5 Tips to become a better nurse

5 Tips to become a better nurse

Congratulations! You are hired! Now, what? You have a lot on your plate, learning your new careers ins and outs. How can you be a better nurse in a hospital setting? Your first year on the job is often the most stressful because you don’t know what you don’t know. You will constantly learn throughout your career, but just when you thought you were prepared in nursing school, bam, the real world of nursing takes you by surprise. Sound familiar?

Use these tips on how to become a better nurse:


  • Continue to Learn – Continuing education is a constant reminder that our learning as nurses must never end. Most State Boards require nurses to complete continuing education hours (CEUS) to be competent in their licensure.
  • Become Certified –  A certification in your field can help you learn your specialty the best in your unit, making you the resource person. If you have a true drive for what you do, becoming certified is the step to prove it.
  • Turn off your brain at home – Always continue to learn and seek out new opportunities at work. At home, look up things you are not familiar with that you want to know more about, but be sure to take time for yourself. You need to, nurse burnout is too common.
  • Remember the good times –  You may have the drug seeking addict in room 4, the incontinent, ungrateful patient in 12, but there was someone you truly helped that day. Remember that patient. To get ahead in nursing, you have to remember the good we do for people. Were you there to hold the hand of the women diagnosed with cancer that day because the physician didn’t have the time to sit with her and grieve? Those moments will keep you ahead of the colleague who does not spend any time with her patients.
  • Find a rock – We all need a mentor, someone to vent to. After getting your feet wet on your unit, find a buddy. Someone who can relate to you. Maybe it is your preceptor, someone who had a child when you did, or maybe one of the older nurses who you remind them of when they were young. Find someone to lean on when times are tough.


You will get ahead in nursing with these tips. What other tips do you have to help get ahead in this field of nursing?

What is the NCLEX-RN exam?

Portrait of a smiling nurse

What is the NCLEX-RN exam?

Students exploring the option to go to nursing school should know that nursing school is not the end to being a nurse. It is your doorway to the NCLEX-RN exam. The NCLEX-RN exam is what makes you a licensed nurse.

History of the NCLEX-RN exam?

The NCLEX is the licensure exam every nurse must take to become a licensed registered nurse. It was founded in 1978 by The National Council of State Boards of Nursing. It was a pencil and paper test until 1994.

What specifically does the NCLEX-RN test?

The NCLEX-RN exam tests the nurse’s knowledge comprehensively  to guard the safety of the public. Every State has it’s own Board of Nursing. The NCSBN and Boards of Nursing work together to protect the welfare of the public with safe nurses, who have passed the exam before practicing.

The Boards of Nursing and NCSBN are constantly working together to understand the safety issues in healthcare. Together, they tackle this issue with the creation of different questions for nurses coming out of school.

Each student will have a different exam, and each student scores 50% of the questions correct, whereas the difficulty of the question is how the student passes. Each testing bank holds over 2,000 questions. For example, if you pass with 75 questions, you only get half of those right…some nurses pass with the 265 questions given.

When can a nursing student take the NCLEX-RN?

A nurse must complete an accredited nursing program before they can become eligible for the NCLEX exam. When the school sends the records to the State, then the Authorization to test will be given to the nurse by their State board, then the nurse can register for the NCLEX-RN exam. There is a specific time frame from the ATT to test time (about 60-365 days).

How should nursing students study for the NCLEX-RN exam?

Nursing schools are prepping nurses in every class they take for the NCLEX-RN. The NCLEX-RN exam questions are uniquely thought out and so are exam questions in nursing school. Review questions are available for testing as well as review courses for graduate nurses to take before their exam. Many nurses feel the exam prep helps.

How many nursing students do not pass?

For the NCLEX-RN, the national passing rate is 72.1%. Your school has to post how their passing rate is as well.

What if I don’t pass?

The testing center will retest you in 91 days from the last test date, depending on the State licensure board.

The NCLEX-RN is not an exam to roll off your shoulder. It is what makes you an OFFICIAL nurse. When you pass the exam, celebrate! It is something to be proud of!