NZNO's Blog

A message to nurse managers


A message to nurse managers from NZNO acting professional services manager, Hilary Graham-Smith. Hilary has had a long career as a registered nurse working in primary health care and as a Director of Nursing in primary health care.take a chance on a new grad

“A sustainable, fully utilised nursing workforce is NZNO’s number one priority.

We also want a sufficiently funded nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme so that 100 percent of our new graduate RN and ENs are employed and appropriately mentored and supported during their first year of practice.

The current nursing workforce has a vital role to play in that. Sadly, we still have a significant number of new graduates who do not get into NEtP programmes who are looking for work – they need our help.

We know that many of your work environments are stretched by less than adequate staffing and we hear many of you say, “We haven’t got time to preceptor new graduates”. However we all have a role to play as experienced nurses to make sure that our new grads are welcomed into the workforce; our collective experience and expertise will help to grow the nursing workforce of the future.

I encourage those of you who are in decision-making roles and involved in recruitment to stop and think for a moment before deciding NOT to offer a job to a new grad; so many of the responses to Keren MacSween’s story were from new grads who had been turned down because of a lack of experience.

I ask, isn’t that our role? – to make sure they get experience in an environment where they can not only learn from others but share their new knowledge. New grads don’t come without skills they just need time to grow their self-assurance and confidence in clinical practice.

Remember how that felt – being the newbie RN or EN? This is about nurses doing it for nurses and the wellbeing of the whole profession.

So think about it next time a new grad applies for a job in your ward/unit/ department – give them a go. Go on you know you want to!”

3 thoughts on “A message to nurse managers

  1. Hi…I am a new grad of 2013 and unfortunately did not get a job in the NETP. However I didn’t want to lack behind so I applied for many jobs (over 30 to be exact) and still no reply. I was then offered an interview at the DHB in my area in Theatre. I excelled in the interview however much to the charge nurses surprise the Director of Nursing would not allow them to hire me as I was a new grad and was not in a NETP program and they would not make one. Given that there was 62 graduates and only 24 jobs it was slim pickings from the start. Despite this I picked myself up and had an interview in another DHB in a specialised area that I had gained experience in as a year 3 student. To my suprise I was given the job plus I would be put into my NETP program in July during the 6month intake. It shows DHB’s can do this and they have given me a chance now I am one of many employed nurses. The moral of the story……don’t give up there is always something out there even if u have to relocate and make a new start like myself.

    Cheers 🙂 😊

  2. Hi… as a nurse manager and a mother of a new grad (in another industry) I would like to endorse the NZNO message to “take a chance on a new grad”. My daughter is in a different industry to nursing but is faced with the same issues after her training – everyone wants someone with experience! It was with this in mind, that when approached by a new grad two months ago,(who came into our medical centre off the street), after checking training and referees etc, I agreed to give her a chance. She is our third new grad nurse; The first nurse came to us six months post grad. She had been a part of a NetP programme prior to relocating to our rural area, so required some mentoring, but had already received a very good new grad start and settled in very quickly. Our second nurse came to us as a third year student as part of her transition to practice placement. She was sucessfully accepted into a NetP programme and has assimilated into primary care very well. This third nurse will have no NetP support and so will require more mentoring from us, however I believe that as RN’s we do have a responsibility to support and mentor new nurses if we want to attract them into the industry. it is a pity, though, that she is not able to be mentored through a Netp programme as this would have been better for her. We now have a great mix of ‘old and young’, experienced and begining nurses in our medical centre, which bodes well for the industry in general, and primary health in particular. I encourage other managers to do the same and take a chance on a new grad – it just might work out better than you expected 🙂
    Now all I need is a job for a trained and passionate, but inexperienced, Zoo Keeper!!

  3. Hi we took a chance on a new grad: I so sympathize with all new grads who have not secured jobs but there is a flip side to the coin. We advertised for a new grad nurse to work in the community under a variety of roles involving children, we shortlisted 5, One NG made an ugly face and decided no when she realised our main office was based in a rural setting which was outlined in the JD, another NG didn’t realise the position was working primarily with children even though that was also in the JD, 3rd NG was ideal but didn’t have driver license which was highlighted in the JD as the position was a “mobile Nurse”, 4th one appeared really great and willing to move her family, 5th one didn’t show. We hired number 4 NG and it turned disastrous, we orientated her well, ensured there was heaps of support for her but she continuously worked outside of her NG scope, failed to practise safely under the nursing council competencies, became very insubordinate to her senior preceptor and towards our clinical team leader, nzno became involved, HR processes led to her being dismissed after an exit package was negotiated. So if you are a NG seeking employment read the JD properly, don’t rob the chance from others who are passionate about the job advertised if its not what you really want to do, follow nursing council competencies to keep you and your preceptor safe, be honest and respectful. That will ensure you stay employed and help you to cement all your theory knowledge into practical skills.

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