RN of 5 Years: Still Getting Pre-Shift Anxiety

by Rebel Nurse Rebel Nurse (New) New


I see and understand a lot of posts expressing anxiety as a new nurse/student, but I've been working as a nurse in my specialty for over 5 years now and have noticed that I am having a lot of anxiety before/at the start of my shifts.

Maybe this is normal, we work in really unpredictable environments where any shift could be the worst day ever and something terrible could happen. I definitely had these feelings as a new nurse, though I feel like it subsided for awhile around the 2-3 year mark, I realized I was getting burnt out and switched jobs at year 4 (to a very similar position in the same hospital, but with enough change to sort of reset myself mentally). Now at 5 1/2 years I notice this anxious feeling again and often drag my feet to get ready for work, ending up late/barely on time (which adds to my stress).

I can't help but feel I am about to be thrown into a mess, (though with my years of experience I know I can probably handle whatever happens and it always works out somehow, even if I have to ask for a lot of help on those really bad shifts).

Anyone else have the same experience? And any tips on how to address this anxiety?