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    Confidence is an integral part of being a successful nurse. Confidence and ego are 2 entirely seperate things. So lets focus for a minute on the confidence you need to be successful. It takes a special person to be a nurse. But a nurse who is not afraid to continually learn and grow in this profession is confidence at its best. It may seem overwhelming to take on a course of study in nursing. Too many "what ifs". Too many "vents". Too many patients and not enough time. Deep breath, and dive in...


    Confidence is an integral part of being a successful nurse. Confidence and ego are 2 entirely seperate things. So lets focus for a minute on the confidence you need to be successful.

    Nursing students by and large are smart cookies. They love(or learn to embrace) the science of nursing. They can tell you how the blood flows through the heart in 4 seconds flat. And this is a good thing. If you ace A&P and can identify various bacteria, then you are confident that you have the physical part down flat.

    What is difficult to master could be the theory part of your nursing classes. It is much like algebra.....WHY is there an "x"? Can't their just be numbers? It is all so, well, subjective! If you look at a patient as a whole person, inside and out, and the goal being that the patient gets to the highest functioning level as possible, it is a start on the confidence that you are aiming for success for your patients.

    So how does this relate to the actual care of patients? When you are doing your clinical rotations, remember--highest functional level. So really observe. How does the nurse you are observing do what they do? Pull out everything your parents ever taught you about effective communication, appropriate behaviors, manners. You will see patients at their worst. Do not internalize this. This is not about you personally. "You sound frustrated. I do not know the answer, but let me see if I can find you one" will be your best friend. Have confidence in the fact that even if you have not a clue how to answer a question from a patient, that you know where to look to get it. So familiarize yourself with your resources.

    No matter how many vents, nursing really is a team sport. There are people higher on the food chain than yourself. (until you become the DON, then there still are higher ups, but not so many!). Use them and their experience. Do not be afraid to ask questions, even if you have to ask your clinical instructor--write questions down!

    Don't forget to thank the nurse who shared their day with you. If you believe the nurse to rock, tell them so! Even the grumpiest nurse on the worst day can do one thing that you find fascinating. For me it was how a nurse put in an NG tube. All of a sudden the lightbulb went on. I never, ever forgot it, and thanked him for his time and letting me observe.

    Don't ever shy away from a learning experience. Don't ever shy away from getting involved in making your patients as comfortable as you can. Don't ever shy away from asking the tough questions. At appropriate times, to the appropriate people, but don't NOT ask a question because you feel it is "dumb" or "unimportant".

    Know your references. Look at them, use them, become one with the drug book, become one with the nursing diagnosis book.

    Go forward with confidence. And best of luck in all of your endevours!! You can do this!
    Last edit by Joe V on Nov 5, '13
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  3. by   Cg37387n
    Interesting read, thank you for this.
  4. by   erint91DC
    I haven't started the program yet (starting January!), but this was already really helpful advice. Thanks!
  5. by   Dragan
    Its 'dumb' not to ask questions ; )
  6. by   lovenotwar14
    I love this. Far too many people are getting into this profession because ofc the money and not because they genuinely care about taking care of and helping people.