I have been thinking a lot lately about the student nurse journey and becoming a newly qualified nurse, Twitter has been awash with nurses starting out, student nurses qualifying and newly qualified nurses getting their first jobs. In addition to this #WeNurses this coming week discussing Supporting Nurses With Specific Learning Needs on Tuesday and Nurse Training: Starting Out on Thursday. AND then I read this heartfelt yet amusing blog by @KarenDawber - Letter to a Newly Qualified Nurse. Karen writes some amazing advice to her younger self in a letter entitled Dear Me. So i started to wonder what would i say to the newly qualified me? So Karen I am unashamedly following your fabulous lead and have written my own Dear Me letter:
Can you please put down that letter from your boyfriend (after all you have read it six times already and he turns out to be really irritating anyway!) and spend a little time reading this advice from an older and wiser you. Its now 2014 and you have been a qualified nurse for a whopping 18 years and OMG things have changed ….. your future is A- MAZ-ING. However this letter isn’t about spoilers its about advice so here goes:
1. Take time to breathe – make sure that no matter how busy you are or how many patients you have when things get tough take some deep breaths and re-focus.
2. You will cry ….. lots, but thats not a bad thing as it means you care however please don’t cry alone, when you head to the linen cupboard take a friend and share your thoughts and feelings.
3. Never stop being you – never stop being a passionate and caring nurse. You will meet some people along the way who are .. how shall I say this … ermmmm .. not so caring …. don’t get sucked into their way of doing things and don’t be disheartened by their way of doing things. Always be you as you nurse compassionately and thats something to be proud of.
4. Be brave – this is a tricky one that you will struggle with throughout most of your career, but by having a little courage when it matters you can achieve some wonderful things.
5. Believe in yourself – starting out as a newly qualified nurse is scary and a huge responsibility but have a little confidence in what you have learnt at uni. There are many things you have yet to learn but just ask, its fine not to know everything
Well thats it ! Have a wonderful first 18 years .. you will love it
Oh and before i go – when you move to Bristol and move into your own flat remember to look up when trying to back your car out of the car park … the guy thats stood there laughing is worth getting to know.
Lots of love
Huge thanks to @KarenDawber for inspiring me to write my letter – it has made me realise just how far i have come and just how proud I am (and always have been) to be a nurse.