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Expert Nurse vs. Newbie Nurse: 4 Crucial Things Nurses Gain and Lose Over Time

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By Monica Florita, R.N.

Time has a brilliant way of showing us what matters most in our nursing life. As time passes by, there are things we gain and lose in the process.

Do expert nurses know all? Can they still learn from new nurses? What are the things new nurses can teach us? Let’s take a look at these pieces of advice from both new and experienced nurses.

On Time

Dear Newbie Nurse,

I already spent too many of their essential time taking care of their patients. Overtimes can occur and thus, more time to give for people who is a stranger at first, but eventually marks a part of me.

Time is very crucial.

It represents our milestones in life, birthday, anniversary, graduation and reunions. Great nurses make this sacrifice not just to obtain a salary, but to help patients regain their own vitality. As a starting nurse, you must ensure that every task done is worth your time. Create your own system so the most important things always are taken care of promptly. The only trouble you can make is thinking that you still have time.

P.S. A bling-bling watch can be dangerous. Use a simple and reliable one.

Yours truly,
Expert Nurse

Dear Expert Nurse,

Your time lost is same as the time ahead of me. I appreciate your reminder to use it efficiently. Time lost is an opportunity lost, to learn, to experience something new, to start new friendships, to inspire others and touch their lives. I know you had prioritized your work, but you still have time to adjust that. Spend more time with your families and friends. You already had your share of time, and it’s my turn now. Do not worry, your time is not wasted, your patient remembers you in his entire life.

As they say, age gracefully.

P.S. Can I give you a free makeover and treat you to a spa sometime?

Newbie Nurse

On Experience

Dear Newbie nurse,

Experience? Name it. I had it.

You may be new in going at an earlier time to receive endorsements from your fellow nurses, but you had to. You are still new and excited to learn how to be at your best, yet you will have struggles in achieving those. I already handled more than enough of my share of patients with different cultures and to tell you frankly, it’s not easy. Be patient. You are adapting to them, not them to you. You may learn so much as time passes by. Be optimistic as you undergo these happenings.

Nursing is a noble profession, and you are exceptional for choosing this path. Be ready to see and touch blood, urine, vomitus and bodily fluids that are not yours. Your stomach must be prepared in the sight of those.

Have the initiative to insert IV by yourself, to insert NGT, IFC, handling a difficult patient, or whatever opportunity you might encounter. Do good and always ensure your safety and of your patients. And in return, captivate their gratefulness. Witness the beginning of life and grieve as it ends. Touch lives and inspires others. These experiences make you stop, think and go on. Remember, every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

P.S. Go and attend to that call bell, will you? You’ll learn from him.

Expert Nurse

Dear Expert Nurse,

You’re adept on this. You may have experienced many but not all. What you just told me, continue doing it yourself. Oftentimes, you let us do the task for the experience. I don’t get that at times. Take note that life is full of surprises. It is a constant change. There will come a time that both of us will come across a case we should both try. Open yourself for more experience, and it is not yet the time for your skill to end, or be lifeless. Have more, explore more, and feel like you are still like me. Empty your cup once in a while to be refilled again. Who knows, it can be tastier this time.

P.S. I’m curious. Have you experienced, at least, one weird case in House MD that’s not lupus?

Best regards,
Newbie Nurse

On Attitude Towards Patients

Dear Newbie Nurse,

Uphold the goodness in you. Often when I am too tired due to a variety of problems, it’s hard to smile and talk to my patients. If a demanding patient comes in, it’s hard for me to tolerate it.

I learned some tricks on the right attitude towards them, and it can be helpful. Use positive language as always and be therapeutic when you talk to them. Understand your patients. I often forget that and misunderstanding took place. I learned throughout my experience that my attitude could change depending upon the persons you work with, or the patients you handle. Not all are the same, and they will never be. Show goodness to those who deserved it. Protect yourself from destructive ones. If a patient tries to belittle you, recognize your feelings and look for the source of his attitude. Skills are necessary, but your attitude towards your patient is what they will remember their whole life.

P.S Do you have my pen?

Expert Nurse

Dear Expert Nurse,

I am amazed how you handle the stress of balancing work and having the right attitude towards patients! Hats off on that! However, I would like to quote those who forget the essence of their profession. I am not talking about all nurses. I observed someone who forgot to communicate with their patients upon entering their rooms as if they’re just talking to the IV line. Note those who forget to build rapport before doing the bedside care. Those who forget that the patient is not just physically sick but also emotionally drained. I may not yet understand the pressure of being a nurse, but when I get there, may I be reminded not to let the pressure of work compromise my resolve in pursuing nursing. I’ll be a definite reminder of what you used to be towards your patient.

P.S. Nope, this is min…wait! Okay. This is yours.

With anticipation,
Newbie Nurse

Passion in Work

Dear Newbie Nurse,

My passion tends to have a plateauing status. Some colleagues still have that, but others have weakened their drive to nurse. Maybe the stress consumes my love to the profession too much. It’s not easy taking care of everyone. Your family, friends, and work may sometimes affect your desire to learn and persevere more. I am deprived of sleep, yet I have to take care of my family’s needs in the morning. I hardly get to experience holidays, leisure hours, gatherings and important occasions because nurses have no breaks when a patient comes in – sacrifices we make since we are dealing with lives here.

I still know why I chose this profession. Nurses give out well-being, compassion, and love even without a prescription. Don’t worry about being like me, I just have to rest to regain my passion. Newbie nurses, take advantage of your enthusiasm, enjoy your energy and rest if you must. Be a nurse who does more than the necessary and cares more than you’re supposed to.

P.S. You’re over infused.

Thank you.
Expert Nurse

Dear Expert Nurse,

There is a reason I chose nursing, to become like you. Feeling down is alright, but staying that way should not be your option. I know I’m still at the starting line, full of dreams and inspirations. I started and wanted to end it this way. Do I sound strange? Maybe. Think of a lost passion as entering a patient’s room while wishing no one is there. Nobody is waiting for you and nothing to look forward to. Don’t be like a zombie living in the hospital. Our passion is what drives us to live, if you lose it, what more to do in life? So expert nurse, fuel your passion. Don’t let the external stresses kill your inner resolve. After all, you did not enter nursing just to die while in it, do you?

P.S You forgot to chart on this one, should I?

Newbie Nurse

Monica Florita is a registered nurse in the Philippines. She worked in hospitals before deciding to be an Occupational Health nurse. She considered writing a hobby as useful in imparting knowledge and inspiration to members the nursing profession.

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