New RN, self doubt

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    I am a "new" RN. I started my job as a graduate nurse (GN) in the ICU 2 weeks after graduating nursing school, and after 4 weeks I passed my boards and got my RN. I worked in healthcare as an nursing assistant for 3 years, so although i was a new nurse, i felt confident after observing nurses work and assess patients for 3 years that i was capable of tackling something as intense as an ICU position. I never pictured myself as a medsurg nurse, it just wasnt for me. I am blessed to work with such an awesome group of supportive nurses who all help each other out and I have never felt like I am afraid to ask a question if I am unsure of something. I had 16 weeks of orientation and I have been on my own for the last 7 months.

    This my issue: I've never felt anxious about going into work, I still don't, however just recently- I'd say within the last 2 months, I have been double and triple checking everything I do and I go home at night and I lay in bed and think about things I did and if I did them correctly (even though I'm sure I did, because I always check things over again). I've been doubting myself, I am so anxious and work is all I think about when I am not there. I have been reading posts and I know it is "normal" to feel like this at first, but after 7 months to START feeling like this? I cry about work when i am at home, and i question myself constantly as to if I did everything I could for my patients.

    When I am at work, I feel confident and sure of myself. I am cool, calm and collective, especially when "**** hits the fan", I do not get flustered or upset. It is AFTER work when I am home that the anxiety kicks in, I've found myself on 2 or 3 occasions already to be walking out to my car and running back into work to check and make sure I did "xyz" or that my patient's heparin drip was at the correct rate (even though I already checked it 3 times before I left). Is it normal to JUST start feeling like this after I've been on my own for 7 months already? I love my co-workers and the work environment, but the way I have been feeling recently when I am home in my own thoughts is a real downer. I start to feel as if I am not cut out for this, even though a nurse is all I ever wanted to be. I love my patients and I truly put their needs and safety first, but WHY is it that when I'm not at work I am stressing out about it?
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    Normal! At least in my humble opinion. Went through the same thing at first, then with each job change. Every floor of every hospital has it's own routines that must be learned, and there's so much, it's easy to worry about forgetting something. I think all nurses, at least the most conscientious ones, get the feeling that they could do so much more for each patient if only there were more hours in the day. In time you'll learn to take comfort knowing that you did everything right while at work, and begin to leave the job at the door. I was worried when you said you went to ICU from nursing school. I always encourage new nurses to get some med surge experience before going to ER or ICU. It's like getting your drivers license and going right to the Indy 500. Too many crash & burn, and that leaves some scars! You're beyond the crash & burn point, so if I'm an ICU patient, I want you for my nurse.


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