I am 13 years into my nursing career and have finally hit my stride.
This is kind of cliche but time management is the key to a successful shift. It took me several years but I finally came up w/ a method to keep me on track. First, unless there is a true emergency, take 5mni. or so per pt and plan your shift. write down when your meds and proceedures are due, things you need to check on anything that you need to do for that pt that you don't want to forget. (if you don't get around to it all, you will be able to tell the next shift what you didn't get to). also, use this time to check if orders have been done and to check the most recent labs. It sounds like a lot to do when you need to get in to check your pt. but knowing your pt better will help you target your assessment and save you steps (it is annoying and time consuming to go do your assessment and when you come back to the station to chart find that there was a lab or a med due that you could have taken care of while you were in the room).
Another quick tip, keep a pocket notebook or a two inch roll of silk tape on you. If you get into an emergency situation where you will have to act now and chart later, you want something handy you can jot a few notes and times on. I like the two inch tape b/c I can rip off a strip and stick it on my leg so it is right on hand and I never lose it. Good luck!