How long does it take to feel like you know what you're doing?

  1. I've been a nurse for 2 years, my first year was in a hospital and after a year I moved to home health. I still sometimes feel like I don't know what I'm doing. My preceptor at the hospital (who has precepted many new grad nurses) said that it usually takes nurses 2 years to feel confident and I've hit the 2 year mark and still don't feel confident. Home health is harder because you're the only one there. The doctor isn't going to make rounds and do his own assessment later that day so it's up to you to detect any problems and if you miss something it's all on you. Anyways, I just hate feeling like I have no idea what to do in some situations. Is it normal to still feel like this after 2 years of nursing experience?
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    About RN416

    Joined: Sep '16; Posts: 28; Likes: 4


  3. by   Guy in Babyland
    Your preceptor was meaning it takes 2 yrs in the same job to get comfortable. You only stayed a yr then changed specialties. It will take 2 yrs (maybe less) at your new job to be comfortable.
  4. by   mmc51264
    I'll let you know when I get there! (been a nurse 5 years). JK After about 3 years, I felt more comfortable but you never stop learning and every single case is different. I still ask questions all the time.
  5. by   Sour Lemon
    I've always heard 2 years to feel "OK" and seven years to feel "competent". I'm in my seventh year and would say it's been true for me. There is still a LOT more to learn, though (of course).