Excelling in your career – 7 tips for graduate Nurses

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Excelling in your career – 7 tips for graduate Nurses

The initial step into any profession is always a huge one. Transitioning from study to practical work with loads of responsibilities can get overwhelming for most. With such a drastic change comes inevitable stress. Though stress is common, too much of it can be dangerous for health. 

In a challenging profession like nursing, uncertainty is one of the leading causes of stress. It is a profession that is no walk in a park; and requires skill, efficiency, teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and more. 

As a graduate nurse, if you are looking for some assistance, you’re at the right place. Let us review some handy tips for graduate nurses.

Find the right job

Job satisfaction is the key to success, and unless your personal preferences are met, you cannot perform to your best potential.

Different hospitals prioritize different things, and you must look for a place that aligns with your priorities. Some hospitals foster an environment that prioritizes learning and adopt an approach to gain more knowledge and experience. 

For instance, many hospitals conduct orientation programs that facilitate new nurses. Similarly, the culture also varies significantly between different workplaces. 

How accommodating are employees and managers to minorities? Do they promote teamwork? Is the work environment cooperative? All are necessary things to keep in mind.

Another important consideration is the salary and incentives. Just like nursing professor salaries and incentives differ depending on where one is working, graduate nursing salaries and incentives also vary. If money is your priority, be sure to find a job that pays well.

The first step to excelling in your nursing career is to start in a place where you’re satisfied.

Socialize and form relationships

As mentioned earlier, stress is inevitable as a graduate nurse, but it gets a lot easier when you have someone to lean on. Nurse communities are organized in teams where everyone is tied to everyone else. 

Make an effort to cultivate friendly relationships with your colleagues. Yes, it can be challenging to do so being the new ‘grad nurse’, but in the long run, developing a rapport with your colleagues and making friends encourages growth, provides reassurance and a channel to vent out to in times of stress.

Continue learning

The process of learning never ends when it comes to nursing. Graduate nurses are offered tonnes of courses that they can take to improve their profile and excel. Currently, there are numerous courses like New Grad online courses designed for graduate nurses in particular. 

Many of these are available online, especially during the prevailing pandemic situation. Consider taking such courses to gain invaluable knowledge and ease your transition from being a new grad to becoming an independent one.

As a nurse, it is also vital that you stay up-to-date about the latest developments in the medical field. You can achieve this by enrolling in degree programs, using online videos, attending webinars and conferences, getting specialty certification, and working with other healthcare professionals. 

Make an effort on your part to keep learning. It is also recommended that you develop a mentoring relationship to get practical advice to excel in your field.

Healthcare is an ever-evolving field, so the more you know, the better you can perform.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions

There is nothing wrong with admitting that you don’t know something. In a new environment and with new responsibilities, feel free to ask questions whenever you encounter situations you aren’t comfortable with or have insufficient knowledge about. 

For instance, when administering a new drug, you should seek advice regarding the side effects you should look out for. If you’re faced with a situation where you don’t know what to do, ask experienced colleagues instead of experimenting or making guesses. 

Such questioning provides your reassurance and improves your overall productivity. In the same way, when you get knowledgeable advice, take it, but not before evaluation. You should be able to identify helpful advice and then follow it.

Take breaks and save some time for yourself

Without a doubt, nursing can be hectic. It is a profession that requires you to be on your toes and ready to deal with an emergency. While patient care is a top priority, your health is even more critical; because without being mentally and physically healthy, you cannot provide your patients with the help they need.

Research shows that fatigue on a job is very risky. When tired, you may miss out on an essential medicine, a diagnosis, talk to a patient harshly, or skip out on necessary sterilization protocol. 

This is how the quality of patient care declines, your mental health is affected, and the risk of errors increases. If you make critical errors when tired, it can land you with expensive lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims. 

You must get breaks and spend some time doing things you enjoy.

Manage time efficiently

Nursing gives you a lot of flexibility regarding the shifts you work. For any shift you are given, remember not to overwork yourself. The same goes for working overtime; Yes, overtime is good, but don’t overdo this. 

You must develop a good routine to maintain a good work-home balance. An organized routine lets you stay on top of all tasks you have for the day.

As busy as you may be, cut down on multitasking when it comes to critical tasks. Research has shown that multitasking is ineffective and can negatively affect your brain. In the long run, multitasking lowers comprehension of information and reduces one’s ability to prioritize tasks. 

It is best to work on one thing at a time after making a priory-based hierarchy of all that needs to be done.

Don’t run after perfection, or you’ll never be satisfied

Although running after perfectionism leads to good results in what you are doing, it can be exhausting in the long run. Remember, everyone makes mistakes; no one is perfect. 

Strive towards excellence and do your best, and if you make a mistake in the process, don’t beat yourself over it; learn from it and move on.

Final words

To excel at what you do, one should be motivated to learn and be open to new experiences for any profession. New graduate nurses will face difficulties adjusting to the new lifestyle and responsibilities, dealing with their matters. 

As a nurse, remember to maintain a healthy work-home balance, continue learning, ask questions, and develop a social support system. 

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