Surviving your first year in nursing

Nursing is a career path that many choose because they see it as a vocation rather than just a job. While helping others during a nursing career is very rewarding, nurses do face challenges and struggles. That is particularly true during your first year as a nurse, before learning the day-to-day aspects of the job. Take a look at the following tips that can help you during that first year of nursing.

Ask questions

Adjusting to each hospital protocol and procedure takes time. Be alert and do your best but remember to ask questions if you don’t know something. Asking questions can ensure patient safety and your own. Your co-workers will appreciate your attention to detail and effort to do things right.

Keep learning and reviewing

Remember that there will be plenty of on-the-job learning opportunities. Look over your nursing books when caring for patients with conditions that you haven’t dealt with before. Sometimes lessons from school make the most sense in real-life applications as opposed to only reading about it once in a textbook.

Contract nursing work

Employment aspects of nursing can be difficult to navigate. Contract nursing work is one job path to consider. Keep in mind that contract work often involves a large amount of paperwork. An umbrella company can help you navigate the ins and outs of contractor pay, general tax information, and what you can do with your nursing registration or license.

Make friends

Get to know your colleagues so you have others who can show you how to proceed. When you feel like you know and trust your co-workers, you are more likely to ask for help. When you ask for help, you are less likely to run into trouble and cause accidents.

One of the best ways to befriend a seasoned nurse is to avoid complaining about a job they probably have been doing for years. They might become a valuable resource and mentor if you prove your dedication.

Finding a work-life balance

Some nursing positions require odd working hours, long shifts, and making yourself available around the clock when you are on-call. That might make it difficult to find a balance with work and personal time.

Taking time off work occasionally can help ease the burden of long hours and busy workdays. Planning time away from work helps you rest, recuperate, and avoid burnout.

Stress management

Nursing requires not only a specific skill set, but also a personality that is fulfilled when helping others. Because you will be working with many people who have various needs and dispositions, you have to stay focused and upbeat without becoming overwhelmed.

Managing your stress levels after a difficult encounter can make all the difference. Relaxation techniques can be helpful in those situations.

Prioritize tasks

Part of reducing stress is learning to focus on priorities. Understanding which patients have the most critical needs is a priority. Asking other nurses how they prioritize and delegate tasks to co-workers can give you necessary time-management insights.

From asking the right questions to prioritizing, there are a few tactics that can help you make it through your first year in nursing with fewer problems. Nursing requires a special set of physical and mental abilities, but you can survive better keeping these tips in mind.