By Lenise Taylor, RN, AOCNS®
You interviewed and offered a position to Abby, a nurse new to oncology, and the offer has been accepted. Abby goes through orientation with preceptors telling you how quickly she has caught on to her work and what a great hire she is for the unit. You meet with Abby at the completion of her orientation. She says she’s a little scared about being on her own, but she feels like she is ready and up to the challenge. You let the charge RN know that she is ready to be assigned to patients without a preceptor and ask them to “ease” her into the role, keep a close eye on her, and offer extra support during her first shifts. Abby is ready to fly and your work is done, right?
You may realize that the real work is just beginning. Not only do we need to orient new nurses, but we also need to strategize how to support them as they learn to perform their roles independently and integrate themselves into the culture of the unit. If we offer support not only at orientation but throughout the first year of employment, we are more likely to see job satisfaction and staff retention. That support can help the nurse to grow and become a leader to their peers and a mentor to newer nurses.
Debra Hillman, MSN, RN, OCN®, and JoEllen Warnke, MS, RN, OCN® will be presenting potential solutions to support the first-year nurse in “Getting Through the First Year: Ways to Educate, Support, and Develop the New Oncology Nurse” on Thursday morning of Congress. Join them to learn some of the science behind these efforts and hear what their centers have developed for this important recruitment and retention opportunity.