10 Deadly Sins That Nurses Should Avoid


There is more to Nursing than meets the eye. And if you think that being a nurse is all about getting monthly paychecks and other perks, you might be barking up the wrong tree. Of course there are a lot of challenges waiting along the way but choosing to be a nurse can give you the ultimate fulfillment in the long run. To be a competitive nurse, you don’t just upgrade your skills and knowledge; your own attitude can also be your key to success. So if you think you are the know-it-all type of nurse, you better check yourself again because you might be missing some other points. Here are the “7 deadly sins” that nurses should avoid in the whole span of their career:

1. Refusing to Admit Mistakes

Regardless if you’re a fledgling nurse just starting to build your reputation or the most senior of all senior nurses, honesty should still be your top priority. People do err sometimes and nurses are not the exception to the rule. Admitting mistakes can reach as far as saving your patient’s life so make sure you know the drill in the first place: more common sense, less mistakes. Though nursing mistakes, may it be minor or major, have no place in the nursing profession, it really do occur every once in a while. So the next time you commit an error, remember the rule: be honest and immediately report the incident.

2. Believing that All People Can Be a Nurse

The statement “I can be a nurse!” is easier said than done so before one can decide to be nurse, it’s very important to weigh all the available options. During the old times, Nursing path was considered as the “road less traveled” but when the demand for highly-paid nurses skyrocketed few years ago in the Philippines, many people, including those who already have stable white-collar jobs, grabbed the opportunity to be a full-fledged nurse. We all know what happened next so just remember one thing before getting yourself enrolled in a reputable nursing program: be a nurse if you’re really “called” to be a nurse.

3. Being Afraid To Take Chances

In Nursing, courage and confidence are the leading traits for a fruitful career. For you to succeed as a nurse, you must learn how to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while. You don’t have to be stagnant in a particular nursing area if you have all the chances to try and explore other nursing fields/areas within your hospital. It’s the same with finding a nursing job: if you think it will be more beneficial for you and your career if you work overseas, then go grab it. In addition to that, with the scarcity of nursing jobs in the Philippines, it is also highly recommended if you look outside the more traditional hospital nursing job and find something out there that will support you financially and fulfill your “calling” as a nurse at the same time.

4. Forgetting About Your “Inner Calling”

Setting aside your nursing career to find other jobs is one thing but completely forgetting about your “calling” because of frustration and exhaustion is  another. Well, that decision won’t harm if you were just forced to take up Nursing in the first place but what if you really wanted to be a nurse but has been stalled by an overwhelming series of setbacks and rejections? I guess it all boils down to your willingness to hear what your heart really wants you to do. At the end of the day, a nurse will always be a nurse no matter what.

5. Having More Work, Less Life

Work life can sometimes be too much for a nurse so make sure you still have your own version of “life-work balance” intact. Always keep in mind that Nursing is not a dead end but also a passageway which can open a lot of surprises for you. Feel free to explore your other passions aside from Nursing. You can go to beach, treat yourself to spa, watch your favorite movies, write your own book, date your girl friends, and do other things that can fill the gap between your stressful job and personal life at home.

6. Taking Your Own Health For Granted

Taking care of your patients won’t give you the excuse to take your own health for granted. Stress and fatigue can take their toll on you and the moment you reach the threshold of being burned-out, your own career and health may be in danger. Find time to relax and assess what are those things that really deserve your attention and those that are just adding up to your headaches. Don’t forget to exercise, take daily supplements, and enjoy life as it is.

7. Telling Yourself  That “You’re Just A Nurse”

Gone are the days that nurses are ridiculed and humiliated; nurses nowadays have gained their own sense of independence and identity in the healthcare industry. And with more opportunity to support your family financially and make a difference to the lives of many people, there’s no place for self-pity and telling yourself that “you’re just a nurse”. Act independently, speak up when necessary! Nursing is one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world so why fret? Smile and just let your God-given skills to the job.

8. Avoiding Continuous Learning

The medical field is ever-evolving, and new treatments, protocols, and technologies emerge all the time. A nurse who avoids continuous learning might end up using outdated techniques or be unaware of newer, more effective treatments.

Being stagnant in your knowledge can affect the care you provide. Nursing, at its heart, is about offering the best patient care, and that means staying updated and taking advantage of professional development opportunities.

9. Becoming Complacent With Patient Interactions

Every patient is unique, with their own history, concerns, and needs. Treating them as just another number or task to check off on a busy day is a disservice to both the patient and the nursing profession.

Not only can this lead to potential oversights in care, but it also deprives nurses of the rewarding personal interactions that make the job meaningful. Always take a moment to genuinely listen to and connect with your patients.

10. Failing to Advocate for Yourself

In the hustle and bustle of a busy healthcare environment, it’s easy for nurses to neglect their own needs. Whether it’s pushing through without breaks, accepting too many shifts because you feel you can’t say no, or not speaking up about workplace issues, failing to advocate for yourself can lead to burnout.

Recognize your worth and ensure that your own well-being, both mentally and physically, is prioritized. If you don’t look out for yourself, it can become difficult to look out for your patients.