How Long Is Orientation For A New Nurse?

In today’s world, our healthcare systems would completely collapse if it wasn’t for our hard working nurses. The pandemic has especially taught us the importance of nurses to keep our healthcare system together. They go through vigorous training to become the core group of hospitals that form bonds with their patients and look after them. How long is orientation for a new nurse? Let us know more.

How Long Is Orientation For A New Nurse?

At most healthcare facilities, the mentor or the preceptor nurse decides the schedule for the new nurses who have graduated from nursing school. The type and duration of the orientation program depend on the nursing specialty chosen and the healthcare facility. Typically orientation lasts for one to three months. Nurses who have applied to practice in the critical care units might have to experience a longer orientation period stretching up to 6 months. Orientation for new nurses usually starts with in-class lectures given by different departments of the hospital. Nurses are paid to sit through this orientation and they work side by side with other nurses at their level. 

How to Become a Nurse?

  • To become a nurse, one needs to have subjects like biology, basic anatomy, psychology, and physiology in high school. Obtaining a minimum grade ‘C’ is also crucial. 
  • Once high school graduation is complete, the aspiring candidate can go for a BSN (Bachelor’s in the science of nursing) or an ADN (Associate degree in nursing). BSN is a four-year degree that goes in-depth about being a clinical nurse, develops leadership skills, and trains one about multiple disciplines. ADN is the fastest way to become a nurse, it is a two-year degree that teaches about the fundamentals of being a nurse. 
  • Around the end of the nursing degree, about 6 weeks before graduation, the candidate must apply for licensure and register for the NCLEX-RN exam. This is a computerized exam that needs to be completed within 6 hours. 
  • Once the nurse has been qualified for practice in their state, they need to get more clinical experience and get board certified by the state. 

What happens during Nursing Orientation?

The general orientation at a healthcare program starts in the classroom. The nurses are educated by each department of every specialty at the hospital and trained about the Electronic Medical Record (EMR). The classroom orientation can last anywhere from one to six weeks depending upon the healthcare facility and the specialty the nurse is getting trained in. 

Once classroom-based education is complete, the nurse’s orientation continues on the unit they were hired to be on for. Here they work with a mentor or a preceptor. The mentor is a board-certified senior nurse with at least 2 years of experience down their belt. The nurse will be going on rounds with the mentor as well as taking care of patients according to the guidelines provided. This part of the orientation program can last up to 6 months depending upon the healthcare facility. 

More often than not, hospitals find it difficult to find nurses to work in the clinical departments like the ER and OR. To combat this issue, hospitals often start a residency program that not only requires the new nurse graduate to attend the general orientation but also get education on the specific skill set they will need to work in the respective department. For instance, a nurse aspiring to work in the Operating Room will need to get trained in the usage of Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and conducting ECGs. This type of residency along with orientation can last up to a year. 

If the given nurse does not feel confident in their skill set, most healthcare facilities will cooperate and extend the orientation by one to three months. Some of the important questions a nurse graduate should ask during interviews before the orientation program starts are-

  • How long will the orientation last?
  • What kind of nursing programs are they offering?
  • What type of education class will it be?
  • A sample of the orientation schedule the nurse might have?
  • The number of mentors assigned during orientation?

How many types of Nursing Specialities are there?

With several different types of specialties, it can be hard to pick the best one for oneself. Some of the fastest-growing, high in-demand nursing specialties are-

  • Registered Nurse, RN.
  • Cardiac Nurse
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetic, CRNA.
  • Clinical nurse specialist, CNS.
  • Clinical care nurse
  • ER Nurse
  • Geriatric Nurse
  • The perioperative nurse or surgery nurse
  • Mental health nurse
  • Family medicine nurse
  • Nurse educator

How much do nurses get paid?

A nurse’s salary in the USA depends on their education, locality, specialization, and experience level. The mean salaries of nurses according to their practice is –

  • Registered Nurse, RN- $77,460
  • Nurse Midwife- $108,810
  • Nurse Anesthetic- $181,410
  • Nursing assistant- $30,760
  • Licensed practical and vocational nurse- $48,500
  • Postsecondary nurse teachers/instructors- $83,160
  • Nurse practitioners- $111,840

California is the highest paying state for Nurses. 

How Long Is Orientation For A New Nurse?

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