What do Nurses do on a Daily Basis?


What do Nurses do on a daily basis?  That depends a lot on his or her specialty and place of employment.  However, there are some general tasks that all nurses will do on almost all of their shifts.  These are basic nursing duties that fall within the nursing scope of practice.  All of these tasks are done to promote wellness and healing for all patients.


Select a nursing specialty below, to get a more specific idea of what each Nurse does day-to-day.

What do Nurses do on a daily basis?

Here are some general tasks that many Nurses preform each day

What Are the Basic Hygiene Duties?

Nurses must ensure that all patients are bathed and changed every day.  This involves oral care, sponge bathing, cleaning and grooming hair and helping the patient to change his or her clothing.  Patients who are experiencing incontinence will require hygiene care several times per day to help maintain skin integrity and morale.  If a patient can provide his or her own hygiene care, this should be encouraged.  This keeps patients active and involved in their care.  Nurses should also make sure that the bed is changed each day and that all dirty laundry and trash is removed from the room.


What Are the Basic Medication Duties?

Patient medications are administered at specific times throughout the day.  All patients will require different medications at different times.  The nurse must coordinate and prioritize this care.  Some medications must be administered at specific times to maintain drug levels in the body.  Other medications are given at a certain time, such as 8:00pm, and must be administered within 30 minutes of this time.  The nurse should read the drug order completely to ensure proper administration.  Your facility will dictate exactly how all medications should be given.


What is a Nursing Care Plan?

A nursing care plan develops a plan of care for the patient based on the nursing process.  All things involved in the care plan is carried out solely by nurses, as all elements fall within the nursing scope of practice.  Your care plan should include your assessment, at least one NANDA-approved nursing diagnosis, nursing interventions, expected outcomes and associated evaluations to determine if the outcomes have been met.  How you write these will be determined by your facility.


Are Nurses Involved in the Diagnostic Process?

Nurses do participate in the diagnostic process by helping to collect data.  Nurses will complete head-to-toe assessments, as well as targeted assessments, on all patients at least once per shift.  Every time a nurse comes into contact with a patient, he or she will be assessing the patient.  All of the assessment data is put into the patient’s chart.  Nurses will also pull vital signs as prescribed during every shift.  Blood work, urinalysis, culture collection and other things necessary to diagnosis and monitoring the patient’s condition are also often collected by nurses.


Are There Any Other Duties That Nurses Do on a Daily Basis?

Throughout the shift, nurses will complete many other duties as they provide patient care.  These include:


  • Record and document all necessary information
  • Communicate with peers, subordinates, supervisors and other members of the healthcare team
  • Research
  • Follow all legal and facility standards
  • Teach patients
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Inspect equipment and other materials before use
  • Maintain patient confidentiality



Mayo Clinic: Registered Nurses

Medical News Today: What is Nursing? What Does a Nurse Do?

DELMAR CENGAGE Learning: Outcome Identification and Planning

National Center for Biotechnology Information: Documentation and the Nurse Care Planning Process







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