Whether you just landed your first nursing job, or you’re a veteran interested in taking your career to the next level, you’re probably looking for ways to make your mark and shine as a standout nurse.
We found some great online advice from seasoned nurses about proactive steps you can take to get noticed by patients, team members, and those with the power to promote you to your dream role as a healthcare professional.
Here are 5 of their best nuggets of wisdom.
- Ask Your Teammates Questions
No one expects you to know everything. Make it a habit to ask questions of team members when you need clarification. Asking questions shows that you’re enthusiastic and willing to learn something new every day.
- Master Your Bedside Manner
How you make patients feel when they are in your care is one of the best ways you can shine as a nurse. In the article, 7 Ways to Stand Out in Your First Year as a Registered Nurse, veteran nurse Sue D. advises nurses to, “Remember your patients are not just room numbers or diagnoses but complex people who need your care!”
- Continue Learning
Even if you live in a state that does not require continuing education credits to maintain your license, it’s in your professional interest to take continuing education courses to expand your skill level, stay current on best practices, and learn about new specializations that interest you. Nurse Jenna M. says it best, “NEVER EVER STOP LEARNING. Because you got a piece of paper doesn't mean your education is complete.”
- Find a Strong Mentor
Both new and veteran nurses can benefit from having a mentor to guide them. Look for someone who is in a position you aspire to and use them as a resource to help map out your career path. A strong mentor can also be a great personal reference for landing new job opportunities. As you advance in your career, be willing to also mentor someone else. Nurse Jill C. says, “Remember this time in your career because one day you may be the seasoned nurse faced with a newbie in need of support. Don't forget what it is like.”
- Take Care of Yourself
Finally, you can’t stand out if you’re burned out. No matter how skilled you are as a nurse, you can’t provide the best level of care when you’re running on empty. In a 2017 Kronos study on nurse fatigue, a surprising 44 percent of hospital nurses worried their patient care would suffer because they were so tired. By taking steps to ensure you are well-rested, hydrated, and nourished, you put yourself in the best position to handle stressful situations with poise and to make fewer on-the-job mistakes.
What other advice do you have for fellow nurses looking to stand out on the job? Share what’s worked for you in the comments below.