The Working World: Your Transition from Student to RN


As you graduate from training, you are ready to start the next phase in your nursing career. It’s time to start working as an RN. While this phase is exciting, it can also be a little intimidating to start a new career, at a new workplace with coworkers who have seniority over you. The more experienced nurses may feel the need to make you earn your place on the team and this can lead to a level of hazing. This can make the transition even more difficult but here are some tips to help you.

Seek out a mentor.

As a newly licensed nursing professional, this is one of the best actions you can take. Not only will you learn in a hands-on environment, but you’ll also show the rest of the team you are teachable and value their years of experience.

Practice effective communication.

Be clear with what you say but always be sure it is polite. As a nurse, you’ll learn how to communicate, nicely, yet with a sense of urgency. Being kind doesn’t mean flowery, nonsense language; as a nurse, you don’t have time for that, but you do need to be clear.

Develop time management skills.

Your job will be difficult, especially in the beginning, while you’re learning the ins and outs. You’ll also need to learn how to manage your time so you can learn the profession and care for patients.

Set goals and objectives.

Part of your career as a nurse will be improving your skills and adapting to the ever-changing medical world. Your goals will give you guidance as you perform daily tasks and it will also show your team you want to improve your skills.

Engage in self-care.

You constantly care for others; it is important to care for yourself. Take time for exercise, eating healthy, and even pampering. On a regular basis, be sure you are getting away from work, away from high stress and away from conflict.

The transition from student to RN doesn’t need to be too drastic. As a student, you had a desire to learn and improve and that attitude can carry to your professional life. There is no need to change how you view your job and your responsibilities.

For help with tracking your nursing career, download the Nurse Backpack app to help you stay organized while tracking all your professional credentials and personal information. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your career, give the app a try today.


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Nurse Backpack is a free mobile application that enables professional credential management for end-users themselves. Alerts, reminders, resume package building and sending is possible for free from the mobile app. Built for nurses originally, school nurses, nursing students, lifeguards and many other professionals also use the app for their license and credential management.