New Nurse, New Job, Feeling Dumb - page 2

I have a question. I am a new nurse, and I begin my first job as a nurse next week. I'm sure it's normal to be anxious (with any job!), but I feel DUMB. I graduated with honors from nursing... Read More

  1. by   Oedgar
    It is normal to be afraid. I probably spent my first year terrified, and the 2nd year merely nervous in certain situations. A contributing factor in my anxiety was that I trained at a small-town community hospital. My first job was in a well-known, large teaching hospital. I encountered things in the job that I had never seen in clinicals. But in time, I easily handled the multiple TPN changing on evening shift, tons of IV antibiotics, blood sugars. Good luck.
  2. by   baileyxmolto
    This is a great idea! I have 2 more months left of school and the thought of being on my own is terrifying. This may make it a little easier though!
  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from aimee32907
    I have a question. I am a new nurse, and I begin my first job as a nurse next week. I'm sure it's normal to be anxious (with any job!), but I feel DUMB. I graduated with honors from nursing school, passed the NCLEX the first time, but for some reason I just don't feel ready to begin working as nurse (I was a CNA for 14 years). I still feel like I don't know everything I should know to take care of my patients. My question is: is that a normal feeling? Did most of you feel "ready" when you started your first job as a new nurse? Intimidated? How did you handle it? Will it look silly if I take notes? I have so much anxiety and so many questions! Help?
    A new nurse feeling dumb at a new job? Quite a normal thing. We have all been through it. Taking notes is fine, and much better than asking the same question over and over. Try to relax. After being a CNA for 14 years, you've already got the "tasky stuff" down. Learning the nurse stuff is much easier without having to learn how to empty a Foley, take a glucose or change a bed at the same time!

  4. by   srercg6
    Yep, normal. But as far as being a new nurse on your first job - real life - you're right = we know nothing. unfortunately employers want to charge you with the responsibility of knowing everything. Not many preceptors actually prepare you well. some are great - but not enough to go around. Just double check yourself. Learn who you can ask for help, and who is just going to make a mental checkmark in their mind to bring up later if you mess up.
  5. by   dawn2
    First of all CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I agree with everyone regarding feeling as if you aren't "ready." The truth is, none of us were ready. What you need to do is ask questions if you are not sure, find a nurse mentor. If you meet someone with a diagnosis you have never heard of before, look it up. It will not only benefit you as a person, but will also benefit your patient as well. Remember, you will make mistakes, but learn from them. You worked hard, you excelled in school, you are just applying the knowledge now. If you remember nothing from all I have written, remember to treat your patients and their families with kindness and respect. Treat them like you would want to be treated. This has served me very well in my career and it will serve you well in yours. Good luck to you. We will be here to give advice in the future if you are stuck.
  6. by   Ben_Dover
    You're fine! We have some well-experienced nurses, with old jobs, and they, for some reason, they act like they're dumb!

    Don't be Them! Lol
    Last edit by Ben_Dover on Mar 13 : Reason: Corrected, Politically... avoiding the word old cause it may denote a different connotation! :)
  7. by   foggnm
    With your level or experience, education, and talents you will be successful. If you still feel after 6-12 months in nursing that you're not feeling confident then talking with a counselor, pastor, or mentor about your feelings and see if they can help. You've done everything to be prepared, embrace your new profession knowing you got this!
  8. by   mtwa
    I feel the exact same way! We will be OK!
  9. by   foggnm
    I was thinking about this post the other day. It is interesting how many nursing students or new nurses confess their performance anxiety on this board. Fundamentally, I think it is a failure of the nursing education system that it doesn't promote self-confidence. While it is normal to feel unsure about using new skills, I think much of it has to do with how adults are treated in nursing school. They are taught to be afraid and not confident. They are criticized rather than being praised. If I could change something about nursing school it would be that it would be a confidence building experience so that when people graduate they are excited about the profession and not wrapped in fear.
  10. by   thefmgirl
    As everyone mentioned, it's completely normal to feel this way. I had many preceptors tell me it would take a year to begin to feel like I knew what I was doing. I worked for a while and one day noticed that when I paged a doctor and he asked me what I wanted to do...I didn't get sweaty palms and feel like he was testing me. Nope, I actually knew what I wanted done. So, I counted back and realized I was almost exactly at the 1 year mark. It feels so much better after that. You'll still have days where you wonder if you ever even saw a certain situation in nursing school and you'll feel unprepared to deal with it, but those days become fewer and fewer. Just remember: nursing is a profession where we should always be ready to learn. Medicine changes all the time. If you ever feel 100% certain you know it all, then you've stopped learning and need to reevaluate. So, go with your feeling of not know it all and take notes and ask questions and feel proud that you graduated school. You're expected to be minimally competent...not know how to do it all. Besides, you were only exposed to certain things during school and a lot of it depended on individual clinicals. You'll do great if you keep your good attitude!

New Nurse, New Job, Feeling Dumb