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7 Tips Every New Nurse Needs to Know

You’ve just received your nursing qualifications and now it’s time to jump in, throw on a pair of cheap scrubs, and start your career of making people better.  Being new at anything can be very scary, especially in the overwhelming medical field.  Seeking advice from someone who has been in the same situation before you can be extremely helpful when it comes to finding ways to perform your best in your work environment. Nurses are faced with a variety of different scenarios and it is important to prepare yourself so that you are ready to handle the daily grind that a nurse faces.  Even though you may have been studying nursing for a while, when you actually arrive into the workforce, it can feel like an extremely foreign environment. Time management and some experience will help make your workday flow, and enable you to get the most out of this amazing and rewarding line of work.

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7 tips every new nurse should know:

  1. Do not let fear overwhelm you

In the medical field, it is likely you will be faced with a variety of situations, some of which you may not be completely comfortable with.  Do not let these fears or reservations keep you from providing top-notch healthcare.  The more experience you gain in the field, the more comfortable you will become.  Rely on the guidance of those who have been providing healthcare longer than you to help you through tough times in the beginning. The more hard situations you make it through, the more confident you will be in future events.

  1. Have a solid routine

Keeping a routine will help manage your new job.  Time management is vitally crucial for a nurse who is still getting accustomed with how their practice operates.  A routine will provide you with confidence and help structure your workday.  Being a nurse can be extremely demanding and having a routine will help you in the beginning stages of a new nursing career by helping you feel organized and on top of things.

  1. Do not get burned out

Every career is different, and none can be compared to that of nursing.  Most people do not even consider getting burnt out in the begging stages of a new job, but in the demanding and hectic medical field, it could happen.  When first thrown into the medical working environment, nurses are given an extreme amount of responsibility.  It is important not to let this responsibility and hard work take a toll on you physically or mentally.  Take some time for yourself every once in a while if needed.  If you feel yourself getting burnt out and less motivated to do your job, have a talk with those in charge around you and see if they can do anything to help you.  Also, remember why you joined the medical field in the first place.  It is demanding but extremely rewarding.

  1. Get to know the people you are working with

One of the most important things new nurses can do to help themselves in a new work environment is to get familiar and comfortable with others in the workplace.  Whether you are working as a E.R. nurse or a private practice nurse, becoming acquainted with your peers will make the workplace feel more welcoming and friendly.  Take the time to ask your superiors what they expect of you in the work place if you are feeling unsure or insecure.

  1. Wear extremely comfortable shoes

Be prepared to be on your feet for multiple hours on end.  Standing on the hard surfaces in most clinics and hospitals can take a toll on nurse’s feet and backs, especially those who are new to the field and aren’t used to it.  Picking out the right shoe for you is important.  First, find out your specific clinic’s rules on footwear.  Next, decide if you want to go with a shoe that is made specifically for nursing such as Dansko, Dickies, or certain Skechers; or if you would rather go with a tennis shoe such as Nike or Adidas.  The shoe you wear should be based on comfort.  A comfortable shoe could save you during a long, stressful day or night in the clinic.

  1. Trust your knowledge and education

Even though you are new to the medical workforce, you are not new to nursing.  Trust your knowledge and everything you have learned in school, volunteering, and observing.  When stressful or demanding situations come up, think back to the countless hours studying, and be confident in your abilities to get the job done correctly.

  1. Never stop learning

As you begin your journey out of school and into your profession, do not shut off your ability to learn and become even more educated.  Watch and take notes from experienced doctors, nurses, and staff.  Treat every situation as a prepping tool and a learning experience that will help you become the best healthcare provider you can possibly be. 

Stephanie Kinchen is a nursing instructor with more than 15 years of experience in training new nurses.