From Overwhelmed to Organized: 7 Time Management Tips for New Nurses (2024)

Nurses are superheroes on a mission throughout long shifts and hectic days. Nurses have a lot on their plate, from managing medication to dealing with multiple patients to coordinating staff and supplies.

So it’s no surprise that one of the most common questions among new nurses is, “How can I manage my time better?”

Time management is a critical skill for everyone. But for new nurses who are trying to make their way in a demanding industry, it’s even more critical. And so we’ve formulated a few tips to help you maximize your time and stay on top of your tasks.

1. Prioritize Your Tasks

As we said, you’ll juggle multiple roles when you enter the job. To ensure you can finish all your tasks promptly, create a list of daily priorities and goals. Put tasks like documentation, patient care, and urgent requests first. And later, you can deal with less urgent tasks like communicating with other medical staff and ordering supplies.

Also, please set aside a few minutes to enjoy coffee or take a quick break. Resting in the middle of the day can help you feel energized and motivated to tackle upcoming tasks.

Thanks to technology, you can now access amazing apps to help you organize your work. For instance, Trello is a fantastic app that enables you to create to-do lists and set deadlines.

2. Choose the Alternative Option


Alternative option – there’s always one. If you’re a full-time nursing student, you’ll need to make the most of your time. So, we recommend looking into online nursing programs that provide the same qualifications and quality of education as traditional classroom-based programs. Plus, since they are virtual, you don’t have to worry about commuting or taking time off from work.

You can also look for other alternative solutions that can save you time. For example, consider writing up your notes quicker or prepping all the equipment needed for patient care in advance. Remember, working smart is as important as working hard.

3. Enlist the Help of Your Colleagues

Your colleagues are great resources if you want to stay on top of your tasks. Ask for their advice and opinions. You’ll be surprised to learn how much they can help.

For example, if you are a new nurse, ask your more experienced colleagues how they manage patient care and paperwork. They might tell you to break down tasks into smaller steps or even share helpful tips that can help you save time.

Also, don’t be afraid to delegate the more time-consuming tasks. For instance, if you have to order supplies and medicines for a particular patient, don’t hesitate to ask your colleagues to help.

4. Arrive at Your Shift Early


You’ll be amazed at the difference just ten more minutes of preparation can make in your day. Develop a habit of coming to work slightly earlier than scheduled; even twenty minutes before your shift starts will make a huge difference.

You can use these precious minutes to review your duty roster, check on patient records and prepare for the day. Also, if you’re well prepared in advance, you can save time and energy throughout your shifts.

Of course, you’d want to make the most of your sleep time too. So, get enough rest the night before and arrive refreshed at work.

5. Take Lots of Notes

You might have a dolphin-level memory, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take notes of your tasks. Since no two days are the same in the healthcare industry, the chances of slips go up. Writing down important details and deadlines can help ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

So make sure you take lots of notes, especially when dealing with patients and their medical history.

Also, don’t forget to take notes of your accomplishments. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself a bit. It will give you confidence and remind you of your strengths.

Taking notes is also a great way to keep track of your progress and accomplishments. So, keep a small notepad and pen with you at all times. You can also use your phone to jot down quick notes.

6. Regularly Interact with Your Patients


The best part of being a nurse is interacting with your patients. Make it a point to have regular conversations and ask how they feel. It will help establish a better connection with your patients and ensure their needs are met on time.

Also, take the time to ask your patients about their experience with the healthcare system. It will help you understand which areas need improvement and how to provide better patient care.

Since all the paperwork and tasks can make taking time out to talk challenging, we recommend setting a reminder on your phone. That way, you won’t forget to check in with the patients. After all, soothing your patients and providing excellent care is the number one priority for any nurse.

7. Don’t Be too Hard on Yourself

We get it; the competition is fierce. You want to make it to the list of the best nurses, and you’re willing to work hard for it. But don’t forget that this is a marathon, not a sprint. So, don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake.

Remember, everyone makes mistakes. Even experienced nurses make them. It doesn’t make you any less of a professional. So, if something goes wrong, take responsibility and try to fix it.

But most importantly, take note of your mistake. Think how you could’ve done the task differently to avoid the error. That way, you can make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future. And, of course, that’ll save you a lot of time.


Final Thoughts

Time management is all about finding a balance between work and life. So to maximize your day and become an efficient nurse, you must prioritize your tasks and focus on personal growth.

By following the tips above, you will be well on your way to boosting your productivity and becoming a successful nurse. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact your colleagues and mentors; they will gladly offer their support.

You’re just starting, so it’s okay to make mistakes. Remember to stay focused and commit to improving your time management skills daily. You’ll be a pro in no time!