8 Challenges as a Nurse and Tips for Overcoming Them

Here are some of the challenges nurses face in their profession:
  • Long shifts. Nurses often work 10- or 12-hour shifts. …
  • Changing schedules. …
  • Emotional involvement. …
  • Physical demands. …
  • Exposure to illness and chemicals. …
  • Lack of nurses. …
  • Changing technology. …
  • Poor treatment from patients.

3 Nursing Challenges & How To Overcome Them

8 nurse challenges

Here are some difficulties that nurses encounter in their line of work:

1. Long shifts

Nurses often work 10- or 12-hour shifts. These shifts frequently end up being even longer once all the necessary administrative tasks and shift change procedures have been completed. Burnout may result from working such long hours because it can be physically and mentally taxing.

Get enough rest when not working to help prevent burnout and maintain energy throughout a shift. To spend more time relaxing and recharging between shifts, ask family or friends to assist you with personal tasks.

2. Changing schedules

Since nurses’ shifts frequently change from week to week, it can be challenging to get used to the schedule. For example, a nurse may work 7 a. m. to 7 p. m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday one week and 7 p. m. to 7 a. m. the following Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Scheduling changes frequently can disrupt sleep patterns, so it’s important to get as much rest as you can in between shifts.

When taking a long vacation, try to plan personal appointments and other obligations. You can also inform your family and friends that you will be working difficult shifts for several weeks so they won’t have high expectations of you.

3. Emotional involvement

The work that nurses do is personal and meaningful. Nurses, unlike many other professions, develop emotional attachments to their patients’ lives and outcomes, which can be a heavy burden to bear over a long period of time.

Finding a reliable support network to talk to about your feelings and emotions is important for nurses. After a challenging shift or after being involved in a traumatic case, you need to express your emotions. To process your experiences and find healthy ways to deal with your emotions, you can get in touch with close friends, family members, and counselors.

4. Physical demands

During their shifts, nurses are frequently required to carry out physically taxing tasks like:

Regular body stress like this can harm the body. Follow safe lifting procedures at all times, and if necessary, seek assistance. Regular exercise will help you stay strong, resilient, and flexible, which will make it simpler for your body to handle physical tasks.

5. Exposure to illness and chemicals

Nurses are exposed to more bacteria and viruses than the average person because they care for sick patients. This can increase their likelihood of contracting an illness. Additionally, nurses use potentially harmful cleaning and sanitizing chemicals, which can be risky for their health.

When handling patients and hazardous materials, nurses should always adhere to safety protocols, which include:

6. Lack of nurses

Nurses may experience more mandatory overtime because of inadequate staffing. Nurses may be required to work longer hours or additional shifts in hospitals and other medical facilities when there aren’t enough patient care professionals available for a shift.

Examine the scheduling and overtime policies of the companies you are interviewing with in order to prevent burnout. Ask the nurses who work there about their schedules for working overtime. Additionally, look for nursing jobs in settings with more conventional hours, like private clinics or executive positions.

7. Changing technology

Because of technological advancements in healthcare, nurses may need to frequently learn new software and programs. For professionals who aren’t familiar with technology, learning new systems can be difficult, especially when added to an already demanding job.

Make sure to attend training sessions and, if necessary, request additional training to help you feel at ease using new technology. As you gain understanding and confidence using the programs on your own, ask questions.

8. Poor treatment from patients

While trying to provide care, nurses may encounter unfavorable treatment from patients or patients’ loved ones. These actions—whether physical or verbal—can have a negative impact on a nurse’s workplace. Patients may not respond well to you due to misunderstandings, the effects of drugs or alcohol, or mental health issues.

You should always notify your supervisor right away if someone is acting dangerously or threateningly. Depending on how serious the situation is, you may also want to contact law enforcement or the security team at your facility.

What are nurse challenges?

Nurse challenges are challenging circumstances, events, or expectations that frequently arise in the nursing profession. These difficulties range from experiences that are physical, emotional, and mental as a result of the unique demands of working as a nurse.

Tips for overcoming nursing challenges

Here are a few strategies for dealing with typical problems that nurses encounter:


What is the most challenging aspect of being a nurse?

7 hardest parts of nursing
  • Losing patients. …
  • Being judged for their career choice. …
  • Working long hours. …
  • Experiencing physical/verbal abuse. …
  • Navigating hospital politics. …
  • Using outdated or time-consuming technology. …
  • Feeling pressure to know everything.

What are the major challenges that nurses face in today’s time?

You might have guessed that today’s nurses frequently deal with issues like a lack of flexibility, feeling ignored by management, and being overworked and understaffed. However, other issues also influence the approaches required to enhance nurse support and increase retention.

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