say her submission guidelines. She’s especially interested in true tales, and stories that are “entertaining and thought-provoking.”

6. Tap into the power of Twitter.

Not a lot of nurses utilize Twitter, but this micro-blogging platform is a favorite of savvy clinicians and recruiters. It’s easier to connect with people here—especially experts and other hard-to-reach folks—because it’s a low-risk, 140-word commitment. From there you can deepen the connection on other platforms (e.g., tweet “would you mind if I connect with you on LinkedIn?”).

For job-seeking nurses, sites such as are especially helpful for getting a jump on other applicants who wait for a job to be posted on a website. Twitter is more immediate, so you get to be the first one in a recruiter’s inbox.

Twitter is opening doorways in the areas of health education and policy. Nurse- entrepreneur Brian Norris, MBA, RM-BC, FHIMSS, CEO of Social Health Insights, took his dozen years in informatics and created a health-related Twitter app, in partnership with an IT developer.  His inspiration? A US Department of Health and Human Services innovation challenge, called “Now Trending #Health in My Community,” sought to mine Twitter data for disease surveillance. They “requested we map 200 set terms, such as flu, influenza, and malaria,” says Norris. His team won the challenge with their app,, which has powerful applications for visualizing and researching disease trends. His company also offers other health information services and products for government and health care organizations.

7. Get LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the single best social media platform for nursing professionals and job seekers. It’s like signing up for a hyper-resume and virtual networking party, and best of all, it’s free. If you haven’t completed a profile yet, do it immediately. And if you already have one, update it and connect to other members so that you fully utilize this awesome tool.

Another way to network with LinkedIn’s more than 259 million members is to find several groups that resonate with you and join them. (There are many nursing groups; usually they are based on specialty.) Then you can contact any of the members at no charge. Otherwise, you have to find someone in your network that has a connection to the member you want to reach and get introduced, or pay a fee to send a direct message.

8. Don’t overdose on social media.

New nursing grads who grew up texting, Skyping, Tweeting, Facebooking, and the like are known as “social media natives” and may have a different set of challenges than older colleagues. They have to shift their mindset from “sharing with 1,000 of my closest friends” to “presenting myself as a nursing professional.”

“I’m 23, so I’m on social media a lot of the time—mostly Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr,” says Dana Kouchel, RN, BSN, a nurse at University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill. “I recently became Facebook friends with some coworkers.  I like seeing their family pictures and posting ones of us together outside of work. Sometimes social media is in the back of my mind, and I have to disable it, otherwise it could be a distraction.”

Kouchel is careful not to share any stories about work on Facebook because “it’s a slippery slope and I don’t want to invade anyone’s privacy. We’re patient advocates and I don’t want to jeopardize the nurse-patient relationship. They put their trust in us.” At the same time, she tries to always be “tasteful and professional,” and never include alcohol in pictures, say.

Nursing students and recent graduates are the ones more likely to go back through their various social media profiles and clean them up. What looks like fun at a sorority or frat party may be construed as an example of poor judgment once you’ve entered the professional world.

Jebra Turner is a freelance health and business writer based in Portland, Oregon. She frequently contributes to the Minority Nurse magazine and website. Visit her online at 


Social Media Profile May Win or Lose You Jobs

Social Media Profile May Win or Lose You Jobs

 Looking for a job? Before applying for a new position, examine your social media profile. 

Make sure that what you find will help and not hinder your opportunity with a prospective employer. If your public face is unflattering, clean it up. Failure to do so may cost you a coveted position. Employers are increasingly searching social media sites to look for potential hires with a professional image and good qualifications. Anything less and you may be rejected on the spot.

In a survey by CareerBuilder of some 2,100 hiring managers and human resource professionals, 43% rejected job applicants as a result of what they found on social media sites. Some of the reasons they said that knocked candidates out of the running for jobs include sharing racy or inappropriate photos (50%), poor communication skills (30%), bad-mouthing a previous employer (33%), and, discriminatory remarks relating to race, gender or religion (28%).

On the flip side social media gave some prospective employees an edge. One out of five respondents found social media information that led them to hire a candidate. At least half of the respondents said the profiles conveyed a professional image, revealed a well-rounded candidate and supported the candidate’s qualifications. 

The 2013 survey found more employers are using social media to weed out candidates compared to last year.

Make sure your online persona reveals positive clues about your character, image and personality. Keep your social media presence positive by taking these steps:

•Search yourself. Google your name and check out other sites. Clean up any digital dirt. 

•Update your LinkedIn profile and make sure it is accurate.

•Check your privacy settings regularly as they may change. Never post anything that would be unsuitable on the front page of a newspaper. 

•Consider creating a profile that is strictly for business.

•Use good grammar. When commenting online, avoid typos and keep the content clean. 

•Avoid ranting about an employer and co-workers.

•Post content that shows you are sociable and well-rounded.

Source: CareerBuilder