10 Tips for Success in Clinical

group of nurses posing

Each session a new group of student nurses begins their first clinical rotation. Beginning clinical is an exciting time for several reasons: it indicates that students have completed their first set of nursing courses, went through their Transition to Care ceremony and are now ready to begin gaining real life, hands-on experience in a clinical setting.

While exciting, this can also be a little nerve-racking, so to help you prepare for your first clinical rotation, we asked our Facebook fans to share their tips for success. Here’s 10 tips to help nursing students like you be successful in clinical:

  1. Look for opportunities to practice skills and always ask questions. – Molly Weigle
  2. Learn from everyone you encounter. The techs [and] CNAs know a lot [about] caring for patients. They are often with the patients more than the nurse. They taught me so much about tips and tricks for turning patients and tons of other helpful hints. Remember that you are there to learn and help. – Blaine Holloway Reeser
  3. Meet each patient with an open mind, for all patients come from different backgrounds and experiences that we can learn from. – James Goodrich
  4. Treat every clinical as a job and open your mind to learning! Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't get caught up in other people's negativity! – Carol Baumann Bishop
  5. Be committed, plan time wisely and take time for self-care. – Jason Holland
  6. Be on time; have your necessities of paper/spiral book, two pens, stethoscope and anything else didactic has told you; learn and don't judge, [but] ask questions; [and] work with the clinical instructor, not against [them]. They are there to teach. – Mary W. Studious
  7. Face your fears and do the skills. Be the first to volunteer to do something [and] keep trying until you get it right! – Connie Kay
  8. Show up early, know your patients really well, carry a note pad and take notes on everything, listen to your instructor, learn to give a good SBAR report, TEAMWORK, ask questions whenever you can, learn from your mistakes (because you will make many) and be prepared. – Amanda Skelton
  9. Prepare yourself for whatever rotation you are doing: DO not be afraid to ask questions pertinent to your patient or whatever situation you are dealing with, that is the process of learning. – Marsha Biery Skamel
  10. Show up with enthusiasm. Attitude is everything! – Sarah Goff

For more tips, visit the Chamberlain College of Nursing Facebook Page. Do you have additional advice for students that are starting clinical? Share them in the comments below!

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