New Nurse Anxiety

Nurses General Nursing


Hi. I am a new nurse, only working since March. I just finished orientation the end of May and am now taking my own district of patients. When I get to work and before work I feel so anxious. Once I am there and moving I start to feel a little better, but I make frequent rounds to check my patients as I am nervous about them. When we have 9 or more pt's we have an LPN who passes meds for us, and sometimes when she comes to me with a question or issue I don't know what to do/say right away. Sometimes she knows more than I do because of the fact that she has more experience in nursing than I do. Some days I come home and cry because I feel so overwhelmed, I'v even cried a few times in the bathroom at work because I just couldn't help it. I try not to let co-workers see me that way because I don't want them to view me as weak. I love working with the pt's, and I feel that nursing is a calling for me, but many times I have wondered if hospital work is not for me because I work slowly to avoid errors and sometimes don't finish my computer charting as a result (I do finish clinical work, notes, chart checks.....etc). The stress is so much, most of it is probably brought on by myself worrying about every little thing. When I finally get home I always wonder if I forgot something while I was there.

I guess I"m wondering if all this is normal for a newbie? Will I get over this and feel confident, and if so, when?

Thank you to everyone.


14 Posts

I too am a new nurse since March, just off of orientation. I feel the same way! I get a max of 7 patients on our floor...I don't know what I would do with 9! Many times the PCTS (the assistants) seem to know more than I do about all kinds of stuff. I mean, I know how to assess a patient...but where to get supplies and how to hook up things in the room are all things I didn't learn in school. I'm frequently embarrassed because I have problems remembering specific things about my who actually has SCDs hooked up to their legs, who has what IV where...It's hard.

You are not alone. I think it is normal to feel anxious. Good Luck!:nurse:


385 Posts

Specializes in Derm/Wound Care/OP Surgery/LTC.

It's absolutely normal to feel nervous and anxious. Give yourselves a break. You are brand new nurses! It's going to be terribly overwhelming at first. You are in a brand new situation. Don't worry about the LPN knowing more than you. That comes from her experience. Nursing is usually about learning something new every single day. If anything, take the opportunity to learn from her. If she asks you questions that you don't know, take the time to look it up. Don't let that get to you. I'm an LPN with a few years experience and the new RN's and I get on just fine. We learn from watching one another. Going slow is alright in the beginning. Perfectly natural to feel like you can't do it. You can. Just have faith in your abilities. The rest will all come with time.

And it's normal to cry in the bathroom too...;) No one is going to see you as weak. We've all had our moments. Take it easy on yourselves. You'll be just fine and by this time next year, you will have it down pat.

vashtee, RN

1,065 Posts

Specializes in DOU.

I'm new, too (started January 30). I am having more good days than bad, but the bad days are still REALLY bad. I am told to expect the first year to be this way.


10 Posts

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It really helps to know I am not alone. I wish you good luck with your nursing, and many more good nights than bad ones.


10 Posts

Thank you Cheribaby for the kind words. It helps to hear it coming from someone with more experience than me. You are very nice and I appreciate you taking the time to reply.


10 Posts

Thank you very much for replying. Good luck to you too, and many good nights instead of bad ones.

Specializes in Adult Acute Care Medicine.

Hi, I have been a nurse for only 2 years now.

I remember feeling so stressed and even stupid!

(well I still have those feelings/just not as often!)

I still learn something new each day...but I can assure you that is does get easier. It really just takes time.

I learned so much from the nurse aids (and still do)...

Be easier on yourself..this is a high stress profession that nursing school cannot prepare you for...Remember to also focus on all the things that you did RIGHT during your shift for your pts...and how you did the best you can...

Thank you for caring about your performance and your sounds like you are a great nurse! Hang in there.

husker_rn, RN

417 Posts

Specializes in med-surg 5 years geriatrics 12 years.

Like the others have said, give yourself time, it does get better. And don't be afraid to listen to those with more experience; I've learned tons from CNAs and LPNs. Sometimes it's okay to ignore the letters after the name and listen to the message. I'm sure others would agree that we would rather have you worry about how you handle your patients than have someone overconfident caring for them.

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