Top Seven Nursing Do's and Don'ts

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Seven things nurses should always do and 7 they should never do

Every nurse has a list of pet peeves that can make their job more difficult. Conversely, working with a supportive and helpful co-worker can go a long way when it comes to job satisfaction, nursing retention and patient safety. What are some things you would put on a list of nursing 'do's and don'ts'?

I've compiled my own list based on what I hear from my own colleagues and from years of experience working in a variety of nursing settings.

Nursing 'do's':

  1. Always clean up after your shift. There is nothing more disconcerting that walking to a patient's bedside to find a mess
  2. Be kind to contracted nurses. Just because they are temporary staff doesn't mean they should get the most difficult assignment.
  3. Always give credit where it's due. Praise your co-workers and share their success with management
  4. Remember your basics when it comes to giving medications: Right dose, right time and right patient.
  5. Question physician orders when something doesn't make sense. Remember you're a patient advocate.
  6. Take time to learn something new every day that relates to your profession
  7. Practice compassion. Treat every patient as if they were your own family member

Nursing 'don'ts'

  1. Don't let the new nurse "sink or swim". Offer your help whenever possible
  2. Don't take an assignment that seems unsafe. Tell your nursing supervisor that you are not comfortable with your patient load
  3. Don't let yourself overdo it. Take breaks and learn to say no to overtime.
  4. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you can't get something done let your manager know.
  5. Never say negative things about a patient or co-worker
  6. Don't gossip
  7. Don't stay in a job that makes you unhappy. Remember that nursing is flexible. Try new roles until you find your niche



What's on your list of nursing 'do's' and 'don'ts'? Share your experiences with a comment.

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I plan to startcollege as soon as possible
Angela, how exciting. Do you know where in nursing you would like to work?