Issues and Trends in Nursing: Essential Knowledge for Today and Tomorrow
Student Elements

Reflective Case Studies

Please read each question below and type your response into each corresponding box. When you are finished, fill out your name, e-mail address, and instructor's e-mail at the bottom of this form, and click submit to send a copy to your instructor.

A nursing graduate of a baccalaureate program interviewed for her first nursing position. She was told that she would have 60 days of orientation and then would be rotated to nights (12-hour shifts). She asked if there was a residency program and was told no. She asked about nurse-patient ratio, and she was told only that it varied greatly on the adult medical-surgical units.

She then asked if she could talk with some newer staff nurses.This meeting was arranged. She found that the new nurses (9 months or less) were happy. They only had 60 days of orientation but were assigned a mentor who was there to help in the transition to practice. Although staffing did vary, generally the administration was very responsive to nurses' concerns, and patient outcomes were very good.

What appeared on first look to be a very bad work environment for a new nurse actually was very positive. This case demonstrates the need to ask very good questions about orientation, staffing patterns, and patient outcomes, and then to follow up with actual discussions with nurses.


1:  Based on this case, develop a list of questions that you would ask when applying for your first RN position.

2:  How would you handle a situation in which you felt that you did not get a full answer to a question?

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