Staying power of nurses, whats your secret?

  1. 0
    Hi! I am in my 2nd week of my program and my N100 teacher asked us today to research about what qualities nurses have that have stayed in the field. She explained to us that the first six months after graduation are crucial to RN's staying in the field and that there tends to be a high turn over rate. So I'd like to know what you all think. For those career clinical nurses, what is the major contributing factor/trait/characteristic that is common among successful nurses? What is it that has kept you in the field for 5, 10+ years?

    I'd greatly appreciate your help and would like to ensure that I myself will have 'staying power' and be a successful RN and will certainly listen any advice!

    Thanks so much!
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  3. 10 Comments so far...

  4. 6
    I have been a nurse for 32 years. I work on an IV team at a hospital and also PD for a home infusion company. I was 20 yrs old when I graduated.
    This is what was at kept me in nursing:
    I am a problem solver..and do not give up easily.I never looked for others to solve any problems that I can fix or solve myself.
    I learned early that I needed to work as part of a team. In order to survive and get the work done I offered to help others and in turn I always got help..even when I did not even need it!
    I always shared what I knew and did it in such a manner that it was fun and never confrontational or to put anyone one down. This has been a cornerstone of how I practice .
    I continue to educate myself and kept learning. When I found something I did not know..I looked it up at some point. This has made me a very well rounded clinician. I may be starting an IV in ED and overhearing a conversation between 2 nurses. Not only do I understand what they are talking about I can often answer questions. I have to giggle silently when they are suprised I can help or answer a question. They think I only know about IV stuff.
    I have learned to have a lot of tools in my toolbox and not just a hammer.What I mean by that is to knowing what tool to use in a given situation, For example,when approaching management with an idea do not bring out the hammer.
    I try to have a say in my schedule if possible and do what works for me. Along with this NEVER feel guilty about the need for breaks and do not think you are such a great nurse because you do not take one
    Deal with interpersonal conflicts right away so they do not escalate.
    learn how to deal with conflict and how to deal with an angry/upset patient and angry or upset family members
    learn how to cope with change well even if you do not always like it at first. If the change turns out not to be not a good one it will usually get changed back or fixed.
    be kind to your coworkers......ask if they need or got a break.......ask if they need help.......how the day is going....THANK them every day for a job well done. I do this to this day. " Thank you for all your hard work". "WOW that was a beautiful stick".... "That is a great idea let's try it "
    Remember to take care of your needs as well
    never forget..your contribution always matters....every day you make it better and easier for another human being, it may seem little to you but it really not
    I consider it a privilege to be able to to care for others
    Miniangel2, ark88, CareQueen, and 3 others like this.
  5. 1
    Everything iluvit said and

    I LOVE being a nurse.....even after all the bureaucratic baloney....I love my patients.... I love being a nurse...I WANT to be there....it is what I was meant to do.
    poppycat likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from iluvivt
    I have been a nurse for 32 years. I work on an IV team at a hospital and also PD for a home infusion company. I was 20 yrs old when I graduated.
    This is what was at kept me in nursing:
    I am a problem solver..and do not give up easily.I never looked for others to solve any problems that I can fix or solve myself.
    I learned early that I needed to work as part of a team. In order to survive and get the work done I offered to help others and in turn I always got help..even when I did not even need it!
    I always shared what I knew and did it in such a manner that it was fun and never confrontational or to put anyone one down. This has been a cornerstone of how I practice .
    I continue to educate myself and kept learning. When I found something I did not know..I looked it up at some point. This has made me a very well rounded clinician. I may be starting an IV in ED and overhearing a conversation between 2 nurses. Not only do I understand what they are talking about I can often answer questions. I have to giggle silently when they are suprised I can help or answer a question. They think I only know about IV stuff.
    I have learned to have a lot of tools in my toolbox and not just a hammer.What I mean by that is to knowing what tool to use in a given situation, For example,when approaching management with an idea do not bring out the hammer.
    I try to have a say in my schedule if possible and do what works for me. Along with this NEVER feel guilty about the need for breaks and do not think you are such a great nurse because you do not take one
    Deal with interpersonal conflicts right away so they do not escalate.
    learn how to deal with conflict and how to deal with an angry/upset patient and angry or upset family members
    learn how to cope with change well even if you do not always like it at first. If the change turns out not to be not a good one it will usually get changed back or fixed.
    be kind to your coworkers......ask if they need or got a break.......ask if they need help.......how the day is going....THANK them every day for a job well done. I do this to this day. " Thank you for all your hard work". "WOW that was a beautiful stick".... "That is a great idea let's try it "
    Remember to take care of your needs as well
    never forget..your contribution always matters....every day you make it better and easier for another human being, it may seem little to you but it really not
    I consider it a privilege to be able to to care for others
    I can't like this enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  7. 0
    Amazing! Thank you so much! I can't wait to fill my teacher and class in on your insight. It's people like you that inspire me! I truly appreciate it and will take your words to heart! :-)
  8. 1
    Thank you so much! It truly came from the heart and it is how I practice.
    Miniangel2 likes this.
  9. 0
    I never, never turn down an opportunity to learn something new or accept a new responsibility.

    I hang around smart, hard-working, accomplished people as much as possible; I learn things, I am inspired, and I am never bored.

    I learned that getting fired is not the end of the world. More often than not, it's the beginning of a whole new better one.

    It's a cliche, but still true: People won't follow your leadership unless they know you care about them.

    I chose a life partner who understands my drive and motivations and supports them because he values me. It may take you one or two tries to find this paragon (it took me more than twenty years), but oh, my-oh-my, it is sooo worth the wait.

    I love the opportunity to teach and leave a project better than it was before. Which, I guess, is pretty much the same thing.
  10. 0
    For me, combine GrnTea and Iluv's posts...even Esme's as well.

    As a nurse for 7 years (8 in April), What's kept me in nursing and CONTINUE to be in nursing for the next 15-20 years:

    1) Realizing that healthcare is a team approach, and we all have important pieces to the puzzle. I love "investigating" my patients using the nursing process! I have learned so much from my patients, making me a better nurse.

    2) I entered nursing on my own terms and respected our history and applied how I wanted to make an impact on my patients by providing the best care possible, while empowering my patient and peers the best way I could, knowing that it was not always possible.

    3) Remaining flexible to the changes in patients, policies, treatments, and trends if the healthcare system, while remaining true to pacing myself if needed; meaning when to say NO guilt free, and taking advantages of broadening my nursing education whenever possible.

    4) Enjoying the fact that nursing is somewhat like the military (I come from a military family)...you have brothers and sisters who truly are on a mission, providing the best care for the sick, frail, and vulnerable, while helping foster dignity in their health, and most will relate to the ride that we do, regardless of age, culture, background and personality, and we constantly are learning from our patients and ourselves.
  11. 0
    Still a student, but what a great thread! Loving all the uplifting advice!
  12. 0
    Wow, thanks for even more great advice! It's so reassuring to hear genuine thoughts and perspective about nursing. I researched nursing schools for 4 years before deciding to commit. This literally is my life's ambition for myself and my family. I really love the resounding themes in your words. Thank you so much! I hope many many other students read this.


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