1. If you didn't chart it...IT DIDN'T HAPPEN. Chart and chart some more.
2. Patients are your number one priority...always. Be their advocate.
3. Never act like you know something when you don't. Admit you don't know, but you will find someone that does.
4. Always keep your word. If you can't trust a nurse, who can you trust?
5. You should never be afraid to ask for help.
6. Mistakes are normal. "To err is human". Just make sure you admit you've made them and learn from them.
7. Your shift will eventually end, no matter how horrible it may be.
8. Be the warm blanket fairy and never underestimate how important a kind word and gentle touch can be.
9. Always have plenty of pens. There's a pen monster in every healthcare facility. He will steal all your pens with no shame.
10. Nurses need to have pretty strong bladders. You're bathroom breaks don't always happen.
11. Learn how to multi-task. It's a nurses' job in a nut shell.
12. Always respect others beliefs, even if you don't agree with them
13. Have patience with your patients. Remember they are usually not medical professionals and they don't understand medical things like you do. Often we see them at their worst and sometimes very fearful. Be kind to them, they need you.
14 .Nurses do eat their young. Unfortunately most new nurses do experience this unpleasantness, but it will and does pass. Try to learn from the more seasoned nurses. You're out in the real world now and some of the things you see may not be what you learned in nursing school, but you can learn a lot from nurses who've been practicing for a while. They know what really works.
15. Don't ever let anyone distract you when you are passing medications...period.
17. If you don’t know or understand something, look it up.
18. Take care of yourself. If you don't you're not much help to anyone else.
19. Be a good listener. It's a dying skill.
20. Never take your frustrations out on your patients, co-workers or family. Learn how to relieve stress in more positive ways, like yoga and meditation.
21. I remember when I graduated from nursing school many moons ago, I was so scared because I really didn't feel like a real "nurse". Yes, I had the RN behind my name, but I felt insecure, almost like a fake.
What I didn't realize at the time was that those feelings were normal. No one expects you to know everything, right when you start your first job. They know you're a newbie. You don't learn to be a nurse in nursing school. You learn how to critically think. It's only when you start working your first job that the critical thinking skills and practical skills combine to make you a "real nurse" and hopefully, in time you'll be a "real awesome nurse".
22. Although your days will be stressful sometimes,...okay most of the time, but it's the little things that will make your day, or even your week. When your patient says something kind, or another nurse gives you a pat on the back. Those are the moments that will keep you going through the stressful times.
23. Study your patient's chart before you even enter their room.
24.You'll come across some nasty doctors in your career. Remember that no matter how nasty that doctor is, you both have the same goal...to help the patient. It's a multi-disciplinary approach and he needs you as bad as you need him. Be nice, but be firm when dealing with nasty docs.