For the experienced nurses...

  1. My question is for the experienced nurses out there! I am wondering if any of you can think back over the years and come up with just ONE thing that you know now that you wish you would have known when you first started out as a nurse. I will be finished with school in May and then I will take boards shortly after. This field is becomming more and more competative and I would love to somehow "stand out" among the other nurses, without feeling like show off. Any advice?
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  2. 30 Comments

  3. by   RN_BSN09
    I wish I had known how valuable an RN Residency program is! I learned so much working as a staff nurse on a tele floor. The RN Residency allowed me to have different preceptors, and slowly take on more patients to give me time to learn and prioritize. Older nurses would tell me how they were just "thrown" into patient assignments and not given enough time in orientation. They are finally getting better about that by implementing these residencies for new nurses, which they should have started doing a long time ago! By giving yourself enough time to get the "tasks" of nursing down... you'll then be able to start focusing on the bigger picture, critical thinking, and time management. It will make you a much more confident nurse, instead of being afraid to mess something up because you were too rushed or uncertain.
  4. by   Tait
    Be fluent in Evidence-Based Practice. I never realized until my MSN bridge just how much more of a role I could have been playing all these years.
  5. by   blackvans1234
    OH!

    *Grabs pen and paper*
  6. by   mclennan
    Don't limit your career to just bedside or med surg/hospital. There are wonderful nursing jobs that are far less stressful in research, case management, Public Health, clinics, education, schools, HH, hospice, psych, OSHA, etc.

    AND

    Don't fall into the Superwoman trap! You do NOT have to do everything and please everyone. Life is not a competition about who is more stressed out!
  7. by   RN_BSN09
    Quote from mclennan

    Don't fall into the Superwoman trap! You do NOT have to do everything and please everyone. Life is not a competition about who is more stressed out!
    Amen!
  8. by   Gold_SJ
    Time management is a process that shapes and solidifies with practice and passage of time. Do not beat yourself into a mess if when starting out you are not accomplishing spot on timing and feel you're ran off your feet while the experienced nurses can somehow have time to chat.

    Remember:
    Prioritisation
    Delegation (You don't have to do it all! You can delegate for a reason)
    Chart during shift regulary when having spaces. (Don't let it pile up so you're stuck doing it after shift)
    Think ahead for procedures and bring all equipment needed with you. Saves running back and forth for things you forget.
    Time management sheets are a lifesaver.

    Oh and a big one, if it's going off the rail, ASK for help. Your shift coordinator/Senior nurse is there 'to' assist junior staff when things go crap (ie. code, drips tissuing, a pile of new orders from the doctor ect.) More than anything it's when it falls apart and you didn't ask for help the coordinator is irritated.

    Might seem silly advice but most postgrads including back when I was a grad, struggle with time management and can be very harsh on themselves. The stress is not worth it, just focus on the things you can change and sooner than you think you will be having those smooth shifts the experienced staff members are pulling off.

    Lol that's something I wish someone had told me when starting out ^.~
    Last edit by Gold_SJ on Mar 5, '13
  9. by   NurseOnAMotorcycle
    You'll be in "nursing school mode" for a while and freak out when you are late with a fingerstick or forget to chart that last cup of water the patient had. Try to remember to give yourself a break when this happens. First med error will keep you sleepless for a few nights because of it. Tell the doc, monitor the pt, they'll prob be fine.
  10. by   RN_BSN09
    Make your own Brain sheet! Everyone's different, so it's helpful to just make your own. And I agree with the post that said to delegate! It was hard for me to delegate to CNAs at first, I felt bad asking, but just do it... it will save you time and that is what they're there for, to help you.
  11. by   klone
    I would have gone right into a BSN program immediately upon graduation, rather than several years later.
  12. by   DoeRN
    Quote from klone
    I would have gone right into a BSN program immediately upon graduation, rather than several years later.
    I second this! I did to back to get my BSN but I was a little complacent going back. I got comfortable on my old floor but I always knew I needed to go back. I tell all ASN's to immediately enroll in a BSN program. I said right after you take NCLEX enroll in school for that next semester.

    Also, knowing that I didn't have to settle for a job I didn't like. I'm going for a non-nursing degree but l looked at all my options while deciding to go back for another bachelors. I can use my nursing degree with technology. So knowing that there are non-healthcare fields out there that allow you to use your medical experience too.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
  13. by   Tait
    I did my ADN and then went back about five years later. I rather enjoyed working first, gaining a lot of experience and then looking more closely at the theory/management etc. I felt my experience helped me really engage in the BSN information. However, I guess a year or two on the floor could get you the same feeling.
  14. by   paradiseboundRN
    2 things I would have done differently:

    I would have gone back for my BSN sooner.

    I would have insisted on having help lifting. I herniated a disc only a couple of months out of school which has plagued me for 13 years.

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For the experienced nurses...