8 Ways to Become a Better Nurse

Guest Phil Baumann shares some great advice on how to be nurses can improve their care.

This is a guest post written by Phil Baumann originally posted on his website and posted here with is permission

One of the benefits of being away from bedside nursing is that I’ve had time to reflect on my own performance. How could I have been better? What simple precepts would have helped? Being out of the “fog of war” has given me a clearer view of what’s right and what’s wrong in health care. Our culture doesn’t offer much positive encouragement for the nursing profession. That’s a costly shame, as many Baby Boomers soon will discover. To help out, I’ve come up with eight ways to become a better nurse.

  1. Pay attention to how you perceive your patients
  2. Intend nothing but the best for your patients
  3. Speak the truth in a way that echoes your wisdom, not your darkness
  4. Act on the facts but respect your intuition
  5. Live your life as a connection to something greater than yourself
  6. Work through your hardest times, not against them
  7. Mind your mind: its power to destroy is its power to heal
  8. Focus on the moment, not the past
  9. Some of us are cut for bedside nursing, some of us aren’t. I think if you’re in bedside nursing and enjoy what you do then you’re a Jedi Knight who commands more respect than you probably receive.

For those of you who don’t quite enjoy what you do, think about your reasons for what you do. Consider the eight precepts (or make up your own) and see if anything changes for the better. You have more options than you realize.

Feel free to add your own suggestions for becoming a better nurse. If I get to 101, I’ll post your thoughts here and promote the living shit out of the list.

I hope the list I’m offering here helps you to become a better nurse, a better person, a better part of our quickly-changing world.

7 Responses to “8 Ways to Become a Better Nurse”

  1. Carolyn Newstrom, RN
    April 29, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    Great list, Phil!
    I would add one more:
    10. Take time to assess, listen, and verify before advising, teaching, or judging.

  2. Ronnie Nino Caloyloy
    May 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    Hey Rob,

    That's quite an amazing article (respects to the original source). I especially like the points about intuition, adversity (working through the hardest times) and “minding your mind”. I consider bedside nursing as being a soldier in the front lines, but thanks to this article I guess I'm a Jedi Knight! :P

    Ronnie Nino Caloyloy

  3. rdjfraser
    May 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    Hi Ronnie,

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. Phil is a great guy who is working hard at his writing and sharing ideas. I was so happy he let me share this post, and even happier to hear you enjoyed it.

  4. Ronnie Nino Caloyloy
    May 9, 2010 at 3:47 am #

    Well that said, how are you doing Rob? It's been almost a year. I think someone's been featured in an article lately ;)

  5. laptop battery
    August 26, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    I’m looking forward to a follow up interview when the study is done!

  6. Smiley Scrubs
    February 9, 2013 at 1:42 am #

    Great article. The website divergingpath[dot]com has lots of other recommendations for nurses.

  7. Sam
    October 30, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    Interesting perspective. I think this definitely can be applied to other areas of life including personal life. I think #8 says it all. Life is too short to dwell on the past.

Leave a Reply

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private.