Length of Time it Takes to be a Good Nurse...?

  1. Just curious... How long did it take for you to be an actually good nurse? Just graduated last december and got hired at my new long term care job a couple of months ago. I work casually and have only worked about 12 shifts on my own: 2 morning shifts on one unit, 2 on a locked unit, and the rest evening shifts on 1 unit. I had 4 orientation shifts for each of the units i've worked on so far.

    I've just been feeling pretty down, anxious and hopless on my performance so far because i feel like I'm not doing enough. Also feeling lonely, bad and like a fraud. I'm really slow with my assessments and charting and I'm also shy. Another problem that i have is being slow to intervene when a resident is agitated and it was the first time I have had to deal with a resident who was like this. I REALLY don't want to mistakes and get fired.
    Last edit by Newgurl17 on May 13, '17
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    About Newgurl17, CNA, LPN

    Joined: Mar '17; Posts: 122; Likes: 32


  3. by   SquishyRN
    As a new grad LVN working in SNFs it took me AT LEAST 6 months before I wasn't a nervous wreck going into work, not to say that after those 6 months I wasn't nervous, I just at least wasn't ready to cry, throw up, and quit nursing altogether after every shift. It WILL get better with time and experience. I would probably say I didn't feel like I was a "good" nurse until 2 years in. And then I became an RN, changed specialties, and went through the roller coaster all over again :P Hang in there. It will get better.
  4. by   pmabraham
    I think becoming a "good nurse" is a (work) life long journey as we are only done learning when we are dead. I've been told time and time and time again, it takes a solid year before one is comfortable (I'm at the 3-month mark, 1 month out of orientation myself), and I've had nurses who have been on the floor for decades they still have days that feel overwhelming.

    Here are some things to consider trying:

    1) Give yourself positive affirmations all through the entire shift. My one mentor shared they will often mumble or even outright say "quack, quack quack; I'm a duck, this will roll off my back." as well as "I can do it!"

    2) Before the start of the shift, come up with one to three SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time measured) goals you will work on that particular shift. Write them down (or memorize them), then do your best to tackle them. Congratulate yourself for each goal conquered, and don't worry if you don't conquer all of them.

    3) On your days off, work on creating and maintaining a brain book of procedures, notes, etc. of things you need to know well for your unit; review the brain book on a regular basis.