Nursing & Healthcare Directories on: The Nursefriendly
A Typical Nurses Day On The Floors

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A Day in the Life, The Princeton Review:"Nurses help prevent disease and injury and care for the sick and injured, but within these parameters, there are no limits to what the job can entail. “Nursing offers you the opportunity to do a million different things, in a million different places,” as one survey respondent put it. Nurses work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, schools, corporations, and sometimes even in businesses of their own. While there are many different areas of specialization, some individuals are general nurses, who assist doctors by performing a variety of tasks as needs arise, and will often have secretarial duties as well if they work in HMOs or private offices. More specialized nurses include surgical nurses, who ensure the sterility of instruments and assist doctors during surgery; obstetric-gynecological nurses, who help to deliver babies; neonatal nurses, who care for newborns and teach new mothers how to feed their babies; nurse anesthetists, who work with anesthesiologists to provide proper sedation for patients; or psychiatric nurses, who care for patients with mental or emotional disorders."
The Princeton Review
2315 Broadway
New York, 10024
Tel: (212) 874-8282
Fax: (212) 874-0775
http://www.princetonreview.com/cte/profiles/dayInLife.asp?careerID=100

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The Travel Nurse, Day in the Life of a Traveling Nurse By Jesse Kesler:"This site is designed to give you the facts about being a travel nurse. What the requirements are, what characteristics are needed, benefits , and what to expect from your experience. You will also find a page describing the different types of travel nurse jobs that exist. Of course, its also a site about nurses and nursing so if I digress occasionally into nursing but I don't travel I hope you bear with me."
Alphatraveler AKA Jesse Kesler RN, MSN
P.O. Box 340582
San Antonio TX 78234
http://www.the-travel-nurse.com/travel-nurse-links.html

Certified Nursing Assistants, Typical Workday:"This, is a typical workday schedule of Duties, for 6-2 shifts in a Nursing Home Environment. SCENARIO is 2 Nursing Assistants, Floor has 20 people, each CNA has about 10 each of residents."
http://members.tripod.com/~CNA_MUNCHKIN/shari2doc3.htm

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A Shift in the Life — The Ongoing Story of a Critical Care Nurse "The Dead Horse" -- Part 1 — by Matthew Nathan Castens, RN, Coolnurse.com:"One of my least favorite jobs in nursing is working as charge nurse. As charge nurse for the shift, I have to know quite a bit about each patient as I act as a resource for all of the staff. This is the part I like. The part I don't like is working with the staffing office and supervisor to arrange for any admissions and finding the nurses to staff the next shift. Unfortunately, this is most of the job of charge nurse."
http://web.archive.org/web/20090106165824/http://www.coolnurse.com//icu2.htm

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Related:

What I Do At Work from Laura Robusto, BSN, RN:"Part 1. A Day in the Life of a Bedside Nurse - The Start of the Shift. I receive many questions about what it is like to be a nurse. I'd like to describe my day for you so that you can see for yourself what the duties of a typical bedside nurse are. I work on a floor that takes care of patients who have had cardiac surgery, typically coronary artery bypass grafts or valve repairs/replacements. These patients usually are one to two days post-op, and have been transferred up to us from the cardiac intensive care unit, where they went after their surgery. If all goes well, they will stay on our floor until they are discharged to home. All of our patients are on cardiac monitoring, called telemetry, so that we can see their heart rhythm at all times. Typical shifts for a nurse are "days", 7:00 am to 3:30 PM, "evenings", 3:00 PM to 11:30 PM, "nights", 11:00 PM to 7:30 AM, twelve hour day shifts, 7:00 AM to 7:30 PM, or twelve hour night shifts, 7:00 PM to 7:30 AM.
http://www.jimfred.com/nursing/related_articles/what_i_do_at_work.html

This Link is located on our A Typical Nurses Day On The Floors section http://www.nursefriendly.com/typical/

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On this page, you can follow Andrew Lopez, a Registered Nurse through a typical shift and get a feel for what Nurses deal with each day on the job. It's a work in progress and we'll be continually adding to it. You may want to bookmark this page or print it out for future reference. Its a living document and I'll be adding new links to it daily to weekly. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


Being a nurse in either a hospital or nursing home these days can be extremely stressful. If you're a patient, family member or even another nurse please keep this in mind.

Once you've gotten to work, the most important concern immediately should be staffing.

We are in a Nursing Shortage that is expected to reach it's peak, in 2007. Nursing School Enrollments are down, meaning less nurses are entering the field to replace those that are leaving.

Referral and sign-on bonuses are up (bonuses are last ditch efforts by hospitals to staff their floors).

In a strong economy, nurses often cut back on the number of hours they are working or quit completely. With our economy faltering at the moment, some nurses may choose to stay in the field a bit longer.

At the same time, nurses are retiring with the average age of a practicing nurse at 45 years old.

It means the nurses left on the floors will need to pick up the slack for those that are leaving or those that call out. As nurses are asked to more in less time, burnout happens more frequently and the number and frequency of nurses calling out increases.


The following are the typical happenings of a day on the floors, if you're considering going into nursing, you'll find this quite enlightening. The order can change depending the nurse's own style and hospital policies and depending on how many patients may crash in a shift. In a hospital, anything can happen and no schedules are written in stone.

With HMOs (managed care organizations) and health insurance companies pushing people out the door faster and faster these days, the acuity of patients (and the time they require from the nurse) is greater.

1. Shift Report: Keep this in mind when taking your shift report. This is the once chance you'll have to learn what you'll need to know about your patients before you take responsibility for them.

2. Initial Assessments: Neurological, Respiratory, Circulatory/Cardiac, Gastrointestional (GI), Genitourinary. Initially you'll typically only be able to do a quick assessment before you have to start passing meds, be sure the patient is alert and breathing and not in any acute distress.

3. Passing Medications:

4. Full Assessments:

5. Woundcare, Dressing Changes, Treatments;

6. Charting & Documentation: At best, you'll be able to at least start your charting during the shift during "quiet moments." On some days, it get's done well after the end of shift and report has been given.



See also:

Diary of the Certified Nurse Assistant, A day in the life of:"This is where YOU should begin a daily diary of your day, whether good or bad, once you create a diary of your feelings you will notice alot about the LTC, the residents, the co workers, your own self worth and what may lie in the feelings of others you work with."
http://members.tripod.com/~CNA_MUNCHKIN/shari4.htm

Related Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) section: http://www.nursefriendly.com/cna/

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Last updated by Andrew Lopez, RN on Monday, November 14, 2016


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