Your first couple of years provide huge growth opportunities for anyone in the healthcare field. Gearing up for your very first RN position is bound to carry a lot of excitement, but also lots of unknowns. Find out what experienced Premier clinicians wish they knew when they first started out. Embracing their advice for new nurses will help you start out on the right foot as you begin your nursing career.
The best way to build your confidence as a new nurse is to always ask questions. Premier RN Andrea C. says: “Always ask questions, look things up that you haven’t seen or heard before.” The reason why asking questions is some of the best advice for new nurses is because many fresh-faced RNs are afraid that asking for help will make them look inexperienced. Don’t be embarrassed if you encounter something you haven’t seen or heard before- real life nursing is going to be full of new experiences. Plus, your more senior nurses all remember those first few weeks on the job- your questions will make total sense.
You Are Your Most Important Patient
One of the best pieces of advice for new nurses doesn’t have to do with nursing at all. That is: take care of yourself. It’s common for new nurses to experience overwhelm, anxiety, and even burnout during their first year working, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Common self-care pitfalls for new nurses include not getting enough sleep, not eating well, and not focusing on mental health. If you are struggling to catch sleep as a new nurse on the night shift, make it a priority to figure out solutions. If you are struggling to catch sleep as a new nurse on the night shift, make it a priority to figure out solutions.
And most importantly, give yourself grace as you adjust to your new life as a nurse. Being kind and gentle to yourself if so important.
Read all about self-care tips for nurses here.
Find a Mentor
As you start to make acquaintances on the unit, you will inevitably meet people you “click” with right away. Try to find at least one seasoned nurse or team member who are eager to guide you. Think of them as mentors and utilize them accordingly. You’ll not only grow a strong personal and professional bond with them but, you’ll also become a much stronger nurse as you proactively seek guidance throughout the first year of your nursing career.
Always Advocate for Patients
Premier RN Jennifer N. advises: “Advocate for patients, not administration.” This is so important to remember as a new nurse because in the hustle and bustle of a hospital system and navigating a new environment, it’s easy to forget that helping patients is the reason many become RNs to begin with. Being a patient advocate is the most important hat you wear as a nurse. The sheer amount of time that you spend with your patients affords you a unique opportunity to build trusting relationships and good rapport. This is how nurses change the lives of patients and their families every day.
Remember Why You Started
Premier RN Stephanie V.’s best advice for new nurses is: “Always remember why you decided to be a nurse. You are an inspiration to many people even on your bad days.” Remembering your “why” is key to getting through the tough times as a nurse. Nursing is stressful, but also rewarding. Thinking about who or what inspired you to become a nurse will help give you a boost when you’re struggling.
Are you looking to land your first contract RN job? Apply with Premier!