Transition to Nursing Practice Toolkit

Becoming a registered nurse!

Congratulations on successfully completing your baccalaureate in nursing! This is your first step to becoming a registered nurse (RN). Receiving the designation of RN is a privilege. RNs are one of the most trusted professional groups in Canada.

As a RN, you are also part of the largest group of health professionals in New Brunswick, represented by approximately 8,600 RNs and nurse practitioners (NP).

This section of our website has been developed to provide you with a toolkit of extensive resources that will help you become successfully registered and help you understand the role of a regulatory body.

Why is it mandatory for RNs and NPs to be regulated?

A requirement under NB nursing regulation is annual registration renewal. Completing this requirement and being registered demonstrates to the public that you have completed all required education, testing and continuing competency development for provision of safe, competent, compassionate and ethical nursing work. Please refer to the following link for more information: Vision, mandate & public protection.

*This toolkit is an adaptation of the “Transitioning into Professional Practice Toolkit” from the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (CRNNS). The information contained in this toolkit is for general information purposes and CRNNS assumes no responsibility regarding content.

How does NANB communicate with member?

NANB communicates with members regularly through the nursing journal Info Nursing, as well as electronic communications in the form of e-bulletins, direct email and social media platforms including: Facebook and Twitter. Please ensure your email address is current with NANB.

What consultation services are available for the members?

Nurse Consultants are available for consultation on a wide variety of issues. They will help you clarify elements of your situation and suggest resources that might be helpful in resolving your issue. Refer to the following link for more information: Consultation Services.

Does NANB offer continuing nursing education?

NANB provides webinars for continuing nursing education opportunities to RNs and NPs. Please refer to the following link: Webinars.

How can I verify the registration of a NANB member?

Information related to a member’s registration status is available to the public on the NANB’s website “Registration Verification” section. Here is the link: NANB Registration Verification.

Where can I find the NANB’s staff list?

You can find this information at: NANB's Staff List.

GNs are entry-level practitioners who have been educated to perform those competencies identified in the Entry-Level Competencies for Registered Nurses in New Brunswick. GNs have not yet received confirmation of having successfully passed the entry-to-practice examination. This examination validates that GNs have acquired the minimal knowledge, skill and judgement necessary for safe, competent, compassionate and ethical nursing practice. While waiting to write or awaiting the results of the examination, GNs can practise nursing as defined in the NANB rules.

A person whose name is entered in the temporary register shall not:

  • Perform those functions identified as “delegated medical functions” by the employer;
  • Supervise the provision of nursing care by registered nurses or other graduate nurses;
  • Be in charge of a nursing unit or facility;
  • Practise without having access to a registered nurse within the facility for direct assistance;
  • Accept employment in which she is required to practice contrary to the Act, bylaws or rules.

Please consult the document Practice Guideline: Graduate Nurse Scope of Practice in order to better understand the practice of a GN.

How can I update my personal information?

You should notify NANB if you change any of the following: legal name, email address, mailing address, and/or phone number. Any change to your legal name requires you to submit a legal document supporting the change. You should contact the NANB by phone 1-800-442-4417 or 1-506-458-8731 or email nanb@nanb.nb.ca for more information.

Which individual can use the title “Registered Nurse”?

As a GN, you must be aware that registration (temporary or active) is required prior to practising as a RN in NB. Practising without registration contravenes the Nurses Act. Therefore, it is a requirement that you renew your registration each year before November 30th to continue practising nursing in NB to use the title RN. If you do not renew your registration by this date and continue to practice nursing as a RN, you may be subject to disciplinary actions by NANB.

How can I manage my transition into the nursing profession?

As you enter the nursing profession as a GN or newly RN, you will quickly lose the sense of security of being a nursing student and working under supervision. This is normal and is part of the transition shock. As a GN or newly RN, your professional role requires you to make your own judgments about clinical care and to carry responsibility and accountability for those decisions and actions. As a GN or newly RN, you need to put your theoretical knowledge into practice, to adapt to a new professional role, to learn to cope with emotional demands of the work and to find your place in a team. All of this requires that you not only evaluate your practice competencies, but that you also develop self-awareness, critical thinking skills and emotional resilience[1].

[1] Walton, J.A., Lindsay, L., Hales, C., & Rook, R. (2018). Glimpses into the Transition World: New Graduate Nurses’ Written Reflections. Nurse Education Today, 60, 62-86.

Here are some tips that could help you in your transition:

  • Be aware of transition shock and how it can impact your successful integration into the workplace.
  • Use reflective writing to help you understand what you did well, what you might do differently, why a situation developed and how to handle challenging events in the process.
  • Identify rewards, that is, positive results you experienced such as achieving nursing outcomes.
  • Get lots of sleep, eat well and exercise.
  • Get together with your nursing friends or other GNs – you will be surprised that you are not as alone as you might feel.

Here are documents that could be helpful in your transition. Refer to the following links:

Get informed, stay informed

  • Visit NANB’s website regularly and learn what resources are available and get informed about educational supports/resources your employer can offer.

Stay Connected

  • Keep in touch with colleagues and your nurse manager, discuss professional issues, share the load and the learning

Know the limits and stay within them

  • Know the limits of your practice capability during this period of transition

Adopt a risk management approach

  • Find a work area that will support you to progress slowly into your roles and responsibilities as a newly graduated nurse
  • Determine what level of client acuity is appropriate for you to care for during your initial transition
  • Request a predictable schedule so you can learn the practices of a consistent group of co-workers and the client population you serve
  • If you must work overtime, limit the overtime shifts
  • If you must float, refer to your employer policy to know expectations.
  • Gradually and slowly advance your skills and ask your nurse manager to limit the level of complexity of clients you are assigned for the first four months

Accept accountability

  • Gain a sense of the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities expected of a GN. As an independent practitioner, be responsible and proactive – for yourself, your clients, and as a member of the health care team.

Maintain Boundaries and Professionalism

  • Know your boundaries – approach your mentor, educator or nurse manager at the next appropriate time to discuss your concerns. Understand the concept of a therapeutic relationship and the power imbalance that exists between you and your clients; manage that relationship appropriately and with utmost respect; adhere to the standards and Code of Ethics.

When in Doubt Ask

  • Although you are accountable for the care you provide, you don’t have to do it all alone; stay in touch with colleagues and link with NANB. You may wish to debrief with a trusted experienced colleague, nurse educator or mentor about clinical situations to gain a depth of understanding of clinical patterns and the relationships between those patterns and the judgments that arise out of them.

Set Priorities

  • Learn how to manage your time within a gradually increased workload. You should create a workload organizational system that works for you. Your primary task as a new practitioner is to develop the capacity to set priorities and delegate.