Being a nurse is by no means an easy job, especially for those new to the profession.
TeleTracking knows how important nurses are to any health system and values their experiences and expertise. Because of that, TeleTracking has more than two dozen nurses on staff, helping us to better understand the realities nurses face in the field.
With many having started their careers at the bedside, our TeleTracking nurses have unique backgrounds and career paths that have given them experience in a multitude of industries. Explore tips our seasoned nurses want you to know about making the most of your nursing career.
It’s no secret that the nursing profession has seen extreme stress and burnout over the last two years due to the pandemic. Although nearly every operational function of a health system experienced strain, the impact was arguably greatest at the bedside.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 500,000 nurses will be leaving the bedside by the end of 2022, creating a shortage of 1.1 million nurses. This scenario may deter a new nurse from pursuing their passion or exploring new specialties.
“I never dreamed that I would be working as a vendor, and certainly never in technology considering we didn’t even have electronic medical records when I was in nursing school. The new generations need to be open minded and go after non-traditional nursing roles. This profession has a lot to offer in many different venues.” - Lettie P.
>> See some of the employment possibilities collected by Nurse Journal.
Many nurses have a personal connection leading them to pursue the field, many others have a general drive to care for others—in other words, nurses are passionate about what they do. If an individual is passionate about nursing, they will succeed. It will be tough, and it will be tough frequently, but it is important to always remember why one became a nurse. The drive to care for others in their times of need is a noble trait that will guide nurses through the most difficult times.
“You must have a passion for it because it is a stressful job and if you don’t love what you do, taking care of patients, it will be tough. But if you have a passion for caring and nurturing, there’s just so much opportunity out there. The rewards, I could say, have far outweighed the stresses.” - Mark H.
Education does not stop after 4+ grueling years of nursing school. You will learn the most by watching your peers, mentors, and other faculty in the hospital. Every day you will learn new skills from those around you and build confidence. The key is to be hands on and to trust your gut.
Many new nurses feel unprepared when they start their careers. While the nursing industry is ever-changing, having seasoned nurses who have seen those changes firsthand is a tremendous resource. Experienced nurses can be effective mentors that teach their honed problem-solving skills and allow new nurses to feel comfortable asking for clarification when needed.
“The next generation of nurses have to be open-minded, and also, I think they have to embrace change. The way we deliver healthcare is changing rapidly. What you learn in school may not apply in the real world. Always embrace learning. What nursing was 30 years ago is not what it is today.” - Kelly R.
Nurses wear a plethora of hats during each patient’s care journey, but the most significant role they must assume is being the patient advocate. Nurses cross paths with people in their most vulnerable moments and desperate times of need—sometimes not being able to communicate and make the best decisions for themselves. It is a nurse’s role to use their medical knowledge and passion for caring to champion for the patient and engage with them, listen to them, and most importantly make the best decisions for their recovery.
“It is a very stressful time being a practicing nurse. You are there for the patient. Your kindness, your empathy, really does show through to the patient in what you do and how you behave. Even something as simple as giving the patient an extra five minutes to explain their procedure goes a long way. Try to remember that they are patients, but they are also people.” - Luanne X.
A nurse may not expect to have to be a teacher, but it is a vital role that they fill. Nurses teach everyone in the hospital. They teach other nurses and medical professionals, they teach doctors, they teach executives, and most importantly they teach the patients. Nurses have an important duty to not only provide medical care but teach patients (or their caregivers) how to continue to take care of themselves. The healing nurses provide does not stop at the bedside.
“The thing that I loved the most when I started nursing is we get to teach. [Nurses] get to teach other nurses, [nurses] get to teach patients, [nurses] get to teach families, [nurses] get to teach doctors. They get to teach everyone; they are in charge of the patient’s care.” - Chuck H.
“Make sure you love to teach. The #1 thing you can do for any patient is to understand the education part. When you teach somebody how to take care of themselves, then they are better apt to do it and stay out of the hospital.” - Toni D.