4 more months.....and I feel sick!

  1. Ever since I started nursing school, I couldn't wait for graduation day, to be a nurse. But now that graduation is right around the corner, I'm feeling really anxious and scared. Our instructors keep saying "In just a few short months, you will have RN behind your name, and you'll be on your own" and every time I hear that I start to feel nauseous.

    I'm so afraid that I won't be able to keep up with everything I need to do, I feel really unprepared. I know that there is an orientation program to go through, but I've also heard stories of new grads being cut short on their orientation because of short staffing. There are so many skills that I haven't been able to practice in clinicals, and what if I get out there as a nurse and can't do something because of lack of skill??

    Anyone else feeling the anxiety of graduation? Please tell me I'm not alone!
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   nursbee04
    First of all, (((((hugs)))))). I'm not even as close to graduating as you are (this semester plus two more) and I have the same fears as you do. I have to think of it this way: we all have skills that we are inexperienced at, but look at how much we are good at! I guess it just takes time...

    Anyhow, good luck! And I'm sure you'll be ok!!
  4. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Hang in there babe, I don't think that's any different than any of us ever felt.

    Don't ever do anything you're not comfortable with, don't be afraid to ask questions, and soak it all up. You'll do great!

    Heather
  5. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Oops! Good luck, hugs and kisses to ya!

    Heather
  6. by   oilerfan
    You have read my mind! The comfort zone that has been afforded me throughout the last three and a half years has been a blessing. We all "can't wait to be done" but I am pretty much freaked! There are so many scenarios that run through my mind. What if the pt. coughs an airway? A babe stops breathing? I screw up a med? Two other nurses are out sick (supposedly) and my workload is dangerous?
    I took the BScN course specifically to lengthen my 'safety time' I thought after four years I would be ready to take on the neediest patients and do sooooo much good...yeah, no! We graduate in 3 months...work as grad nurses (under restricted duties)...write our national Canadian Registered Nurse Exam in June, then game on!
    I should have been forest ranger! Anyway, all I know is if **** hit the fan and I needed some serious hospital care...I would not want me. Which raises the question, "what the hell did I spend all that tuition money on and why am I $25,000 in debt from student loans?" Maybe I just need a nap. Yup, thats it, it will all work out in the end...or I end a life by accident and loose my designation...Forest Ranger sounds good...I love bunny rabbits!
  7. by   Stargazer
    I totally remember feeling that way! Like I told delirium in another thread, everything came together for me in the very last semester of school. One thing that really, really helped me was to make a list of experiences I wanted to have and procedures I needed to do, and give a copy to my preceptor and put a copy at the nurses' station of the unit where I did my senior preceptorship. That way everyone was on the lookout for those procedures and would let me know when someone needed a cath or an NG or whatever. It gave me such an amazing feeling of accomplishment and competency to look at that list and know I'd done every item on it at least once before graduation.

    Thanks to being assigned to a heavy surgical unit, I also got really good at doing fast head-to-toe assessments and taking a full pt load. Be assertive about seeking out the experiences you feel you still need. I think you'll be amazed at how it all starts coming together right at the end. Most of my classmates felt exactly the same.

    Hang in there!
  8. by   CJStudent
    I'm a little nervous, too. I keep thinking that the nurses I've worked with know soooo many more things than I do, and I graduate in 4 months.

    I just figure, I'm not in any hurry to get out there and know everything all at once. Besides, they are teaching us that this semester is the time to brush up on the skills we still need- as stated above.

    Just remember that all nurses starting out probably felt this same way at one time. When you get in your new job, try to find nurses that will be supportive of you asking for their help or advice of things you are unsure of.

    I think I am just ready to be done with school. The rest will come...eventually.
  9. by   EmeraldNYL
    My prof today told me that nursing students are not allowed to start IVs, that we have to get certified in this when we get our first job. I didn't know this-- I thought we were supposed to know how to do this before we graduate! I heard that you only learn 10% of what you need to know in school; this is scary! Just another reason to make sure your first job has a great orientation program.
  10. by   ljb
    I graduate in May too...just 4 months, and I can't wait! My program is driving me crazy. I'm definitely scared too. The thought of me being a nurse in just 4 months just doesn't seem right. Is someone really going to hire ME? And pay me too!? What?! But just think, lots of other people felt the same way in the past, and they made it. And don't you like to think of yourself as more competent than the average Joe (come on, you know you do!). If everyone else can do it...so can you! Being scared is just part of it I think. I'm prepared to be sick, cry, freak out...during the first year. I'm not looking forward to that part, but not being a student anymore? And finally having money again? YES!!
    Just remember, once you start working, you can always come to this board and vent/get advice/complain...maybe even give some tips!

    good luck!
  11. by   2banurse
    I think that since you've made your way 75% through the nursing program, you've done well. The nerves and anxiety are normal. I would worry if you didn't feel that and thought you were 100% ready...

    I really like Stargazer's suggestion of posting the procedures that you want to accomplish prior to finishing with the program. I would definitely pay closer attention to the experienced nurses on this board as they have gone through what we all hope to achieve.

    Good luck and take advantage of each day from now until graduation.

    Kris
  12. by   llg
    Originally posted by EmeraldNYL
    Just another reason to make sure your first job has a great orientation program.
    I think EmeraldNYL is exactly right. One of the most important considerations in picking your first job should be its orientation program. Also consider the "atmosphere" of the unit and the availability of future support and education. Getting your career off to a good start is much more important in the long run than an extra $1.00 per hour in exchange for allowing yourself to be abused.

    I get so sad when I read posts (on allnurses.com) that tell people to simply go to where the money is greatest ... or go to the people with a sign-on bonus. Why do you those places are paying those higher salaries and big bonuses? And where do you think that money is coming from?

    The fact that you are thinking about these, talking about them, etc. is a healthy thing. I suspect you will do just fine.

    My one piece of advice is not to expect tooooo much of yourself. No, you will not be perfect. Yes, you will make med errors. Yes, you should feel a little bad about that. (That's good: you should: that will help you learn from your mistakes.) However, you'll need to learn to deal with your weakness, errors, and all that you don't know and get on with simply putting one foor in front of the other and doing your best every day.

    llg
  13. by   RNIAM
    I just wanted to wish you well. I am sure I will feel the same way when my time comes to leave the nursing school nest. I just hope I have kind nurses there to give me a hand. I am sure you will. i have met so many terrific nurses. You won't be alone.
  14. by   Dr. Kate
    Be prepared to ask questions, read the P&P manuals, check your books, and occ. make a fool of yourself. Be ready to laugh at yourself, pick yourself up and go on even when you think you can't. Know every one of us has something we don't do well or would prefer not to do or deal with.
    And for what it's worth:
    For the first 18 years I was an RN, I could not consistently or even occ get an NG tube inserted. I used to say if someone put a gun to my head and said they'd shoot if I don't put the NG tube in, I'd tell them to shoot me because there was no way I'd get it in. I could sometimes, if the planets were aligned correctly, get one in someone who had an et tube and was comatose. During those 18 years, I got really good at a lot of other things, including teaching people how to put in NG tubes. I got certified in two specialties. Then, all of a sudden, I got an NG tube in and the person wasn't intubated and was awake. Then it happened again, and again, and again. I don't know what happened or changed. But it only took 18 years. I also learned along the way to laugh at myself, a lot.

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