7 Tips for New Nurses and Direct Care Providers

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Reviewed by Jeanne Kal Senior Manager, B2C Content, IntelyCare
Young female and young male nurse in scrubs wearing backpacks and smiling.

If you’re just starting as a nursing professional, you might feel excited, prepared, and nervous all at the same time. Looking for some tips for new nurses and direct care providers? We asked healthcare professionals, from certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to registered nurses (RNs), to share the advice they received when they were starting out.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for RNs is projected to grow by 6% over the next decade, which means an estimated 195,400 RNs will be entering the field. As for CNAs, the projected employment growth is 5%, which translates to nearly 65,000 new jobs.

If you’re thinking of going into these fields, or if you’re just starting out as a new nurse, advice from those who’ve walked the walk is valuable. Read on to learn some advice for new nurses and healthcare professionals from people who have been through nursing orientation and found success on the job. Then check out all the nursing opportunities available on IntelyCare to see who’s hiring right now.

7 New Nurse Tips

  1. Make your needs known.
  2. Keep learning.
  3. Listen and be respectful.
  4. Slow down.
  5. Gain experience by floating.
  6. Prioritize your education.
  7. Get familiar with IntelyCare.

1. Make Your Needs Known

Sometimes, facilities don’t give new nurses or per diem nurses who aren’t on staff the attention and support that’s needed for them to do their jobs well. “Always speak up for yourself,” says Alisha Brown, RN. The facilities may not be aware that you need guidance, so letting them know what you need and asking lots of questions are crucial to providing quality care.

2. Keep Learning

Education is at the heart of a few of the tips for new nurses and healthcare professionals on this list. “Nursing and the medical field are ever-changing,” says Shakira Hodge, LPN. It’s important to understand that there is always more to learn, and new discoveries are made every day. After you finish nursing school, it’s easy to think that you’ve learned it all. But Hodge knows that to be a good nurse, you have to evolve along with the medical field. After all, no two patients are the same, so it’s important to always expect new challenges.

3. Listen and Be Respectful

In her IntelyCare spotlight interview, Jackey Williams, CNA, said that if she were to go back in time to give herself a piece of advice, she’d say, “Jackey, you should always respect people, know how to talk to people, and understand their problems because everybody has different ways of dealing with them.” In her years as a CNA, Williams has helped countless people through their medical and emotional troubles. She speaks from experience when she says always listen to and be respectful of your patients no matter what. While this bit of wisdom is good advice for nurses and care professionals, it’s also applicable to life outside the facility.

4. Slow Down

“Just slow down and try not to stress about everything,” says Crystal Miranda, CNA. It’s easy to concern yourself with all the little details while trying to remember everything. When you feel rushed, just take a deep breath and focus on the one task that is in front of you before moving on. If that doesn’t work, Miranda recommends using meditation apps to help yourself de-stress.

5. Gain Experience by Floating

Beth Fournier, RN, lives for nursing. She loves keeping busy with her passion for nursing. Top among her tips for new nurses? Take advantage of floating. “I know people usually don’t like floating. But for me, floating was a major part of my learning experience early on that allowed me to grow in my career and expertise,” says Fournier. If you’re working at a facility with multiple units, try to take the opportunity to see how providing care differs in each environment. That knowledge can help give you a new perspective on how to provide the best care possible.

6. Prioritize Your Education

“Finish school early, not when you’re in your 30s because it’s a lot harder,” says Shannon Williams, LPN. Choosing between earning an income and continuing a nursing education can be hard. But Williams advises new nurses to finish school early because the longer you wait, the less able you are to prioritize schooling. So, in the long run, it hurts your earning potential to forgo schooling if it’s a feasible option for you.

7. Get Familiar With IntelyCare

The last of our tips for new nurses and direct care providers is a simple one. IntelyCare helps nursing professionals find the right job with a platform designed for nurses and nursing professionals only. Ready for the satisfaction of finding just the right fit for you? Take a look at the jobs on IntelyCare today.