Tips for New Nurses: How to Survive your First Year

Your first year as a nurse may bring all sorts of feelings. Excitement may overwhelm you thinking about putting all the knowledge you learn from nursing school into action.


Nursing is a hard job. But as the senior nurses say, the first year is the hardest. After that, you will be more confident in your skills and knowledge.


Here are some tips to help you survive your first year and be a successful nurse.


  1. Be organized. Every nurse organizes themselves differently in a way that works for them. Try a few different methods and choose one that works for you, then keep it consistent.


  1. Everything is ASAP. You never know what a shift may hold for you, so once you’re done with vital signs and assessments, go to your next task. Don’t slack. You can relax later if you don’t have a growing list of things to do.


  1. Never hesitate to ask questions. Better yet, never stop asking questions. As a new nurse, it is better to ask and learn that not to ask and potentially do something wrong.

  1. Accept help from others. Sometimes, the fact that you are a new nurse makes you want to do things on your own, proving how capable you are. Believe us, this is hard. Instead, let others help you. Your co-nurses want you to succeed and want to help you, so allow them.


  1. Know when to prioritize. You may be so keen on doing your job on time. Yes, there are procedures to be done on time. But there are also some that can be delayed. You should learn how to prioritize so you won’t be too worked up on executing your task. It takes time. But the key to remember is that not everything is an emergency.


  1. Practice efficiency. One of the biggest keys to efficiency as a new nurse is to shove anything and everything into your pockets. So when you’re in the patient room and ready to do something, you won’t find yourself missing the thing you may need. Also, learn to group your tasks. It may be difficult to learn at first, but this will help you save time at the end.


  1. Be proactive. Call bells. You may hate this during your first year as a nurse. Patients use their call bells for all sorts of reasons and this can disturb your workflow. So next time you go into a patient’s room, ask if they need to go to the bathroom or needs something else from you. This way, you have fewer interruptions and your patient will appreciate it.


  1. Befriend everyone. Being friendly with everyone will make a new nurse feel more like a part of the unit and be comfortable when they need to ask help.

  1. Have time for a break. Most of the new nurses don’t have time for a break because they are too engrossed in their job. Well, don’t practice this. You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself.


  1. It gets better. The first year as a nurse may be tough and you may feel like quitting. But keep in mind that you became a nurse for a reason. Nursing will click on time, so you’ll be cruising along in the coming years.


Nursing is indeed a tough job. New nurses will surely have a hard time sticking it out for the first year. However, these tips can help them survive it for sure.


 Published at: 10/26/2017