As a qualified nurse, someone who has gone through the right training and studied hard, either in a physical college or through online nursing programs, you are going to want to succeed as much as possible once you finally get to help patients and start work. Yet, just as with any career, there are some important thing you are going to need to bear in mind if you want to get as much out of your nursing career as possible. To truly succeed in the workplace as a nurse, it is crucial to think about how you are working, how to work with others, and of course to remember everything your online nursing programs taught you.
A nurse will need to have a vast number of skills, some taught and some they inherently have, if they are going to be a truly great nurse. Whether they want to be promoted or happy at the level they are working at, a nurse will need to put their best foot forward and never slack constantly.
So just how can this be achieved? How can a nurse succeed (in whatever way they see success) in the workplace? Read on to find out.
Acknowledge Informal Leaders
In any workplace there are sure to be leaders; they are important, since these leaders, managers, bosses, or whatever else you call them, are the ones who are in charge, the ones who will be giving out tasks and to whom you should go if there is a problem. When it comes to nursing, those leaders will be there too; nurses can be promoted just like any other worker can, and there will be some who are in a higher position than others, and whose job it is to lead the team. You must listen to these leaders and acknowledge what they ask of you if you want to understand your work and what you are meant to be doing.
Yet as well as these leaders, the ones who have been officially given the role, there will also always be informal leaders. Once you have completed your studies in your online nursing programs and you begin working in a hospital or clinic, you’ll soon be able to see who they are; they are the ones that are always able to stay calm and stay in control. They are the ones who people go to for help, even if the more formal leaders are there for advice too. They may not have been promoted to a position with more power and responsibility, but they do their job as though they have, even if that is through their years of experience in the job.
No matter their true title, these informal nursing leaders have influence, and they are important people to get along with. Finding them, acknowledging them, and following them will help you in the workplace. It will make your time working with them easier, and it will give you a real insight into how nursing works.
A great nurse who uses their skills learned from online nursing programs to help their patients and be the best nurse they possibly can be is sure to be an organized kind of person. Although it is perfectly possible to be a disorganized nurse, it is not going to help you make the best of your career or help you achieve more in the workplace. Being disorganized could even hold you back. Remember that nursing involves a lot of teamwork, and if your lack of organizational skills is what is holding other people back, you are unlikely to get ahead.
The good thing to note is that, even if you aren’t a particularly organized person, as long as you have gained the skills and qualifications needed from your online nursing programs or face to face learning, you can become more organized. Being a good nurse is the most important element, and everything else can fall into place after that. However, you must become organized as soon as you can once you graduate and begin working, otherwise, bad habits can form, and you might find you are not able to be as successful as you thought you would be.
Being organized is not difficult; it simply needs discipline. If you are having a lot of problems, try speaking to a particularly well-organized colleague to find out how they do it or look online for tips on how to be more organized. The sooner you start and the more you do, the more successful you can be.
Know When to Let It Go
As a nurse, you will come across a vast range of people, some of whom will immediately offer you respect because of what you do and the work you put in on online nursing programs to get there. Others will be less respectful. Whether it is because they are scared, nervous, grieving, excited, or simply because they do not have respect for nurses for some reason, these people may well upset you, hurt you, even cause you to question what you are doing.
It is not just patients and their families who can make you feel like this either; your colleagues from all around the hospital, both doctors and nurses, may well make a comment or talk to you in a certain way that just does not seem right and that makes you angry or upset.
As a nurse, if you want to be successful in your workplace, you need to know when to follow something like this and let it go. This is not always easy to understand; if you have been hurt or disrespected in some way, most people’s initial reaction is to fight back and defend themselves and their work. Sometimes this is exactly what you need to do, especially if you feel you are being bullied in the workplace – this is never something you should just ignore. However, sometimes it is best just to let go of the situation and your anger. It will depend on what is said, what is done, and who is causing you a problem.
