Bummed Nurse

Some of you may be reading this title and thinking, "Oh my, they forgot to teach me something?" Not to worry, these are just some important pieces of information you can take with you on your journey of becoming an amazing nurse. In other words, these are some tips to prepare you for what you might see and go through as a new nurse. Nursing can be a very fast-paced and stressful job. However, being a nurse is more complex than you may think, and it is good to know the following information so you can always be fully prepared.

Learn more about becoming a nurse and if a career in nursing is meant for you.

Being a Friend

Believe it or not, you are not only a nurse to your patients, but often a friend. Depending on how long your patients are there, you may be the only person seeing them, besides other hospital staff. They may be scared and feel all alone. Maybe they just got a life-threatening diagnosis, or they are worried about the cost of the stay. Sometimes all they need is someone to listen. Let them know that you are there to listen to them no matter what they may need, and build a rapport with them by letting them know it is in your nursing duty to keep what is said between the two of you private (unless it pertains to your scope of practice). You have no idea how much you may impact them.

Skills for a Lifetime

Yes, school may teach you how to do drug calculations, and the anatomy and physiology of the body, but it does not teach you about how working as a nurse will really impact you. You get so many benefits working as a nurse, even if that means going through some hardships to get there. It could change your whole personality by emphasizing care, compassion, and empathy. You will learn how to multitask better than ever. You will build friendships with not only your coworkers but your patients as well.


You know that death is inevitable for patients sometimes, but nursing school can't tell you how to act when one of your patients dies. If you are a new nurse, this kind of thing may have an extremely huge impact on you, that you may not have been ready for. You just have to realize that they go when it is their time. All you can do is perform your job at the best of your ability, making sure that they are as comfortable as they can be while under your care.


Yes, your instructors may have warned you that nursing school itself along with clinical rotations is very stressful, but they usually do not teach you how to deal with it all. Dealing with your stress is so important for you and your health. Make sure to always stay on top of it. Take time out to meditate, or just relax in ways that you enjoy, even if you do not have time to do it for very long. Your health is so important, especially in times such as this, so eat right, and be sure to get enough sleep. These are just a few of the things that they do not necessarily teach you in nursing school. Be sure to always stay professional. Even though you may have to be a friend to your patient, or just listen and talk to them, make sure it always stays within your scope. Although it would be nice if there was a book definition of how to be an awesome nurse, there really is not. Being a good nurse does not require to be good at one thing, but at many things. You may deal with doctors or even patients that make you feel unappreciated, but just know that you matter. Staying as calm as possible will help you stay safe. Although all of these things may be things that you already knew, it is good to keep them in mind to prepare yourself for the days ahead.

Amanda Bucceri Androus, RN, BSN
Latest posts by Amanda Bucceri Androus, RN, BSN (see all)
  • How Nurses Can Promote Vaccines Without Promoting Vaccines - June 12, 2020
  • CDC Estimates of Nurse & Healthcare Worker COVID-19 Cases Are Likely Understated - May 19, 2020
  • How Nurses Are Keeping Up With Practice Agreement Changes During COVID-19 - April 8, 2020
Map for travel nurse.

Is Travel Nursing the Right Adventure for You?Jetting off to a tropical location or new city for a few months while getting paid top dollar can be…

CVOR nurse in the the operator room with other doctors and nurses.

What Is CNOR and Why Should You Go For It?The Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI) is an organization that focuses on perioperative professional certifications for nurses. CCI identifies the…

Anxious nurses biting finger nails.

You Are Not Alone: Tips to Deal With or Avoid Anxiety for the Nervous New NurseIt's the night before her shift and nurse Kayla is starting to get a sinking feeling in her stomach, worrying…

Nurses holding up hands in confused posture.

The Factors That Bind RNs: Are RNs Nurses If They Don’t Work at the Bedside?Congratulations! You are officially a part of the most trusted profession, with the opportunity to make a difference in people's…

Black ER nurse smiling with arm crossed in ER room.

5 Ways to Improve Your Performance as an ER NurseLike many medical careers, emergency nursing is much different than how it's portrayed on television. With the fast-paced environment of…