Be open to trying new areas, even ones you don't think you are interested in. You can't know what you don't know and you might surprise yourself.
Develop yourself, don't wait on others. Things change fast in this field and if you want to attain a level of confidence and competence, you have to choose to educate yourself continually and to go above and beyond what's average.
Look for ways you can be better and make things around you better. Anyone can complain about what's not right, but try to be a part of the solution.
You can do amazing things with the right team in the right environment! No matter how difficult things are, you will love working with great people! Find them, be one.
On the other hand, do not be afraid to leave a toxic environment or to stand up for yourself. Nursing is not an easy field to be in right now; if you feel yourself getting burned out or demoralized, do what it takes to restore yourself. You might be treated like you are expendable or exploited, but there is only one you and you deserve to enjoy your life so do what you have to do to have quality of life.
You do not belong to anyone's bottom line but your own. Know when it's time to take a break or walk away and have the courage to do it.
You worked hard for your license. And if you don't feel safe working in your environment, leave, period, non-negotiable.
Buy some comfortable shoes that take care of your feet. Invest in yourself buy some comfortable scrubs that you like. And absolutely please remember that your gonna wipe some ass just like everyone else. Delegation is cool but sometimes/most of the time you don’t have that help so your gonna get your hands dirty…oh and practice not having strange facial expressions
Don't go into this job thinking it is an easy way to make money. This job is hard work, sometimes both mentally and physically. You can also enter into a toxic environment. Even I, after 30 years of nursing, recently accepted a job and ended up in a toxic and judgemental environment with other nurses. My preceptor abandoned me on my first day and then made up a story to tell the manager and the physicians that landed me in an investigation. They ended up paying me back pay and compensation but it is not an experience I hope to repeat.
I hope this does not happen to you, but if it does, or even if you get bad vibes from your preceptor go to your educator or manager and ask for someone else. The best places to go are units that have a mentorship program, not just preceptor pay. Expect to work hard, and study. School is only the beginning of learning; nursing learning is a lifelong task. I will say you will get out of the profession what you put into it. If you work hard and show compassion and empathy for your patients, you will reap the rewards.
First learn the basics. Start with some hospital nursing. Then find your niche. It may take you several fits and starts before you fall into the nursing area that suits your personality. When you find it, you will be happy to spend the rest of your career in this area. And keep learning. Medicine and nursing changes on a daily basis. Ask questions, be bold, be a leader. I just finished a long and happy 47 year nursing career. I started as a new nurse in the emergency room, and went back to ED nursing several times. I spent time in an ICU, home health, and post-surgical nursing floor. But I found my true nursing "love" in the poison center where I spent 35 years as a Certified Specialist in Poison Information, in several poison centers around the country as I moved. When you have found your niche, you will know it. But throughout, just enjoy your nursing career. It is a worthwhile endeavor.
Don't stop studying. Don't be afraid to ask questions from older, experienced nurses.
You will only really learn how to do things with experience. It’s ok to not know everything, and always ask questions when you don’t.
1) If you don't have your BSN, get back in school and get it. Having a BSN opens doors for you that having an ADN plus years of experience cannot.
2) Make it a point to read industry publications regularly to stay up to date on changes.
3) Try to spend time working in various roles...L&D, ER, Peds, OR, clinic, etc.
4) If the opportunity presents itself to learn about case management DO NOT pass it up.
5) Try to remember that being "the new kid" always comes with its share of not-so-nice "stuff", including experienced nurses treating you like a clueless pain-in-the-butt. It's not fair that nurses tend to "eat their young", but it does happen and you will have to deal with it....just be prepared.
6) Make sure that you take good care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Being a "giver" is a great thing, but if you don't give to YOURSELF as well, it will take a negative toll on you.
Keep learning, never stop! Always look for an opportunity to continue education or gain a new certification. Whether you are being compensated for the education you gain or not, it pays leaps and bounds when you help a patient in teaching them something that can mean the difference in saving their life or simply making their thyroid work better due to taking their medication properly. ALWAYS LEARN NEW THINGS!
