I couldn't sleep the night before my first day of work on the unit because I was scared to death. I had heard way too many times how nursing school
is nothing and that your real education starts when you actually become a nurse. So I was pretty freaked out. But that first day turned out to be comforting rather than horrifying. I was completely overwhelmed with the charting system and the equipment I'd never used before and all the new people I was meeting. I could see another new nurse in the next room learning a new procedure and struggling with it. And then a doctor started yelling at my preceptor. But I got in there with the patient and I was able to calm down and I actually knew what to do. I checked all the lines, did a head-to-toe, replaced some IV fluid, talked to the family a little bit, and just everything I did as a student came back to me and it felt much more natural than I thought it would. The basics really are important and I kind of grabbed onto that as a lifeline with all this unfamiliarity. And everything I learned about disease processes came to my mind as I reviewed labs and assessments. I was totally able to relax.
Of course, I still know very little compared to the experienced nurses, but I do know a lot from school and I can rely on that and know that the rest will come with time. Since then, I have had very frustrating and scary and unfamiliar situations, but at the same time, I know that I can deal with them because I have a knowledge base and lots of other nurses who do know exactly what to do. I know that I am very lucky with the unit I work on because everyone is very willing to help out the new kids. Not everyone has that. It does sound like your floor is a very supportive environment, however.
So, yeah, it's terrifying, but it is possible to look past that and focus on what you are learning instead of what you don't know. I love being a new grad. I have so far to grow. It's exciting. Good luck.