5 Survival Tips For New Nurses

Everyone has been through the transition of being a student to a professional. You can feel all sorts of emotions such as nervousness and excitement. Also, there’s pressure to do everything right and to start your career on the right track.

When you’ve finally gotten your new job of being a nurse, it may come with numerous challenges. Some of these include:

  • Knowing all the hospital doctors, nurses, secretaries, receptionists, housekeeping staff, and the management
  • Being familiar with the hospital building, its rooms, and all its departments
  • Adjusting your lifestyle to your ever-changing schedules
  • Getting acquainted with patients

Adapting As A New Nurse

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Thus, it’s normal if you’re feeling beaten during your first weeks and months of being a nurse. Some of you may have a hard time surviving your first year, but it’d help if you remember those days when you’re still a student dreaming of becoming a registered nurse someday. You’ve poured all your efforts, endured sleepless nights, and spent your spare time studying thick medical textbooks, memorizing medical terms, and graduating with a degree.

Now you’re in your dream job, the challenge is to survive in your chosen industry. This time, it’s all about putting the things you’ve studied into practice. This may seem overwhelming for you, but with the help of these survival tips, you can establish yourself for a long-lasting, successful nursing career.

1. Be Prepared

Before your shift, prepare all necessary things, medical equipment, and work uniform. Additionally, don’t forget to plan and prepare your packed lunch, snacks, and tumbler. The more prepared you are, the smoother your workflow will be. Plus, you won’t have to worry about any interruptions because you already have everything you need.

It’s also ideal to go for nurse scrubs with pockets, so you’ll have storage for your necessities like a notepad, pen, or stethoscope. You can look at this post for more information about the best scrubs and see which type might suit your needs. The last thing you’d want to happen is to waste time roaming around the halls to get yourself a pen and paper.

2. Take Full Advantage Of Your Mentor

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Like in offices and other workplaces, new nurses are provided with their own set of mentors to help them be familiar with everything they need to know. Once you’re assigned with one, value the relationship with these tips:

  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions relevant to your job. The more you inquire, the more you can keep up with the hospital’s fast-paced operations. No one expects you to know everything at once, so use every chance to ask to avoid mistakes.
  • Take note of every new information you get from your mentor. This will prevent you from asking the same questions over and over again.
  • Make sure to practice everything your mentor has taught you.
  • If you think something doesn’t sound or look right to you, don’t hesitate to speak up and raise your concerns. The earlier you address your concerns, the earlier they’ll be appropriately clarified, reducing your risk of mistakes in the future.
  • Create goals and expectations for yourself. You can share them with your mentor, so you can work on them.

It’s also recommended to find the most convenient way of communicating with your mentor. Sometimes, personal meetings and coaching are better than online training. Lastly, be an attentive observer. Look closely at the process senior nurses do and ask questions whenever some parts confuse you.

As you learn more each day, you’ll be able to formulate your workflow suiting your skills, making you more settled with your job.

3. Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help

Just because you don’t have a mentor to supervise you anymore doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to ask for help. When there are particular tasks you’re uncomfortable performing alone or unsure how it’s done, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from other nurses.

Keep in mind, when working in the health industry, you’ll be dealing with people’s safety, which means there’s no room for error and unwanted incidents. One reason why some new nurses couldn’t last in the industry is because of the pressure and stress brought by this idea.

If you want to survive for a long time and avoid any errors, be honest with your skills and always ask for help whenever you need it. This attitude will also allow you to have bonding moments with your co-workers and other staff. Also if you need any additional equipment, you can buy from Mediworld.

4. Look After Your Basic Needs

Source: nursingworld.org

Nurses often have many duties on their plate, so it’s prevalent for them to miss their food breaks or forget about rehydrating themselves. However, doing so will only make you feel more stressed, anxious, and have less energy. When you don’t eat and rehydrate properly, it can adversely affect your work performance, deteriorate your overall health, and eventually hinder you from doing your duties correctly.

Even if a sit-down meal may seem impossible to do, you can always pack healthy lunch or snacks, so you can have easy access to food whenever you feel hungry. Moreover, avoid consuming too much caffeine as it won’t do you good in the long run. Instead, you can rehydrate yourself with water, fruit juices, or energy drinks.

5. Slow Down

Working in hospitals is one of the most fast-paced job sites you can find, and you can only expect nurses, doctors, and other healthcare staff required to be dynamic and catch up with the stressful environment. For new nurses, when you start feeling left out, some of you may begin taking heavier workloads and strive to do more than you can handle. Unfortunately, doing so will only put you at risk of making mistakes. And once you’re committing errors, the more burdened it’ll make you feel.

Instead of trying to do more tasks, it’s best to slow down for a moment. Even if you feel like you’re behind, approaching things slowly but surely is better than being fast but at risk of errors. Take a step back, do deep breathing exercises for a few minutes, check your to-do list, assess which ones you can accomplish for the day, and leave the others for the next day. When it comes to providing healthcare, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Nurses are among the most hardworking employees you’ll ever meet in your life. When you’re a new employee, always remember tough times are bound to happen. But keep in mind that you’re strong. And with these strategies, you’ll be on your way to becoming an experienced and seasoned nurse in the future.