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Is it possible for me to be a good nurse?

Nurses   (1,397 Views 16 Comments)
by Mimium Mimium (New Member) New Member

79 Visitors; 2 Posts

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Hi All,

I'm in the last semester of a two year ASN program and I feel totally defeated. All of my test scores this semester have been good (my class average is 89%) except for the ATI comprehensive which said that I have a 49% chance of passing the N-CLEX. I generally do bad on ATI tests, but this was the worst I've ever done. Furthmore, I absolutely suck at clinical. All of my classmates are flying through their days and look extremely confident while it takes me forever to do EVERYTHING and I look like a nervous wreck the entire time. I have extremely bad anxiety and I always feel that is transitioning into my work. Since I apparently am so far off from passing the N-CLEX and I'm still horrible at clinical even though I'm a senior, I feel like this might have been a mistake. I've always dreamed of being someone who is competent and confident. That is what actually drew me to nursing-I admired how smart and assertive nurses are. But I'm starting to feel like since I'm not confident and I'm bad at being assertive, maybe I'm not going to be a good nurse. 

I kinda feel like all my instructors hate me too. I'm 20 and I don't work because my parents support me, but I'm the only one in my class who struggles with clinical and school. I feel like they think I'm some spoiled kid who doesn't care about nursing because I'm doing bad and I'm so anxious, it doesn't look like I'm enjoying working with people. 

Honestly, I have 2 months left till graduation and I'm scared for my future. Will I pass the boards? And if I pass, then what? Will I even be good? I absolutely love watching and helping experienced nurses work, but when I do it (and mess up), I feel miserable. I'm kinda just venting here, but I'd appreciate any advice.

-Mim

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Emergent has 25 years experience and works as a Emergency Room RN.

6 Followers; 2 Articles; 63,532 Visitors; 2,692 Posts

You're very young.  You sound like you must have your head on straight to have made good choices. You also have a supportive family, how awesome. 

A lot of us here floundered around in life, maybe had kids with losers, frittered away our youth in dead end jobs, then finally decided "I'd better get my act together!". I was in my mid thirties when I became an RN. Kudos to you!

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1 Follower; 44,184 Visitors; 2,974 Posts

If felt the exact same way during school, even dropped out one semester, and my first two years of nursing.

Your class mates.... I doubt are flying confidently. I don't trust any nurse or doctor, no matter how experienced, who sail along confidently as if they know everything.  And I doubt they spend one second thinking about your age or personal situation.

It took me years to learn NO ONE knows it all.  You can work the same unit 30 years and you will NOT KNOW IT ALL.  Procedures,  drugs,  policies,  technology, etc. are always changing. 

If you're not saying...what does that mean, I've never done that, I don't know about that, over and over in your career you're a danger to your patients. Adding, but I will find out may be appropriate.

You're making yourself a nervous Nellie so of course you're going to blow it taking the ATI test. Google ideas on how to not get nervous when taking tests.

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TriciaJ has 37 years experience as a RN and works as a Retired.

6 Followers; 31,691 Visitors; 3,008 Posts

I think your anxiety and self-doubt have become a self-perpetuating cycle.  You expect to do badly, then you do badly, then you doubt yourself....

Anxiety is not a completely bad thing in a student, new grad or experienced nurse.  Actually, one of the biggest red flags in a new grad is over-confidence and the belief that one has it all together.  Those are the ones who are dangerous.

Is it possible to go to the skills lab on your own time to practice things?  Pick one thing you have trouble with, and do it over and over until it starts to feel easier.  You might just need a bit more time to gain mastery and confidence.  Try to find ways to give yourself that time.

When you graduate, try to find a job with a really good orientation or internship.  For NCLEX, use Mosby's Comprehensive Nursing Review or whatever the current gold standard study guide is.

Here's my trick for those multiple choice exams:  Read the question but not the answers.  Does anything immediately pop into your head?  Then look to see if it is one of the answers.  If it is, mark that one and MOVE ON.  Other than making sure you answered every question, do not go back and review your test.  Do not start second-guessing yourself and changing answers.

I'm rooting for you.  Hang in there.

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and works as a RN - Adolescent Psych.

