Many of the items on the list below are from me, but I enlisted some friends to help as well! This list was compiled using the submissions of nurses from all backgrounds and with many, many years experience. Each piece of advice on this list is invaluable- read it, write it down, and share it with another nurse. Being a new nurse is hard, but we are all in this together.
Our Best Advice for New Nurses
- Give yourself time to adjust to the new role. It takes a few days to make a Honda and a year to make a Bugatti. Learning is an ongoing process- be patient with your growth and it’ll get better as your experience grows. –Nurse Practitioner Katie
- As a new grad be confident not cocky. Remain patient with your learning process, be a sponge and soak up all the information you receive while acknowledging you’re worthy to be in that position. -Nurse Myqueen
- Once you find the cool nurse- the nurse who does her job well and treats people nicely, become her friend and ask her as many questions as you can. –Nurse Tae
- PROTECT. YOUR. BODY. At all costs. I know nurses, all under the age of thirty, who’ve had chronic pain syndromes, osteoarthritis, bulging disks, and even torn rotator cuffs! Please use the lift equipment every time. –Nurse Tae
- Don’t put yourself in a box. There are so many facets of nursing. You don’t only have to do one thing! Explore and ask questions. –Nurse Veronica
- Fail forward. It can be so competitive in nursing school when instead it should be about collaboration and celebrating each other’s success. Looking back at my own failures, for example not passing my last nursing course and having to retake it or not passing the NCLEX and retaking that, I realized that it made me capable of overcoming barriers. No matter what, I tell every nursing student that there is an end and it will be sweet. You must keep moving forward. –Nurse Georgie
- Have a premade and preprinted report sheet organized by body system to start each shift. This will allow you to stay organized while you are receiving report and will help you continue to be organized throughout your entire shift. If you have time during the last hour of your shift, look over your report sheet to make sure you have all of the information written down that the oncoming nurse may ask you. This helps you to feel more prepared and confident when you are giving report. Your colleagues will be impressed and respect your preparedness. –Nurse Tae
- Smile every time you enter your patient’s room. While you speak to your patients about their care, sit down on an empty chair and give them eye contact. –Nurse Tae
- Always ask questions if you’re unsure or your gut feels something is off. Even if you think the question is “stupid,” there are no stupid questions. –Nurse Sarah
- Be flexible and firm. Flexible on the ever-changing flow of patient care and delivery. Firm on your capabilities as a nurse, your boundaries, and your gut instincts. –Nurse Tiff
- Half the battle is getting over the fear of the unknown and the anxiety of what you don’t know; it’s mental. Be patient with yourself because in a year this will be a memory and the fearful things will become routine like clockwork. –Nurse Sheena
- Don’t let anyone bully you. –Nurse Practitioner Katie
- Believe in yourself. You didn’t make it this far by chance! –Nurse Kim
- It’s a blessing to be new. Listen, be open to constructive criticism, give yourself grace and know that the nurse you admire most was once new just like you. Trust the process, it’s worth it! –Nurse Practitioner Monica
- Nurses: your potential is infinite. Do not give way to imposter syndrome. If you are in the room, then you deserve to be there. Show up fully each day. -Nurse Tae
I highly recommend that you copy and paste this list into a printable document and hang it in a place where you can see it every day. Remember to take care of yourself.
2 Comments Add yours
Thank you! I just graduated nursing school this December.