Constantly questioning myself. Is this normal?

  1. I have wanted to be a nurse since high school. I'm finally in LPN school now and will be 29 in May. I've got the best grades in my class but when we go to clinical I'm so scared I'll do something wrong it paralyses me. Every time we start something new I think "can I really do that?".

    Is it normal to feel this way? I'm wondering if any of you have advice? I want to go on to RN school when I'm done with this. It seems like such a long road right now though.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   katy81
    I'm feeling the same way too!!! When I think about the future, I want to be a nurse, but then when I'm in class, I have a panic attack thinking about if I can really do this! I don't have any advice on how to make it better, but just wanted to let you know you are not the only one! I was scared I was the only one!! But I'm sure if we hang in there, we can do it!
  4. by   jlynn2303
    Well, I don't know if it's "normal" or not, but I know I do it, big time. It's nerve wracking. I've started enough new things in my life to know that this stage will pass, but we're in clinicals such a short time before we move onto another one, as soon as I start thinking I'm getting the hang of it, it's over. I've joked that I'll do hospice when I graduate because I'm always afraid I'll screw up or forget something and accidentally kill someone. This term, with maternity is the absolute worst. I have nightmares about that class, feel like I am going to throw up every time I go in. Part of it might be my history, in that I had a child die a birth, full term and they had a heartbeat four minutes before he was born, and then wham! he was dead. I think that's why maternity is the worst, but I'm nervous elsewhere as well. What if I forget something? Miss something? I just keep plugging away, trusting that it will pass. It always has in other situations. Good luck!
  5. by   addiesmom
    I am so so sorry to hear that abt your baby...I could not even imagine. From what I have been told from experienced nurses, it is normal to feel this way. If you did not worry about making a mistake, and be over confident, then there would be something to worry about. That is what makes a good compassionate nurse. You want to take care of your patients as best as you possibly can. To me all of you sound like you will make excellent nurses!
  6. by   RNOkie
    A little anxiety is good; that means you're taking your job seriously and yes what you are feeling is totally normal. If you were'nt scared about it, then that would be a problem. I got my LPN in "99. It scared me so bad, i went to work in a donut shop. I'm not kidding..then took a job in hospice b/c just as the previous post said, i thought at least I can't hurt them.. but I will say this: I lost so much in those first two years by not going directly to med-surg that I feel it really hindered my growth as a nurse..you can onlly retain so much info that is crammed into your head during school, most of which you will never, ever use. I am now about to graduate RN school in May. I feel more confused now than when I started. I used to be pretty good at Care Plans, but after having to re-submit so many of them, i'm questioning myself on that also. And yes, that old familiar feeling of being aboutsolutely PETRIFIED is once again rearing it's ugly head. I'm scared to death b/c now it's my responsiblity, and I don't have the cusion of the RN, and I'm thinking "no way are they turning me loose with these pt's." But, in retrospect, I haven't killed anybody, there will always be someone there for support and I don't want to make the same mistake as I did before by not jumping in with both feet. It's good to be a little scared, but don't let it hinder you. Glad I saw this post, now I don't feel so alone.
  7. by   wifeandmomoftwo
    Thanks to everyone. I don't feel so alone
  8. by   AllThingsPink
    I question myself every single day of being in the nursing program. You are so not alone. *hugs*
  9. by   jlynn2303
    I've noticed that a lot, but not all depends on my instructor. If I have one who criticizes everything, I begin to dread and doubt. If I have one who encourages me, I begin to think - this is possible!
  10. by   mammac5
    Anxiety has a whole new meaning for me since starting nursing school! I think we all do it, although in different ways. Clinicals don't bother me...the different computer systems at each clinical site, nurses who don't want us around and either ignore us or treat us with contempt, and writing papers in APA format are the things that freak me out.
  11. by   slacktime
    I suggest you adjust your attitude just a schooch. You go to clinicals & perform skills that are new to you, you are going to do things WRONG once in a while. You are only human, accept it and keep going. I do things "wrong" regularly, learn from them and move on. I worried about doing something unsafe with a patient. The instructors are there to see that you are safe. BTW, instructors usually are not good at stroking your ego, don't expect it. Generally unless the instructor pulls you aside and tells you that you are a screwup, you are doing just fine.

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