4 Followers; 31,449 Visitors; 2,605 Posts

On 3/14/2019 at 7:59 PM, brownbook said:

 

…...….And I doubt they spend one second thinking about your age or personal situation.

 

My daddy used to say "You wouldn't care so much about what other people thought of you if you realized how rarely they did!

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79 Visitors; 2 Posts

Thanks, everyone! I was feeling very down in the dumps when I wrote this and I appreciate every word of encouragement and the advice you all have suggested.

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lovingtheunloved has 12 years experience and works as a RN.

9,684 Visitors; 920 Posts

It sounds like your anxiety is your worst enemy. Perhaps you need to see someone about it. A bit of anxiety can be a good thing, but it sounds like yours is crippling you. If you can get it under control I bet you’ll do just fine.

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85 Visitors; 6 Posts

I made a similar post a while ago. Struggling with anxiety, sucking at clinical lol, struggling with grades, the whole shebang! So I understand how you feel, even though I am only in my second semester. From one nervous nellie to another (and trust me, I'm learning just how paralyzing anxiety can be!) I'd say work on getting your anxiety under control. That may include meds, relaxation techniques, and understanding that everything is a process. Every day, you are learning something. Lack of confidence is also at the root of this? I find that I struggle with this as well, and it does affect performance as you will be second guessing every little decision you make rather than trusting your gut, trusting that you can do this and just doing it. Good luck to you, you've made it this far! :D❤️ I'm learning that nursing is a profession that really forces you to examine who you are as a person--flaws and struggles and all, and challenges you to improve yourself as you must if you want to survive. *hugs*

 

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2,496 Visitors; 283 Posts

First of all: last semester at 20 years old. Congrats on that.

There's no way of knowing what type of nurse you'll be until you become a nurse; nursing school isn't typically a great indicator. Some of those "great" students are typically the ones who kiss up to instructors and look busy which makes them more likeable. Don't beat yourself up-at least not yet. I recommend using UWorld to practice for NCLEX when the time comes. There are other qbanks available but I found UWorld really helpful.

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Lulu Belle has 1 years experience.

5,477 Visitors; 210 Posts

Hi Minimum. Congrats on being almost done! I'm also in my last semester and I am SO excited to graduate.

I used to be so hard on myself. I'd keep a running list of all the dumb things I'd done, and beat myself up for them, thinking everyone thought I was the stupidest student/EMT/tech/whatever hat I was wearing that day in the world.

Then, as I talked to more nurses and more students, I realized everyone has a laundry list of dumb things they've done. Even the most seasoned nurses started where we are, and are still learning new things every day.

My point is, stop telling yourself this story that you're worse than everyone else. I bet your classmates go home at night and tell their mom/husband/cat all about how nervous they are, too. You got one bad test grade, so what. Sounds like just about my class's average for our ATI equivalent. You're going to pass, you're going to get a job, and you're going to have a great career.

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1 Follower; 11,065 Visitors; 449 Posts

9 hours ago, Neo Soldier said:

First of all: last semester at 20 years old. Congrats on that.

There's no way of knowing what type of nurse you'll be until you become a nurse; nursing school isn't typically a great indicator. Some of those "great" students are typically the ones who kiss up to instructors and look busy which makes them more likeable. Don't beat yourself up-at least not yet. I recommend using UWorld to practice for NCLEX when the time comes. There are other qbanks available but I found UWorld really helpful.

Yes!

I was going to suggest Uworld, but this poster beat me to it.

My school required us to score at least 96% on ATI Comprehensive to graduate.

I scored 97%.

When studying for NCLEX, I used Uworld, and passed the test with 75 questions.

I felt fully prepared.

ATI is one tool, but I feel Uworld is superior.

As others have stated, your classmates may look cool on the outside, but I doubt they are cool on the inside.

You simply need to learn how to best control that anxiety.

Try breathing exercises, like the Navy Seals.

You can do this, I promise.

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ocean.baby has 25 years experience.

1,972 Visitors; 85 Posts

I have not read all of the posts, but I just wanted to say that if you are not taking anything for your anxiety you should see a physician and get something.  You don't have to suffer with this.  Some people have test anxiety, some people general anxiety.  There are many medications that can decrease your anxiety and enhance your life.  

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