02.02 Time Management

Join NURSING.com to watch the full lesson now.

Included In This Lesson

Study Tools



  1. Time management
    1. Importance
    2. 3 P’s
    3. Tips for success

Nursing Points


  1. Importance of time management
    1. Time constraints
    2. Patient safety
    3. Job satisfaction
  2. How to manage time as a nurse (3 P’s)
    1. Plan
      1. Beginning of shift
      2. Write down
      3. Edit as needed
    2. Prioritize
      1. Patient safety
      2. Patient acuity
      3. Pain management
      4. Schedules
      5. Convenience
    3. Prepare
      1. Complete urgent tasks first
      2. Be ready for more work
  3. Tips for success
    1. Get to work early
      1. Gather supplies
      2. Prepare report sheet
    2. Stay organized
      1. Write plans on report sheet
      2. Check off completed tasks
    3. Be flexible
      1. Expect the unexpected
      2. Add to plan
    4. Take breaks
    5. Stop and think
      1. Quiet area
      2. Review plan and edit
    6. Delegate
      1. When overwhelmed
      2. Utilize nurse assistant (when appropriate)

Nursing Concepts

  1. Patient-centered care
    1. Managing time and planning based on what the patients need
  2. Prioritization
    1. Prioritizing based on most vs least emergent
  3. Safety
    1. Managing time efficiently to ensure patient safety


Hey guys! Let’s discuss how you can be successful with time management in nursing. 

First let’s talk about why time management is so important in nursing. First and most obvious, in nursing, we have time constraints! We have meds to give at certain times, procedures planned, and only however many hours hour shift is to get everything done! Next, managing your time properly will improve the safety of your patients. Getting work done efficiently and on time will ensure that you are available for those unexpected events. Lastly, managing your time effectively will help you to feel satisfied with your job. Nobody enjoys feeling like they are in a whirlwind of tasks that never ends. Next, let’s explore how to manage your time.

So how in the world can we manage our time as a nurse successfully? I want you to remember the 3 P’s: plan, prioritize, and prepare. At the beginning of the shift, make a general plan of what you need to do. Prioritize the order of the plan based on patient acuity, pain, schedules, and what is convenient for you to save time and energy. Prepare for anything to happen. Get the important things out of the way for those unexpected events. Examples are discharges, admissions, new orders, and emergent situations. Next, I am going to give you tips for success. 

Guys, these tips will help you in your decision making throughout the shift. First, maybe you want to get to work a little early so you don’t feel rushed after getting the report. I did this for the entire first year as a nurse to help me prepare for my shift. Stay organized by using your report sheet. You can make lists to help guide you through the shift. I still like to write my medication times down and cross them off as I complete them. Be flexible. Things can and WILL come up, so always expect the unexpected. Please, please, please, take your breaks! You need that time to decompress, especially in those really busy days. You may feel like you don’t have time, but seriously just make sure the emergent things are taken care of and take 10 or 15 minutes to relax and eat. Overwhelmed? Stop and think about what you can do to get through the rest of your shift. Go somewhere quiet where you won’t be interrupted. Lastly, delegate when necessary. There is a reason for the nursing aides, so use them! And no, I don’t mean make them do everything for you. If you are already in the room and the patient needs to use the bathroom, take them. If you have another room you need to go to right away, call for someone to take over! This will save everyone time, and increase the patient’s satisfaction as well. 

Okay guys, let’s review the key points on time management. Time management is super important in nursing because you will have time constraints, you want to keep your patients safe, and you want to feel organized to help increase your satisfaction with your job. You can help manage your time with the 3 P’s: plan your shift, prioritize your plans, and prepare for anything to come up.  Follow the tips for success like staying organized and flexible. Make time for a break, you can, and you need to so you may refresh your mind. When you’re overwhelmed, you should stop and think somewhere quietly about what you can do to lessen the stress and get your tasks done efficiently. Lastly, delegate to the assistants when necessary. 

Now go out and be your best self today, and as always, happy nursing!