At Bola NCLEX Review, we believe that nursing is more than a career – it’s a vocation requiring dedication, empathy, resilience, and an unending willingness to learn. In the journey of nursing, we often traverse an emotional spectrum, grappling with diverse perceptions, thoughts, and feelings toward our practice and the broader healthcare profession. Such experiences, sometimes perplexing and often challenging, are not isolated. In fact, they’re more common than you may think among our colleagues in the nursing profession. Normalizing these feelings and openly discussing them forms an essential part of our growth as professionals.
In this light, here’s a compilation of 10 critical insights every nurse should know:
1. Embrace Teamwork – Don't Hesitate to Seek Help
Never let apprehensions deter you from seeking help. Teamwork and delegation are the
backbones of healthcare delivery, especially during demanding shifts. Balancing multiple tasks at once is a frequent scenario in nursing. For instance, imagine managing three patients simultaneously – one needing immediate transfer to the OR, another in severe pain requiring analgesic administration, and the third one requiring assistance for toileting. It’s physically impossible to be present everywhere. The solution lies in the effective delegation – taking up the most critical task yourself while assigning the others to your teammates.
2. Mistakes are Stepping Stones, Not Stumbling Blocks
Mistakes are an inevitable part of our professional journey. The key lies not in avoidance but in transforming these experiences into valuable learning opportunities. Every error provides a chance for individuals and healthcare organizations to evolve, improving the standards of patient care. Therefore, it’s crucial to report mistakes or medical errors – these reports can trigger reviews leading to policy enhancement and practice improvement.
3. The Quest for Knowledge Continues Beyond Graduation
Graduation marks the beginning of your real learning journey, not its culmination. High GPAs may reflect theoretical prowess, but they don’t necessarily translate into excellent clinical skills. Some of the finest nurses we’ve known at Bola NCLEX Review are those who maintained average GPAs during their academic years but exhibited exceptional performance in the clinical setting, where it truly counts. As you delve into specialized areas of nursing, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your patient populations, the surgeries, and medications pertinent to your practice area, and continually learn from your medical colleagues. This, in essence, is the core of nursing – an ever-evolving journey of knowledge and skill enhancement.
4. Patients Always Come First
Balancing personal and professional responsibilities can be a challenge. However, it’s important to remember that in the realm of nursing, patient care is paramount. It’s not uncommon to encounter difficult situations or disagreements within the healthcare team regarding patient care. In such moments, never forget that your role as a nurse is to be an advocate for your patients.
As long as you prioritize their well-being and uphold their rights, you are fulfilling your nursing responsibilities admirably.
5. Embrace the Unknown and Learn Continually
The healthcare landscape is ever-evolving, with continual advancements in research, technology, medications, and medical procedures. Not knowing everything is perfectly normal, even expected. What’s crucial is the willingness to seek information and learn. Before administering medication or performing a procedure you’re unfamiliar with, pause to look it up, consult with colleagues, or review relevant policies. By learning one or two new things each day, you can steadily enhance your knowledge without feeling overwhelmed.
6. Prioritize Your Comfort
The demands of a nursing career often involve long hours on your feet, with a typical shift accounting for anywhere between 5,000 to 15,000+ steps. Invest in comfortable, supportive footwear to prevent foot and back pain. Your physical well-being is vital to your professional performance.
7. Learn to Switch Off
Separating work from personal life is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Some shifts may be more challenging than others, but remember that at the end of each day, you have the privilege to retreat to your sanctuary – your home. Use your journey home to reflect upon the day’s experiences, and assess what went well and what could be improved. Once you reach home, consciously leave work-related thoughts and stresses at the door.
8. Understand the Impact of Your Role
As a nurse, you hold a significant position in the lives of your patients and their families. They will remember the comfort, reassurance, and empathy you extended during their moments of vulnerability. Taking the time to truly connect with them, to hear and understand their concerns, can significantly ease their hospitalization experience. Hospitals can be intimidating places, filled with unfamiliar experiences and a sense of lost control. Your compassionate care can help your patients navigate these challenges, ensuring that they feel seen, heard, and comforted.
9. Secure Your Financial Future
As rewarding and fulfilling as nursing is, it is also important to remember that it provides us with the means for a comfortable life outside our professional realm. Given the fair compensation and benefits that come with being a nurse, it is essential to focus on your future financial security and that of your family. Early in your career is the best time to speak with a financial advisor or investor, as time is a significant asset. Even small savings or investments made early can compound over time, yielding significant benefits in the long term. Planning wisely and early can ensure a secure and comfortable retirement, setting you and your family up for long-term success.
10. Prioritize Self-Care
In the demanding field of nursing, self-care should never be neglected. Remember that to provide the best care for others, you must first take care of yourself. Striking a balance between work and personal life, staying physically active, practicing mindfulness through meditation or yoga, indulging in spa treatments, spending quality time with family and friends, attending events or concerts, or going on vacation are all fantastic ways to prioritize self-care.
In a profession where you constantly care for others, it’s essential to refuel your own reserves as well. This not only prevents burnout but also ensures you remain at your best – both for yourself and for those in your care. At Bola NCLEX Review, we firmly believe that a healthy nurse is the foundation of a healthy healthcare system, and self-care is the cornerstone of that foundation.