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I want to be a nurse but


The closer I get to getting my pre requisites done the more nervous I feel. I am afraid of messing up and not knowing what to do in a emergency situation. I worked in a TMC on an Army base for a year and loved it. I drew blood, gave shots, helped with pap smears, stiches, minor procedures etc, but I've never worked in a hospital and I'm afraid I'll get overwhelmed during clinicals. I know that nursing is what I want to do, I want to help people. I've been looking at other majors but I really can't imagine doing anything else. Any suggestions how to make myself feel more confident and just do it? Thanks

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

You do not need to feel more confident about that yet :) It isn't like they toss you in and say "go to work!" right off...you start slow and build into increased competency and gradually increased experience. By the time you get into an emergency situation where you are expected to participate and contribute, you will have been exposed to what is required of you and have had the opportunity to practice and be mentored. Everyone is nervous when they start out. Trust your school to build you up into a nurse...it takes time to become one ;) You will be fine.

As an example, I am a first semester student and as green as green can be. We were caring for an elderly client who went into crisis. We called in her nurse....who notified the rapid response team...and we were allowed to stay back, out of the way, against the walls and watch. We weren't expected to know anything more at that point except for the most basic course of action, which was to notify the person qualified to take the correct steps. We've had enough instruction to recognize the crisis and to know who we needed to notify. Pretty basic. But then we were allowed to stay and get exposed to the Rapid Response team, which was amazing to behold. It was our job at that point to stay out of the way, watch and learn. Not help.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

Some "bad" things in life can't be changed -- or shouldn't be changed. They simply need to be endured.

Being nervous about entering a new program, a new job, etc. is always going to be a little scary. It should be a little scary -- because that means you care about doing a good job and that's a good thing. Unless your fears are making your life miserable, paralyzing you, etc. just accept the "butterflies" and "cold feet" as a part of a normal healthy life -- the life of someone bold enough and motivated enough to move forward with something worthwhile. Enjoy the ride!

YES! A LITTLE fearfulness is a good thing. keeps you on your toes. and there are instructors who go after those who appear TOO confident.....good luck!

Emergency RN

Specializes in ED, CTSurg, IVTeam, Oncology. Has 30 years experience.

To the OP, from your experience alone, you'll be the envy of nearly all your student colleagues. Many nurses graduate from school never having given one IM shot (surprising, isn't it?). The fact that you've already done so many 'hands on' things puts you way ahead of many others.

I suggest you put your fear into the category of what FDR said when he paraphrased Bacon, "we have nothing to fear but fear itself." That is, don't let your anxiety scare you off of something that you can easily do.

I'm sure you'll do fine. Good luck. :up:

I just got accepted to a BSN program starting this fall, so I'm kind of in the same boat. I was elated (and I still am) that I got in, but now the reality of it is starting to set in and I'm starting to feel the nerves a bit. I just keep thinking of what one of my CNA instructors that I still keep in touch with told me: "It's the ones who already think they know it all that will have a hard time. A little fear is a good thing. It keeps you questioning yourself just enough to make sure you don't make a hasty decision that might harm your patient."

You'll be fine - if you have the will to do it, then confidence will come in time.

Some bullet points:

*You won't be solely responsible for a patient for awhile (after school and orientation), if something's hinky during clinicals, bring it up to the patient's primary nurse.

*Confidence comes with time and experience. It's not like you're going to show up to your first clinical and be made to run a code. What I've told my orientees and even a newer nurse, best thing you can do is when a code's called, rush into the room and you'll undoubtably get trapped in the back of the room where you can see what's going on.

*You'll look back after even 6 months after starting, and be astounded about what you've picked up and without even realizing it.

*Don't say, "I don't know," say, "I'll find out." Good luck

Thank you everyone, for your insight. I have decided to just go for it becuase if I don't I know I will regret it! I don't know why I am so nervous! But I'm glad its normal and can't wait to start the program! :D


Specializes in Quality Improvement, Informatics. Has 1 years experience.

You're not going to be thrown out there all alone! You'll be fine. Just don't forget it's okay to ask questions if you're not sure. But also have confidence that you know what you've learned. :rolleyes::)

I drew blood, gave shots, helped with pap smears, stiches, minor procedures etc, but I've never worked in a hospital and I'm afraid I'll get overwhelmed during clinicals.

You are more experienced than many of your potential classmates; many of them can't imagine doing the things you have done!

They generally keep new students pretty well caged during initial clinical experiences. You will do just fine.