The nursing field is one that appeals to many people that want to help others and make a positive difference in the world. Many people decide on a career in nursing from a young age, but it is also a field that many people transition into as a second career. This is for good reason, as it can be so rewarding, and there are many benefits to this role, especially as you start to specialize and climb the ladder. It can also be a challenging role, and many people struggle when first getting started. Here are a few tips that should help and allows you to hit the ground running as a nurse.
1. Gain Hospital Experience
Before fully committing to a career as a nurse and embarking on your studies, it is a smart idea to gain some experience in a hospital if possible. Working as a volunteer or behind a desk somewhere will give you a feel for working in this type of environment and whether or not it is right for you. In addition to this, gaining hospital experience will also be helpful in terms of improving your resume and allowing you to start building a professional network.
2. Develop Your Communication Skills
To succeed in nursing, you need to possess excellent communication skills. This is so that you can connect with patients and their families, communicate succinctly while working as part of a team, and progress your career. This will include verbal, listening, writing, and presentational communication skills. It is a smart move to start developing these as this could make a big difference to your career prospects.
3. Speak To Nurses
For an aspiring nurse, it is always helpful to speak to nurses so that you can get valuable insight into life as a nurse and tips from the inside. This is a profession quite unlike any other, with many challenges and hurdles, so it is always helpful to speak to nurses, whether this is someone that you know in your network or someone online or at a networking event. Additionally, if you can find a career mentor, then this can make a big difference and could help you to gain valuable advice in the early stages of your career.
4. Take An Accelerated Course
Those that are thinking about starting a second career as a nurse, or simply anyone looking to get started ASAP, will benefit from online accelerated BSN programs for non nurses. These are intensive programs that will see you qualify to become a nurse in as little as one year and develop all of the key skills and knowledge that you need to find success. This can be a fantastic way to kickstart your career and will help you to find work without too much difficulty, especially during the current shortage.
5. Ask Questions
As a new nurse, it can be embarrassing asking questions, particularly if it seems like the answer should be obvious. It is often said that the only bad question is the one not asked, which is particularly true in a field like nursing, where it could be the difference between life and death. Therefore, you should always ask questions and take notes to stay organized and avoid making any costly mistakes.
6. Be Willing To Go The Extra Mile
If you want to stand out and be a good nurse, you need to be willing to go the extra mile. This could be comforting a patient of yours after your shift has ended, helping out a fellow nurse with a case, or supporting the family of a patient, just as a few examples. Nursing is a demanding job, and it is important that you are happy to go above and beyond to provide the highest level of care and support to your patients and their families.
7. Stay Organized
Nursing can feel a lot like juggling, but of course, the stakes are high in this role when you will be saving and improving lives each day. You cannot afford to drop the ball, which is why organizational skills are as important as any other skill in this role. If you struggle to stay organized, you will want to work on your organizational skills so that you can prioritize your workload, keep on top of everything and provide a high level of care to every patient every day.
8. Plan Your Free Time
It is also important that you plan your time off when you work as a nurse. Working shifts can take some getting used to, and it can feel exhausting at first, but if you do nothing more than put your feet up, then this will cause problems in your professional and personal life. Obviously, catching up on sleep is important, but you also need to plan time for household chores, socializing, hobbies, and generally enjoying your free time. It can take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, shift work can bring many benefits to your life, and many nurses (and other shift workers) would not trade this in for a typical 9-5.
9. Keep Learning
Nursing is a role where you need to keep learning and developing your abilities. There is always more that you can learn and areas to specialize in, plus there are always new technologies, treatments, and challenges to overcome in nursing. It can be challenging and time-consuming having to continuously learn and improve throughout your career, but this will be key for advancing your career and also providing the highest level of care for your patients.
These tips should come in handy for any aspiring or new nurses and help you to go on and find success in your career. Nursing is a career quite unlike any other, and it can be immensely rewarding, but it is also more a way of life than a job, and there are lots of challenges to overcome. Make sure to learn crucial skills to be able to handle these challenges and research how you can succeed.