New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 12

Rachel Ketelaar, a new nurse at Methodist Hospital, wraps up her twelfth week on the job and is ready to start working on her own without a preceptor.


  • I am a mix of excitement and nerves as I start my last week with a preceptor. This week, I am with a different preceptor, Teagan. She is so sweet and supportive. Thankfully, I have had the chance to solidify a lot of tasks, like hanging blood and admitting someone from the ED. I’m reminded I still have a lot to learn. I had never suctioned out a trach before this week and I’m thankful Teagan could teach me how to do that.


  • I asked a nursing friend what it was like to be on her own. She told me she hasn’t been sleeping well the nights before she works because she is thinking about work. We agreed it’s intimidating how much we still don’t know and can learn only by practicing. Still, I’m excited, because I have been studying and preparing my whole school career to be a nurse and now am achieving my goal! I have one more day with Teagan and then I am officially working without a preceptor. I can’t believe it!


  • Today was such a reassuring day to end on. I did admissions and discharges and also practiced suctioning out a trach and inserting catheters. My preceptor was so encouraging and reassured me over and over that I am ready to do this.
  • I still am figuring out how best to schedule my day and keep on top of charting and the small tasks that need to be done. I think that will only come with time. In these 12 weeks, I have learned a lot, but not everything.
  • I like that other nurses, doctors, physical therapists, etc. are remembering my name and recognize me as part of the unit. I like that A2N feels like family. I feel 80% ready and 20% nervous for next week when I’m on my own. But it’s comforting that I’m surrounded by wonderful people who are going to walk alongside me as I continue my profession as a nurse.
Finally got a photo of me in Methodist’s unusual palm tree court! It’s been an amazing first 12 weeks as a new nurse. Starting next week I’m on my own (without a preceptor). I appreciate everyone following my story!

Read more:

New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 1
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 2
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 3
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 4
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 5
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 6
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 7
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 8
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 9
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 10
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 11
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 12

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