How to Excel as a Nurse: 8 Tips and Tricks

Working in the healthcare sector is possibly one of the most rewarding career paths that you can chose to pursue. You save lives, improve health, and generally make people feel better. But while nursing is a fulfilling and satisfying job, it isn’t for everyone. There are certain traits and skills that nurses have to have to be able to really excel in their field, and these eight tips and tricks will help you achieve these and provide the highest standards of health care possible.

1.      Communicate Effectively

As nursing revolves around people, communication skills are absolutely essential. Not only do you have to be able to effectively hand over patients, discuss relevant and necessary information with your colleagues and work within a multi-disciplinary team, but you also have to be able to explain and inform patients and their families on the health situations in a clear and compassionate manner. Communication is a vital skill in a huge number of jobs, but to excel as a nurse, these skills are indispensable.

2.      Adapt Quickly

Situations can change incredibly quickly in a healthcare setting. As a nurse, you have to be ready and able to handle everything that gets thrown in your direction. Sometimes the approach you decide to use first isn’t the most effective, and you have to be able to adapt your practice to suit the specific scenario. No two days are the same when you are a nurse, and each patient experience is completely individual and unique. To excel in a career within healthcare, you have to be able to read the situations you are faced with, adapt to them quickly and respond effectively to provide appropriate, patient centre care.

3.      Think on Your Feet

Hospitals are fast paced workplaces. There is always something happening, and the staff tend to be under a lot of pressure and stress. Emergencies and critical situations appear within seconds without any prior warning or indication. These situations can be frightening for everyone involved, including the nursing staff. But as a nurse, you have to be able to suppress any fears and nerves so you can respond quickly and effectively and give the patient the best chance of recovery as possible. Having the ability to think on your feet and react effectively despite the stress and pressure is an essential trait of a successful nurse.

4.      Further Your Education

The healthcare industry is consistently developing, altering and changing. New theories, methods and treatments are being discovered and practiced all the time. To be an effective nurse, you have to keep up with this evolution, and a sure way to do this is to continue your education. Baylor University’s DNP executive program will teach you transferable business and political skills within the healthcare setting to give you the potential to transform hospitals and health care systems and allow you to reach new heights within your professional career. Investing in your knowledge, skills and talents will allow you to go beyond standard nursing practice to achieve those leadership roles, have a real influence over the service provide and really excel as a nurse.

5.      Watch and Learn

The most effective way to learn is through experience and practice. Nurses that have been practicing for a long time have dealt with a huge variety of situations which they can learn so much from. As a nurse, you will experience things that are currently unimaginable, and the more experience you have, the higher the quality of care you can provide. By observing those that have a wealth of experience behind them and using the techniques, styles and approaches that they have developed, you can bring your nursing quality in line with theirs and learn how to excel as a nurse. Your colleagues are invaluable tools when it comes to progressing your nursing career and advancing your skills and knowledge.

6.      Ask Questions

The people you work with all have their unique experiences and situations that they have had to deal with and respond to in their professional lives. Your colleagues are there to help you learn, progress and excel as a nurse. To learn effectively, you need to ask questions. If there is anything that you are unsure about, ask your peers. They will be able to provide you with effective and relevant advice so you can progress your nursing skills. Whether you ask in the moment and need reassurance that you are proceeding correctly or you pull someone aside later on in the day when there is less pressure to get some more detail, do not be afraid to ask questions – your colleagues will be more than happy to assist you.

7.      Be Confident

In difficult and stressful moments, you will be required to make some tough decisions quickly. Nurses are required to be able to deal with the pressure, and you may not always know exactly what to do in certain situations that you have never encountered before, but you need to be confident in your knowledge, abilities, and the decisions you make. You have to be able to draw on the knowledge you have gained from the situations you have already encountered and be confident in your approach. Not only this, but you need to make your patients feel safe, secure and in good hands. Being confident when performing procedures, doing tests, and asking questions will have a great influence on how your patients feel and make you really excel as a nurse.

8.      Build Emotional Resilience

Nurses are essential for the health of the population. It is an incredibly important role within society and for the people of our nation. Nurses have a huge responsibility, and while it can be one of the most rewarding professions, it can also be emotionally tiring. You are often surrounded by pain and suffering, which can be tough and take a toll on your mental health. You need to be able to distance yourself from this to provide a high standard of patient care and ensure you are making the correct decisions. There will be emotionally draining moments, but don’t doubt that you will also witness miraculous moments, intense joy and overwhelming relief and happiness.

The healthcare sector needs dedicated and passionate people to commit themselves to the health of the nation. By following these eight tips, you can really excel within your nursing career.


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