Advice for the New Nurse from an Experienced Travel Nurse

By Leah Gnitka

September 16, 2019

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Advice for the New Nurse from an Experienced Travel Nurse

new nurse
Photo by Pete Johnson on Pexels

Congratulations!

On graduating nursing school and passing the NCLEX! That is such a big accomplishment and you should be so proud of yourself. Now I’m sure that you are full of multiple emotions as you go into this next step in your nursing career. You’re probably excited, scared, nervous, relieved that you’re done with nursing school, etc. Well here are a few bits of advice that I hope you take with you as you embark on this next part of your nursing career.

That is such a big accomplishment and you should be so proud of yourself. Now I’m sure that you are full of multiple emotions as you go into this next step in your nursing career. You’re probably excited, scared, nervous, relieved that you’re done with nursing school, etc. Well here are a few bits of advice that I hope you take with you as you embark on this next part of your nursing career.

Advice for the New Nurse

Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

Ask questions! Just because you finished nursing school and passed the NCLEX doesn’t mean that you should now have no questions. You’re going to have questions. Even after several years of being a nurse you’ll still have questions. There are always new medicines, treatments, protocols, etc coming out and you’re not going to know it all. If you are concerned about something, ask your preceptor or charge nurse. If you don’t remember how to do a conversion for the medication you’re about to administer, ask. In the end, it’s always better to ask a question – even if you thought you knew the answer.

Learn to Manage Your Time

Working on the floor can become really tasky. You will have to decide what order you want to complete your tasks. You will have to learn how to prioritize what needs to be done first. You’ll have to learn to clump cares together. You will need to keep track of patients going down for procedures, plan for your discharges, and prepare for an admission.  Find a routine that works for you and then perfect it. Once you have a routine or system you will be able to be much more efficient in you work.

And sometimes there will be days where you can’t do it all. Some days you’ll have to ask for help; whether that’s asking another nurse to pass some quick medications or asking an aid to take your patient to the bathroom. Ask for help when you need it and offer help when you can.

Leave Your Work at Work

This is something that is so important and that you will have to continuously work on as you go through your career. There will be cases with problems between the patient and family and you will go home thinking about the situation. You will have a code blue and you will keep wondering if you did everything right. You will have a patient on comfort cares pass away and you will shed some tears. There will be a lot of emotion and thought and trauma that will go into your day. You have to always remind yourself that you are doing the best you can.

Remind yourself that you did everything you were supposed to do.

Know that some things are truly out of your control. It is so easy to keep dwelling on the events of the day once you get home from work, but I highly encourage you to leave those thoughts at work. If you continuously bring home the hurt and pain that you see at work, it will start to seep into other areas of your life. Remember that you were called to this profession because it needed you. You are a rock-star nurse doing what most people could not do. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

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