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5 Nursing Tips To Help You Survive Your First Year As An RN

By 2022, experts estimate the U.S. will need 1.1 million new nurses to meet a growing demand. It’s a field with plenty of opportunities, but little room for faint hearts.

Nursing will test you physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you’re unprepared, you could end up as one of the thousands of nurses who quit after their first year.

That’s where can help. We’ve compiled the top five nursing tips to help you survive your new career.

Learn Everything You Can

As a first-year nurse, fresh out of school, you might think you know the job. After all, you’ve done everything in class before, right?


Nursing is a lot like being a lawyer: you don’t know how to do it until you do it.

Get to know the lay of the land. Observe the day-to-day procedures, ask questions, and make friends with the veteran nurses. Soak it all up like a sponge.

The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be in crunch time.

Stay Organized

Speaking of time, managing it will help you navigate your first year smoother. Being late can mean missing a critical diagnosis or preventing a crash.

Keep your phone clock handy. Manage your breaks (if you get one) and don’t take them too long.

Then, let that organization spread to the rest of your work. Keep your files neat. Organize all your paperwork by priority. If you have to consult with the doctor, have the patient’s charts at the ready.

Stay organized to stave off the stress.

Be Assertive

In the medical world, there’s no time to second-guess yourself. Sure, we all have doubts; the trick is not to let them show, especially if you’re a new nurse.

Patients feed off your confidence. Your self-assurance gives them peace of mind, and it gives you credibility among your co-workers.

Doctors and veteran nurses won’t pick on you as much if they know you’ll stick up for yourself. Your assertiveness will show your toughness, something you’ll need should the worst happen.

Take Care of Yourself

Whether you work at a hospital or an urgent care center, like this company, nursing will take a toll on you. It’s easy to burn out in a career where life-and-death decisions are the norm.

Take a step back every now and again. Treat yourself after a terrible shift. Buy that new shirt you’ve wanted, take an extra long nap, do whatever you have to to keep the stress of the job from getting to you.

Above all, maintain healthy nutrition. Trade that Big-Mac in for a veggie wrap, those French fries for a banana, and the soda for a bottle of water.

Sure, they’re only a quick stop at the drive-thru. They may even taste delicious, but they’ll leave you drained by shift’s end.

Don’t Stop Learning

I know we talked about learning the workplace, but it doesn’t stop there. The medical field evolves almost daily. New procedures, new medicines, you have to know all of it.

Even in your first year, stay up to date on everything in the industry. As you advance in your career, think about advancing your degree.

You can’t stay a staff nurse forever. An expanded knowledge base can only help expand your future.

Where You Can Find Nursing Tips and More

Your first year of nursing will make or break you. By with this nursing tips at your fingertips, you could find yourself in a rewarding, challenging career or looking for another one.

If you find yourself on that latter end, explore our blog. We’ve got business advice, education tips, and everything necessary for succeeding at work.

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