4 Tips for Your First Year as a Nurse 

EKU Online > 4 Tips for Your First Year as a Nurse 

How many of us wished we knew what the nursing world would be like after licensure? Nursing school instilled in me the passion for being a nurse and I could not wait to start practicing. But I still needed guidance as I adjusted to the world of healthcare.  Here are 4 tips that I learned in my first year as a nurse to help make the transition easier.

Learn effective time management skills

As a newly graduated nurse, you are bombarded with information and tasks. If you don’t have a clear-cut plan, you will not be able to provide the effective care that you strive to give to your patients and you will fall behind. Manage your time effectively by getting your patient baseline data at the beginning of your shift, for example your vital signs and nursing assessment. Review the daily plan of care so you can navigate between most important and least important tasks throughout the shift.

Find a mentor

A mentor can help you transition in your new role as a nurse. A mentor can help you navigate through the fear and challenges that you face in your first year. They can also help you set attainable goals for yourself so that you can succeed in your career. 

Join or start a support group 

Support groups are beneficial as they allow you to share your thoughts and feelings with others, gain insight, and find solutions to common issues. As a new nurse, you have all the knowledge from school which you have to begin applying to actual patients and situations, as well as formulate plans of care that will improve patient outcomes. Support groups are a superb way to manage stress encountered in daily nursing practice. 

Join a nursing organization

Nursing organizations are great platforms from which common interests are shared. They enable the promotion of the nursing profession while providing support for nurses. Local, national, or international nursing organizations provide subscriptions to peer-reviewed journals which can keep you updated on current nursing events and research findings. You can also choose to become a member of your state’s nursing association or a specialty organization of your choice or your interest. You have the opportunity to connect with other nursing professionals which can help strengthen your nursing practice.  Some of the most popular nursing organizations include:

 1. The American Nurses Association (ana.org)  

 2. The National League for Nursing (nln.org

 3. The International Council of Nurses (icn.ch)

 4. Sigma Theta Tau International (sigmanursing.org)


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By: Gienissa Larose, EKU Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Student