Why Is It That Everyone Thinks They're A Good Nurse?

  1. i don't get it. people write about the horrible mistakes they've made that got them fired from work or suspended, and then they'll go on to say that they know they're a good nurse anyway because they try so hard. maybe the evidence shows that they're not a good nurse yet . . . but if they keep trying hard they will be some day?

    or the nurse who writes that she's on her fourth job since graduation 16 months ago, and she hasn't found her "nitch" yet . . . and someone tells her to hold her head up because they know she's a great nurse. really? how could you possibly know that -- especially with the evidence provided that the poster has been through three jobs and is failing her fourth?

    then there are the special nurses who know they're great nurses despite their many problems at work because they have a calling. or because they're compassionate. sorry -- that's not all it takes to be a great -- or even an adequate nurse.

    what ever happened to striving to be a good nurse but knowing you're not there yet? knowing you need a bit more experience to be a great nurse but you're trying hard? how come everyone these days is a good nurse the moment they graduate?
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    About Ruby Vee, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 13,921; Likes: 58,160


  3. by   One Flew Over
    I don't consider myself a great nurse and I don't expect anyone to describe me as such. That's not to say that I am completely inadequate or foolish.. I've been a nurse for about 8 months and I think I consider myself adequate, an average new nurse, bumbling, and having at least one 'aha!' moment daily.. Hopefully with some more experience one day I will be described as a 'great nurse'
  4. by   kalevra
    The newer generation of nurses coming up in the world are brought up with the idea that trying equates to a good job. So what if you aren't the smartest, fastest, or cant even color with in the lines. Kids are indoctrinated with the idea early on in their lives starting in school like giving everyone gets a gold stars for attempting to read. Then comes the teen years and plenty of teens believe they are owed some form of reward just for bringing home "C"s. Then comes the adult years and people are just stuck in their ways at this point. I do not think you can reverse years upon years of societal influence.

    In reality some people just aren't all that good at some aspects of life. Now you can show them all the data like their past performance but they are just gonna block you out of their head. Its kinda like talking to a brick wall, you know nothing is gonna make it budge. Better to save your time and energy and leave them be. If they suck at nursing as bad as you think they do then that's on them. They will wash out on their own.
  5. by   mofomeat
    It's not just nurses.

    One of the things I left out of the other thread about "what are they teaching in nursing school these days" is my experience with supervising co-workers in a different industry. There is a certain percentage of people, so steeped in their own narcissism that they allow their own perception of their job performance to be their only indicator. It doesn't matter if you show them stats, metrics, measures, or even "look at how short your stack of completed items is compared to the two people on either side of you", they will only see what they believe. There is no sense of work ethic, no sense of responsibility or ownership, just a deep seated level of sheltered denial about their shortcomings. Yet they will often solicit long and loud about how they're the Rock Star of the department, the most "brilliant mind" to ever grace the company, or refer to themselves as "Mr. Awesome".

    Where does it come from? I don't know. It's probably not exactly pathological, but it certainly is a real problem for that individual and the people they work with. I'm sure that some will eventually outgrow it and smarten up, but I haven't seen it happen yet.

    If I had the time, I would invest in some more sociology and psychology studies because this is something that's not just in any industry or any generation, but it is suddenly EVERYWHERE.
  6. by   klone
    It's the "let's give everyone an award just for participating" mentality.
  7. by   NurseOnAMotorcycle
    Ha ha ha!! Ok, I love this post so much! I've had the same thought a few times. Honestly, I think it's because we are trying to support each other in this extremely litigious, everyone-hates-nurses world.

    But seriously, I AM a great nurse so I'm able to give these sorts of opinions... (joke! Don't shoot me!)
  8. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Amen, Ruby.

    I've quit reading the threads where people complain about various injustices (I only failed A&P the second time because the teacher hated me...) and then receive post after post assuring them that they'll be a fabulous nurse.

    Even the person who just barely scraped through nursing school and took 6 times to pass the NCLEX and still hasn't the foggiest notion of how to dilute meds is still... a nurse.

