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    Tips to Survive Your First Year as a Nurse

    Tips to Survive Your First Year as a Nurse

    If you think graduating from nursing school or acquiring your Registered Nurses (RN) license is the start of your nursing career, you better think again. If you are feeling anxious, nervous or uncertain, rest assured it's all normal.

    Many people think that graduating from a nursing school, passing the NCLEX and getting their first job will mean that their hard work has finally paid off, but in reality this may not be the case. The journey towards becoming a practicing nurse is not definitely easy, but in reality the leg work is just the beginning. Your first year as a nurse will be very difficult. You will struggle learning the different skills to serve as a specialized nurse.

    So if you are unsure about what you can do to make your transition from a nursing student to a full-fledged working nurse easier and satisfying, continue reading! Here are a few things that you can ponder upon before and after they take the job.

    1. Make Sure To Ask Questions

    The best way to learn and evolve as a nurse is by asking a lot of questions. Majority of people are afraid of asking questions as they feel that they would give the perception that they lack knowledge. This feeling is natural, but you are not likely to know everything and that is very normal. If you have the courage to speak up and voice your concerns, then you will be a more knowledgeable nurse. If you are scared of asking questions spontaneously, you can jot down all the concerns and ask them later at your ease.

    2. Look For Preceptors and Orientation Programs

    Primarily a preceptor is a coach or teacher who assists nurses in becoming familiar with the routines, people and procedure. The new nurses are likely to perform better and stay if they have experienced and helpful preceptors. Thereby, it is important to ask during appointment if a preceptor will be available during your shift post orientation to assist you with making pragmatic decisions.

    3. Know Your Co-Workers

    When you start your first few weeks as a nurse, take out time to know your workers. Try to recall their names and greet them if you see them at your workplace. Over the passage of time, you will be able to foster relationships and create a network of people you can trust on. This is not only essential for your job satisfaction, but also survival as a nurse. Your colleagues are the ones who will support you through the rainy days, share your pains, aspirations and sorrow and assist you during emergencies.

    4. Be compassionate towards your patient

    Regardless of your expertise as a medical professional, a patient knows his body better than you. You might miss a crucial symptom pertaining to your patient's ailment if you don't listen to them carefully. Moreover, do not ignore you patients just because they are annoying you. no matter how you are feeling, just make sure to remain patient and try to figure out what they mau need.

    5. Prioritize

    If you are a new nurse, it is very easy to get overwhelmed. You will have to care for different patients in one go or with patients suffering from acute issues. Regardless, you will have a plethora of tasks to complete during your shift, some expected, some unexpected. Try dividing your day in different time intervals.

    If you have multiple tasks up your sleeve, make sure to prioritize and do the most important ones first. This way, you will not only be able to organize yourself, but will also be able to react appropriately in case of emergencies.

    6. Set Realistic Targets

    If you are a new nurse, the starting time will be a bit difficult. Give yourself some time and understand that it's ok to struggle and learn the basics of nursing. You will certainly not be a pro on the very first day. Moreover, nurses requires years of expertise to excel in their domain. Considering that, it is better to set small yet realistic goals. By setting goals that are achievable, you will regain your confidence. Try to set your goals so that you learn something new everyday. This will give you a sense of accomplishment, rather than giving you a feeling of failure or distress.

    7. Relax Yourself

    Whenever, you get time off from work, try to use it to the max by unwinding yourself. Stop think about work, charting or patients, rather relax and de-stress yourself. If you are constantly thinking about work, then there is a high probability that you may burn out. Try to keep yourself busy with fun activities during your free days such as hanging or with friends, reading, hiking etc.

    8. Be positive.

    You need to understand that some days will be difficult than others, but you have to stay positive. All nurses have bad days, even the most experienced ones. If you have difficulty staying positive, make a list of all the things that went well during the day instead of the negatives. Your first year as a nurse will be over soon and then you would start feeling more confident and ultimately pave your way as a specialized nurse.

    9. Be Organized

    You will be organized once you start working as a nurse. The tasks and outcomes expected from a nurse are never-ending and often overwhelming. If you are good with your organizational skills, you will be able to prioritize which task you need to complete at the earliest.

    Your first year as a nurse can be one of the most difficult time that requires more effort from you in general. If you follow these steps, you are likely to face the adversities and emerge out successful.