Stress a guaranteed part of any nursing career. Understanding how to deal with the stress can be difficult, especially for new nurses. New RNs could feel overwhelmed and disillusioned about their responsibilities. Some feel that they are underprepared, doubt their abilities, and even worse, contemplate leaving the profession. We want to share these 20 coping skills for new nurses. These 20 coping skills for new nurses will help new nurses feel confident and satisfied being part of the nursing profession.
1) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Remember it’s not personal.
Being in the healthcare industry isn’t just stressful for the nurse, but also your patent and family members. If they lash out at you know that their frustration isn’t geared to you. Their stress could be concern for their loved one, financial, or the facility. If you are put in this experience remember to first take a deep breath. You don’t want to overreact or say anything negative. Instead find your floor manager and explain the situation to them. Cooler heads will prevail.
2) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Practice deep breathing exercise.
Deep breathing exercises has proven to be an effecting coping skill. It will reduce stress, improve your mood, and allow you to not to hold onto things that are out of your control. There are plenty of resources out there to help you properly find deep breathing exercises. If nothing more, close your eyes, take inhale for a 5 count, and exhale for a 5 count. Then repeat.
3) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Find a quiet place.
Taking breaks is a necessary requirement for people in all industries, especially for nurses. As a new nurse, it is important to locate a place where you can escape for a few moments. Find a quiet room at your facility or perhaps there is a garden where you can sit and collect your thoughts. Finding a quiet place will rejuvenate your mood and allow you to have a successful rest of the day.
4) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Use a journal to write or draw.
Having a journal is a great form of expression. The Wall Street Journal talks about the power of daily writing in a journal. If you prefer to draw and express via art that’s find too. Everyone has something that works for them. The key is to find what works for you to help you remain calm when dealing with stressful situations.
5) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Find a mentor
Mentors help guide us and are there when we need them. As a new nurse, find a seasoned nurse that can show you the ropes of the facility will go a long way in coping for new nurses. Being a nurse is a stressful job so having someone you can lean on and get you up to speed is critical.
6) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Be honest
New nurses have a constant need to fit in. Sometimes, that can cloud your judgement in what you know. New nurses can be reluctant to say that they don’t know how to do a specific patient care activity. If you are faced with this situation be honest. Ask your colleague or nurse manager for help. Again, this could be something you speak with your mentor about.
7) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Master your skills
The quickest way to feel confident as a nurse is to master your skills. Having this level of confidence will make handling any related task seem like second nature and give you satisfaction in your new role.
8) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Eat well-balanced meals
As a nurse, you are always on the go. This makes it easier to neglect eating properly. The key to eat a well-balanced meal is preparation. Make your meals ahead of time. Don’t skip meals. The healthier you can eat will increase your energy and productivity.
9) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Get enough sleep
Your body needs time to rest and “re-charge your batteries.” After a busy day of work, getting the proper amount of sleep is a necessity to take on the new day. You will find out that when you neglect sleep that you are not your normal self.
10) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Get on an exercise routine
Your schedule might not always allow you to exercise daily. However, it is important that you find time to exercise. Whether that is going to the gym, a run around your neighborhood, or a morning walk, the key is to find something that fits with your schedule. When you find something that fits with your schedule you will find it easier to stick with it.
11) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Put stress into perspective
The fact is that you cannot control everything that happens. Focus on what you can control. Don’t stress over things you can’t control. When you put this into perspective you will find that things aren’t as bad as you think.
12) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Maintain a positive attitude
This supports the coping skill to not stress over things you cannot control. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive one. When you have a positive attitude, you will feel like you can handle anything thrown at you.
13) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Don’t fight frustration
If you are angry, sad, or having a negative feeling allow yourself time to deal with it. News flash, these feelings are common as a new nurse. Accept and acknowledging your feelings. Don’t deny or try to suppress your feelings. Talk about your feelings. Write how you are feeling. Take time to find a quiet place. Whatever method you choose know that it’s okay to feel upset.
14) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Look back on other stressful times
Every storm eventually runs out of rain. When faced with a stressful time, it is important to look back at another stressful time. Remind yourself that past stressful periods passed and this too will pass.
15) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Join a committee
This might be one of those things that you roll your eyes when you first read. As a nurse, your days go by fast and time is limited. That is exactly why joining a committee will help you cope as a new nurse. Joining a committee will allow you to make an impact on your facility. You can provide ideas to improve your patient’s needs. Make your voice heard.
16) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Take a vacation
As a nurse, you will be working long days. However, when you get time off make an effort to get away and relax. Explore a new city, schedule a fun day trip with your friends, go see family. Whatever you decide, make sure you take time to relax so you come back ready to work.
17) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Get organized
One way to stay on top of your game is being organized. Nurses are handing a lot of responsibilities daily. Thus, taking time to set your daily priorities can help you formulate a plan to complete everything.
18) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Over communicate
The more your team knows the better you can support each other. Communicating with your team is a great way to cope with stress as a nurse. A Nursing World article said, “Stress in hospitals is unavoidable. However, it can be managed.” It is managed by communicating. When an open dialogue is fostered, stress levels can decrease.
19) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Find the right situation for you
If you know the specialty you want do you know the right setting you want to work? Do you know the right shift you want to work in? Do you know the right location you want to work? The nursing world is vast. You might find that you have less stress when you work nights compared to days. Or maybe the setting you’ve been in all your life is continuing to cause you stress. Mix it up. Find what works with you and don’t be afraid of change.
20) 20 coping skills for new nurses: Leave the day with a clear mind
Your days are long and busy. You have accomplished a lot during your day. When the day is done don’t stress over things that weren’t accomplished. You can’t change anything at home. Reflect on your shift, plan out your next day, get a good night sleep, and take on tomorrow. Move on. Otherwise you will carry that un-needed stress the next day.
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Article Reviewed by Adam Francis
Title: President, CEO
Home Town: San Diego, CA
Alma Mater: University of Notre Dame
Random Fact: Prior to starting Host, I was pursuing a graduate degree in philosophy.
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