30 Things You Need To Know To Be a Nurse

things every new nurse needs to know

Nurses are made, not born. Some people may find our job easy while some say they can’t do what we do. But the question is, how someone could really be a nurse?

There’s nursing school where we learn all the technical nursing stuff and then there’s the whole world where we learn all the other things we never learned in Nursing school.

Here are 30 essential things every new nurse should know now:


1. Patients should always be your top priority.

2. You should never be afraid to ask for help.

3. Committing mistakes is normal. That only means you’re learning.

4. Never forget your pen when doing rounds.

5. Bathroom breaks can be optional some days. Holding your urge to urinate is one vital thing you have to learn.

6. Your shift will end soon, no matter how toxic it is.

7. Learn how to do two things, or even three, at the same time.

8. All the bleeding will stop. Eventually.

9. Empathy is one key to earning your patients’ trust.

10. Respect people no matter where they come from or what illnesses they have.

11. Your intention to help people should be clear and genuine.

12. Always keep notes.

13. Know your holes. We are all different and the urethra is NOT always above the vagina. Enough said. Work quickly while making sure that everything you’re doing is correct.

14. Never underestimate the power of a warm blanket and a few kind words.

15. What you consider an emergency and what the general public considers an emergency are two very different things.

16. If it moves, rattles, shakes, falls down, or won’t stay in place, tape it.

17. Never take it personally when someone yells at you. That’s normal.

18. Never get distracted when you have medications at hand.

19. Invest on a good pair of comfortable shoes.

20. If you don’t know something, look it up.

21. Never apologize for doing your job.

22. Never forget that you are caring for a fellow human being.

23. You must to learn how to walk fast.

24. You must to learn how to eat fast.

25. Take the time to auscultate well.

26. Never take your bad day out on your patients.

27. Get used to not knowing everything. That’s normal.

28. If you are not a coffee drinker, you will be very soon.

29. Nursing is a 24-hour job; do not expect to get it all done in one shift.

30. Listen to what the nurse tells you about your patient and look at their chart for past surgeries. You do not want to go into your patients room and do a head to toe assessment and ask a double amputee about the strength in his legs.


Being a nurse is not easy. You have to understand that your job is not just to take care of people or make them feel better, but to actually make them feel that you are there for them whenever they need you.

What else should someone know to be a nurse? Share your thoughts with us!


About the Author: Mary Elizabeth Velarmino Francisco earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Philippines. She is always happy to share her passion for writing and blogging. With coffee running through her veins, she enthusiastically battles each day, one article at a time.