Advice for getting through your first year as a nurse

Advice for getting through your first year as a nurse


Starting a career as a nurse can be both exciting and overwhelming. As a new nurse, you will be faced with challenges that you may not have experienced in your nursing program. You will need to learn to navigate a new work environment, work with different healthcare professionals and provide care to patients with different medical conditions. In this blog we will discuss the things you need to know to ensure your first year goes smoothly.


In the early stages of your career, you could make some mistakes due to a lack of experience, knowledge, or confidence. This will often be a result of not asking for help when needed and not communicating effectively with patients and other healthcare professionals. Build a rapport with those around and lean on more experienced nurses in stressful periods. Never be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Maintaining your health

Nurses are at a high risk of developing health problems due to their demanding work schedule, exposure to infectious diseases and physical demands of the job. Some of the common illnesses that nurses suffer from include back pain, stress and burnout. To maintain optimal health, you should prioritize self-care, get enough sleep, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. It is also essential to practice good hand hygiene and wear personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Continue your learning

Finishing nursing school shouldn’t mean that your education comes to an end, there is still a lot to learn. Play an active role in your professional development, for example if there is a certain procedure you want experience with, then ask to observe a more experienced nurse doing the procedure. Learning helps you to grow as both a nurse and a person, enabling you to give your patients a better standard of care.

Find a mentor

Mentoring can be a great way to expand your knowledge and skills. Spending time with a more seasoned nurse will give you the chance to ask questions and raise any concerns you have about your new job. Your first year will be tough so any help you can get from more experienced staff will go a long way. If you find that you get along well with a particular nurse, ask if they would be open to becoming your mentor.

Career paths

You have many career paths to choose from. After your first year, you can explore different career options such as becoming a nurse practitioner, nurse educator, or nurse researcher. You can also specialize in a particular area of nursing such as occupational health, paediatrics, oncology, or critical care. It is essential to continue learning and developing your skills in order to have a long-lasting career. 


Starting a career as a nurse can be challenging, but with the right mindset, you can overcome any obstacles. It is important to maintain your health, avoid common mistakes and continue learning to advance your career. As a nurse, you have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of your patients and their families.

If you are interested in a career in occupational health, head over to our website to find out about the roles we’re currently hiring for: