Tips for nurses in their first year of nursing

  1. 45
    Please share any tips you might have for our new nurses. Hopefully, this will become a great resource of nursing tips from all of our experienced nurses from around the globe.
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  4. 30
    Never be afraid to ask questions. If you let people know what you do not know they will be more apt to teach you and nursing is forever a learning field.
  5. 478
    Ever have an "I wish I was told this" moment? Well, we all do as nurses regarding school. Here are some things I wish they told me nursing school (and some I wish they had emphasized more)----and what I told another new BSN nurse in a different thread (and it would be the same advice I would give any new nurse/grad):



    You have achieved a great thing, graduating and earning your degree (BSN, ADN , LPN or Diploma). Now, the REAL learning begins......

    Don't ever pretend to know what you don't. Be a sponge---watch and listen to what is going on around you. Take mental notes. Find mentors and emulate their good habits. Take note of the bad habits and avoid those.

    Listen to your patients; they know their bodies better than you do.

    Have integrity----be honest with yourself and others.

    Stay out of the gossip game/circle. It goes nowhere and brings down morale, including your own.

    Be on time! EVERYtime. When you are late, so am I. And I don't like to be late!

    Stay organized as possible. Keep up on your charting and tasks as they come up. Dont' save it all for "later"---there may not be time, "later".

    Do it right the first time, even if there IS "no time". Believe me, there is no time to "Do it over", either.

    Plan for the worst; hope for the best.

    Be someone they can rely on---and rely on yourself!

    Take good care of yourself; eat well, exercise. It's the only body you got and you are gonna need it. Nurture the self. Nurses have a tendency to martyr themselves and neglect their own needs. Don't be one of them; it's a fast superhighway to burn-out.

    Nourish the mind. Plan on spending a LOT of time investing in your continuing education as a nurse. The world of nursing/medicine is changing faster everyday. You are going to have to make a conscious and concerted effort to "stay abreast". It's more work than you imagine right now.....plan on it.

    Learn assertiveness if you have not already. Lots of good books and conferences/seminars exist. Learn early-on you no are NO ONE's doormat. Also, know there is a difference between "assertion" and "aggression".

    Work hard, yes, but don't forget to PLAY hard too! Have hobbies you enjoy. Your life is NOT your work, and while being a nurse is part of who you are, it need not *define* you.

    Believe in your self and good instincts. Sometimes, "instinct" is what lets us know something is amiss or wrong with our patients. Never ignore that gut instinct. It's very often right! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!!!!

    After 8 years in nursing, these things are things I have learned the "hard way"; hopefully you don't have to.

    Warm, hearty congratulations to you and all new grads here. I wish you all good things in your new careers.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jun 27, '05
    Boots RN, yourstrulyjmc, Aongroup1990, and 475 others like this.
  6. 6
    Brian, maybe this should be a STICKY???? I bet lots of good tips will show up here. And new nurses are always joining the boards!
  7. 1
    that was great! thank you for sharing it - i think i will share it with my graduating class!

    holli
    Mariannsi likes this.
  8. 13
    Learn to admit when you have made a mistake, it can get ugly down the road.

    Always, Always ask questions.
    Temeika, ticklemenita, LilTomatoRN, and 10 others like this.
  9. 1
    Sticky it is Great advice SmilingBluEyes!
    ok_girl likes this.
  10. 157
    a few more tips:

    - find a mentor- look for advice from a senior rn. this person should be different from your supervisor and can provide a soundingboard, giving you objective advice.

    - don't be too hard on yourself. although exciting, it's also a stressful time. you're going to make misktakes- we all do. what's important is you work to correct those mistakes and learn from it. a sense of humor truly helps.

    - be aware of corporate culture- use all your senses to find out what's accepted in your organization, i.e., patterns of communication, dress codes, etc.

    in choosing your first job, consider:

    1. orientation progtram for the new RN. a strong orientation and preceptorship will be what makes or breaks your 1st job experience, and possibly, even your career in nsg.

    2. policies on continuing ed, including tuition assistance/reimbursement. this policy will also help you understand the employer's views on continuing ed.

