5 Nursing Tips for New Nurses
A nursing tip? You will laugh and you will cry. You will also realize you are the first line of defense for providing the best possible care for your patients. Most of the time patients will base their opinion of the hospital and their care on their experience with you.
No pressure right? Stay calm. The nursing board didn’t give you a license because you asked, they gave it to you because you earned it. You chose to be a nurse for a reason. Here are just a few nursing tips to help you become the best nurse you can be.
Nursing Tip #1: Get organized and prioritize
You never know when you are going to get an admission or your patient is going to crash so keep your workload organized and prioritized. More important tasks will always be coming up and you will have to reprioritize. However, you do want to lose track of what needs to be done. Little things left undone can turn into big things. Consider using note taking apps like Evernote or an organization app like Nursing Central to keep you on focused and make sure things don’t fall through the cracks.
Nursing Tip #2: Be assertive but don’t be afraid to ask for help
Realize that you won’t know everything. Realize that patients will take advantage of you if they sense you doubt yourself. You are the patients strongest advocate and sometimes that means being firm with them and letting them know they can’t do certain things. So stay calm, make your decision, and make it firm. You can always check with your charge to make sure you made the right call. Senior nurses would much rather you ask a question then hurt a patient. Just make sure you aren’t making the same mistake over and over. You can also check out Nurse’s Pocket Guide app for reference in between patient visits.
Nursing is a team sport and you never know when you need a shoulder to cry on or help with a difficult patient. Start building strong friendships and relationships in nursing school and continue to build your network as you begin your professional career. Keep in mind everyone started somewhere and every experienced nurse has been in your shoes. Find someone that will correct your mistakes but also be supportive. Also, consider joining professional organizations like the American Nurses Association.
Nursing Tip #4: Keep learning and your skills sharp
Never stop learning and do your best to not lost the skills you learned in nursing school. If you land a job on a med surge floor and that is your lifelong passion, then great!!!! Keep in mind nursing is a rigorous job and you might find yourself looking for some variety in the future. Consider working with a service like connectRN www.connectrn.com to see other open opportunities in your area that might offer variety in your week to keep your other skills sharp. Other great resources like Learning Nurse are free and offer a wealth of information.
Nursing Tip #5: Most Importantly, Stay Healthy
Take time to decompress – Eight or twelve-hour shifts might feel like they fly by because you have a full patient load and no time to eat, drink, or use the bathroom. However, they are taking a toll on you physically and mentally. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, eat nourishing foods, and schedule time in your day to decompress. Meditation apps like Aura, Calm, and Headspace can offer a quick mental recharge in the middle of a long shift. Also, try to find time in your day for physical activity. I know you are on your feet all day and probably walking a couple miles on the floor but rigorous activity and an elevated heart rate can greatly affect your mood and energy level. Try quick workout apps like Sworkit or the Johnson and Johnson free 7-minute workout.