I was on the site yesterday reading about all the new-grad nurses and the anxiety that first comes along with starting out. I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear that there are other new grad nurses (and others) who are experiencing or have experienced this same feeling. I was starting to feel as though I seriously heard the wrong calling for me. I have terrible anxiety sometimes right before I know I have to go to work and worry about what my assignment for the night will be and wonder how I will even make it through the night. I have mornings I leave crying or nights I want to cry just knowing I have to work.
I graduated in April and moved away from home and family over the summer and quickly found a job (for that I was fortunate and greatful) - But the transition has been nothing short of traumatizing. I originally moved away to be closer to my boyfriend after graduating. Within less than one week of moving I found a job! But within 8 weeks of moving and starting work as a new nurse, my relationship also fell apart and I had to move out on my own. So I'm in a new place, away from home and family and trying my hardest to adjust to being a brand new nurse.
After reading all the posts and replies here yesterday, I left for work feeling so much more confident and relieved. Then I experienced my absolute WORST shift yet. It was horrible. I was behind on everything all due to one very complex patient. Everyone was wonderful in helping me out and helping me catch up. But the experience just left me feeling so discouraged. As a new nurse, I am still learning and I am slower with things than most. I do acknowledge that this is normal and for patient safety reasons along with others that this is not necessarily a bad thing. I have absolutely no problem asking about things I'm unsure of or simply saying "I don't know" even if it makes me look stupid, and I've always been humble and welcome to any constructive criticism.
During nursing school I worked fulltime in a profession that was not nursing or healthcare related. After 12 years, you grow confidence with what you're doing and it becomes second nature, I could do that job with my eyes closed. I realize this is one of my biggest issues with being a new nurse. I DON'T know what I'm doing like the back of my hand, no shift is ever the same, and my confidence just isn't there yet. Because of this profession it might never fully get there either because of the ever changing/evolving profession that nursing is---no patient/procedure/med or care has just one protocol to follow, but a series of them depending on such a wide variety of factors or issues going on with a patient. This has been a huge thing I am trying to overcome---along with all of the other obstacles of learning different things and hands on patient care.
I just wanted to share this. I hope that in time my confidence grows because right now it is my own worst enemy. Hearing everyone elses stories and the advice that was offered was so uplifting. Thank you to all who shared their stories to all who responded to those of us experiencing the anxieties and struggles of being a new nurse. :-)