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Tips for new graduates

Tips for new graduates

Starting your career as a professional nurse or midwife can be challenging and daunting. If you have a general question for our Graduate and Final Year Student Support Officer go to

Dear Jess,
I’m starting my grad year early next year and am rather nervous! Do you have any tips for new graduates?
– Rocco

Dear Rocco,

Congratulations on your graduate place. I thought I’d ask other experienced ANMF members to share their advice with you and other graduates.

Jade: It’s ok to feel nervous when you’re starting out – we all felt that way once. Take some deep breaths. Be sure to let someone know how you’re feeling so you can be supported. No-one expects you to know it all when you’re starting out. There’s only so much you can learn from a text book. We all do so much learning on the job and it gets easier. Also, self-care is vital. Put in your roster requests. Ensure you request a weekend off now and then, even if you don’t need it for social reasons.

Athina: Reflect on your practice every day. What did you do that you could do differently? Listen to patients/residents and colleagues and learn from them. Build up your mental strength and seek help when you are overwhelmed by the workload or stress.

Evelyn: You’ll never know the level of experience a senior colleague has, nor the clinical obstacles they’ve overcome and managed. Start with a level of respect. I did when I was learning and I was given all the information based on their years of expertise which I still possess and share until now.

Anita: Remember to breathe! Make sure you match your employer’s super contributions through salary sacrifice. If you do this from the beginning of your nursing career it will be the best thing you ever do for yourself. Make this your first priority and your future self will thank you!

Colleen: Never be afraid to ask if you are unsure. No question is a dumb question. Never assume.

James: Understand that all patients have both physical and mental health needs. A well balanced nurse needs advanced practice skills in both areas. I regret not developing my general nursing skills and I know many nurses who feel their mental health skills are inadequate. Please take every opportunity to ensure you advance your clinical skills in both areas.

Good luck! ANMF will be attending graduate orientations, so come and say hello and grab a pack from us.