You’ve just accepted your very first job as a Registered Nurse. Now what? Here are four essential tips to not only quell your nerves, but to begin to shape you into the best nurse you can be.
- Seek Out a Mentor: Though some hospitals and health care facilities have mentorship programs built in, some don’t. If your new employer is one that does not, speak up and seek out a mentor of your own—be it a seasoned nurse that you can just quietly observe or one that you have a more established mentoring relationship with, in which you can ask questions and receive feedback.
- Ask Questions: Though you’ve just finished school, there is still a lot to learn. Don’t be afraid to use your voice, if you come across something you’re curious or unsure about. No one knows everything—not even the most experienced nurse—but there will be plenty of people who can help you to learn more as you settle into your new role.
- Pay Attention: It’s easy to become overwhelmed, especially when you’re new to the field, and things could easily slip through the cracks, if you’re being pulled in multiple different directions all at once—which you likely will be. Be mindful and focused as best you can at all times. And don’t be afraid to step back, breathe, and ask for help, if you need it.
- Practice Self Care: Your shifts will likely be long, your bathroom breaks will likely be short, or non-existent, and you’ll likely be on your feet all day. It’s easy to feel drained, when that is your day-to-day. Take care of your brain and body every single day by hydrating, eating right, sleeping well, and leaving the stresses of work at work.
What other tips would you add to this list? What is the best advice you received when entering the field of nursing?