5 tips to help new nurses and nursing students survive

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This is a time of year when many new nurses enter the workforce. Learn from the mistakes of those I’ve watched…and from the mistakes of the new graduate I used to be!

1. Channel your inner boy scout. Always be prepared with the following essential items: A black pen, a pair of bandage or trauma shears, a stethoscope, a calculator and a watch.

2. Take care of yourself. If you are a spazz in your off time, you will be the same at work. Drink lots of water, get plenty of rest and do something FUN and RELAXING on your days off.

3. Don’t ever call a patient by their first name unless they give you permission. Also, don’t call people Honey, Dear, Sweetie, etc. You never know who you might offend.

4. Listen three times as much as you talk. It will keep you from experiencing foot in mouth syndrome.

5. Watch how other nurses do things and pick what works for you. Ask lots of questions and find out whose style you admire and whose style you don’t.

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Rebekah Child

Rebekah Child attended the University of Southern California for her bachelor's in nursing and decided to brave the academic waters and return for her master's in nursing education, graduating in 2003 from Mount St. Mary's. Rebekah has also taught nursing clinical and theory at numerous Southern California nursing schools and has been an emergency nurse since 2002. She is currently one of the clinical educators for an emergency department in Southern California and a student (again!) in the doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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One Response to 5 tips to help new nurses and nursing students survive

  1. Granny RN RN

    Never, Never, Never say ‘I don’t know’ to a doctor! Instead say: ‘Let me check/find out/ get that for you.’ (Meanwhile, you ARE the one who DOES have all of the early AM lab results and what time/where the X-ray was done, right?).

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