5 Habits to Start When Becoming a Nurse

Discover the top 5 habits to incorporate into your daily life to be more successful and effective on your path to becoming a nurse.

Whether you’re preparing to take your ACLS Certification, BLS Certification, PALS Certification, or NCLEX exam, establishing a few habits prior to taking your exams will help prepare you for the medical field. Good nurses possess specific characteristics that help them succeed in their profession. The most obvious habit to practice before becoming a nurse is nurturing a desire to be of service to others, but that’s not all that will be required from you. Adopting the following 5 habits as soon as possible will help you get a leg up on the competition and advance your nursing career.

1. Good Communication

One of the most important habits to practice before becoming a nurse is good communication. Nurses are responsible for relaying important information to patients, doctors, colleagues, and family members. They’re essentially the engine that keeps a hospital running. Without solid communication skills, confusion may arise within all parties, causing potentially devastating consequences. Therefore, in order to relay information clearly to your team, you’ll need to be confident in your verbal and written communication skills.

Communication is also an essential component to building trusting relationships with patients.

Studies suggest that verbal and non-verbal consultation behaviors can impact a patient’s perception of the providers and level of comfort. Practicing compassionate communication can help your patients feel comfortable sharing their concerns, leading to better outcomes for everyone involved.

2. Time Management

Medical care providers are no stranger to time-sensitive activities and responsibilities. Whether it be administering medications, patient hygiene, or high-pressure emergency situations, being able to work under pressure within certain time constraints is crucial.

Practicing time management as a nurse is all about organizing, prioritizing, and planning. Integrating planners, digital calendars, checklists, and reminders into your daily routine prior to becoming a nurse will help prepare you for the fast-paced environment.

5 Habits to Start When Becoming a Nurse

3. Familiarity with Rules & Regulations

The medical industry is highly regulated in order to improve outcomes and patient safety. If you’re considering a career in nursing, you’ll need to prepare yourself to recognize the importance of healthcare rules and work within them, not around them.

First and foremost you’ll want to stay up to date on nursing care rules outlined by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). These regulations protect patient health and welfare by ensuring safe care is provided by licensed nurses.

In addition to studying the NRBs, familiarize yourself with Basic Life Support (BLS) concepts such as CPR and First Aid best practices. All registered nurses are required to have a BLS Certification. Studying BLS information beforehand will help you prepare for the test and enable you to follow the regulations in real-life scenarios.

4. Flexibility & Reliability

The versatility of shifts that the nursing industry offers is a huge draw for those looking for flexible hours. You can choose long or short shifts during the day or night to accommodate time for the things you love outside of work.

Although the flexible hours of medical care have many benefits, becoming a nurse will require you to flex your adaptability muscles. You may very well be asked to work weekends, holidays, night shifts, and overtime without proper notice. Being reliable and showing up for your scheduled shifts, no matter how inconvenient, will help you build trust and mutual respect with your colleagues and patients. Practice unconventional sleeping schedules and spontaneity in your daily routine to help you prepare for the unpredictability of the industry.

5. Emotional Stability & Self Care

Your primary job as a nurse will be caring for others. While this is very emotionally fulfilling work, it can also require a great deal of physical, emotional, and mental stamina. In order to manage the needs of your colleagues, patients, and their loved ones, maintaining a stable mindset is essential. If you’re not properly caring for yourself, coping with suffering and death on a daily basis along with long shifts and stressful days can start to take a toll.

Implementing a self-care routine prior to becoming a nurse can help you achieve emotional stability. This may come in the form of exercise, yoga, meditation, or anything else that brings you peace and joy. While there is increasing awareness of the importance of self-care in the medical industry, it’s up to you to prioritize your wellbeing and emotional state.

Optimizing Your Path to Becoming a Nurse

Choosing to become a nurse is a noble career choice that has an abundance of opportunities for growth and fulfillment. Practicing these habits will help prepare you for the unique challenges of the nursing field and put you on the right track for success.