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14 Essential Tips for New Nurses

  • Date: Oct 11, 2022
  • Author: Support Support

Once the excitement of securing a job as a new nurse has worn off, the pressure and anxiety of starting something new could begin to set in. Though it is by no means an easy profession, there are a handful of tips and tricks for new nurses to ensure you’re off to a good start. 

Make use of your mentor 

New nurses will have a mentor and it’s important to get the most out of them. To do this, make sure you ask questions, take notes, and continually practice what you have learned. It’s also a good idea to establish goals, objectives, and expectations. Once you have discovered a good way for the two of you to communicate - remember, not everyone enjoys texting - your mentor will be readily available to help you through your nursing journey. 

Keep complaints to a minimum 

There are bound to be stressful times as a new nurse but try to keep your complaining to a minimum. Often, complaining about your problems only makes them worse, so remain as calm as you can. Though there is nothing wrong with venting or asking for advice, not everyone wants to hear your negativity in the workplace. 

Watch the experts 

There is a lot of knowledge to gain as a nurse, so make sure you are observing the experts around you. You should always be learning as a nurse, and there is a lot to learn from more experienced professionals. 

Continually ask questions as a new nurse 

Everyone has to start somewhere as a nurse, and even the most seasoned professionals have to start as novices. This is why you shouldn’t hesitate to ask questions and always ask for help when you need it. The more questions you ask, the more you will learn. 

Bond with your team 

Though you don’t have to become best friends with the people you work with, you should try to bond as colleagues. Bonding as a team makes it easier to ask for help, and you are likely to feel a lot more valuable when you have a connection with those around you. 

Take time to recharge 

There is nothing wrong with needing a break, so make the most of your downtime to recharge. Even if you only have 15 minutes to spare, a bit of rest and relaxation during this time will help you to remain efficient throughout the day. 

Establish a routine as a new nurse 

Once you have established a routine, you will feel a lot more in control of your day. It’s a great way to ensure you work through your ‘to to’ list without feeling disorganised or frantic. 

Be respectful of others 

A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that showing off helps you to stand out in the workplace, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing. If you want to earn respect, show respect to others by being always honest and professional. It’s important to learn the names of other nurses, ask questions, and help out as much as you can. Finding the balance between being respectful and a ‘suck up’ is key.

Familiarise yourself with nursing etiquette 

As a nurse, you will need to know nursing etiquette and there are several things you can do to showcase this. Having a firm handshake, avoiding gossip and including a signature block on your emails is key. Plus, you should always place your name tag on the right side of your chest. These may seem like minor things, but they make a big difference in the medical field. 

Prepare before speaking to a doctor 

Before you speak to a doctor, make sure that you are prepared and know what to mention. Have a pen and paper ready to take notes, and familiarise yourself with the patient’s chart. If you are given any instructions, write them down so you can refer to them later. 

Take lots of notes 

There is a lot of information to keep track of as a nurse, so take notes and be as organised as possible. Writing everything down allows you to refer back to information throughout the day, and you can tick things off as you do them. 

Be prepared for a patient’s needs 

In order to work efficiently as a nurse, you need to always be prepared for a patient’s needs. This is why it’s a good idea to keep useful things - such as scissors, alcohol swabs and saline flushes - in your pockets. It’s also beneficial to group tasks together, so you’re not bothering the same people more than you need to. 

Prioritise important tasks 

You are bound to have a lot to do as a new nurse, which is why it’s important to prioritise important things first. Look at your ‘to do’ list and see what should be done first, as well as what tasks can be completed at the same time. A lot of nurses find it beneficial to make a rough timeline or what they are going to do when, as this prevents multitasking and mistakes being made. 

Continue to learn on the job 

Though you might have graduated from nursing, there is always something to learn. This is why continuing your education is something to consider. If you find a specific area of nursing you enjoy, investigate courses and training you could do to further your knowledge. It’s also important to stay up to date with certifications and qualifications, to ensure that you are working to the best of your nursing ability.  

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