    And no, compassion, empathy, nor calling magically endow someone with the aptitude, judgment, and skill to be a decent nurse... nor, in my opinion, are even necessary (though certainly to be desired).
  9. by   GitanoRN
    another thought to ponder for us nurses... as "nurses week" approches.
  10. by   ClearBlueOctoberSky
    I know I'm a good nurse because they say so.

    In all seriousness. I have only been at my job for a little over two and half weeks. I am getting positive feedback from supervisors and co-workers, who know that I am a brand new nurse. Do I think I am a good nurse? Not yet, but I strive. My favorite phrase right now is "I'm sorry. I didn't know I should do that." Have I made mistakes? You bet ya. But I learn from them, and will always continue to do so.

    I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I get frustrated because I don't think I am where I should be, although, that is a whole other story. I am assured that I am performing at a level that is expected from me.

    I go home thankful that nobody died. And today, I got out at a decent time. A major mile stone. I'm on my way to being an exceptional nurse.
  11. by   Multicollinearity
    Plenty of nurses fear they are not good enough. These are the nurses that stay in poor practice environments because they fear they couldn't 'cut it' where 'good nurses' work. These things go unspoken.
  12. by   mofomeat
    Quote from ♪♫ in my ♥
    Even the person who just barely scraped through nursing school and took 6 times to pass the NCLEX and still hasn't the foggiest notion of how to dilute meds is still... a nurse.

    And no, compassion, empathy, nor calling magically endow someone with the aptitude, judgment, and skill to be a decent nurse... nor, in my opinion, are even necessary (though certainly to be desired).
    I saw a lot of attitudes in school like this- students feeling they deserved an A because they wanted it, not because they turned in A-level work. In some of the lower end classes they won anyways- they got an A just like I did. In other classes, they got shaken out pretty quickly. A&P I had a 32% pass rate, and there was nothing too hard or unfair about that class.

    I'm not a nurse yet myself, but to be honest some of the threads here where real nurses talk about day to day stuff, the intimidating stack of meds I will have to know, plus discussions about patient and doctor interaction, lateral violence, hospital red tape, etc., I'm actually worried sometimes that I won't be good enough to do what you folks do. Time will tell and I'm going to give it 110% anyways but some days I can see how much work I really have ahead of me. Some days I'm frightened.
  13. by   LynnLRN
    I started to think I was a good nurse about 2 years into my med-surg job (I was there 5). Now that I moved away from med-surg and I'm c/s on med-surg pts and have to talk to the nurses caring for the patients, I think I was an AWESOME/VERYGOOD/EXCELLENT nurse. I can't believe how awful some people are, they just don't get it. I remember while I was working med-surg and my manager would tell us during staff meetings what we need to work on I would get a little irritated because I was like we already do that, we know this/that etc and I would voice my opinion about this. But now I have found just because I was doing the right thing doesn't mean everyone else was. I can't believe how I'll ask a nurse why is that pt on a heparin drip and they have NO CLUE. Or I'll ask them about the pt's wound or drain and they have never looked at it didn't even know it was there. It has been a real eye opener. I was on a lot of committees where we would make decisions regarding nursing care and a lot of the higher ups would way over simplify things and questions things where I was like oh come on all nurses know that and I'd be like at some point we have to trust that the nurses are "competent", oh how wrong I was! Now I definitely can't say I'm an expert at my new job, I have a ton to learn but I know I'll get there!
  14. by   Katalina
    It feels like when they say,"I'm a good nurse". What they mean is I'm a good person or I'm trying hard. Also it does seem like people usually think nursing is about being caring and compassionate. Nothing else. All the good nurses I've ever known were extremely smart, no nonsense types. They could see through bs a mile away. A little stern at times.( I was 17 and working as a CNA) Those ladies taught me so much about nursing and just about life in general. They're the reason I decided to be a nurse. I hope one day I can call myself a "good nurse". And have it be true, of course!