tips for new nurses

Eight Essential Survival Tips for Nurses

The healthcare environment is quite demanding. If doctors are the heroes on the front foot, we can say that nurses form the backbone of our healthcare system. In this article, we will discuss 8 essential tips for new nurse survival guide.

Nursing is a strong career and demands you always to be the best caterer for the patients. Qualified and experienced nurses are short in numbers.

An example would be the state of Texas, where there’s a significant shortage of talent. The number of vacancies went up to 17% in 2022.

Helping people recover from illnesses and providing them with a homely environment makes nursing one of the most rewarding jobs. However, it can take a toll on you physically and emotionally because you deal with patients at their most vulnerable.

The transition from a nursing school student to a registered nurse, dealing with actual patients, can range from uncomfortable to shocking, alongside a lot of learning with experience. Despite modern curriculums, any fresh graduate or under-training nurse always faces hurdles.

With that in mind, we have compiled eight essential survival tips for new nurses to help you land swiftly on your feet and avoid burnout.

1.   Stay Up to Date in Knowledge and Skill

Since the days of Florence Nightingale, nursing has come a long way and is still continuously evolving. As new diseases and pathogens emerge, new treatment plans and management are also making their way.

It is this very reason why your knowledge base should not be static. If you are a registered nurse staying up to date in knowledge and skill is crucial to progressing and excelling in this field.

It enables you to work more efficiently and boosts your confidence in front of your nursing team. It would be best if you considered enrolling in RN to BSN programs to enhance your know-how and nursing skills.

Enrolling in an online program will help you balance tight nursing schedules and provide flexible study hours while polishing you into top-tier tips for a new nurse.

2.   Improve Your Diet

Your body and mind should be in their best health to keep treating patients with the optimum level of care and attention that they deserve. Ensure you eat correctly and incorporate a balanced, nutritious diet into your daily routine.

Often easily accessible food items from the vending machine are your best shot in those long night shifts. It primarily includes junk items such as candy bars and processed food items. However, eating the wrong food is almost like eating no food.

Try to pack healthy snacks for your mealtimes. Having on-the-go items that you can stash in your scrubs could be one way to make sure you are energized and ready to take on the next big task.

3.   Be Patient and Empathetic

What makes you a good nurse is your attitude and patient dealings. There is no excuse good enough to be rude to your patients or their family members who are already dealing with distress.

You must be empathetic towards those under your care. It is the single most crucial attribute of a nurse. Patients undergoing treatment have a rollercoaster of emotions. As a nurse, you should know that empathy can help alleviate their suffering.

It builds a relationship of trust with more effective communication, which results in better patient outcomes and boosts satisfaction. This empathy will leave a positive outlook regarding their experience at the hospital.


Read More: 5 Reasons Why Nurses Should Prioritize Their Mental Health


4.   Don’t Shy Away from Questions

Even if you graduated with a distinction in your class, there is much more to learn on the job. You should not have a know-it-all attitude. There is no guesswork in nursing, and rather than assuming, try to speak up about your queries and clear them at the moment.

There are no ignorant questions, especially concerning the patient’s livelihood. Making mistakes and asking questions are all a part of learning and growing. So, next time you get confused, remember to ask your question out loud rather than end up doing something based on your assumption.

advice for new nurses


5.   Bond with Co-Workers

Remember your social life while trying to ace your healthcare professional life because both are linked. Your workplace can become your comfort zone if you have good relationships with colleagues and fellow nurses.

If you believe that someone has your back in case you fall sick or need someone to cover that extra shift, you can be relieved.

Have the time to get to know your workmates, the maintenance staff, the O.T. technicians, or the patient-care assistants. Not only will this help you in times of need, but you will also learn a lot more by listening to their experiences and how things work in this institution.

6.   Manage Stress

If you still need to, you will soon realize that you have entered a high-stress work environment that keeps piling up. It would help if you made a conscious time-out to de-stress yourself and avoid burnout.

It will adversely affect your performance at work, increasing the likelihood of making a mistake and compromising patient care level. To cope with the stress, you may try journaling, working out religiously, spending time with friends and family, or enjoying a nice healthy meal.

Get a good night’s sleep of at least 6-8 hours daily and schedule events on your days off from work to stay balanced as a busy nurse.

7.   Stay Organized

The key to dealing with shift work is staying organized. It includes prioritizing tasks to keep you focused and get more things done rather than being overwhelmed by numerous studies at once.

You may organize the functions based on the urgency and what can be done later. Create a list and cross off tasks as you complete them throughout the day. You need to know when you gave meds, the IV fluid name, or the maintenance doses for patients.

Try to keep notes on such information with you in a pocket diary.

8.   Ready for Emergencies

Be attentive and ready to react quickly when emergency calls come in. To be prepared for an emergency at any moment, you need to know where the medical supplies are stored or the telephone extensions in case you need to call for help.

An intelligent way to do this is to ask other staff members for emergency supplies and the location of emergency exits.


Read More: 9 Ways To Detect Nursing Home Abuse



As a nurse, you will find yourself tackling new challenges every day. You can take on a few without problems, but you may need to prepare for some of these challenges beforehand.

Take help from the tips for new nurses’ survival guide mentioned above to improve your practice, maintaining your sanity and well-being while doing your job with a positive outlook. You have chosen a job with vast opportunities and career options to look forward to.

Therefore, don’t be demotivated by shortcomings, work safely and form good habits from the beginning. Here we conclude our list of tips for new nurses survival guide you may need to survive nursing. If we missed anything, let us know in the comments below.

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