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Nursing is a stressful job. Even if you’ve been working as a nurse for years, there’s always going to be something that throws your stress levels through the roof.
But as a new nurse, you’re probably feeling even more overwhelmed than usual. It’s hard enough to make sure you’re doing everything right—but when you’re still trying to figure out how to keep track of all your supplies and make sure you’re not missing anything, it can seem like an impossible task.
The feeling can be the same whether you are a nurse who graduated from online programs like ABSN program online or a full-time program like BSN.
It’s not easy to deal with work stress when you are just starting out in your career as a nurse. The amount of pressure you feel at work can be overwhelming, and there will always be days when you feel like quitting your job or, even worse, harming yourself. However, if you learn how to deal with the stress that comes with being a nurse, then it will help improve your mental health and make you more productive at work.
Make a List of Factors That Lead to Stressful Situations
It’s never a good idea to ignore stress.
If you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, it’s time to take action. Here are some ways to deal with career stress as a new nurse:
1. Create a List of Factors
This can help you identify what’s contributing to your stress and how you can deal with it. You should make a list of factors that are creating stress for you—maybe some of them are things that can be fixed or at least managed better, while others might just be part of being in the profession.
Moreover, as per the 2019 PRC National Nursing Engagement Report, roughly 15.6% of nurses experience emotional exhaustion. Moreover, chronic sleep deprivation is one of the biggest factors contributing to professional burnout in all fields. Nursing practitioners frequently experience this due to their long shifts and extended hours. Also, 25% of nurses who participated in a Kronos Inc. survey said they struggled to get adequate sleep in between shifts.
2. Get Organized
Make sure that everything is in its place before starting any workday so that you don’t have any surprises along the way. It may seem like an unnecessary step at first, but once things start going smoothly again after getting everything organized and sorted out—it’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help From Your Coworkers
1. Seek Help From Your Coworkers
Career stress is a real thing, and it can be an isolating feeling. We all have the tendency to think that we’re the only ones who feel overwhelmed, but there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you need help—even if it’s just a quick word of advice.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help from your coworkers. They’ll usually be more than happy to lend an ear and offer support.
2. Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor—someone who has been in your shoes before and can give you advice about how they handled the transition—can be incredibly helpful in dealing with career stress as a new nurse. A mentor can help you navigate the unfamiliar territory of being on the job, provide encouragement when things get tough, and even point out opportunities for professional growth or advancement down the line.
Be Realistic About Your Goals
You’re just starting out, and you have a lot to learn, which can be stressful. But being realistic about your goals can help you manage career stress as a new nurse.
The first thing to do is research the average salary for nurses in your area, then compare it with what you’d like to earn. If there’s a big gap, explore ways to close it. For example, if you want to work at an advanced level but haven’t yet taken the required exams and courses, look into how much time it will take and how much money it will cost. Is this something you want to do? If so, plan ahead to avoid getting overwhelmed by the cost of education later on down the road when you’re already working full-time as a nurse.
Next up is figuring out what kind of job will allow you enough flexibility so that if one day all hell breaks loose at work—and let’s face it: that happens—you still have some downtime at home before heading back into work mode again tomorrow morning. This could mean taking a job that pays less but offers better hours or more days off during weekdays.Nursing is a stressful job. Even if you've been working as a nurse for years, there's always going to be something that throws your stress levels through the roof.Click To Tweet
Make Time for Self-Care
Self-care is described as “what people do for themselves to build and preserve health and to avoid and deal with illness” by the World Health Organization (WHO).
1. Get Enough Sleep
A good night’s rest is the foundation of good health, and it can help you deal with the stresses of your job. Research shows that working long hours can increase your risk of stroke and heart disease, so make sure you get enough sleep.
2. Eat Healthy Snacks
When you’re stressed out, it’s easy to turn to junk food for comfort—but this is actually counterproductive. Instead, try eating healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables when you need a pick-me-up. They’ll help keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day and prevent cravings for unhealthy foods later on.
3. Exercise Regularly
Working up a sweat helps reduce stress hormones in your body, so it’s important to exercise regularly if you want to stay healthy in the long run. Dedicating as little as 15 minutes per day can be a game-changer in your self-care routine. Hence, follow these self-care tips to be in your best shape – physically as well as mentally.
As a new nurse, it’s hard to know what to expect.
Dealing with career stress as a new nurse can be stressful in its own right. From figuring out your schedule to getting accustomed to the demands of the job, there are a lot of things that can leave you feeling overwhelmed.
But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with some tips and tricks to help you deal with all of these issues.