If you want to be successful as a nurse, you’re going to need to know a few things. I’ve created a list of the top 10 things every nurse should know. Enjoy!

1) Patients are your #1 priority.

What you’re having for dinner after your shift or catching up with your co-workers needs to be put on the backburner until your shift is done. Patients need to be your number one priority. If they are in need of your help, you need to be there.

2) Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help.

You are only one person. You can’t do everything at once, by yourself. If you need help, ask for it. If nobody is available to help, wait until someone is available.

3) Committing mistakes is normal, learn from them.

You’re going to make mistakes, it’s only natural. Nurses need to learn from their mistakes in order to grow as a healthcare professional. You will limit your mistakes if you realize what you did wrong, and correct it next time.

4) Learn how to multi-task.

Multi-tasking is a great skill to have when it comes to nursing. You need to be able to do many different things at once.

5) Invest in comfortable shoes.

“Those look like real comfortable shoes”. I’m sure you’ve said those exact words to yourself on many occasions. Nurses are on their feet ALL day and night long. It’s important to have comfortable shoes that allow you to focus on the job at hand, and not your feet.

6) Never take your bad day out on your patients.

We all have bad days. As nurses, you might have more bad days than the rest of us. It’s important to not take your bad day out on your patients. They deserve the best care, and utmost respect. If you’re having a bad day, it’s easy to lash out at a patient’s unusual request or lack of listening.

7) Bathroom breaks might not be an option some days.

Though it’s not always the healthiest decision nurses make, they may have to go a whole shift without using the bathroom. This is an unfortunate consequence of being a nurse and being extremely busy. There’s no time for a stop in the action some days. You will have to learn to hold it.

8) Your shift WILL end at some point.

There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Your shift will end. You will soon be able to sit down, put your feet up, and go to the bathroom. No matter how busy or how bad your shift is, it will soon be over.

9) Have multiple pens handy.

You can never have enough pens. Nurses tend to leave their pens everywhere, yet pens are very important. You will always be jotting something down or taking notes. It’s important that you have a pen readily available to remember the important stuff. Your day is hectic and although you might think you will remember something later, chances are you won’t.

10) Always keep notes.

Along with keeping a pen handy, you’ll constantly want to be taking notes. You will need to remember certain things the doctor or patient says. You will not remember it later without writing it down (unless you have one of those photographic memories). Nurses are constantly learning on the job, and it’s important to take notes.