Help! New nurse jitters?

Nurses General Nursing


I am a newly graduated RN that has been working at a small local hospital for about a month without a preceptor. I did not have a clue that nursing would be this draining (emotionally and physically) but I love it with all of my heart. However, I am having trouble sleeping the night/day before my shift begins. I find myself getting anxious about what tomorrow will bring and nervous about making mistakes.

Is this something that every nurse goes through? How did you cope? Please help! :confused:

this is absolutely normal. i experienced the same feelings you speak of. just realize that with time you WILL learn and grow as a nurse. also realize that we are all human and you will make mistakes. just learn from them, hold your head high, and move on.

as far as having no preceptor, i would recommend speaking with your floor manager and requesting one. might help ease some of your worries. the hospital i started at gives all new nurses a 6 month preceptor-ship.

Specializes in Peds, School Nurse, clinical instructor.

Hi and welcome to the world of nursing. What you are going through is very normal and it does get better with time. Sometimes being a little nervous keeps you on your toes. As for making will, we all have at some point in our career so if it happens, learn from it and try to not make the same mistake again. Since you don't have a preceptor, try making friends your co-workers and watch and learn from them. I have been a nurse for 10 years and still get nervous sometimes and still learn something new everyday!!! You will be great:nurse:

Thanks for your input! I apologize, I had a preceptor but I am going on a month working "independently". Most of the nurses are very helpful while others aren't but that's everywhere! Thanks for making me feel "normal"! :nurse:

Have passed the one year mark and still get anxious sometimes before a shift. It passes once I get there and see my assignment. It's the anticipation of coming across something new and being unsure of what to do. The upside is that everytime this happens, you expand your knowledge base and gain a little more confidence. Take a deep breath and tell yourself you"ve made it this far! Give yourself credit where it's due!!! Good luck.

Specializes in Critical Care/Coronary Care Unit,.

Unfortunately my dear, you're going to feel incompetent for about a year. They say it takes a year for a nurse to become competent. I know I felt uncomfortable for about a year. I used to dread going to work. Just ask a lot of questions and utilize your resources, charge nurse, internet, policy and procedure manual, etc.

When I worked the night shift as a CNA, but couldn't sleep because I was stressing about school and work, Valarian root worked wonders. It cured my anxiety and helped me sleep. You can get it in the herbal section of most large grocery stores or pharmacies. There are also several sodas with Valerian root as an ingredient, and I like the one called Drank the best. It puts me to sleep in about 20 minutes, no matter how anxious I am. Drink lots of water before bed though, or you'll wake up pretty dehydrated! :)

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

welcome to the wonderful world of nursing.

the first year is the worst -- i felt incompetent when i arrived, convinced i'd forgotten something when i left. every negative consequence that occured for any of my patients i was sure was due to my failure to notice, report or treat something. i cried all the way to work and all the way home just about every day. just when i started to feel competent, my husband got a job offer halfway across the country and we moved. so it started all over again!

this too shall pass.

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