My anxiety seems to interfere with everything in NS

Nursing Students General Students


Hey everyone,

I don't know what's wrong with me, but i feel like my anxiety is out of control... especially this semester ( my 2nd)

Clinicals are a nightmare for me.. i feel like i can't do anything right and i'm always frazzled. Last semester i was pulling A's on exams like it was nothing and now i feel like my grades are declining and that adds even more anxiety. I feel like i'm loosing control over my academics and clinical and i'm not sure why. Anyone experience bad anxiety and learn to deal with it/get rid of it for the most part. I dont want meds or anything like that... i guess i just want to learn how to actually deal.

Any advice?

Thanks :)

Im going thru the exact same thing! I feel im to anxious and i just dont know how to control it! All i do is pray for everything to get better because its an uneasy feeling that i want to go away!!!

Yes. I actually have generalized anxiety disorder and have to deal with it every day. The first step is acknowledging that you have anxiety and that you need to deal with it. Congrats!

Here's how I deal and not let it get the best of me...

1. Get organized and stay organized. This will help you from feeling frazzled all the time. If you need a better way to write information down during clinicals, look up "brains" on this website and use them. Re-read what is expected of you during clinicals in your syllabus/clinical packet and think about what you need to do to get it done.

2. When you are feeling overwhelmed, take a break. I know that in clinicals, when I have a million things to do and I'm being pulled in a thousand different directions at once, I have to stop, take a deep breath and place myself in a time-out (even if just for 1 minute) while I figure out my priorities. Of course, this isn't available when our patient is coding but as students, we are usually not in that scenario.

3. Take care of yourself. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating really well? Do you ever take breaks from nursing altogether? You HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

4. Talk to clinical instructors, teachers, other nurses, classmates (not the best resource), look up different ways to study, how people organize their clinical days, etc. and read to see what ways will work for you and how you can change it up to suit yourself.

5. Last but not least, you are not the only one feeling this way. Do not expect perfection BUT look at ways that you can improve as a student for yourself. Now is the time before you are thrown out into the real world. For instance, my personal goals for this semester are to pay more attention to my patient's I&Os (something I sucked at last semester), I want to make sure I gather all my supplies before doing a procedure (something else I sucked at last semester), etc. There is always something we can improve upon and it's better to recognize it and deal with it. NO ONE IS PERFECT!

Hope this helps you! Take a deep breath and figure out how to get back on track. Good luck!

Thank you both for understanding and hearing me out!!!

It's a relief to know i'm not the only one feeling this way.... i tend to feel alone a lot with my feelings... i always seem to feel that people have all their stuff together and i'm drowning. It's a scary feeling and last week i went into the bathroom to hide out so i could cry a little... and it didnt help when a nurse told me "nope, it doesnt get any easier" real nice, i know. But i recognize not all nurses are nice and dont seem to care about another person's feelings. It's just nice to atleast be able to come here and have people hear me out and understand. The more i'm getting into my schooling and having these not so pleasant experiences, the more i see that people from the "outside world"-- non nurses, they just really don't get it.

But thank you both!! :heartbeat

Specializes in cardiac-telemetry, hospice, ICU.

I've had anxiety issues for years. Now I am in school too. I try to remember that fear is a reaction to what is happening right now. Within reason, this is a natural reaction to something new to me. I try to understand that and get through the situation. The next time, the situation isn't so new, and I am more comfortable. Anxiety is the concern about something that might happen in the future. Again, within reason some anxiety is normal. When i find myself surfing down the anxiety pipeline, I remember where I am and who I am. I use a simple and maybe silly technique that often helps me. I see myself in the center. of a triangle. Above me is 'anger', to the lower left of me is 'depression' and to the lower right of me is 'anxiety' and 'fear'. I decide I want to move closer to the center 'normal' rather than heading towards the 'anxiety' corner. It does help me, maybe some guided imagery. In other words, I try to center myself. I hope this made some sense, and you find some help with it.

Good Luck.

Thank you Stcroix,

Just the fact that i'm not alone makes me feel better. I guess i just felt like an outsider seeing other people in my group either looking board to death being at cliinical or cool as a cucumber. I need to meditate or something.

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

Great advice on this thread!

Eat a decent breakfast after getting a decent night's sleep (for me that is at least 6 hours of sleep and a bowl of oatmeal with a handful of dried cranberries). Don't drink too much coffee or any caffeine: you probably need less than you are drinking and your anxiety naturally makes you alert. What about exercise to get some stress out? It doesn't have to be very much. Dancing around the room to your favorite songs helps burn off anxiety! I do this when I'm studying and I need a break.

Also, desensitization. The more you expose yourself to something, with a focus on controlling your reaction, the easier it becomes. We won't always be the new kids!

Good luck!

Ok normally I am solid as a rock..guy, was in the miltary, yadayada..took 1.5 years of into a competitive school..great..first day of school had a full on panic attack..never had one before in my life, had to leave campus halfway through the day..nursing school is stressful period..second semester was harder than bootcamp..but I made it..7 months to go and you'll make it too..hang in there, learn breathing exercises and remember, nursing school is not forever

Thank you Sandyfeet and Keepnitreal for your encouragement!


Thanks for all the good advice (even though I wasn't the one to ask the question). I have been working on prereqs for a couple of semesters now. I am an older, returning student. I start actual "Nursing" school in January (I got my acceptance letter today!) and I am worried about the "anxiety" factor.

Hey--there is medication for anxiety. I am a 4.0 straight A student. I got a 'C' on my first nursing exam at the start of our 2nd semester. I actually got physically ill. I had to leave class later that day. I drove to my doc's office & sat and waited. When she had a minute to talk to me she immediately wrote me a script for a really low dose diazepine. I only take it pre-test. Back to 'A' status. I am all of those well organized super study girls who can quote the text for you. I am encyclopedia girl.

I also do yoga & am uber-healthy.

Just like pain meds are there for a reason--so are all the other ones. If all else fails talk to counsel--and taking meds does not make you weak. It means you are smart enough to know when to ask for help.


Specializes in Psych.
i always seem to feel that people have all their stuff together and i'm drowning.

You seriously must be in my head right now! I am in my second semester, and still doing quite well in lecture, but in clinical, I really feel like I am the worst in my group. Last semester during Fundamentals, my confidence was at an all time high after clinical! Now it gets beaten down more and more every week. I feel like its so difficult for me because right now in med/surg, its a whole different level of care and more focused on the nitty gritty and not just basic nursing stuff. Like if I have an abnormal assessment finding and ask my instructor about it, she's like, well did you try x,y, and z to get it back within normal limits? And none of that stuff had occurred to me at all. Makes me feel like a giant idiot. I really feel like a deer stuck in headlights a lot of the time, but so far I haven't made any major mistakes. Still waiting for my "ah-ha" moment.

+ Add a Comment