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New Grad Anxiety

First Year   (4,090 Views 16 Comments)
by DimplesRN DimplesRN (Member)

DimplesRN specializes in Peds/Newborn.

1,173 Profile Views; 22 Posts

Hi all,

I have so many feelings that I just have to get them out of me. I know that I have seen so many friendly nurses provide information and help/ advice, so I thought that I could use some of the advice that I am always seeing offered to other new nurses.

I applied for a Peds RN position at a large teaching hospital, and I got hired as a graduate nurse until I pass boards. I am feeling so much anxiety. I am having a hard time distinguishing whether it is regular new grad anxiety or full out panic. I have so much fear. I am scared of being a "real" nurse, scared of asking a dumb questions, sounding dumb, looking dumb, afraid to talk to residents and doctors. I really like Peds, I love the staff, they are great, I don't know what my problem is. Our hospital also has student loan repayment( which I REALLY need), but I am afraid to take it because I am afraid I won't make it a year, and that I will have to repay all of that money. I did my Peds clinicals there, so I knew that I wanted to work here, but of course it is SO different than clinicals. I feel anxiety looking at all the things the nurses have to do every shift. I have only been working two weeks, and take boards in two weeks from now. A friend of mine said that I could transfer units,( post-partum was my second choice) but I don't want the staff to feel that time was wasted training me, if I decide to leave. I am confused and nervous, any suggestions would be great. Thanks in advance.

Dimples

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NeosynephRN specializes in ICU, PACU, Cath Lab.

564 Posts; 7,315 Profile Views

You have a lot on your plate right now...I just passed my boards and will start my job next week...I cannot imagine trying to study and learn a whole new job all at one time. My only advice is to take a deep breath and relax!!! I would take the loan repayment, as a note that you can do it and you can make it at least a year!! I think once you get your boards taken and can just concentrate on your new job, you may have it a little easier, and remember this first year is the hardest...Nursing school, barely touched the tip of what being a nurse is!! You can do it!!

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24 Posts; 1,202 Profile Views

Hey,

I am in the exact same boat as you are right now. I just graduated, got a job at a teaching peds hospital, and am studying for boards also. It is a ton of info, but so far I am managing, and not feeling too overwhelmed ( I know that doesn't comfort you), maybee the particular floor that you are starting on is a little busy? I know the floor that I am starting on is a lower pt. to nurse ratio, the pt.s are a higher acuity, but it is not as crazy busy, and is a great pace to learn. The staff on my unit has been incredibly nice and friendly, is the staff on your floor really nice and supportive? This is a time where it is very important to be able to ask questions comfortably, and if you feel like the staff around you are not warm, welcoming and understanding as far as you asking questions and not knowing things then it is very hard to learn. I think that your anxiety will fall once you start getting a little more hands on with the pumps and meds. I know that once I started getting more info about how things worked the better I felt I was able to handle the situation. I think that it helps to know that even the nurses that have been at the hospital for years are still asking questions daily. The bottom line is, there is sooooo much to know and to try and assume all of that right off the bat is insane. The only thing that we can do as new nurses to ensure our patients are not going to keel over in our care is move forward with some paranoia, but the good paranoia. The one that makes you check and double check every medication that you are giving for the first little while. Meds and IV's are probably my biggest concern, the rest will come with time. Goodluck, please let me know how you are doing.

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loricatus specializes in ED, ICU, PACU.

1,446 Posts; 13,042 Profile Views

It sounds like you are worrying yourself into a nervous breakdown. RELAX. Take one thing at a time. As for the job, you are given an orientation and not thrown into the unit expecting to be fully functional. They know that you have to pass your boards and will take that into account in the initial training. Truthfully, you are not expected to know much of anything. You are expected to ask lots of questions and admit things that you don't know. What worries an experienced nurse the most is someone you thinks they know it all and never asks---that's the makings of a dangerous nurse.

If you are eager to learn and are a team player, you will do fine. If you go into the job thinking that you won't make it a year---you won't make it a year (self-fulfilling prophesy). Remember that in passing NCLEX, you have proven that you are a minimally competent nurse; but, you are a nurse (a novice nurse)! You will never know all there is to know and will never stop learning new things, no matter how long you remain in this career. If you ever think you know all there is that is needed to do your job, it's time to quit because you will eventually hurt someone.

Your main priority should be focusing on NCLEX and making a good impression with your new employer. Arrive on time, dress as a professional, ask questions when you are uncertain of something and share your thoughts and feelings with your peers (as they are going through the same things as you are). Stop worrying about the if, and, or buts...it pointless to worry about uncertainty because you can do nothing to control what the future brings your way. You can only deal with things as they come. And, right now, you have an important test to take and a new job to assimilate to---it's as simple as that.

