I don't feel smart or fast enough to continue to be an RN.

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    I have little confidence as an RN, I have a BSN. I passed my courses with great grades. And in my first 2years at bedside I was off and running, I felt like I was "getting" it. I loved the career I had chosen. Then during my third year and until now 5.5 years later, it seems as though my memory is failing me. I am 38. I have to constantly look up things I didnt have to before. I have become so cautious and careful that I skip meals during my shifts. I get tongue-tied when i give report. When I get home I constantly replay all the events in my head to make sure I was safe and gave the best possible care to my patients. I dont want to go to work anymore. I want abandon the career i worked so hard for. I have never caused harm to a patient, or even nearly caused harm to a patient. But i know of nurses who have made terrible mistakes. And in the new state I moved to a year ago, they publish the names of nurses in the nursing newsletter who have ongoing disciplinary action against them. I recognize my anxiety but has anyone else ever experienced this?
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    Yes! I thought I was the only one...I've been a nurse for about 3 years and I still have anxiety about work. What may be contributing to that anxiety is the fact I've changed jobs 3 times in those years and never really "settled in"...although I thought the grass would be greener on the other side. I've realized that bedside is bedside is bedside. And I don't like it very much. I think it's a lot of stuff to do, to know, and liability...I would like to work in something less stressful. Another thing I realized through my short nursing career so far is that I personally have a lot of anxiety in general, am very self deprecating and hard on myself in a lot of aspects of my life but even more so in nursing since I compare myself with my colleagues, even new grads. But that's all personal and ties into my work.

    For you, do you think your anxiety is something new or has been with you for a while? If it's new, did something happen in particular that you can point to where it began? So you feel burnt out? Maybe you need a new environment that's less stressful? Just something to think about. Good luck!
    EducatedNurse07 likes this.
  6. 4
    It would be helpful to you to see, in order, 1) your primary care physician that can work you up for physical causes for your symptoms (thyroid? early perimenopause? who knows? your PCP should know) and if nothing found, 2) a counselor who specializes in work anxieties. You recognize that this is uncharacteristic for you, so seek some answers from the pros.
    SE_BSN_RN, EducatedNurse07, poppycat, and 1 other like this.