After 40 plus years of nursing I have learned .....Nursing is forever changing...learn to perservere, its a wonderful character trait to have...every career has challenges. Be involved in making your work environment better! Embrace the friendships and comorodary with your team. You can make lifelong friends!
Get your Bachelor's Degree as soon as you can. Don't wait as it gets harder to do as you get older. Don't be afraid to change jobs if you are not happy where you are at.
Don’t burn yourself out working a ton of overtime. Take a week off every three months once you get your PTO built up. Once you burn yourself out it’s hard to recover.
To the new grad, pick your area first you want to go into and work toward your goal. No it’s not easy, but if you pursue you passion it’ll be worth it. Oh, and remember continue your education because when your older the floor may be too much for you.
When you are frustrated and you are feeling overwhelmed. Take a breath and remember why you became a nurse. Never forget your WHY. It is the reason you are in this profession. ❤️
As nurses, we generally people at their worse. Try to remember this and provide your patients and their families grace and compassion.
Be open minded and be willing to offer help to your colleagues without them asking. Be your best.
Being a nurse for the passed 30 years ,I have seen nursing changed a lot. Patient admitted to the hospital has a lot of co-morbidities in general therefore they demand a lot more care due to acuity. Patient ratio is horrible, and a lot of intense documentation . And with staffing shortage hospital administrators are stretching out nurses and does not consider patient safety. Their expectations from nurses are getting higher and higher but not enough support and compensation. We feel that we are being exploited and not being treated as human beings . We are on our feet more than 12 hours each day and could barely take our lunch break. At the end of the day it gets emotionally , physically and mentally draining. I fear in the future a lot of nurses will quit their profession and will do something different. It is discouraging to see how nurses are being treated nowadays . Healthcare is turning into a money making industry .
First and foremost, read all the articles you can to stay up on new EBP. Learning never stops. Try new areas to grow, even if it's just to float. Most importantly, work life balance. Your family comes first. Nursing is a career, a job. Family time never comes back when your kids are young. Mental health and physical health are equally important. Lastly, know your worth. Be aggressive negotiating pay and benefits. The shortages we will continue to face places job opportunities in our favor. Also, keep a journal of the best worst saddest funniest pts you come across.
Don’t be too rough on yourself. Do not tolerate toxic people. Help other nurses and aides if you have down time.
As soon as you are able to, pick a specialty you think you will like abd work to get into it. Grow your knowledge and become experts in it. Then when you turn around and get a higher degree, you can become a leader over what you love. I have found that new nurses kind of get lost that first year because they have not found their love, and get stuck doing something they do not like, which is miserable. So figure out your interests and work towards nurturing it. You will like being a nurse doing it that way.
Keep up with research and up to date materials. Join a nurse group, associations.
Change your career, I came up in 1984 as a Psych. Tech. and finished RN school in 1991. No time for bed side care. All about the computer. Plus I was a Diploma Graduate. Best training in the World, Big County/General on State St. All hands-on, no computer
skills training. No wearing masks. Looking at people when talking able to see them speak. All about NP and or PhD RN. Your upper
grad. RNs are duds. I am out of the RN world. Due to injuries as a Psychiatric RN and LPT for 35 years.
I recommend starting at the local State and county level and pull 25 or 30 years. Stay away from the VA. Unless you are prior military.
People told me to apply to everything- I would tell myself not to do that. Recruiters don't need to see your application for multiple positions every day. Plus if you get multiple offers, it gets very hard to make decisions to decline or accept.
People told me to look at what other new grads were doing and follow them- I would tell myself not to. Not everything that works for them will work for you. Everyone has unique situations.
People told me stay with my first job at least a year. But I am a military spouse and it was so difficult to to do that. I wish I could tell my new grad self not to be so hard on myself, that opportunities will come about, and I can find work again.
Don't do it!