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Need confidence

Hi. I was needing advice on how to become more confident in my skills, abilities, relationships , etc while at work.


AfloydRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER/ ICU.

Find a mentor @ work. Someone that you admire and who does a great job. Ask them if you can follow them for a day and if you can call them for problems/ questions. Educate yourself on every aspect of your job so you will know answers to questions and feel more confident in your line of work. Confidence can be learned.

Ditto about the mentor. Also, make sure you're in the right place. Being in the right unit can make all the difference. I was in a med/surg unit for 7 months, and I just never felt comfortable there. I finally decided that it was silly for me to stress and try to fit into some place that just wasn't me. I've since transferred and already I'm much happier and more confident. I feel like I fit in better, not just in my new area, but with my coworkers too. And that has helped me gain back my confidence.

In fact, right now I'm in Pre-Op and next week I'm permanently moving to PACU. I should send you a private message to find out your experience in PACU so far. Good luck to you!


I have the same problem, I'm in my first year of nursing about seven months. I lack confidence in my skills,and abilities. I get really nervous when something is going wrong with one of my patients. Any advice will be appreciated. thanks



Specializes in CNA, Surgical, Pediatrics, SDS, ER.

I've been a nurse for about 2 years now and am having this problem as well. I worked surg floor for a little over a year felt very comfortable and confident their. I am now currently working ED/SDS. SDS is no problem for me but I'm stressed every time I work in the ED. I feel like I never know enough for the broad range of patients that come in. I just moved to the ED 3 mo ago and my confidence is in the toilet, I feel like a bumbling idiot at times. It's so different from the typical floor nursing. I do like it but I also fear it. I don't like to give up easily so I keep pushing on. I also ask questions if I need help. I just feel like I'm an extra burden to my coworkers and feel as though they talk about my skills behind my back instead of to my face so I can improve. I hope I'm just paranoid about that becasue I'm lacking my own confidence! So any advise for a novice ER RN would be appreciated as well.

Thanks for this post PACU queen.


Specializes in Post Anesthesia.

Nothing builds confidence like experience- unfortunately you only get that by time. The best advise I can give is try to put up a facade of confidence until you have put the time in to have it come naturaly. Before any interaction take a deep breath and slowly let it out. Relax all your muscles. Deliberately lower the pitch of you voice and talk slower. The less you say the more you will seem to know. A nervous nurse makes for a nervous patient, doctor, family members, .... Masking your anxieties will do a lot to relieve the patient of thiers.

Don't advertise your mistakes.

Talk privately to your charge nurse if you feel you are in over your head and need assistance. I still do that after many years as a nurse.

In regards to relationships, don't try too hard. Basic good manners is where to start. Try to learn names; if you work with a lot of people this gets difficult, but is worthwhile.

Hi, since my med error I lost my confidence which I am slowly building up again and I got out of the job that has been making me feel terrible for the last 4 months but I also have little confidence in making relationships on the ward I have worked on a ward for 6 months where it was very clicky and I felt the odd one out and people would not let you in and now where I have worked 9 monthson a different ward it was better but still there were a coulpe of nurses who made me feel so uncomfortable and I don't know why they behave like that especially while I was going through this upsetting time of having made the med error these nurses made it even worse by making me feel I was a total useless idiot, and to be honest because my confidence was low I sometimes believed it although I know I have a lot of nursing task skills and knowledge probably more than some of them but when you feel so low I ust didn't have the strength and the courage to question them about their behaviour towards me.:cry:


Specializes in cardiac rehab, medical/tele, psychiatric.

I can relate as well..I agree w/others, it takes time and experience. I try to emulate those that I feel are confident nurses.

I feel like a total imposter at times..there have been a few occassions when my pt. was going downhill and I was totally clueless as to what to do in the moment. The nurse who took over the situation took the time to walk me through it later, but I felt like I shoud tear up my license right there.

I hope it gets easier for all of us!

Thanks to everyone for there kind words and advice sometimes you feel as though is it just me that goes through rubbish like that or me that seems to attract jobs with unkind management? Well I have decided that because my manager will put in the reference about the learning contract which may put some employers off I won't apply to permanent positions but work for the Trust's own bank and let people get to know me I think that's probably best unless anybody has a better Idea ????? After the trauma I just been through I feel a bit scared committing to any permanent post and need some time to recover.:confused::(

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