Try to be as organized and efficient as you can. "Cluster" little tasks together, so you aren't running back and forth so much. Keep a piece of paper in your pocket, or a small notebook. When you're doing something, you'll get about 100 interruptions. Write a note to yourself to do --whatever-- when you're finished doing what you're doing (except things that have to be taken care of NOW, like a fall).
I tell the CNAs to leave me a note taped to the phone if I'm not at the desk. If saves them the time of needing to hunt me down just to say that Mrs. So-So wants a pain pill.
Learn to prioritize.
When a CNA tells you about something (Mrs. So-S0 is vomiting, whatever), make a special effort to get back to that CNA and tell them what you did about it (called the doctor, ordered clear liquids, whatever). That's a courtesy, but it also keeps communication flowing with your staff; and let's them know you care and that you DO follow-up on things they tell you. If they know you do something about it, they'll keep coming to you, and they're the ones who will give you the heads-up on problems on the floor.
Don't leave the floor EVER if a resident is unstable or sick. If it happened on your shift, take care of it on your shift, before you go home.
No matter how busy you get, ALWAYS eye-ball every resident at least once during your shift.
Limit the times you hassle the CNAs, help them instead. A minute helping them transfer someone doesn't take much time, and gives you a moment to eye-ball that resident's status; but don't get into the trap of doing their work for them. Goodness knows you'll have enough of your own to do. Reprimand as a last resort; instead teach. Instead of "Why didn't you turn Mrs. So-So?" Say, "It's important to turn Mrs. So-SO so she won't get bed sores. Let me show you how to position her."
Trust your instincts and judgments, and act on them.
If you're unsure of something, ask an experienced LPN or the RN, even if you have to call and wake someone up.
Always, always listen to the concerns of family members. They always pick up on subtle signs of coming problems long before the staff does. Also, it will save you a lot of grief if the family feels you care and will take care of Mom or Pop when they aren't there.
Alot of what I've said has to do with building trust with the people around you. With trust comes respect, and with respect makes it a lot easier to be "in charge."
Establish your own little "routine." Watch the other nurses to see how they organize their time.
Doctors get stressed and frustrated, too. Don't be afraid of them, and don't quiver in your shoes if they start getting disrespectful. My favorite line when a doc gets annoying is to say, " Dr. Smith, I'm not a doctor, I'm the nurse. That's why I needed to call you. Now, do you need anymore information before giving me orders?" If you work day shift, try to get to know the Doctor's office nurses. They can smooth alot of wrinkles and get alot of orders for you out of a surly doc.
Take your breaks no matter how busy you get. Your body and mind needs the rest. And you learn a LOT about your residents and what's happening on the floor by listening to what's being said in the breakroom.
And above all, keep your sense of humor! When you have 100 things that need to be done NOW, three phone calls waiting on hold at the desk, and the DON hollered at you yesterday for overtime, and you have a sick child at home and you need to get out on time, and and and, and about that time, Mrs. So-So's catheter bag breaks open and urine soaks your new pair of shoes . . . well, laugh. Because somewhere in that insanity, you'll find out what nursing is all about.
Always take the time to hug, smile, pat the hand, get a drink of water, spend a moment listening, remember to say "happy birthday," etc. for your residents. That's what makes it all worthwhile.
Good luck! And Congratulations on getting your LPN!