Katie Duke’s top 10 tips for new nurses

Whether you’ve been a nurse for 30 days or 30 years, we’re guessing you won’t soon forget being the “new nurse” on the job. We’ve all been there…and needed all the advice and help we could get!
That’s why we love that our Scrubs cover girl, Katie Duke, recently held a live Twitter chat and answered YOUR questions about all things nursing. As a nursing student herself (to become a critical care nurse practitioner!) and an ER nurse, Duke gave some great advice to those who are in school and all the new nurses out there. So let’s see what you asked her at #askrnduke!

Katie Duke’s top 10 tips for new nurses

Q: What is the best way to study and master the material?
A: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat…Write note cards, just keep reading. Procrastination won’t get you anywhere!

Q: Study tips when the chapter is SO BORING you can hardly read it – much less retain?
A: HAHA, welcome to nursing school! Break it up into sections and make an outline. #ParagraphsonParagraphs #RacksonRacksonRacks

Q: Best advice for handling difficult colleagues?
A: Deal with it! Stay away from them, only interact when you have to. Accept the fact they are difficult.

Q: Any food advice for studying, I feel like I always go for greasy stuff. What do u munch on?
A: Zone Protein Bars, something salty like Fritos, carrots and celery with peanut butter or ranch dressing… or pizza! It’s about WHERE you study… I study in libraries, and listen to classical music or brain wave playlist on YouTube!

Q: Your biggest struggle as an RN and for newbies today?
A: Biggest struggle is I want to help ppl that will NEVER want to help themselves, you will never win. Management issues.

Q: How do u keep ur motivation to continue with school?
A: I don’t wanna stay in the same place….EVER. Always want more.

Q: How do you balance school, work and a healthy lifestyle?
A: Always make sure to leave work at work. Take time for myself. You can’t be perfect 100% just be consistent.

Q: How did you handle the pressure of being a new RN and getting accustomed to everything?
A: I worked as a PCT, which made transition easier…But, I also used all my resources, asked LOTS of questions and was proactive!

Q: Waiting to hear if I’m in the RN program this fall…tips for students? Tips for landing 1st job post school?
A: Prepare to make sacrifices, quality time with your BF, hanging with friends etc. It’s a lot of info, nursing school is a journey. You will not understand everything right away, that’s ok! Use your resources. During your clinical rotations, get to know the manager/charge. Let them know you want a job! Give them your resume! And harass them weekly! 🙂

Q: What’s your “must-have” work gear you can’t go without?
A: Work gear I can’t go without, really good trauma shears, hair rubber band, Chapstick, penlight, Pandora radio, snacks!

Do you agree with Katie’s advice? What’s your best tip for new nurses? And new nurses, share which ones of these are most helpful for you in the comments below!

Do you have your copy of Scrubs featuring Katie yet? Here’s more info about the issue, and how you can pick up a copy at a medical uniform store near you

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