Tips for New Nurses
Hey nurse fam! May is coming and that's when a lot of you guys will be graduating, studying for the NCLEX, starting nurse externships, interviewing and will finally be starting your first job in the profession! First and foremost, I want to say congratulations! You did it! One of the greatest accomplishments is passing nursing school, especially doing it through one of the most challenging moments in history: COVID.
So I wanted to give you guys some tips on how to survive through your first couple months as a new nurse. Above are some great tips to help the new nurses out here. These can also help nurses who are transitioning specialties as well!
TIPS FOR NEW NURSES
It’s okay to be nervous: You’re starting a new journey in life and there’s a big culture shock between nursing school and actually working as a professional nurse. We’ve all gone through it, so don’t feel alone in your anxiety.
Research: A lot of you guys are starting in many diverse specialties so take the time to brush up on key information that you’ll need in that specific specialty. This means joining professional organizations, subscribing to journals, and even getting your hands on a pocket guide.
Learn facility policy/procedure: It’s important to know where you can find your facilities policies and procedures regarding almost every aspect of your job. Although well-intentioned, we can receive the wrong information on how to complete a certain task. But when we are aware of the policy and procedure, we protect ourselves and our license.
Orient yourselves to the unit: Take time to learn the layout of your unit. Learn where supplies are kept, the location of your crash carts, and even where the great bathrooms are.
Preparation is key: Try your best to get to work early so that you can always research your patients ahead of time. Create or utilize a brain sheet to facilitate report and good note taking. Prep your workstation with supplies you’ll need for your shift.
Be friendly and open: Nursing is a team sport. We try our best to look out for each other. Keep a friendly mentality and always be open to learning and growth.
Some great resources for new nurses can be:
From Student to Nurse: My personal ebook that helps new nurses learn some of the ins and outs of nursing and learn how to transition from student to professional nurses! https://www.nursekayknows.com/product-page/from-student-to-nurse-ebook
ANA Nursing Resources: This is a great collection of articles and links to help new nurses learn about what's going on in the profession today and what opportunities are available to them. https://www.nursingworld.org/resources/
Lippincott's Nursing Center: This page is dedicated to help new nurses transitioning into their first year of practice. They have articles, links, interviews, and so much more to help you coast into the first year of professional nursing practice! https://www.nursingcenter.com/career-resources/newnursesuccess
The number one take away is this: the first couple months are always going to be the hardest but they’ll give you the foundation that you need to be the best practitioner you possibly can be. They say that nurses eat their young but we are trying to change that narrative. Never let anyone make you feel disrespected or inferior. Be open to learning into growth and I promise that you’ll have a long successful career in this profession.