Congratulations! You have finished nursing school, and you are ready to join the 2.9 million other nurses currently working in the US – but you feel a little nervous, and you want to make sure that you are fully prepared for your first day. Or, perhaps you are curious about what a career in nursing may look like and are only just beginning to research certified nursing assistant classes, for example.
Working as a new nurse is rewarding and inspiring, but it can be challenging if you don’t feel fully prepared. So to help you prepare, here are five things you should know if you are a new nurse.
Your Schedule May Change
When you start your new job, you will be given a schedule with approved shifts that are normally around 12 hours long – but it is likely that this will change slightly most weeks. Other nurses may need emergency time off, or you may need to cover shifts during busy periods (such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve). It is also possible that you will have to work late if another nurse doesn’t arrive on time, as healthcare facilities normally need to have a specific number of nurses working at any time to stay open.
Your Duties Will Vary
It is also likely that your day-to-day duties will vary. Some days may be spent caring for young children, while other days, you may be needed in surgery. This isn’t ideal for people who like routine, but if you prefer excitement and variation, it is likely that you will enjoy this aspect of being a nurse.
It Can Be Useful To Do Memory Improvement Exercises
Nurses are expected to remember a lot of different things, from medical abbreviations to patient information. So if you struggle with retention, it could be useful to do memory improvement exercises (such as using mnemonic tricks or keeping a diary) every evening to boost your long- and short-term memory.
You Can Move Up The Career Ladder
There are lots of career paths for a nurse – you just need to complete an extra qualification so you can advance up the career ladder. Many of these qualifications can be studied online, including the Excelsior College associate of science in nursing, so you can continue working as you study. This is an excellent way to boost your income without having to take time off work.
Look After Yourself
Finally, it is important to look after yourself. A nurse has one of the most essential jobs in the world, and it can be tempting to prioritize your patients over yourself. However, it is crucial to take breaks whenever you can, and when you have free time, you should practice self-care: eat healthy, nourishing food, and do exercises to relax your body after a long shift.
It is also important to do things that make you happy, such as watching Netflix or listening to music. Your mental health is just as important as your patient’s health, and if you are happy and healthy, you will be a better nurse. So if you want to be amazing at your job, don’t forget to look after yourself every day.
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