How long does the "new nurse anxiety" usually last?

  1. 0
    Hey all! I know there is a section on this forum about disabilities but I don't think this relates to clinical anxiety/depression.

    As a new nurse (2 months without preceptor) I basically have, to a degree, an anxiety attack before work (new grad in the ED). Once I'm actually on the floor it feels like the anxiety is gone, but it's back after I'm off for a few days. I just want to be able to work without feeling like this and be able to enjoy and look forward to going to work.

    I've discussed this with others and they say this is normal, but how long did it take YOU to feel more comfortable or less stressed as a new nurse?
  2. 39 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    Two years.
    beeker and MJB2010 like this.
  4. 0
    5 months. but after 2 years, sometimes it comes back. a huge feeling of dread and anxiety day before a shift or so . and at work too. it went away for a while but is comming back. i have had nurses of 20years tell me it never went away! and one told me it went away after she "started taking pills"!!!
  5. 1
    Anxiety might never completely go away. This is not always a bad thing in low doses; but with a couple of years of experience you barely notice it.
    Like many a chronic condition, anxiety can flare up after a return to nursing after taking time off, when starting in a new job or new area or after an event that kicks backside and shreds your confidence.
    anotherone likes this.
  6. 1
    I remember being told when I was a new grad that it takes an average of 18 months to feel fully comfortable/competent. I reached that point just about 18 months into my career when one of my patients was trying to die on me on a night shift and the resident wasn't all that concerned...
    Altra likes this.
  7. 1
    I've been nursing 6 months and I don't have any anxiety. I stopped having anxiety my 2nd to last semester of clinical in nursing school and was surprised that it never came back. I just take it one day at a time and take every day as a new learning experience. But, no anxiety. Maybe dread sometimes just because I don't feel like going into work that night :-)
    prnqday likes this.
  8. 0
    It took about 3-4 months working without a preceptor before I stopped having knots in my stomach before every shift.
  9. 0
    Took me about 6 months for it to get BETTER, it has not yet gone totally away. Now it only happens sometimes, not all the time. I am at my one year mark this week.
  10. 0
    Anxiety on nights as a new grad took about 10 months. Anxiety resurfaced when I took a days float position, and it lessened greatly at about 3 months after rethinking my time management strategies.
  11. 0
    I'm at a year....I ended up switching jobs. Praying for a better experience. Good Luck. I know the feeling!!


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