New Grad insecurity

  1. I'm on my first job as an RN. I'm still on my second day on the floor. I didn't have prior experience as a nurse or tech, so this is literally my first job. Before I went on the floor, I had 1.5 months of classroom orientation provided by the hospital. I thought that would help, but now that I'm on the floor, I really feel like I didn't learn anything in the classroom or nursing school. I feel so lost and confused. Is this normal? Will it get better?
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    About Alex87

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 6; Likes: 4


  3. by   turnforthenurse
    It is normal and it will get better! The difference between nursing school and the real world is astonishing. Nursing school gives you a foundation but you do not learn "how" to be a nurse until you start working as one. I have been an RN for over a year and a half and comparing myself now to when I first started is amazing. I have grown and a lot has changed. I did not start to become comfortable until about 6 months in to the job. For most it is 6 months-1 year. There is a huge learning curve, you will feel discouraged but don't give up! It just takes time. Hopefully you have a good preceptor, good coworkers and management that will help you through the process.

    Do not be afraid to ask questions. No question is ever a stupid question. You are better off asking a question to be sure on something vs. "assuming" and potentially causing harm.

    If there are things you do no understand very well, such as a disease process, make a little note of it and read about it when you go home. Do your own homework. Make connections with your real life experiences.

    Everything will eventually click and you will have that "aha!" moment. You are only on your second day on the floor so don't be so hard on yourself!

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  4. by   tktjRN
    Every new nurse feels this way so don't feel discouraged. I would agree that it takes about 6 months to feel somewhat confident, in this profession. The greatest part of this profession is that it changes everyday. Not one patient is like the next. I've been a nurse for 16 years. All nurses, no matter how long they've been doing this, get out of their comfort zone at some point, when learning something new. In time your critical thinking skills will out weigh your insecurities. It will all come together. You'll do just fine!
  5. by   PA_RN87
    I graduated nursing school in December of 2012, and passed my NCLEX February 2013. I'll be starting my first nursing job this month, and I'm a little nervous about seeming incompetent. I didn't have any previous experience either (tech, aide, etc.), so this is my first real job as well. I did well in nursing school, but I always hear about how different "real world nursing" is from "nursing school nursing," and I've read peoples' horror stories about being fired from their first job (also a fear). I'm always careful, and I've never done anything I wasn't absolutely sure of. If I wasn't sure, I always asked someone else first. I ask lots of questions - something I think will help me tremendously as I transition. I'm still worried.

    You're not alone!!!
  6. by   PA_RN87
    I'm in my third week now. Has anyone else second guessed their career choice? I just feel like I take 2 steps forward and one step backward. I want to talk to my preceptor about how I'm actually doing... I might be doing better than I feel. I had 2 patients code this week and I never felt more useless in my life.
  7. by   on eagles wings
    I feel the same. I am in my second week. I feel like a total idiot. How have you guys been coming along? Does it feel better now?
  8. by   j2mp79
    I'm just finishing my second full week on my own after three weeks of classroom orientation and four weeks working with a preceptor. I definitely feel dumb at some point every day but I just keep reminding myself that it's going to take time to get to know how everything works. It's very frustrating, especially in situations where a patient is having significant issues and I'm fumbling around trying to figure out which pager number to call for which provider.

    In the end I know that I'm doing my best as long as my patients are safe. All that other knowledge will come with time.