New Grad RN Angst - page 4

by danigold

33,274 Views | 49 Comments

Today is my day off after working three days in a row. However, my eyes popped open at 0530 and would not close again. My brain immediately went into review mode. Shoot! I forgot to give that detail in report! Did I do... Read More


  1. 1
    I have some suggestions as to how you can deal with your disabling anxiety. I would speak to your manager for guidance (areas for improvement etc), speak to your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if you have one, take some quiet time for reflection or journaling after each shift. Focus on "quiet" time not hand ringing, tears, worries, but rather on the positives. Initially try and come up with 5 positive things from your shift--at first it will seem difficult, and then increase to 10 positive things. Take pride in the small things and then the big things won't seem so difficult.
    I have worked on night shift since I began as a new nurse 5 years ago and I think it is the best shift for new grads because you don't have to deal with therapy, meals, surgeries, procedures, families, doctors, etc. Night shift is busy, don't get me wrong, but their is more oppurtunities to ask questions, seek out advice, and take a second to think before you act--instead of reacting. If you could change shifts and soley deal with medical/surgical problems instead of all of the chaos that can be a hospital floor--perhaps you will feel more confident.
    One thing you need to stop is holding yourself up to this nonexistent saint of a Florence Nightengale nurse--people make mistakes, no one is perfect, no one else is floating through their shift without worries and concerns--they are just not ruled by them. Let your critical thinking rule your decisions--not your fears and worries. Please seek help, and make changes soon before you are truly frozen by fears and you can't function AT ALL as a nurse--we all need you out there.
    Bubbles likes this.
  2. 0
    Quote from FLfemale
    I've been reading these posts with great interest because I'm thinking about applying for the RN program. I've been a dental hygienist for the past 20 yrs but the market is overrun with unemployed or under-employed RDHs. I can't even get a call back, let alone an interview. Oh sure, I could work for a clinic but they're basically factories & I would burn out fast. There's something about pushing unnecessary dental work & pricy gadgets for a commission that goes against my ethics. I figured with my A.S. degree I could go for nursing but I do have my doubts. It sounds like a snakepit out there. How are the RN opportunities, esp for new grads, Tampa Bay area in FL? Any responses will be appreciated.
    I am in Florida, South Florida to be more exact. I graduated last April and took my boards on August. Been looking for a job ever since. I have only gotten 2 interviews and only as a favor to my friends. No one wants new graduates in this area. We have over 13 nursing schools graduating nurses twice a year. No shortage here and gets not better in other counties. Today, I was thinking if I should even bother continuing with my BSN or switch to another career.
  3. 0
    Quote from CathieRN
    take some quiet time for reflection or journaling after each shift. Focus on "quiet" time not hand ringing, tears, worries, but rather on the positives. Initially try and come up with 5 positive things from your shift--at first it will seem difficult, and then increase to 10 positive things. Take pride in the small things and then the big things won't seem so difficult.
    This is a great suggestion. I found journaling to be extremely helpful. Not only does it help you see the positives, but when you write down the things you want to improve on, it's easier to stop dwelling on them. It changes your outlook from, "I should have done better. I'm a terrible nurse and I will never get this right..." to "This is where I need improvement and this is my plan to make that happen." It's very empowering!
  4. 0
    Thank you for sharing your feelings. You write very well. I could not read all the responses so I jumped to the end. I am concerned for you. I began to feel anxious for you. I am afraid you will burn out if you continue beating up yourself every moment of the day! I agree with the suggestions to talk with someone and to journal. Also, I would suggest listening to relaxation tapes daily. You need to care for yourself as well as you do for your patients! Do you exercise? Going for a walk in your neighborhood or local park could help you relax. Try yoga and tai chi!

    In the business world there is a saying 'Fake it til you make it!' Even if you don't yet feel confident begin to act as though you do! Otherwise, your anxiety will begin to rub off on your co-workers and your patients. Obviously you are a compentent nurse or you would still be working with a preceptor. You also have the knowledge, but you can not expect to know everything about nursing. When I worked in ICU/CCU I expected to learn something new everyday!

