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Would you recommend substitute nursing for a new grad RN with very little experience?

Thursday April 11, 2013
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Dear Donna,

Would you recommend substitute nursing for a new grad RN with very little experience?

New Grad

Dear Donna replies:

Dear New Grad,

When you say substitute nursing, I'm not sure if you mean substitute school nursing or float pool work in a hospital. If you're referring to substitute school nursing, that would be fine, as long as you're working with another nurse initially.

If it's hospital per diem you are referring to, that could work if you are at least given some orientation and ongoing support.

While some experienced nurses might tell you that you can't or shouldn't do these things, the reality of today's job market is that many new nurses have to look in new directions for employment. So if you think you can manage and would have some support in the role, give it serious consideration. Much depends on you and the employer.

Also, it is important for you to join and participate in at least one nursing association, such as the American Nurses Association (www.nursingworld.org). You must immerse yourself in the community of nursing. Fellow members can serve as mentors and role models. They can be sounding boards and resources — they also can provide support. If you start doing some school nursing, attend local chapter meetings of the National Association of School Nurses (www.nasn.org) as a guest for now.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.