10 Essential Tips for New Nurses


Nursing is a hard profession, but it’s even more challenging for the newbies. While nursing school prepares you well for looking after the sick, there are often unwritten rules about working as a nurse that you only learn through experience. To make sure you don’t mess up too much in the early days, follow these ten tips for new nurses. 

  1. Keep on Learning 

Graduating from nursing school or completing your master’s degree doesn’t mean your educated has ended. In fact, there’s far more to learn once you start working as a qualified nurse. Rather than walking in on your first day expecting to know everything, remember that your education is a journey and that there’s still a lot to understand. 

If you’re still on your way to becoming a new nurse, consider looking at accelerated BSN programs online. Not only do they allow you to study from home, but they also help you become qualified in as little as sixteen months. 

  1. Listen to Your Supervisor 

It might go without saying, but listening to your supervisor is crucial. Whether they are telling you where to hang your coat or what you always need to carry with you, you must take their advice on board and show them that you’ve listened. They likely have been doing the job much longer than you and know best. Otherwise, you run the risk of standing out for all the wrong reasons. 

  1. Take Notes 

You might think that you’ll absorb everything you’re learning as a new nurse, but the chances are you’ll forget some of the smaller details over time. To make sure you learn as much as possible as a newbie nurse, take lots of notes and refer back to them later. Not only will this help you remember everything, but it’ll also show your managers and supervisor that you’re taking the role seriously. 

  1. Admit to Your Mistakes 

Making too many mistakes is one of the most common fears of new nurses. It’s understandable; you want to show your superiors that you are capable and reliable. The truth is, they will have far more respect for you if you admit to your mistakes rather than try and hide away from them. Remember – every single nurse has been where you are now, which means all of them have made mistakes just like you. By openly admitting to them and taking responsibility, you show that you are honest and have integrity, which are two traits crucial for nursing. 

  1. Always Show Up Prepared 

As a nurse, you must meet expectations, such as dressing appropriately and always having the correct equipment. No matter what, make it your priority to always show up as prepared as possible. That means never arriving late, wearing the proper outfit, and having the correct equipment in your presence. By doing so, you’ll become known as a nurse who can always be relied upon. 

  1. Ask Lots of Questions 

In your first few years of nursing, your goal is to soak up as much information as you can, and an easy way to do this is by asking lots of questions. When a senior nurse is showing you how to do something, don’t just accept understanding the basics – ask them why they do it a certain way and what you should do if an emergency happens. Don’t worry about annoying anyone, as it’s much better to ask early on than make mistakes down the road! 

  1. Prioritize Self-Care 

Nurse burnout is real, and it doesn’t just affect nurses who’ve been working for years. To make sure you stay alert, energized, and motivated, engage in self-care when you’re out of work. To do this, you should eat a healthy diet, get enough exercise, sleep well, and treat yourself from time to time. Some other essential self-care tips include:

  • Drink Plenty of Water: Dehydration can lead to numerous problems, from headaches to fatigue. To make sure this doesn’t affect you during long shifts, keep a water bottle nearby at all times. 
  • Take Your Breaks: No matter how busy you are, you are always entitled to your breaks, and you should take them. A break will help you decompress, if only for a little while so that when you get back to work, you don’t feel too overwhelmed. 
  • Notice the Signs of Burnout: By noticing the signs of burnout, you’ll be able to stop it in its tracks. Some of these signs are feeling fatigued all the time, dreading going to work, and high stress levels. 
  1. Make Lots of Friends 

Nursing isn’t something you should do solo. While you might have got yourself through nursing school due to your ability, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to survive a full nursing career without fellow nurses by your side. As soon as you start your first day as a nurse, make it your mission to make as many friends as possible. Not only will this make your shifts easier, but it’ll also open you up to potential opportunities in the future. 

  1. Believe in Your Abilities 

While you are a newbie, it is still important to believe in your abilities. After all, you haven’t worked so hard and completed your work experience for nothing! You should always be open to learning new things, but that doesn’t mean you should question your attained knowledge too much just because you don’t have years of experience. 

  1. Enjoy Every Single Moment 

It is true that you’ll go through many challenges during your first few years of nursing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy every single moment. Whenever you feel overly stressed or that you don’t know enough remember that everything is a learning curve and that you should enjoy that. Make lots of friends, take your breaks, laugh with the patients, and make the most of each day.  

Your first few years as a nurse might test you. Remember, though, that it’s only the early days. The more experience you have, the better you’ll become – just remember to enjoy the entire journey!

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