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DiversityNursing Blog

Tips For Becoming A More Confident Nurse

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Feb 10, 2023 @ 10:14 AM

GettyImages-1447354370Performance anxiety and low confidence can be common among new Nurses as the field can feel intimidating. For your new journey, here are helpful tips to boost your confidence and help you to become the strong and resilient Nurse we know you can be. 

Find a Mentor

Mentors can be beneficial as they offer advice, guidance and support. They ease the transition to practice for new graduate Nurses, re-entry Nurses, and Nurses new to a specialty area.

Andrea Tran, an RN and lactation consultant cautions new Nurses to choose experienced Mentors who also have a knack for teaching. "They will tell you to let them know if you have any questions and ask you if you want to watch or participate in something you haven't done before or haven't yet mastered. They will make you feel good about your progress."

Knowledge is Power

Consistently learning and growing your knowledge will make you feel more confident in your decisions. Always ask questions if you're unsure about something. There are numerous training courses and opportunities for improving your skills. 

Don't Compare Yourself To Others

It's normal to feel the need to compare yourself to others but it's important to remember every Nurses' path is different, every shift is different, and every experience is different. Your team members are exactly that, your team, not your competitors. Learn from them but also be proud of the skills you have and the work you do. 

Stand Up For Yourself

Unfortunately, we know bullying exists in the Nursing profession, but you don’t have to succumb to it. Being bullied can affect your self-esteem big time. Bullies feed off of low self-confidence and a passive communication style. Hold your head high, make eye contact, and stand up for yourself by speaking with a strong sense of self. Believing in yourself is a powerful tool! 

Spread Positivity 

Positivity is contagious and it feels good to lift others up. When you spread positivity, you’re creating a warm and inviting environment. Not only will people gravitate to you they will in turn feel better and spread that positivity further, boosting morale and confidence for all. 

Don't Seek Validation From Others

Sometimes Nursing can feel like a thankless job. Remember why you're here - to care for others. If you're looking for a 'job well done' as approval for your hard work, you might be let down. It is important to recognize and appreciate yourself internally for your contributions and all that you do for others. 

It’s imperative Management recognizes staff for the incredible work Nurses do. But recognition is different from approval. Validation should come from within and not from others. 

Self Care

Being a Nurse can have physical and emotional affects from stressful working conditions. Self-care and healthy lifestyles are crucial. Nurses should seek out help from their mentor, a therapist, or other trusted colleagues if they are feeling distressed. It is essential to be mindful about eating healthy, getting enough sleep  and maintaining routines. Positive affirmations and healthy rewards for your hard work are needed. 

In your Nursing career, have you experienced self-esteem issues? What helped you overcome those difficult times? Please share with us in the comment section below.

Topics: nurse life, nursing, confidence, nurse qualities, nurse confidence, nurse stress, nurse traits, nurse characteristics

Top Items Nurses Always Have on Hand

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, May 03, 2022 @ 11:11 AM

GettyImages-1277113215As a Nurse, you always have essentials in your pockets or bag to help you get through a shift and day-to-day life as you never know when your experience and skills will be needed. Here are some of the essential items Nurses have on hand.


Your iphone is a useful tool especially when you fill it with apps such as Eponyms, Nursing Dictionaries and Drug Handbooks. You can also use it to set alarms for important reminders.


Nurses are constantly washing their hands throughout the day, leaving their skin dry. That's why having lotion in their bags is important to keep skin in good condition. Meanwhile, the sanitizer helps them steer clear of those pesky germs.


Every Nurse needs their stethoscope! It's important to keep your stethoscope sanitized, so it's a good idea to keep stethoscope cleaner in your bag. It's an even better idea to have a cleaner with a rubber protecting agent to prevent cracking, keeping it in tip top shape.


You can never have enough masks and gloves!


Wearing face PPE can cause skin irritation, acne and cracked lips. You can use face creams and lip balms to keep skin healthy. Wearing masks all day can sometimes cause bad breath, try keeping mints or a travel size mouth wash in your bag.


Nurses need to have these in their pockets for emergency use, especially for wound care. Micropore tape is also important and should be readily available, for example, when your patient accidentally pulls his/her IV.


Nurses are frequently administering medications via IV so having saline flushes on hand is a smart move. 


Mini notebooks are great for taking notes from Doctors and writing down important observations of your patients to remember for charting.


Staying hydrated is super important as well as eating healthy during your shift. Have a reusable bottle to keep your favorite beverage nearby and toss easy to eat and healthy snacks in your bag.


