I've told this story here before, but it seems like a good time to resurrect it.
Once upon a time in a fabulous ICU far away, I was chosen to precept a senior student for what would now be called a capstone; I was about two and a half years out of school, all of it spent in critical care. She was to work with me on my schedule for 36 of the 40 hours a week I worked, days, evenings, weekends, the works, for a whole semester. We were a general ICU about 2/3 open heart surgery, the rest an even mix of surgical ICU, medical ICU, and a few respiratory ICU patients sometimes.
I called her and arranged for her to come over to the hospital for a tour and see the place a few days before. We walked around the unit-- a converted med/surg straight hallway with four private rooms, two four-bed wards, and eight two-bed rooms, all with in-room monitors and each room had one nurse in there full-time (the wards had two or three). I noticed she was looking a little nervous so we went into the break room for some coffee. She looked really nervous so I took her the heck outta there and we went to the cafeteria.
"So, Adrian, was it something I said? You look really upset."
"Gosh, GrnTea, it's just that ... well ... umm ... (all in a rush) How many cardiac arrests do you have in a day here?"
It is not to my credit that I stifled a laugh poorly. "Adrian, we haven't had an arrest here in five months that I can remember. We are in the business of preventing that sort of thing. That's why they are here, because we know how to do that."
Now, of course, as luck would have it, a few weeks into the semester we had a code in another room. I took her down there and put her in the corner and told her to watch. Only. She was impressed by the teamwork. Then about two weeks later, one of our two patients coded. I put her in charge of squeezing the blood bags to put more in-- it gave her something to do but kept her at the head of the bed out of the way, and then we went over the documentation together. By then she was a different person-- she had a good grasp of the processes and personnel and had a beginning appreciation for how things worked. She wasn't terrified all the time.
I tell you this because I want to reassure you that nobody expects a student or a new grad to know much. That's why you have a preceptor, a staff development period, and people watching you for teachable moments or support (despite a lot of the whining you see on AN, that really is the way most places run). You will have progressive responsibility, sure. But it shouldn't be more than you can handle-- that's why you went to school, to learn that.
A little anxiety is a good thing-- it keeps your mind sharp, your eyes focused, your muscles ready to go. From a few years later, in that same unit: I was nearly five years out of school by then and had been staff in this fabulous ICU for four, and I was actually pretty good at it. One day I was in the break room with Sarah, a nurse of more than a decade's experience in the unit, one who could take every kind of patient that rolled up the hall, who was never flustered, always expert, always willing to teach and explain. I asked her when I would stop feeling scared when I sat in report. She smiled and said that every day before report started she felt a pang of anxiety, but that it passed when she started working. She said that when that little stab of fear went away she would have to go somewhere else, because it's what keeps us awake and sharp. I never, ever forgot that (and here I am telling that story again, smumble-mumble years later), and I am happy to pass it along to you.