10 Nursing Time Management Tips

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You can hone your nursing time management skills, one of the most important skill sets in the profession, by following some time management tips as laid out by Mercer ABSN. Some essential time management skills include preparation, prioritization, communication, cluster care, and more.

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If you are pursuing a career in nursing, congratulations! You are working toward fulfilling a vital role in the healthcare industry. Over the course of a nursing career, you will deliver care with the potential to change thousands of patients’ lives for the better. Located in Atlanta, Mercer University’s Second Degree Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track provides a full-time, comprehensive nursing curriculum that can be completed in as few as 12 months.

Once you enter the nursing field and become familiar with the day-to-day responsibilities of a nurse, you will discover that time management for nurses is one of the most important acquired skills after clinical knowledge and experience. Read on as we explore 10 tips to help you hone the skill of time management in nursing. Use these strategies to improve your efficiency and stay ahead as you prepare to enter the field.

1: Prepare in Advance

A nursing shift can be dynamic, with no two days being exactly alike. Your work station may look differently on any given day, so being prepared can help you be more efficient. Take a few minutes at the beginning of your shift to gather items like scissors, gauze, saline, and pens.

2: Prioritize

To an extent, nursing time management often requires prioritization of all the tasks and information you receive throughout the day. Prioritization at the beginning of your shift can help ensure that all vital tasks like administering medication to patients are completed while other less pressing needs like routine organizational duties can potentially wait until the end of a shift. With the right set of priorities, you can maximize the time you spend on your most important patient-facing responsibilities.

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3: Maintain a Good Relationship With Coworkers

Your relationships with coworkers is important in maintaining a positive work environment, and it could also influence time management and efficiency. Creating a trusting, productive, and collaborative environment can help you and your coworkers remain on top of tasks. Just like how fellow cohort members help one another with studying and other nursing school tasks, coworkers can step up to help one another. When effort and favors are reciprocal, you can accomplish more by working together.

4: Research Upcoming Rule or Policy Changes

As a nurse, it is important to be informed on the latest developments in the industry and the specific rules and policies for the organizations where you work. Being aware of any shifts in policy can help you avoid miscommunications or efforts following outdated rules.

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5: Cluster Care

As a nurse, your assorted responsibilities may require you to complete tasks over your assigned floor. With distance to cover during your daily duties, clustering activities together based on location may be helpful to work efficiently. This streamlined approach reduces the number of times you need to travel to the other side of your floor for a single item or task. By practicing cluster care, you can continue to increase efficiency and refine how you prioritize your workflow.

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6: Practice Creates Efficiency

The more you practice something, the more efficient you will become. If you are just beginning in the nursing field, you may feel off-pace compared to more seasoned coworkers. With time, you will find that the day-to-day routine becomes more manageable with more practice.

7: Prioritize Communication

Communication is key to providing quality patient care, especially in a clinical setting. Nurses often serve as the intermediaries who communicate with the patient and with each member of the patient care team. Staying in communication with the relevant individuals and holding them accountable to communicating with you can ensure that miscommunications are minimized and that there are fewer unnecessary or redundant steps in a given patient’s care experience.

8: Take Breaks

It might seem counterintuitive to suggest that breaks increase efficiency, but breaks can be invaluable opportunities to physically rest and mentally reset. Pushing through without rest in the hopes of getting more done could lead to a sense of being overwhelmed or overworked. By prioritizing your breaks, you take care of yourself first and foremost. The better you treat yourself, the easier it becomes to take a step back and mentally evaluate your workload without feeling overwhelmed.

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9: Stay Organized

As a recurring theme when it comes to time management in nursing, organization will be one of the leading factors in efficiency. When you get a moment, take a few minutes to stay on top of clerical tasks, gather additional supplies for your station, and run through a list of responsibilities either mentally or on paper. Staying organized will help you stay on track throughout the day.

10: Avoid Overcommitting

Finally, avoid overcommitting yourself. Nursing is a demanding profession, and everyone is doing their best to prioritize care for patients. You may be thinking about pursuing the profession because you are naturally caring and empathetic toward others, and it is important to remember that there is only so much that you as an individual can accomplish in a given day. Know what your limits are, and if you have many tasks or responsibilities that you cannot successfully accomplish, discuss these concerns with management and focus on what you can achieve to provide patient-centered care.

Pursue Your Nursing Dream Today

Implementing tips for nursing time management as an ABSN student or as a practicing nurse is key for success in the profession. Mercer’s ABSN track equips students to become nurses on an accelerated timeline, so you can become a nurse and positively impact the lives of others sooner. If you are interested in earning an accelerated BSN degree, contact a Mercer ABSN admissions counselor today to learn more and begin the process of preparing your application.