Good Luck to you & please stop worrying so much.

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DimplesRN specializes in Peds/Newborn.

22 Posts; 1,173 Profile Views

Thanks to everyone who replied, it means a lot to me. I feel so much support here, and it helps to hear from nurses who have gone through similar situations. I love most of the staff there. I work days for now, and they are great. I just have a lot on my plate right now, but today went pretty well. I was talking to a nurse at work today, and I was just telling here that I wanted to not only learn to be a nurse but to learn how to be a great nurse.

Everyone has good and bad days. I have always put extra pressure on myself about things. I really believe in self fulfilling prophecies, so I need to stop will all of the negative thinking.

Thanks for all of your support!

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9 Posts; 704 Profile Views

"have so much fear. I am scared of being a "real" nurse, scared of asking a dumb questions, sounding dumb, looking dumb, afraid to talk to residents and doctors."

Honey, you sound like a clone of me. That's EXACTELY how I feel. It's gonna take a while, but we'll get through it.

I am so paranoid about looking dumb to others, it's eating me alive.

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Atl_John specializes in Pulmonology/Critical Care, Internal Med.

216 Posts; 3,735 Profile Views

Your scared starting out, and I'm scared of graduating !!!!!! :)

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loricatus specializes in ED, ICU, PACU.

1,446 Posts; 13,042 Profile Views

"have so much fear. I am scared of being a "real" nurse, scared of asking a dumb questions, sounding dumb, looking dumb, afraid to talk to residents and doctors."

Honey, you sound like a clone of me. That's EXACTELY how I feel. It's gonna take a while, but we'll get through it.

I am so paranoid about looking dumb to others, it's eating me alive.

Trust Me-The ones that really look dumb are the ones that think they know it all and don't ask questions. Also, don't fear the residents, they usually know less than you, they are just real good at covering it up[sometimes]. Questions, questions and more questions is the only way you are going to learn. Never let anyone intimidate you to think otherwise.

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mrscurtwkids4 specializes in med/surg, telemetry.

108 Posts; 1,996 Profile Views

I just graduated May 20th and have been hired on as a graduate nurse at a local hospital. I start my orientation on Monday. I am also feeling the emotions of excitement, terror, and fear running through me. I try to remind myself that the nurse manager that hired me knows how much I should know from what my curriculum taught me at the local university. They don't expect me to know everything. And that they will continue to teach me in more detail about more hands on skills that I didn't get much opportunity to work on during my clinicals in college. You see, I have three local hospitals to have chosen from to apply to and I had some clinical rotations at each of them. The reason that I chose the one that I did was because when I had my clinical rotation there, the other nurses on the floor were wonderful about answering any questions. They didn't make you feel an inch tall for not knowing something. They gave off the feeling of rather having you ask something you think stupid than for you not to ask at all and do something incorrectly. They were also great about showing you how to do new skills that you haven't done yet. And they wouldn't just do them for you and have you watch. They would actually walk you through it and have you do it. It was just a more learning oriented atmosphere that gave a lot more comfort in being there. I hope that more people can find this kind of atmosphere in their workplace. I'm hoping that this will still be the case when I start working next week...lol.

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realityrn has 24 years experience and specializes in Family Practice.

3 Posts; 527 Profile Views

You made it through nursing school, didn't you?! You have all the knowledge you need to pass boards and be a great nurse. While you're at work, think about work. While you're at home, study for boards and get a good nights sleep. The stress will all be behind you in a few weeks and you'll have some cool letters to put behind your name. You earned and deserve them. Now go to work and think about what gifts you add to the peds unit. I promise you there are plenty.

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DimplesRN specializes in Peds/Newborn.

22 Posts; 1,173 Profile Views

You made it through nursing school, didn't you?! You have all the knowledge you need to pass boards and be a great nurse. While you're at work, think about work. While you're at home, study for boards and get a good nights sleep. The stress will all be behind you in a few weeks and you'll have some cool letters to put behind your name. You earned and deserve them. Now go to work and think about what gifts you add to the peds unit. I promise you there are plenty.

Thanks realityrn, and to everyone who replied. My anxiety has decreased some, and I feel a little better. I have working as a gradnurse(extern) for about a month, so I feel mostly oriented to the unit, but not so much yet with other things I will be doing on the job. I can only do so much as an extern, but hopefully that will change soon.

I take my NCLEX tomorrow! I do want those letters behind my name.

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realityrn has 24 years experience and specializes in Family Practice.

3 Posts; 527 Profile Views

Good luck tomorrow! I'm sure you'll do fine, both on the test and on the floor. Keep thinking about all you do know, not what you don't know, then move forward with confidence. Be sure to let us know how things are going.

Welcome to a great career!

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