Nursing Work/Life Balance

by | Jul 6, 2017 | Podcasts, New Nurse, Time Management | 0 comments

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This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, PlayerFM, iHeartRadio, Libsyn, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

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Who You’ll Hear

Kati Kleber, MSN RN – Nurse educator, former cardiac med-surg/stepdown and neurocritical care nurse, author, speaker

Elizabeth Mills, BSN RN CCRN – Highly experienced neurocritical care nurse, current Stroke Navigator for a Primary Stroke Center

Looking to prepare for your first nursing job?

New Nurse Masterclass

The FreshRN® New Nurse Master Class is the first-ever self-guided holistic nurse residency program. This comprehensive program was specifically created for the ambitious newly licensed acute care nurses who want to get ahead of them and build both their confidence and their clinical skills - all while learning how to adjust to the unique lifestyle of a nurse.

Start Now

What You’ll Learn

  • Being Prepared
  • Communication
  • Advocating for yourself
  • Giving grace
“Putting the wants of yourself over the needs of others is selfish.
“Putting the needs of yourself over the wants of others is self-care”

Be practically prepared

  • Do laundry ahead of time
  • Plan meals, or at least your meals and snacks for work
  • Set out what you need to so that you’re not frantically searching for things right before leaving – starting a shift frazzled is too much stress
  • Have a back-up set of scrubs at work
  • Prioritize sleep + Eat well + Exercise
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment (good sheets, supportive mattress, dark room)
  • You must take extra time and care to get quality sleep before 12 hour shifts – go to bed when you need to, even if it’s early
  • Don’t mistake exhaustion as something to be proud of – it’s not! “Ugh I only got 2 hours of sleep last night…”
  • You can easily make a mistake if you are not well-rested – your mental clarity will be compromised if you are sleep-deprived. Seriously.
  • Set yourself up for success for eating well


  • Essential to communicate expectations to those with whom you share life
  • Easy to get frustrated when someone fails to meet unsaid expectations
  • Even really good communicators mess up and miscommunicate
  • Share the work so you’re not in a constant state of being overwhelmed, meeting the wants of others before the needs of yourself
  • Be quick to forgive and slow to anger

Advocate for yourself

  • No one will do this for you – you must do this for yourself
  • You may need to tell people no, which is challenging for people-pleasers
    • As nurses, we live our lives to care for others so it can be challenging for us to advocate for ourselves sometimes
  • You may get called for overtime or to come in and help on your day off, but know your limits and don’t be afraid to say no
  • Think about sustainability
  • Know when to say no, know when to say yes

Give yourself some grace

  • Transitioning from nursing school to bedside nurse is challenging mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually
  • You are learning a large amount of new information quickly, want to make a good impression, and your body is adjusting to shift work
  • At the beginning, work will be more exhausting because you are unable to quickly do things independently
  • You can’t chart, start an IV, hang meds, draw labs, bathe a patient, round with an MD, etc. all quickly like your experienced coworkers can
  • Don’t compare yourself to them as you’re learning – they are experienced and can do many things fluidly. It’s frustrating when it takes forever to do simple things but it will get easier. You will get faster.
  • Being disciplined early in your career will make it easier in the long run; you won’t have to break yourself of bad habits
  • Have people around you who support you that you can go to when you need to process work situations


Picture of Kati Kleber, founder of FRESHRN

Hi, I’m Kati.

Kati Kleber, MSN RN is a nurse educator, author, national speaker, host of the FreshRN® Podcast, and owner of FreshRN® – an online platform created to educate, encourage, and motivate newly licensed nurses in innovative ways.

Connect with her on YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, and sign-up for her free email newsletter for new nurses.


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