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?

Career Spotlight – Travel Nurse


Travel nurses are a breed of nurses that like change. They thrive on adventures and love to see where the next job will take them. What is involved with becoming a travel nurse? Is it worth the time away from home? These questions can help you answer if travel nursing is right for you.

What is a Travel Nurse?

A travel nurse is a nurse who travels to different hospital units to work for a limited time, usually 13 weeks. The travel nurse has the option to move around the Country if she chooses and obtains licensure in different States. Usually, travel nurses are needed in hospitals that are short staffed. Therefore, the pay is usually higher than staff nurses. There are a variety of different specialty jobs are available for travelers.

How does a nurse become a travel nurse?

To become a travel nurse, most companies want a nurse to get at least 1-2 years experience. A new graduate nurse will have a hard time in the travel industry because the orientation time is around 3 days.

Once you have experience, obtain any certifications you may need to stand out from others. For example, a labor and delivery nurse may want to obtain her certification in electrical fetal monitoring.

Who should not be a travel nurse?

Those who dislike change will not like travel nursing. Your assignments are usually more involved than the other staff nurses, and you will most likely be running short staffed. If you are not someone who likes to be away from home, traveling may not suit you.

Who is a good candidate for traveling?

Someone who likes to travel, obviously. You can see all other areas of the country and work with a variety of people. With this, you will learn various ways hospitals do things.

You can get away from the cold in the wintertime if you live in a climate that tends to get a lot of snow. Traveling is nice, too, because you normally will work three days a week, leaving you time to enjoy yourself and explore the city.

How much does a travel nurse make, on average?

Due to nurses making various wages through the Country, for travelers, usually they make more than the staff nurses in their unit, plus medical benefits, retirement, CEUs, and housing stipends! The company will take care of you. Travel nurses are one of the highest paid nurses in the field.

How do I choose a travel company?

This is a hard question to answer because it is like choosing a loaf of bread in the supermarket. It is whatever suits your specific needs. Do your research, create questions to ask and interview the company before they interview you.

Overall, if traveling is an option for you, do it now. Many nurses practice for a long time, then feel stuck in a comfort zone, unable to break away.