    3. work environment & attitudes of potential co-workers. what is your 1st impression of the unit during a walk-through?

    4. nurse-to-patient rations, patient acuity, size of unit, mgmt. structure, staffing mix (rns relative to lpsn and nsg assts), availability of ancillary staff (housekeeping, dietary, unit secretary, maintenance, etc)

    5. availability of mds (esp after hrs), autonomy vs.responsiblity of RNs,type of nsg care delivered (team, primary, etc)

    6. type of work scheduling (weekend programs, M-F, 8-10-12 hr shifts, floating, overtime policy, weekend requirements, holiday requirements)

    7. opportunity for advancement?

    8. salary including shift differentials and cost of living increases.

    9. benefits including vacation time,sick time, childcare, staff health services, parking, cafeteria.

    tips for survival:

    - think before answering
    - take vacations
    - remove energy drainers
    - support co-workers
    - treat yourself
    - avoid aggravating people
    - keep in touch w/yourself and your needs
    - say no w/o guilt
    - ask for help
    - use available resources
    - evaluate your growth and stay focused.
    - re-energize

    we are not superhuman- lest we not forget that. and we are no one's doormat. love yourself enough to avoid ANYONE treating you badly.
    strive to treat each patient as you would yourself or a family member.

    and take a deep breath.

    peacefully,

    leslie
  11. 13
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    Ever have an "I wish I was told this" moment? Well, we all do as nurses regarding school. Here are some things I wish they told me nursing school (and some I wish they had emphasized more)----and what I told another new BSN nurse in a different thread (and it would be the same advice I would give any new nurse/grad):



    You have achieved a great thing, graduating and earning your degree (BSN, ADN , LPN or Diploma). Now, the REAL learning begins......

    Don't ever pretend to know what you don't. Be a sponge---watch and listen to what is going on around you. Take mental notes. Find mentors and emulate their good habits. Take note of the bad habits and avoid those.

    Listen to your patients; they know their bodies better than you do.

    Have integrity----be honest with yourself and others.

    Stay out of the gossip game/circle. It goes nowhere and brings down morale, including your own.

    Be on time! EVERYtime. When you are late, so am I. And I don't like to be late!

    Stay organized as possible. Keep up on your charting and tasks as they come up. Dont' save it all for "later"---there may not be time, "later".

    Do it right the first time, even if there IS "no time". Believe me, there is no time to "Do it over", either.

    Plan for the worst; hope for the best.

    Be someone they can rely on---and rely on yourself!

    Take good care of yourself; eat well, exercise. It's the only body you got and you are gonna need it. Nurture the self. Nurses have a tendency to martyr themselves and neglect their own needs. Don't be one of them; it's a fast superhighway to burn-out.

    Nourish the mind. Plan on spending a LOT of time investing in your continuing education as a nurse. The world of nursing/medicine is changing faster everyday. You are going to have to make a conscious and concerted effort to "stay abreast". It's more work than you imagine right now.....plan on it.

    Learn assertiveness if you have not already. Lots of good books and conferences/seminars exist. Learn early-on you no are NO ONE's doormat. Also, know there is a difference between "assertion" and "aggression".

    Work hard, yes, but don't forget to PLAY hard too! Have hobbies you enjoy. Your life is NOT your work, and while being a nurse is part of who you are, it need not *define* you.

    Believe in your self and good instincts. Sometimes, "instinct" is what lets us know something is amiss or wrong with our patients. Never ignore that gut instinct. It's very often right! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!!!!

    After 8 years in nursing, these things are things I have learned the "hard way"; hopefully you don't have to.

    Warm, hearty congratulations to you and all new grads here. I wish you all good things in your new careers.
    :yeahthat: I couldn't have said this better, Deb. Great job!!!
    Mr I Care, suzi-Q, chappelowgirl, and 10 others like this.
  12. 1
    Quote from PeachyOrthoRN
    Learn to admit when you have made a mistake, it can get ugly down the road.

    Always, Always ask questions.

    thanks for that whole bit. I'm a student and that really helps.

    Gerri
    ybq2008 likes this.


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