No more losing your pens and markers. The retractable holder keeps badges, IDs, pens, markers and more attached to you for easy access and safe keeping.

What are some of your favorite items you keep nearby?

Topics: nurse life, nurse essentials, nursing shift

Things Nurses Are Tired Of Hearing From You

Posted by Pat Magrath

Mon, Nov 07, 2016 @ 11:33 AM

angry-nurse-800x430.jpgThis is an article that might be right up your alley. It’s about things people say to Nurses. Sometimes comments are made that are totally innocent and mean no harm. Other comments are just plain ignorant, annoying, insulting, stupid or rude and usually the commenter has no idea they are being offensive.

What are your thoughts about the comments below? Can you add remarks people have said to you?

Nurses are the unsung heroes of the medical profession, the people who do all the little things, like sticking your arm, collecting your vitals, and generally making you feel somewhat more human when you're not at your best.   

But since nurses tend to see people in times of distress -- and since they do their jobs right in front of you -- they have to deal with a lot of crap, both literal and metaphorical. Here are a few of the common refrains they're sick of hearing from patients, doctors, other medical staff, family, friends, and the public at large. Keep these in the back of your mind the next time you wind up on the wrong side of the hospital doors. 

"It's your fault!" 

Nurses often take the brunt of the blame when things go wrong, says Chris Caulfield, RN, NP-C. "Regardless of if the mistake was due to the doctor, pharmacist, physical therapist, or nursing assistant; hospitals like to blame the nursing staff for pretty much everything," he adds. Caulfield says that since nurses are the gatekeepers of all things medical and non-medical in the hospital, they often get blamed for the mistakes of everyonethroughout the system, which is super crappy. 

"Oh, you're 'just' a nurse?" 

"I'm a student nurse and nurse tech (SN, NT) and the phrase 'just a nurse' is like nails on a chalkboard to me," says Heather Price. There is no "just" when talking about the nursing profession -- they do their job, like everyone else in the medical field. 

"Why aren't you a doctor?" 

Related to calling someone "just" a nurse. Eileen Sollars, RN, AAS, ADN, says she also gets asked why she didn't just become a doctor. It's a completely different profession, and if she wanted to be a doctor, she would have become a doctor. Why didn't you become a librarian instead of an accountant, anyway? 

"What did you do with my mom's teeth, glasses, etc.?" 

Bonnie Emery, RN, BSN, has had patients' family members come up to her, demanding to know what she did with their loved ones' items. For starters, she says, it's not always clear what family member goes with which patient, and next, she didn't take them in the first place. While she always helps them look, she says she wishes she could say something else instead: "What I'd like to say is that I took them home to put in my garage sale with the other dentures I've taken home." 

"Wow, why aren't you retired?" 

People actually pose this question to Sollars, who's been a nurse for 38 solid years. That's almost as bad as someone asking why you're not dead yet. 

"Hey, can you take a look at…?" 

Sollars also says that at gatherings or other events, people come up to her and ask for medical advice, or even worse, ask if she can take a look at whatever body part is ailing a person. No, she doesn't want to do this any more than any other person would want to do this. It's a party, dammit, she just wants some punch and normal socialization. 

"I Googled this and…" 

Yes, you can do your own medical research, and often your medical team will work with you to come up with the best treatment plan. Sollars asks you to keep in mind that you're just an average member of the public using Google -- not a nurse, and not a doctor, so don't pretend you are. 

"So my friend is in the hospital, can you tell me all the juicy details?" 

Um, no… doesn't stop people from asking, though. Jolene Wilder, RN, unequivocally says no, nurses cannot tell you details about patients in the hospital. There's this little thing called HIPAA that prohibits (by way of federal law) disbursement of patient information, and even if HIPAA didn't exist, would you really want someone telling your friends your medical deets? 

"I have a high pain tolerance." 

"Really?" wonders Lisa Dukes, MSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN, an ER/trauma nurse. When she hears patients claim they have a high pain tolerance, she says (totally in her head), "No one does. Everyone just thinks they do." So leave your brag about pain tolerance at home; nobody will believe you anyway. 

"That must be so hard! I couldn't do what you do." 

Jamie, who works as a pediatric cardiac intensive care nurse, says that whenever she tells people about her job, they express the above. She says, "Um… that's why I do it and you don't. Yes, it's hard, but I love it and that's why I do it." While it seems harmless, it can get old hearing that your job somehow makes your total existence more difficult than other people's. More straightforward words of praise or admiration can accomplish the same goal.

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Topics: nurse life

Why Does It Take A Movie Robot To Show What Nurses Really Do?

