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Confessions of a Recent Nurse - How to Survive Your First Few Months

Becoming a nurse can be daunting, and even

Becoming a nurse can be daunting, and even after passing your exam, you may be left feeling a bit overwhelmed and intimidated. I interviewed a woman who recently became an RN and she offered some advice to recent or soon-to-be nurses.

1. Arrive Early - If you work in a hospital, getting in early is essential. You may be relieving a nurse who has worked for 24 hours straight. She'll appreciate leaving 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Don't show up late. Not only will you look unprofessional, your fellow nurses covering for you will remember this.

2. Time Management - When you have a free second, use it. Chart and eat lunch. There's no time to waste and you'll appreciate managing your time wisely when you're swamped with patients.

3. Admit Mistakes - New nurses are reluctant to admit mistakes, because they're usually much more serious than handing a customer an extra dollar. Medical mistakes can be extreme and they're not easy to admit, but you'll need to confess as soon as you realize your error. Lives are on the line and your pride cannot be more important than your patient.

4. Ask Questions - You may feel annoying, but ask as many questions as you need. We all started out where you are once and you need to learn the ins and outs quickly. Don't try to figure it out on your own, especially at the expense of your patient.

5. Get a BSN - If you want to move up quickly or if you're simply looking for more opportunities, think about getting your BSN. They're more desirable than RN's and it's easier to get a BSN in one shot than go from RN to BSN.