There are a lot of things that you will encounter as a Registered Nurse that you haven’t done as a trainee. Take administering intravenous injections, for instance. Mustering up the confidence in front of a patient when you’ve only done it previously under the strict supervision of your superiors is a nerve-wracking event! That being said, help yourself to thrive throughout your first year as a professional with these tips!

Tip no. 1: Get plenty of sleep

Most people discount the importance of a good night’s sleep when it comes to improving the quality of your day. Your mood is great from the get go, you’re clear-headed, and you won’t suffer from the lack of focus that sleep-deprivation causes. Take care of yourself first, so you can take care of your patients better.

First Year Registered Nurse

Tip no. 2: Befriend your co-workers

They’ve been around the block, they have seen things and know stuff that you can only encounter in the wild, I mean in the wards. Don’t be afraid to mine their experience and ask questions. You can’t discount how good camaraderie saves a horrendous shift when you experience loss for the first time. Being friends with your co-workers will also give you a reason to go on when you feel that you want to give it all up.

Tip no. 3: Leave it all at the hospital

I had a friend who would replay the events of her shift over and over when she went home, causing her to second-guess her actions which affected both her sleep and her appetite. She did not last the year. Your shift is already stressful enough – leave it all behind and enjoy the rest of your day. 

First Year Registered Nurse
Stop wondering if you’ve read the chart correctly right when you’re going to bed.

Tip no. 4: Aim for a work-life balance

Don’t sniff and laugh under your breath. It is possible. My Aunt (who’s now retired) managed to play tennis, stan Steffi Graf, go on vacations, and enjoy life whilst doing full-time shifts at the hospital. She’s still close with her co-nurses in Boronia Ward in NSW, Australia and that was part of her secret. Her colleagues were also her friends and they all enjoyed going out after their shift.

Tip no. 5: Look straight ahead and achieve your goal

What was your career goal and why did you become a nurse? For most of us in third-world countries, it is our ticket to getting a job abroad. Some of us just want to help others, while some just love the profession. Whatever it is that you set out to do when you became a trainee nurse, set that front and center whenever things on the ward get tough. 

The International Council of Nurses has announced that the theme for International Nurses Day 2020 is Nursing the World to Health, and it focuses on the true value of nurses to the world. For more healthcare professional tips, read our blog.