Although you can learn a huge amount through online nursing programs, knowing when to let it go and when to do something about how you have been treated is something that will come with experience. Over time you will understand which option to take, and you will be better at ‘brushing off’ unkind comments that are said in the heat of the moment. Experience counts for a lot when you are a nurse.
Get to Know Your Co-Workers
When you are a nurse, you are working in a close-knit team. You need to understand exactly what is required, often without any words being spoken, and you must move quickly and seamlessly to ensure the patients’ health and well-being. Whether you work in an extremely busy ER or work in a calmer senior care department – or anything in between – this teamwork is crucial. If you do not like working as part of a team and still want to be a nurse, it might be worth considering a private nursing job. You can still utilize the learning and knowledge you have gained from the online nursing programs you undertook, but you can work alone, helping just one patient.
If you prefer the idea of working with others, then you need to understand just how important teamwork is in nursing. It is great to get on with your colleagues and be friends with them and finding out more about your co-workers is the best way to go about this. Ask them questions, answer theirs, have chats, and take some time to talk and enjoy one another’s company when you are on a break together. The more you know about one another, the better you can work together, and that is good for the patient, the department, and your career.
Handle Setbacks Professionally
Everyone has to deal with setbacks in their lives and their careers – it is highly unlikely that everything will run smoothly at all times. The setbacks themselves are not important; what is important is how you handle them and how you can bounce back from the setbacks once they have occurred.
If you want to succeed in the workplace and put your online nursing programs to good use, you will need to handle setbacks professionally. People’s worst personality traits will indeed come to the surface when they are stressed or angry, and setbacks can certainly cause those emotions. Although it is never a good idea to suppress how you are feeling, the workplace is not the right place to do so. As a nurse, you must be professional at all times; patients (and your colleagues) are counting on you.
Be A Critical Thinker
To succeed in the workplace as a nurse, it is important to develop critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is the process of ‘thinking outside the box’ and coming up with innovative ways to help your patients, improve the department, or otherwise become better at nursing. It is a way of thinking that is not going to be easy for everyone to manage, and it certainly does take some skill and practice, but once you can think critically, it will dramatically enhance your career and success in the workplace.
To start with, you should be able to adapt to the changing situations around you. Again, depending on which department you are working in, this could be quick changes or slow ones. No matter what, however, changes and situations will arise that need to be dealt with.
You will also need to look at the bigger picture, and not just see the one issue that a patient is complaining of but look deeper to see if there is anything else that might need help. In this regard, the skills you have picked up during your training and any online nursing programs, you have sign up to will help you. Once you have all the information you need, it will be easier to think more critically about the situation and come up with clever ways to deal with whatever it is that requires your help.
To be an effective nurse, you need to be an effective communicator. You will not succeed if you cannot talk to doctors, other nurses, patients, and their families being concise and detailed where necessary. Each of these categories of people will need different information and knowing what not to say is just as important as knowing what to say and how to say it.
There is nothing quite as important as communication in nursing. For example, not passing on information about a patient’s medical condition to the next shift means that extra time has to be taken to ensure they are up to speed before they can carry out any treatments or examinations; in nursing, even if finding out this information out might only take a few minutes, those few minutes can be crucial. Communication is also vital when working in a team – letting people know what you are doing, what you need, and listening to their instructions will meld together to offer your patient the best care possible, enhancing your career at the same time.
Prepare for The Unexpected
Although technically no one can prepare for the unexpected because, of course, no one knows the event or situation is coming, it is possible – and important – for nurses to use the knowledge they have gained via online nursing programs and their other studies to be able to cope with any situation that comes their way. Although they will not predict exactly what they are going to have to deal with that day (or night), it will not matter; they will already have the ability to treat anyone who comes to them and organize the situation so that it works out well.
Skills that are required to be able to do this include:
- Great communication
- Good organization
- Nursing knowledge
- Critical thinking
- Complete professionalism