The Dos and Don’ts of Nursing
As you probably already know, there are certain things that can cost you your nursing license. There are many dos and don’ts within the nursing field, but sometimes the difference between do and don’t is not always black and white.
To help you navigate your way through the dos and don’ts of nursing, we’ve complied a list of things you shouldn’t do, things you should do and things you might think fall somewhere in between.
If you don’t want to lose your license, avoid these.
Here is a quick list of things you should definitely avoid doing if you plan on keeping your nursing career:
- Taking pictures of patients
- Using drugs on the job
- Falsifying patient records
- Acting unprofessional
- Using a false license1
What you can and should be doing.
The number one thing a nurse should be doing is communicating effectively. Communication is key to make sure your workday goes smoothly. Effective communication helps foster understanding between you and your patients as well as between you and your coworkers.
Nursing Times says, “as a rule, nurses are excellent communicators. They have to be, since so much of our work revolves around educating, explaining, advising and comforting.”2
Other things nurses should be doing include:
- Asking questions
- Admitting mistakes when made
- Keeping up with charts and tasks
- Taking breaks when needed
- Being on time
- Being assertive
- Extending a helping hand to colleagues
- Investing in continuing education
- Being open to suggestions3
Sometimes the line between do and don’t gets blurry.
Let’s face it – sometimes it’s hard to tell whether or not you should be doing something. One of the key instances of this is whistleblowing.
A whistleblower is someone who reports misconduct in his or her workplace. One of the main reasons people are afraid to report misconduct is that they are afraid that reporting employers and colleagues would fall under the category of workplace don’ts. They are afraid whistleblowing can lead to loss of their job.
On the contrary, there are laws in place to protect whistleblowers. According to the National Whistleblowers Center, “the underlying purpose of whistleblower protection laws is to allow employees to stop, report, or testify about employer actions that are illegal, unhealthy, or violate specific public policies.”4
While there are some clear-cut dos and don’ts as a nurse, sometimes things can get confusing. Remember that reporting workplace misconduct definitely counts as a do.
If you notice misconduct in your workplace, don’t be afraid to report it. Your job will be protected.
Where You Can Find Out More?
If you are aware of potential illegal activity or health care fraud, we recommend speaking with a whistleblower advocate. This is a person who has been through the process of personally “blowing the whistle” and can share their experience with you, while providing some assistance as to where to go next to get help.
To determine if there is potential fraudulent activity in your workplace, visit WhistleblowerJustice.net and complete the form to have a whistleblower advocate discuss what you know privately. Your conversation is 100% confidential.