    Wishing you peace of mind! Write us again in three months to tell us how you are progressing!
  5. 0
    This post about stress and worry is so me. I have been into my career now for six months, and i still feel like I know nothing. I still am constantly asking questions. I am such a worry wort. I still do not feel comfortable some times. I just hope by the time my year has come I will feel more confident. There are nights that I just want to leave and never go back to nursing. I hope it gets better with time. Thank you Esme12 for posting those sheets. I plan on using some of them.


  6. 5
    Been there.

    Done that.

    Seen the movie and worn the t-shirt.

    The doubts. The bad dreams. The no dreams because you cannot fall asleep even though you are so exhausted that you are barely able to drive yourself home. The tears (yeah, big, strong, macho men in nursing shed those tears too, take my word on that). Most of all, The Question lurking in the back of your mind; the question that you did not write in your post, because it scares you, but that all of us know haunts you: "is there something wrong with me?" "Is it my fault?"

    There is nothing wrong with you. You are learning to cope with the pressure of having a job that matters. That is what you wanted, isn't it; a job that matters? You could have been a successful member of our nation's burgeoning fast-food industry, but you wanted more. You wanted to matter. Good for you! You are "paying your dues" to earn the right to do work that matters, just like all of us had to.

    You will never stop feeling the pressure to be your best, nor should you. However, one day, maybe soon, maybe later, you will realize that no matter how hard you try to be the best nurse in the world, you never will be. Then, you will be able to understand that you do not need to be "that nurse" because being the best Danigold, R.N. in the world is good enough. Really Danigold, it will be enough. Trust me and the others who have posted. Trust what we are writing to you, until you are able to trust yourself.


    "Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway." John Wayne, I think.
    Last edit by CountyRat on Jan 23, '13
    RoseRN10, NurseGLC, Rosa_G, and 2 others like this.
  7. 0
    I feel the same way. I and a new grad that has been working for 4 months now in a very a busy and fast paced med/surg telemetry unit at a big hospital. I feel overwhelmed everyday, after 4 months I don't feel any more confident. I had a meeting with my manager and was told they will not let me off orientation yet because they don't feel confident that I can handle an emergency. I'm afraid I'm going to get fired as well and I relocated for this job. I was also told that I should have been off orientation a month ago and they are giving me 2 more weeks. I'm stressed every day and don't even look forward going to work any more because I feel like I'm a huge disappointment to them. I work hard everyday too but it doesn't feel like a good fit for me. Thinking now maybe I should have started out in a skilled nursing facility.
  8. 0
    Quote from dpb425
    I feel the same way. I and a new grad that has been working for 4 months now in a very a busy and fast paced med/surg telemetry unit at a big hospital. I feel overwhelmed everyday, after 4 months I don't feel any more confident. I had a meeting with my manager and was told they will not let me off orientation yet because they don't feel confident that I can handle an emergency. I'm afraid I'm going to get fired as well and I relocated for this job. I was also told that I should have been off orientation a month ago and they are giving me 2 more weeks. I'm stressed every day and don't even look forward going to work any more because I feel like I'm a huge disappointment to them. I work hard everyday too but it doesn't feel like a good fit for me. Thinking now maybe I should have started out in a skilled nursing facility.
    Whatever happens in two weeks, do not think that you are a failure. If this job is beyond what you can handle today, it just means that you will have to change course until, in the future, you are ready for a job like this. I am not saying that you will have to look for another job, all I am saying is that there will be many unexpected curves in the road ahead of you, and if you have to leave, that is just an unepected curve, not a failure. Navigate it as best you can, and look for the new opertunities on that new, unexpected road.
  9. 0
    Thank you sooo much for having the guts to share your feeling on this topic. We can all hear your heart that your goal is to care for those patients as best as possible. Frankly, having been a patient of a new grad, I would in many ways prefer a newer grad versus an RN who assumes or who has lost that fire in the belly... I am sure you will be great - because from the amount of thought you put into it, you already are... and you just need to believe in yourself to know that you are that Nurse that you want to be... Keep your head up!! :-)
  10. 0
    I'm saving, printing, and hanging this article on my fridge. I'm about to turn 35, and I've applied to an RN program. If all goes well, I will be graduating when I'm 38, and I, too, am an anxiety-ridden worrier. I want so badly to be good at this job that I haven't even started school, yet I have anxious moments doubting my ability to actually one day do it. It has crossed my mind that I'll stress myself out once I'm finally out there doing it. I need to remember others feel- or have felt - the way I probably will. Thank you for your honesty.


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