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Time Management for Nurses

time management for nurses

Time management for nurses is an important skill for all nurses, nursing students, as well as many other individuals.

Why is time management for nurses so important?

Nurses lead a very hectic schedule and you will usually care for multiple patients during your shift. 

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Patient care may include:

  • administering medications, both scheduled and as needed (prn) (Note: Remember the 5 rights of medication administration)
  • admitting a new patient or discharging a patient
  • nursing assessments
  • nursing documentation
  • writing a nursing care plan
  • other tasks such as dressing changes, answering call bells, listening to and contributing in physician and nurse practioner rounds, obtaining and processing physician or nurse practitioner orders, patient and family teaching, and a variety of other nursing interventions

Time management for students

Nursing students
will provide patient care, as well as complete a variety of assigments. As a nursing student, time management skills are extremely important.

It is important to manage your time from the beginning of your day as you never know when a patient's status may change. Leaving all of your nursing documentation until later in the day can lead to a mad rush at the end of your shift.

Learning time management for nurses as a student will help you later on in your nursing career. These same time management skills are important for your study habits. Time management skills can play a significant part in students completing assignments on time, grades, getting enough sleep, and having free time which we all need. Find a happy balance now and help avoid nurse burnout.

Tips: Time management for nurses

General time management skills are important for everyone. Whether you work fulltime or part time, in your home or outside the home, are a student, or a stay at home parent, you will need to know how to manage your time.

When it comes to maintaining your home, from cleaning to paying bills, to grocery shopping and cooking, the Fly Lady has great tips to help. As a working mother, wife, and nursing student I have not applied all of the fly lady techniques, but what I have used has been helpful. Having a schedule (even if you have to change it up a bit now and then) can help keep you on track. Sign up for the fly lady's email reminders and tips as well.

One thing that I have found very helpful is planning out my meals for the week on sunday mornings. We try not to do a large shopping trip each week, but going on sunday for fresh bread, vegetables and anything we need for meals for the week is a time saver later. I also find we eat out a lot less when I do this. Which is both a time saver and a money saver..  and of course healthier if I cook the right foods!

I have now started preparing our meals once per month and freezing them to use thoughout the month. I have now done this twice and it seems to work out well. This has also helped to decrease eating out and has decreased the fuss after work. The first month I prepared almost everything in foil containers so it still took 30-60 minutes to cook but there was less dishes and a lot less prep time. The few that I made for the microwave worked out well so this month I made everything in vacuum bags with the plan to microwave most dinners. I have been researching various recipes and plans from others that use make ahead freezer meals and will share what I find works soon.


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