Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Advice for new nurses

Since I'm on the advice theme, I thought I would share some advice for new nurses. I remember the first few months as a new nurse. It was an overwhelming time. Here is some advice for those in their first year as a nurse.

1. Organize yourself.

Time management is key for a new nurse. Depending on the setting you are working in you may be expected to take care of multiple patients. Nurses often get pulled away from one thing to do another and it can be very frustrating and feel like you never get anything done. Find an organizational system and stick to it. If you are constantly falling behind, ask for help. Other nurses can help you figure out how to manage your time.

2. Learn as much as you can.

Everything is new at this point. Once you get out of school you will see just how much you didn't learn in school. Ask questions, try to understand what's going on with your patient. Don't think of your patient as a series of tasks. Take the time to understand the physiology of what's wrong with your patient.

3. Listen to your patients.

This goes along with not seeing your patient as a series of tasks. That person in the bed is a real person with real issues and real emotions. Take the time to stop and listen to them. Offer support when you can.

4. Take time for yourself.

It can be overwhelming to be in charge of another person's health. Try not to bring your work home with you. Remember you have a life too.

5. You will make mistakes

Learn from them. Don't beat yourself up. It happens to everyone.

Most of all, try to relax and enjoy your new role. 


  1. Great advice! I think as a new nurse it's SO hard NOT to see everything as a series of tasks. Like you said, a lot of times you're being pulled so many directions & you're just thinking in your head "Oh my gosh this medicine was due at 3:00 & now it's red on my screen, I have to go give it NOW". You get so caught up in what needs to be done that you don't have the time to even consider WHY it needs to be done, or what is even going on with your patient! As a new nurse (4 months) I'm just now getting to the place where I can start even considering what is actually wrong with my patient. I still haven't gotten to the place where I can figure out what's wrong with them, what I'm treating AND remember their names, lol, but I'm getting there!

  2. This was such in interesting read. Some of the points fit so well universally that people starting out in other professions could take note as well. My favorites are advice#2 and #5. Adopt them and your chances of thriving in any field increase manifold.

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