I couldn't possibly relate anymore to your post! I struggle with the same exact problem. I have completed the first semester of my nursing program, and am only a few days away from beginning 2nd semester classes. I too never questioned my intelligence or passion for this field, but my anxiety was something I've always worried about. I struggle have a slight stutter/stammer when I get nervous on top of it all. The truth is, nursing school
is no joke. The first semester was a rollercoaster. I had many days where I felt defeated and really pondered about finding a new career path. But I made it through, and I know you can too. The key to my success was learning to fake confidence. I might be a nervous wreck on the inside, but that doesn't mean I have to let everyone know I'm feeling that way. Many days in class I'd want to run and hide because I was dreading the upcoming skills exam, or so nervous I thought I could puke when it came to clinical. But even after just one semester, I'm on my way to mastering the art of faking confidence. I know it sounds silly, but many of my professors have suggested it too.
In the first few weeks of the semester, I barely spoke to anyone. Of course I was friendly, but never really clicked with anyone. Then it dawned on me.. making friends would probably really help. I ended up clicking with a few girls.. Not to say they're my best friends (yet), but we clicked on different levels and that made a WORLD of difference. I confided in them and became brave enough to speak up and voice my own opinions. Trust me.. it wasn't easy, but I did it. I left semester 1 feeling good and knowing I was one step closer to really getting over my fears. My anxiety will always be with me.. but I'm learning to own it. It keeps me on my toes and definitely keeps me humble. Some clients might appreciate a more softspoken nurse. Many of my classmates are outgoing and (seem) fearless.. but each client is different and some might actually take to you in ways you never imagined. Although anxiety difficult to deal with at times, it isn't always a horrible thing. Good luck! You can do it, I promise! Keep positive and remember to fake your confidence when you can!