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Feeling discouraged


I have been a nurse @ a LTC facility for one year and that fact depresses me. I feel as though I should know more than what I know. I'm constantly asking questions, I irritate the doctors by not having answers to their questions on hand, and I feel as though my fellow nurses are a little annoyed by me. Some even think that I'm pretending not to know so I can get out of doing it and that is not true. Now listen, I love being a nurse. I especially love the patients. But it just seems that the nurses always have to walk me through a lot of the things that I have to do(paper work). It just seems that the other nurses know their jobs so well and work with confidence and I always have this confused look on my face. I try really really hard and although I'm crying inside, I always wear a smile and pretend that I'm holding up okay. When I talk to doctors, the pharmacy, and even family members, I have a terrible habit of stuttering, I seem to not even know answers to what they are asking me so I have to put them on hold to flip through the patient's chart. I feel really dumb and discouraged but I really don't want to give up being a nurse and I don't plan to. I even write down things that I did'nt know, and keep them in a little note pad so I can remember next time. I long for the day when I can just come to work and know exactly what I'm supposed to, so that for the first time I can actually feel like a good nurse.


Has 3 years experience.

Almost every nurse feels like you do when we first start out. For a while I almost could not even come to work because I would feel like you did. I try not to care if people think I look stupid because I want to make sure I am doing the right thing for my patient. So what if I have asked the same question before, I want to make sure I am doing the right thing. I hope it gets better for you.

You sound like me my first year of nursing. I stutter when I'm nervous, also. You are not alone and it does get better. :-)

I am in long term care, and feel the same way !!! I have only been in two months but there are too many patients to 1 nurse, it's crazy when you are expected to know every med, medical hx of every single patient !! MD's HATE being put on hold too, but they ask the most random questions ! Every MD is different, expecially when calling in labs, some don't ask any questions, some ask reuslts of previous labs, medical history & meds, meanwhile while your stressing looking for information, there are 6 call lights going off, the other phone is ringing and someone at the nurses station is asking a question !! LTC is nuts !! good luck :)

It's normal to feel nervous especially when you don't feel confident. If you could find a mentor to help you, and get encouragement from him/her, this will increase your confidence. Before you call the doctor for anything, always anticipate what the doctor will want to know about that patient. (Primary dx, base line vitals signs, new labs, etc.) Hope this helps. Good luck!

I know exactly how you feel. I have been working on a med surg floor since Aug. Some nites I just feel really stupid. I feel like I am the only one who asks ALOT of questions. Some I do know the answers to but I don't have alot of confidence yet so I ask questions. I am always really busy while others just sit and get everything done faster than me even nurses that are new too. I only take 1/2 break while others take a long break. I am thinking about getting another job closer to home and at a VA. I recently decreased my hours so I will be home with my kids for summer.

Not sure what to do.

Wow, I could have wrote exactly what you did. I feel the exact same way that you do. I have worked for 6 months but then was on mat leave, and only just returned to work this past week. I changed units to start something new, however I feel like a complete idiot all of the time because I feel like I come across as a nervous, incompetent wreck. I feel like I should know more than what I do. I compare myself to other nurses that have just started and I am thinking how do they know all this stuff, and I don't. I have two degrees so I know I have a brain, but at work in the hospital it just doesn't seem to work. I have difficulty remembering all of the new info, when I speak, it comes out all jumbled and I look like I have no idea what I am doing. Out of the hospital though, I am fine and calm. I don't know if this means I should change careers or just realize that it will take some time to become confident and knowledgeable. It irritates me how experienced nurses expect you to know everything on your second day on a unit.


Specializes in LTC. Has 5 years experience.

I'm a new nurse working in LTC too. One of the experienced nurses told me it will probably take 2-3 years (!) until I feel comfortable with all the paper work just because there is so darn much of it. When I have to call a doc, I am sure to have the resident's chart and MAR handy and look ahead of time at anything I anticipate them asking about. I feel the same way as you a lot of time, half the time I feel like I don't know what I'm doing at all. Hang it in there, everyday you will learn more and one day you will be one the experienced nurses you now envy.


Specializes in NICU, Psych, Med/Onc,Ped Home Health. Has 6 years experience.

don't get discouraged! as you are a new nurse, i would be more concerned that if you didn't ask questions, and thought that you knew it all already. no one knows everything, especially starting out in nursing. i have been a nurse for over 6 years, and i learn something new everyday. with experience, comes confidence. don't let your other co-workers get you down. i'm pretty sure when they started out they didn't know how to do the paperwork right away. and when you get more experienced, you will pretty much know what the doctors will ask for regarding the patients, so don't worry! you sound like a very caring nurse; don't ever change! just keep your head up, don't let them get you down, and be confident. in no time you will have your routine down, know all the in's and out's of the facility's paperwork, and will learn how to deal with the families and doctors. just have faith in yourself. good luck!

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