The organized nurse: How to schedule your day on a med-surg floor

Making plans in a hospital

Keith Brofsky | Photodisc | Thinkstock

I certainly won’t remember this particular nursing school instructor as a warm and fuzzy person…but I have to hand it to her: she was very organized. So although she wasn’t our favorite, we all listened to her when she gave our class advice on how to schedule and orient your day on a med surg floor.

I’m sharing her wisdom with you and am curious, how would you structure your day differently?

Organizing your Day:

An efficient nurse will fill her pockets like they are the drawers in her kitchen–everything has a place!

After it’s used–put it back in that place so you aren’t digging madly in your pockets when you need something!

As a Student:

0645-0715: Get report

Check labs, meds and orders (in that order)

0715-0830: Assessment

Chart assess. and vitals

0830: Accuchecks?


Meds with Breakfast?




0900-1000: Meds passed

1130: Accuchecks?

1200: Lunch

1300-to end of clinical day: Finish charting, teaching,

treatments and help nurses

As a Nurse:

Come in early!

0630: Check kardex/chart/med card

0645: Get report, check orders while waiting, check meds and labs

0730: Vital signs done w/ aid beginning with most critical and those leaving the floor.

Assessments done (get as manydone as you can before BK).

0845: Pass meds as breakfast comes around (remember insulin given 15 min before BK and after accucheck!)

1000: Chart and check for new orders, tell pt you will do treatments and bath AFTER lunch

1130: Accuchecks

1200: Meds

1300: Eat lunch or catch up on charting or both

1400-1500: Treatments (good time to play catch-up)

1600: Chart check, charting, accuchecks

1700: Insulin, dinner

1800: Wrap up, chart

1900: Report off after everything is done and cleaned up for night shift

So, feedback time: Do you already do this or think it is helpful? How do YOU keep up with everything you have to do–do you have a plan?

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Amy Bozeman

Amy is many things: a blogger, a nurse, a wife, a mom, a childbirth educator. She started her journey towards a career in nursing when she got pregnant with her first child. After nursing school and studying "like she has never studied before" she entered the nursing profession eager to get her feet wet. The first years provided her with much exposure to sadness, joy and other complex human emotions. She feels that blogging is a wonderful outlet and a way for nurse bloggers to further build their community. Traditionally, midwives have handed down their skill set from midwife to apprentice midwife. She believes nurses have this same opportunity: to pass from nurse to new nurse the rich traditions of this profession.

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One Response to The organized nurse: How to schedule your day on a med-surg floor

  1. Nurse14

    very helpful thank you. i am a new grad working on a medsurg floor.