Top 10 things all nurses must know


No doubt your head is already full with everything you need to remember about the patients you’re caring for, the doctors you’re babysitting for, and that new nurse you’re covering for.

Good thing you have this handy list…filled with advice from those nurses who can share from experience!

Top 10 things all nurses must know

1. Wear good shoes—you’ll rack up the miles in the hallways.

2. Bring bite-sized food you can eat at a second’s notice.

3. Put pantyliners in your underwear if you can’t hold your bladder for five-plus hours.

4. Practice smiling in the mirror (make believe you won the lottery!).

5. Learn to balance lunch trays, water pitchers and a clipboard while running for the telephone.

6. Always ask the doctor their name (doctors, residents, med students and NPs assume you know them by name!).

7. Practice saying, “I know how that must feel” to grumpy patients—especially since you do, from working overtime again.

8. If you’re really sick, that’s the time to do all your errands. This is your rare “personal time” to get them done at home. Just try not to die.

9. Learn to record your favorite TV show—work might call you back in. It’s the only way to stay on track with your favorite new series.

10. Love your co-workers. They can be your second pair of hands until you’ve mastered doing more than five things at once.

This list is by G.L.O.R.I.A., RN.

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7 Responses to Top 10 things all nurses must know

  1. denise

    Most important for a new nurse..
    Never forget that enthusiasm or why you went into nursing in the first place…keep your heart in the right place, don’t let mandatory overtime, stressful patient loads, unappreciative managers ever make you feel to move on from your job, too often ” the grass is greener” theory leads to the whole nursing burnout…stay where you are, have ideas, communicate to the right people in management (and remember some are in management because of burnout)…those aren’t the people you talk to, what led you to the career of compassion and commitment, remember that….if you can’t make a difference after that , its time to move on…but nursing is a tough job ,few can do well, do it well, those were always your intentions afterall.

  2. Kristine

    When it’s super busy or you feel overwhelmed, taking just a few minutes to breathe and think things through properly will save you hours of paperwork later, and possibly someone’s life, rather than do something wrong.

  3. sharon

    learn the names of each of your patients….every time you work…makes folks feel better if you can call their name without glancing at your cheat sheet….also cuts down on medication/treatment errors if you have a face to a name…..ALWAYS check wrist bracelet and verify I.D before giving any type of meds, IV,or treatment…..ALWAYS….every single time….you’ll save yourself a lot of grief

  4. Your name

    ALWAYS…means ALWAYS. Pt.’s never object. It gives them a sense of confidence in YOU, you care enough about them to make them feel safe!

  5. Amen to tha 10!!!! Esp #1, just started a new job with old shoes and my “dawgs” was “howling” by the end of 12 hour shift!!!! Love the comment about what to do when feeling overwhelmed!!! I have the “upper room” devotional app on my phone and if/when I “remember” to pause and breathe, looking at it reminds me….”let go and let God”…..
    Cyndi Lou Who

  6. gladys

    i do not agree with the top 10. i was never taught to baby sit a doctor. that is rude and condenscending for both parties. i was not taught this at purdue. second, yes it is the accepted habit to have small bits of food on hand. but this further reinforces a bad assumption that nurses are not people who are entitled to a 30 min break. we are human. we need food, fluid, bathroom breaks, and down time. and i find the remark of balancing trays and whatnot very condenscending. i did not go to school for this. i went to school to assess, report, implement, reassess, administer medications and treatments, all of which i was tested for on a state board level, and continue to be tested on yearly. along w being proficent in cpr, acls, pals, tns, ecrn, plus i can get sued.

  7. rjr1442

    Very important. Not pleasant, but important: People die, and there’s often nothing you can do about it.