Nursing is a demanding and fast-paced job. Time management skills are essential, as is faultless organization. Excellent communication skills are also required. Over the course of a single shift, healthcare workers must assess patients' ailments, keep track of medical histories and present symptoms, and deliver the appropriate medications and treatments. Additionally, they must provide reports to physicians and other members of the medical team, which is why it is crucial that they are efficient and well-organized. Registered nurses (RNs) can improve their ability to complete all of the tasks on their to-do list if they keep the following tips in mind.

Make a great start to your day

The manner in which you begin your day will set the tone for the remainder of your shift. Whether you work overnight or during regular business hours, if you prepare for your shift in advance, you will have a lot more clearer mind when you arrive at the hospital. Prepare your bedside table by laying out a clean uniform, as well as your slip-resistant shoes, jacket, and backpack. Make sure you have your car keys, protective gear, and lunch prepared as well.

If there are important things you need to complete the next day, consider jotting them down in a notepad the night before. In the event that you are out and come up with an important thought, you can scribble down notes on your smartphone. When you get to the facility, you will not have to use as much mental effort to recall everything on your to-do list as you would otherwise. Consume a nutritious breakfast or an afternoon snack and remember to drink enough fluids. Most adults require at least three to four liters of water each day, with more required if you work in a hospital and are frequently on the move, work outside in a hot area, or have a faster metabolism.

Prioritize your objectives and tasks.

Due to numerous obligations and patients, it is easy to become disorganized or overwhelmed. The quickest and most effective method of reducing unneeded stress is to carefully prioritize your tasks. Given that many nurses are visual learners, it may be beneficial to color code the items on your to-do list.  Another option is to make a list of everything you need to get done, checking off anything that isn't due until the following day. With this strategy, you will be able to devote your time and energy to the patients, treatments, and meetings that must be completed. It will count as an additional accomplishment for each item that you have crossed out but still manage to complete.

Learn how to say no to somethings

Nurses are by nature nurturers and caregivers. As a result, it might be difficult to refuse requests from coworkers, superiors, or patients. When it comes to your personal life, it may even be difficult to prioritize yourself. Practice saying "no" when it is appropriate. If you've been working hard and are too exhausted to take on additional shifts, talk to your nurse manager about how you may contribute in other ways to the hospital. If your children or your partner require anything that can be put off until another day, inform them of your job obligations and ask if the task may be completed another day.


The time management skills you develop in your current position will only be of benefit to you in your future career as a nurse. Additionally, you will obtain new skills that will assist in your advancement in the future, while also becoming a better caregiver.

May 12, 2023

Natasha Osei

Passionate Nurse Practitioner | People person
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