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Eddie's story - Newly qualified nurse

Eddie - Charge Nurse, Community Nursing

I joined the Community Nursing Team two years ago as a newly qualified nurse. Initially I was nervous of going straight into the community as there is a myth that nurses need to start their careers in a hospital when they first qualify. I heard it so many times – you need to get your skills in the hospital. However, the skills required in community are so varied with so many specialist areas – ranging from Tissue Viability to End of Life Care.

So I applied and got a job as a community nurse!

The support offered to NQNs was so much more than I was expecting. I had 4 weeks supernumerary status, which took the pressure off my transitional period. Alongside this, the Preceptorship program also helped me in my new role. This gave me a chance to become competent and confident enough to go out alone, a day I had been both excited and petrified about! But I had my team on the other end of the phone, I had my managers if I needed them and I was given only what I felt ready to do.

My confidence flew and by the end of the week I was asking to see more and more patients. I got to spend that important time with patients, put them at the centre of their care and not panic that a buzzer might ring, or another patient is calling out. Every day I was learning a new skill and taking it with me further and further into my role. I am now over two years into this role which has opened up so many different opportunities, helping me make a difference to patient care.

Looking back, the support and guidance given to me has been second to none. I now assist other newly qualified nurses to learn new skills and a new induction program has been developed for even further support. I never believed for one minute that I would be the person on the other end of the phone, supporting our newly qualified team of nurses.

I made the right decision in joining community nursing and I would say to anyone considering it but worrying about being newly qualified to go for it! Wherever you start, you will still be newly qualified and it is the support in this new role that really makes the difference, which in turn helps you to make a difference for patients.