The Post-Graduation Fall Out

Graduation: The symbol of successfully overcoming the difficult journey of nursing school. The much-anticipated conclusion to all of the I can’t wait to ‘get it over with’ moments nursing students go through as they think about one more year, one more semester and finally- one more test.

Nobody talks about the (very common) sense of loss that many nursing students feel post-graduation. They move on, take the first job offer that comes, often becoming removed from the support system that saw them through some of the most difficult years of their life. Now they are all alone in the scary phenomenon of the first year of professional practice, and it is TERRIFYING!

You may ask yourself: “Why did I do this?”, “Where do I fit in?”, “Where should I work?”, “When I have questions who is safe to ask?” and “Am I ready?”

You may find yourself answering these questions with, “I’m not ready.”, “I shouldn’t be left unsupervised with patient’s lives in my hands.” and finally, “I am a fraud!”

We are here to tell you that a fraud you certainly are NOT!  The truth is, you are experiencing all the common feelings that every new graduate nurse before you felt. It is important that you find the right practice environment where you feel safe to ask questions and feel supported by those around you. You are not expected to know everything in your first year of practice. Give yourself time to move into your new role. Stay with the feelings of discomfort until they begin to ease as you gain confidence. However, if you feel unsafe or unsupported within the environment and your attempts to improve it remain unchanged, move on. 

Remember, you are ready to be a nurse. You deserve to be where you are. You will get through this transition in order to experience the beautiful opportunity to touch the lives of many.

Never forget what brought you to this moment, and remember to celebrate your success!


Ashley & Linda
Your On-Call Professors of Nursing

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