As a NNP, it’s your nature to demonstrate compassion for your patients and their families. That’s part of your job, and you’re good at it.

But compassion and trust need to extend beyond the patient, especially when you are new to a facility. If you want to succeed at your new job and start on the right foot, it’s important to establish positive relationships with colleagues, nurse managers and, of course, physicians.

Trusting relationships are a key component to a healthy work environment. They allow for more collaborative and efficient care. As a NNP new to the facility, do all you can to build relationships and establish that you are a hard-worker and team player. Here’s how:

1. Ask questions

Anyone can learn new tasks, but NNPs who know the “why” behind their actions make the biggest difference. There’s a lot to absorb in a relatively short period of time. Your colleagues and supervisors will appreciate your intrigue and determination when you ask insightful questions. Plus you will learn in a way that will significantly increase your skills.

2. Think before you speak

Your tone, and the way you assemble your words can make or break a relationship. Nobody likes a blowhard or a “Debbie Downer.” So choose your words carefully. When making a suggestion, be positive. Lead off the conversation with authentic praise when possible. If you think there’s a better way of doing  things, don’t start off with “well, at my last place, we always did it this way.” You can find an elegant approach without putting people off.

3. Show your passion

It’s never too soon to jump right in and show your commitment and enthusiasm. Join (or offer to start) committees and research projects; demonstrate your interest in becoming a mentor or preceptor (once you’ve become established). Your dedication and passion will be duly noted when you demonstrate your desire to get involved.

4. Be helpful

Encourage and perform random acts of kindness. Be the first to accept an offer to switch shifts with a colleague in need. Your deeds will not go unnoticed; soon you’ll be seen as “the dependable one” that others can count on in a pinch. Paying it forward goes a long way toward forging trust and solid relationships.

5. Be a role model

Look for common ground in a conflict: You should neither run blindly from nor dive into an altercation at work. But if you do find yourself amidst conflict, try to see both sides of the story. It’s the mature and “bigger person” who recognizes that the work environment is a petri dish for multiple perspectives and most all have merit.

  • Encourage forgiveness: Again, taking the high road will earn you major points while on the floor. Asking for, and granting, forgiveness is a virtue others will easily gravitate toward.
  • Always be honest: Admit when you’re wrong and don’t place blame elsewhere. Practice saying, “I’m sorry.”
  • Be respectful: Don’t be tempted by cliques or mean-spirited gossip.
  • Be positive: Remain upbeat and positive as much as possible. People tend to repel Debbie Downers and complainers. Instead, model yourself as the sage listener who lends comfort and confidentiality. Don’t assuage blame or start rumors.

6. Learn the culture

Culture is a curious thing. Culture is not a tool, it’s not a process; it’s an intangible style in which workers communicate, relate and, even, celebrate with one another. Just like a family, your new work environment shares a foundation of memories, traditions and rituals. It would behoove you to be aware of, and work hard to adapt to, the culture of your new job.

7. Socialize

More of a suggestion than a tip: Even if you’re an introvert, make an effort to get outside of work with some of your fellow colleagues: a cup of coffee, a movie or walk in the park. These bonding moments forge stronger and more trusting relationships on the job.

Trust is a key component in a healthy work environment. When you build trusting relationships, work will become more meaningful; stress will decline as your unit hums in unison with goodwill and cheer.

What ways have you successfully forged relationships on a new job? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your comments in the section below.


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