4 Tips for Surviving Your First Year as a Newly Qualified Nurse

Getting through your degree and your exams is such a significant milestone, because becoming a fully qualified nurse is not easy. But once you’ve graduated and secured your first job, it’s important to remember a few key things to make sure you survive your first year as a newly qualified nurse.

Healthy Nurses Have Happier Patients

It may sound like a cliché but it’s true: you can only help your patients if you help yourself. Being a nurse is not just a job but a vocation for life that you will come to cherish. However, long hours, caring for extremely ill patients, and liaising with patient families can take their toll on your wellbeing.

If you start to feel anxious or burnt-out, it’s important to open up. Speaking to friends, colleagues, your manager, or your doctor will help you feel better and see things more clearly. There are also plenty of simple activities you can undertake at home to help you to feel better. Meditation, exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and keeping in touch with friends are all little things that you can do to help you feel more relaxed.

Be Organised

You will be working in a fast-paced environment, so making a list of the key things you need to do each day is a good way to keep yourself organised. You’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment when you manage to tick everything off. But if you don’t get to finish everything you aim to complete each day, don’t worry – just roll it over onto the next day. Patients come first, and if there’s an emergency, you obviously need to prioritise somebody who is in need.

Get Ready for Your Preceptorship

Preceptorships or training periods occur right at the start of your first job as a newly qualified nurse. You may be expected to work independently and report back to a senior member of staff, or you may be supervised closely for a number of weeks – all hospitals and medical practices are different.

In most cases, you will be assigned a mentor who will be tasked with giving you honest feedback. Don’t be alarmed if you receive negative feedback during this time. The aim is to improve how you work and support you as a new member of the nursing team, so listening to constructive criticism and taking it on board will only benefit you.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions during your first few weeks. You won’t know where everything is or what to do in certain situations, and other nurses would find it strange if you didn’t ask lots of questions – always remember that they were new once too. If you aren’t given a tour right away, ask someone when they have a quiet moment, and find out where the important rooms, medicines, and equipment are.

Find Your First Job as a Nurse

So, what are you waiting for? Find your ideal position as a newly qualified nurse, or apply with us directly so that we can match you with suitable positions today.

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