Confidence in nursing school

  1. I am completing my junior year in a BSN program (2nd degree student...26 y/o)....I just wanted from advice/reassurance that I am not the only person in nursing school who has this problem.......On my evaluations the issue of my self confidence or lack there of is always mentioned. I don't want to make myself out to be a complete idiot which I am not...my problem is this....this semester was my peds/ob rotation and the way clinical was scheduled for me I had peds on monday from 0645-1500 once a week and then the following monday I had OB during the same time. Basically I was in peds 2 x a month and same for OB...I am the type of student who needs PRACTICE...who needs to be on the floor more than 2x a month/clinical rotation....My peds clinical instructor says that I will learn more in my first week of being a real nurse than I will in my years as a nursing student. I believe her....I have a good externship lined up for the summer in an area of nursing I want to practice where I am confident I will gain a lot of confidence there.....I beat myself up constantly...I don't know, other than for the fact that I want to do well in nursing school and in my clinicals, why I am so hard on myself since I will never work in OB and would only consider working in the PICU. Heck the area of nursing I want to work in I only get observation days in (OR)....
    Just thought I would ask other nursing students/professionals your advice since I think I am driving my roommates nuts......I don't know if the worry comes from the fact that I am older or the first born child or what.....who knows...other than the confidence issue I think I am fine and will make a good nurse someday......thanks in advance for any advice....best of luck on finals and congrats to those graduating this semester.....
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   IMustBeCrazy
    I don't know too many people that go into clinical with a boatload of confidence. Being a little scared and paranoid is a good thing, unless it's debilitating. To be honest, being around a peer that is whipping through procedures by bedside is a scary thing, at least in my opinion. Overconfidence and errors go hand in hand.

    Do you have a skills lab that you can go in and practice up on those skills that you might be a little rusty on? And a lot of nursing is teaching, so look for opportunities to talk to your clients about things. Take the time to look up complications of the diagnoses/medications/drug interactions of your clients, and be ready to ask about those things and develop those conversations when appropriate.

    Those kinds of things will help you develop your skills and bedside manner and you will gain confidence in the process. Good luck!
    Last edit by IMustBeCrazy on Apr 20, '04
  4. by   J Lynn
    Pick up the book "Your 1st Year As a Nurse" by Donna Wilk Cardillo, RN.

    I helped me gain some confidence.
  5. by   orrnlori
    I don't fault you your concerns at this point.

    I can't imagine too many thoughtful people who would be strongly confident with only one day a week in clinicals for that service twice a month. How is 16 hours per month going to help anyone "get it"? Therefore, I wouldn't beat myself up but I would sure question a program that gives so little floor time to real experience rather than classroom. Will you get more clinical experience in this program as you progress? So my response is, it's not you, it's the program you are in (at least how it is set up to this point).

    I had several rotations where we really weren't allowed near the patient's very much. One was peds. The nurses just refused to allow us to do much other than look at the charts. But we still had 2 1/2 days a week every week to be on the floor and at least watch what the nurses did.

    Your externship will help you a great deal this summer. The very fact you are worried about this tells me you are a good student.

    By the way, I am an OR nurse and have students frequently. If you want to get into the OR as a new grad then be awake and alert during your OR observation. Ask questions, be involved, ask the nurse how you can get into their department. When you are done, if you like what you saw, write a thank you note to whoever arranges for the students to go to the OR and invite them to contact you when you graduate, put your date of graduation in the note. When you graduate, contact the person again. This is how I got into the OR. Hospitals are always looking for good OR nurses and usually have extensive and great internships for nurses in perioperative services.

    Good luck to you, I'm sure you'll do well.
  6. by   maddiecat
    Just my 2 cents, but I was older in nursing school also and confidence comes with time. But what I really want to say is that the best thing I ever learned (about every aspect of life, not just nursing) is to look long....meaning try and remain focused on the future picture, not just on today. Picture yourself a confident, capable nurse in the future. Try it and see!

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