Your yearly review is not always the best time for a work performance upgrade. Continually improve your work performance to attain bigger goals and become a better nurse. The tips provided below will help improve your overall work performance as a nurse, as well as a leader in your department.
Top Work Performance Tips for Nurses
1. Look into the Future – Set some professional goals. Start with one year from now, where the target could merely be to perfect your skills on the unit. Then, think about three years from now – maybe you can get certified in your field of work. Now, think about five years into the future, would you want to be in a managerial role? Setting both short-term and long-term goals can help you work towards “big-picture” goals in smalls steps.
2. Build Upon Your Weaknesses – Hands-on clinical skills are taught in nursing school and built upon after graduation. Some areas of nursing use specific skills more than other areas. Seek out opportunities, even if you are scared to build up your weak areas. You will feel better as a nurse, and when someone needs help next time, it will be fresh in your brain.
3. Join Committees – Joining a committee can improve work performance because it broadens your background as a nurse. If you’re on an ethics committee, for example, you will get an insider’s view at how ethical situations play a role in patient care.
4. Know Your Limitations – Gaining an understanding of your limits is sometimes accomplished when you’re drowning in work. Try not to take on too much to be a “super nurse.” It’s okay to set boundaries on your work and to say no sometimes.
5. Boost Your Self-Esteem – Boosting your self-esteem can impact the way you work. Jazz up your scrubs with a new pin, get a massage or buy a new pair of shoes to make yourself feel better.
6. Exercise before work – Next time you work, take a 15-minute brisk walk before you start your day. It will boost your work performance because you can concentrate better and focus on your tasks.
7. Make a List – When you are at work, take a few minutes before you assess your patients to prioritize your assignments. Try using a task list and prioritizing as nursing school taught you.
8. Avoid Distractions – If you can, hide at work. As a charge nurse, I have to go into hiding. Constant little distractions or interruptions every time I step out of a room, can ruin my daily workflow. I find an empty patient room and hide in it to complete my documentation. Once I’m back on the unit, I can quickly tend to requests from other nurses and doctors.
9. Finish What You Start – If there is one thing I tell my new nurses that I train it’s, “chart as you go.” I work in labor and delivery, which often acts as an ER. It is always changing in pace, making it critical to keep up with documentation in real-time.
10. Learn Something New Each Day – Always learn something new. When evaluation time comes, create goals to achieve for the next year. I had a doctor once tell me, “if you’re not learning, it’s time to move on.” He was right. I am always striving to learn new things in my current role.
Don’t wait until your yearly evaluation to know what you should do to enhance work performance as a nurse. Adapt some of these tips the next time you work, and you will see your work performance improve.
Janine Kelbach, RNC-OB is a freelance writer and owner of WriteRN.net.