Whether you’re a nursing student or RN, you know that having an organized shift makes a huge difference in your stress levels and the quality of care you provide your patients. In addition to using a brain to receive and give report, a nursing run sheet provides you a way to plan out your shift, jot down important information and help ensure you don’t forget an important medication, lab draw or intervention. 

The run sheet consists of time slots broken up by hour. Each time slot has a left and a right column. The left column is your “to-do” list and the right column is your “to-chart” list. Keep reading to see how it works!

How to Use a Run Sheet – The Left Column

Here’s how it works: After you receive report on your patients, take a moment to look through the chart and make note of the following on your nursing run sheet: 

  • Medication due times
  • Lab draws
  • Blood sugar checks
  • Key interventions such as oral care, dressing changes, ambulating, etc…

How to Use a Run Sheet – The Right Column

You’ll notice each section of the run sheet has two columns. Use the left column for your “to-do” items and the right side of the column to jot down things on the fly, if you’re not able to get them in the EMR immediately. Though it’s always considered best practice to chart in-the-moment, the reality is that it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the in-room computer is in use by someone else, there’s a technical glitch, or you have a pressing issue to attend to. When this happens, there’s a risk you won’t remember the details of what you need to add to the EMR, so some things that might get jotted down in this right column include: 

  • The time you called an MD
  • I/O
  • Vital signs
  • Percent of meals eaten
  • Distance ambulated
  • BS levels

Sample Nursing Run Sheet

Here’s a sample of how it might look for a nurse taking care of four patients (don’t worry, you can print the sheet two-sided if you have more than four patients).

rnursing un sheet

Download A Free Run Sheet

Grab my FREE Clinical Success Pack to get free run sheets and more tools to help you succeed in clinical. All sheets can be printed two-sided to accommodate multiple patients, discharges and new admits.

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I hope using a nursing run sheet helps you keep your shift organized, boosts your confidence and helps you take great care of your patients!

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