Eating snacks like apples may help nurse practitioners stay fueled on the job.

Stay fueled in nurse practitioner jobs

Those in nurse practitioner jobs know better than anyone how important it is to stay alert at work. As the American Association of Nurse Practitioners highlighted, NPs counsel and educate patients, order and perform tests, make diagnoses, create treatment plans and prescribe medication, among other duties. With so many responsibilities, it's vital for NPs to fuel their minds and bodies to provide optimal care for patients. Here are just a few strategies NPs can employ to get that energy boost:

Drink plenty of water during nurse practitioner jobs
If you start to feel drowsy as your write a script or interpret test results, reach for a glass of water. Consuming fluids throughout your shift ensures you stay alert and focused. It also helps lubricate the joints and alleviate aches, which is ideal for NPs who are on their feet all day.

Even if you can't carry a water bottle with you wherever you go, be sure to keep one nearby. Opting for a bottle makes it easier to track how hydrated you are, which is important for healthcare workers who are constantly on the move and may forget to fuel their bodies.

Eat frequently
As a nurse practitioner, you probably already know that eating several light meals is better for your health, weight and energy than sitting for a few large ones. As research in the Medical Journal of Australia pointed out, healthy meals and snacks help with cognitive function, giving your brain the boost it needs to stay focused at work. Plus, snacks are easier to consume on the job – you can eat them while you walk!

Choose the right foods
As noted, nutrition plays a big role in how effective those small meals are. Opt for snacks that are healthy and deliver an energy boost to stay fueled during your shift. Reader's Digest listed nuts, dark chocolate and fruits as ideal for this purpose. Not only will these put the pep back in your step, but you can easily grab a handful of cashews or eat an apple within a few minutes (which may be all the time you have to spare).

Take a nap
For those in nurse practitioner jobs, you might be wondering when you'll have time to use the bathroom let alone nap. Fortunately, it only takes a few minutes to get the shut eye required for an energy boost. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a 20-30 minute emergency nap should be enough to alleviate grogginess and improve performance and focus.

Make friends with other nurse practitioners
Healthcare workers understand the value of positive relationships with co-workers. Colleagues lift your spirits after a traumatic experience, share in your frustrations and triumphs, and come to the rescue when you're dealing with a particularly difficult patient. Did you know fellow nurses can boost your energy levels, too?

As Greatist pointed out, social activities like talking and laughing with friends help people stay awake. So crack jokes with your fellow NPs, share a story about your week and do what you can to encourage strong connections with your co-workers.

Use proper posture
Do you find yourself slouching when sitting or hunched over while walking? If so, your poor posture may contribute to feelings of fatigue and sadness. Meanwhile, standing up straight can do the opposite. According to a study published in the journal Biofeedback, certain body movements, like choosing an upright and open posture, can lead to elevated mood and energy levels. So, when walking the hospital halls, pay attention to your stature. Is your chin up and back straight, or are you bent over, looking at your feet as you go?

Staying alert is vital for those in nurse practitioner jobs to adequately care for patients and safeguard their own well-being. With a few adjustments, you can improve your mood, focus and energy levels.

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