The Beginning of New Nurses Careers During Covid-19

Submitted by McGill University- Ingram School of Nursing
October 26, 2020

It’s difficult for new nurses to begin their career. It’s probably the most stressful experience any nurse has to go through besides writing the OIIQ exam. To be independent without a stage teacher or another nurse looking over your shoulder to ensure you’re not making any mistakes is purely and completely stressful. It’s normal to make mistakes, especially as a new nurse although its something nobody wants to do. However, mistakes are how we learn and no beginner nurse is perfect/know it all. Nursing is a career that is learn mostly through hands-on work; I think we learn the basis of nursing in school, although the majority of it is learn through practice (stage or work).

In the context of being a new nurse, I think the pandemic brought us a heavier level of stress. The fact there’s an overload of patients in the hospital with nurses testing positive for the virus or being on burnout, its bringing a higher level of stress to us, especially in terms of school. Most nurses I know are doing university full-time and being asked to work in the hospital full-time which is an impossible thing to due in my opinion. Even with a time-off leave, most hospitals do not care and schedule us full-time because of the lack of nurses in Quebec.

Overall, I think the nursing career is an extremely stressful environment and you need to be build strong to handle it. The nurses I know are the strongest individuals I’ve ever met. They are able to handle stressful situations, working and going to school in the middle of a pandemic.