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Nurse First News Blog

Advice to a New Nurse - Things I Wish I Knew

Posted May 24, 2016

We’ve all been there, fresh out of nursing school with big hopes and dreams for the future. We’re ready to make a difference in people’s lives. Then reality sets in and things are a lot harder then we initially thought. Now I’m not saying that nursing isn’t the job I was hoping for but there is definitely some advice that I wish someone would have given me when starting out as a new nurse.

I can’t get into a time machine and give this advice to my younger self but I can pass along my wisdom to all the new nurses that are just starting out and all the future nurses of the world.

Spread Your Wings and Fly!

The first thing to remember is that when school is over you are on your own. There are no instructors to run to when questions come up or problems arise. Plus, if you make a mistake you won’t simply get an F, you’ll have to fill out an incident report. Being on your own doesn’t have to be a bad thing but it can be a scary proposition. Learn from your mistakes and become the best possible nurse you can be.

First Impressions Matter

Another thing to consider is to make a good impression on your manager. Get to know them a little bit and show them you are a team player. This could include taking an extra shift that no one wants. On the flip side, don’t let them think that you’ll drop everything just to do what they say. You do need a life outside of work too.

Keep Your Co-Workers Close

Going along with making a good impression on your manager is to be sociable with other coworkers. Get to know them and if you click spend time outside of work together. Being sociable with coworkers also has the added benefit of advice. They will be more willing to share their wisdom allowing you to learn from them. Also, when there are floor parties make sure you’re chipping in for presents and participating in the party. No one likes a party pooper.

Get Familiar with Your Surroundings

Also, when you are new learn all about the resources available to you such as tuition reimbursement, 401K, etc. Learn about all the resources available to you so you know what you can and can’t do and allow you to take full advantage of what your facility is offering. Depending on the city where you work get to know where you can and can’t park. For some of you, parking isn’t much of an issue with huge parking lots. However, some of you might not be as lucky. The last thing you want is to park somewhere you shouldn’t and get a ticket from the police.

Make Friends

Befriend pretty much every coworker you come into contact with. It’s important that you are friendly with everyone you come into contact with. You don’t have to be best buddies or anything but making a good first impression and working well with others makes the job 10 times easier. Consider being friendly with the pharmacist as they can answer any questions you have about medications. Become friendly with the nurse clinician as they can help you perform new procedures.

By no means is this an exhaustive list of things to do when you’re a new nurse on the job. However, I hope this advice gives you a good starting point and will allow you to more easily get accustomed to life on the job.

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