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It gets better.

Has 3 years experience.

I have been a nurse for almost a year. I am 24, newly married, and often feel too young for such responsibility! Started and still work in float pool at a local community hospital that isn't super new-grad friendly. If you have seen my previous posts, I have struggled with wanting to leave hospital nursing altogether for the sake of my mental and physical health and do something "easier." I work nights and I am NOT a night person. Bottom line: The last year has totally sucked.


This magical "one year" mark that I have heard so much about is ABSOLUTELY true. I never believed it. I finally feel like a nurse.... I can start that dilt drip and get you out of afib, take care of your new boobs, get you through your first night after a huge spine surgery, know how to help with your chemo side effects, recover you from abd surgery, 1:1 you when you're suicidal/homicidal, and assist you in safety withdrawing from alcohol. I can't even believe I can DO these things.

So, it gets better. Stick with what your doing for one year and be proud of yourself for getting through it and keeping your patients as safe as possible. YOU ARE A GREAT NURSE. Good job for making it through your first year!

And thank you to the AN community for supporting me through all of it.

BlueDawnRN, BSN

Has 6 years experience. Specializes in Progressive Care.

I really needed to see this post, thanks! I'm at the 4 month mark if you count orientation, 1 month mark of working on my own, on a tele unit. I'm blessed to be in a supportive work environment but some nights really test my breaking point. I know it will get better, but there are some things I wonder if they'll ever get better, like dealing with multiple confused, combative patients who keep trying to fight and who pull out their IV lines and tele leads, while I have a patient in another room going south, an upset family member demanding to see me, etc. I know I can learn what is required to know for this job, but I don't know how being pulled in 100 different directions at once will get better.

I like the skills and knowledge I'm acquiring, I can forgive myself for not knowing everything and I'm not afraid to ask questions. But the challenge is the constant distractions and lack of time. I worked as a hospital clerk for years and dealt with multitasking, but now there's so much more at stake, dealing with lives instead of paperwork.

If you can think of anything more we could be doing our first year to help make the transition smoother, I'd love to hear it. Also, did you start to feel better 1 year after orientation, or 1 year after working on your own? I know it's a silly question, but I'm eagerly counting down!

Thanks for your uplifting post.

Thank you for your post. Week 3 in my orientation and I really needed to read your message.

Thank you for your post. I am at my 7 month mark and I feel inadequate and unsure if I could handle being a nurse after those difficult shifts.

I am the only new grad on my unit, so many of my coworkers do not know that I am a new RN, and it's hard for me to relate to anyone there since they are seasoned.

It's so hard to not take certain experiences personal. I asked a nurse a question and she gave me the "are you really asking me this" face.

I can't help but cry (on my way home from work) because I feel so overwhelmed at times.

Or giving a patient a medication and they have a reaction to it.

I work in California where we have nurse-patient ratios and I'll be moving out of state after gaining experience and I am afraid that I will be starting this fear and newness all over again.

I have so much fear and doubt that I'm not good enough. :-(

So thank you for sharing this, because even though I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, knowing that others have gives me a little bit of hope.

i start my new/first position next month. i am scared ********.


Has 1 years experience.

Thank you for your post. I'm at my 8 month mark at a private practice and needed to read this after having such a horrible week. I have another job (only work a few times a month) and I will be at the one year mark next month and I look back on how far I came. I was so nervous at first and now I'm very confident, work several stations, and train the new employees. Everyone goes through their first year and sometimes we need to be reminded that we are competent and will be successful.

I'm at my two week mark! I can't wait for the one year feels.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Has 35 years experience. Specializes in Critical Care, Education.


Thank you so much for circling back to provide words of encouragement to other new grads. We (crusty old bats) provide this same info on a regular basis, but it doesn't have the same info coming from one own peer group.

Bottom line? Trust the (nurse maturation) process - don't bail out too soon.


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