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Dec 22, 2014 @ 01:35 PM


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I'm a proud nurse from a proud family of nurses, yet I would never claim that a layperson would enjoy watching mainstream medical dramas with us. We end up yelling at the screen: "There is nothing about that sexy get-up that remotely resembles a nursing uniform," and "Doctors don't fire nurses, nurse managers fire nurses," and "No emergency room nurse would ever have to be told by a doctor to start CPR!"

So when the Baymax, the nurse/robot in the hit Disney movie Big Hero Six turned out to be reasonable, competent and not dressed in fishnet stockings, I was thrilled.

You know your profession has an image problem when you point to a balloonish animated robot doll and say, "Yes, that's good. That accurately reflects what I do on a daily basis. More representations like that, please."

Baymax might not look like any nurses you know, but unlike most nurse characters in the media he actually provides nursing care. He assesses the health condition of his charge, the boy-genius Hiro, makes recommendations related to his health and teaches him about his neurochemical processes.

Once Hiro reprograms Baymax with fighting capabilities, Baymax becomes Hiro's terrifying defender. If you've ever heard a nurse on the phone with an insurance company insisting that a patient get needed care paid for, you know this is not a misplaced metaphor.

Contrast this with the Nurse Dawn character in the HBO comedy Getting On. She has sex with a new nurse manager within hours of meeting him; doesn't seem to notice when a patient dies; cowers submissively in front of even the most incompetent doctors and never seems to provide any actual nursing care because she is too busy with self-created drama and paperwork.

Or the Nurse Beverly character in Fox's comedy The Mindy Project. She is fired from an office medical practice for incompetence, breaks a doctor's nose in angry response, and when she is rehired in a clerical position expresses relief that she finally has a job where she doesn't have to wash her hands.

Or the nurses in the Fox medical drama House. Rather than being sexually inappropriate or incompetent, these nurses all seem to be on a series-long coffee break. It is the doctors who are shown providing nursing care: starting IVs, doing patient teaching, negotiating complicated family dynamics at the bedside.

Even when nurses are shown to be competent, compassionate patient-focused experts like Jackie Peyton, the main character in Showtime's Nurse Jackie, the creators aren't satisfied with the life-and-death drama of a high-level trauma center in a huge city. The nurse character has to be an unethical, lying, stealing, not quite-in-recovery drug addict as well.

The argument could be made that it's the job of Hollywood to create fiction of all the professions, and that popular culture gets everything about health care wrong.

Certainly examples of this exist: the new Fox teen drama Red Band Society is populated by exceedingly healthy looking, extremely attractive gravely ill teenagers who live for months in hospital rooms the size of two-bedroom apartments for no other apparent reason than to make it more convenient for them to kiss each other.

Any scenes in which the dying but randy teens are portrayed interacting with medical care (one patient is shown receiving dialysis for liver failure) are so ludicrous that it makes you wonder if the procedure for the show's writers is to ask their medical adviser how something might accurately be conveyed and then write the exact opposite.

But even though this is just entertainment, the stakes for the future of nursing are high. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that Americans believe what TV shows say about medical care and health policy.

For 13 years the non-profit advocacy organization Truth About Nursing has been researching and documenting nurse representations in popular culture and has come to the conclusion that "the vast gap between what skilled nurses really do and what the public thinks they do is a fundamental factor underlying most of the more immediate apparent causes of the [nursing] shortage [including], understaffing, poor work conditions, [and] inadequate resources for nursing research and education."

This is bad news for nurses, but worse news for patients. Nurses make the difference in good health care; increased RN staffing decreases the overall patient death rate as well as the rate of hospital acquired pneumonia, falls, pressure ulcers and blood clots after surgery. When nurses show more signs of burnout related to understaffing, postsurgical infections increase.

And there's the hard-to-quantify but essential benefit of being cared for. When I was in the hospital this past January after a life-threatening complication of knee-replacement surgery, I woke up one night in pain and unable to figure out how to move within the many drains, tubes and wires attached to, or inserted in, my body. I muttered an expletive and from around the corner a nurse appeared.

"I'm right here," she said. Even before she started to untangle my IV and troubleshoot better pain management, my panic was instantly calmed.

Baymax's programming won't allow him to disengage until the patient has answered, "Are you satisfied with your care?" in the affirmative. This is inconvenient for the characters in an action adventure movie, but it's a good question to ask in a hospital. If you're satisfied with your care, you may well have a nurse to thank.


Topics: Movies, Robots, television, reality, nurse life, RN, nurses

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