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Scared and Nervous to Be a Nurse

Nurse Beth   (159 Views 1 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

15 Followers; 91 Articles; 229,598 Profile Views; 1,890 Posts

Dear Nurse Beth,

I am a pre-nursing student and have been accepted into my school's nursing program beginning next spring. I don't have any experience with patient care yet and am really wanting to get a job at a hospital or nursing home this semester. I've applied for a few PCT positions with no call back (probably because I have no experience), and just recently applied & scheduled an interview for a patient transporter job.

Anyways, I'm writing to ask if nursing is right for me. I absolutely love science & anything health-related, have a passion for taking care of others, and can't picture myself doing anything but nursing. I know that my heart is there. My issue is that I get very nervous even thinking of getting a job in the hospital, starting clinicals, or being responsible for patients. I do have some anxiety issues, and I get very shaky when I feel anxious. I'm just scared that once I start the nursing program, or get a position as a PCT or something at the hospital that I will make a fool of myself and be seen as not good enough to be a nurse. 

My heart is there and so very badly want to succeed as a nurse, and if this career ends up not being right for me I won't know what to do. I just don't want to embarrass myself from being so nervous all the time, and I don't know why I feel this way all the time. I know I'm smart enough and I can get through the schooling. It's not the blood, or bodily fluids, or anything like that - I don't get grossed out very easily. Maybe it's a fear of failing, or my hands shaking around a patient from being nervous, or just being scared I'm not actually meant to be a nurse. Please help!!


Dear Nervous,

Keep going.

EVERYONE is scared during nursing school. I was afraid I'd hurt a patient and at first, I was afraid to touch anyone in case I did something wrong. The first blood pressure I took in the hospital, I inflated the cuff and placed my stethoscope diaphragm on his chest, listening intently (stethoscope goes on the arm below the cuff). 

I was even terrified of getting the wrong linen from the linen cart. A pull sheet? What's a pull sheet? All I saw were stacks of white, and they all looked the same.

You have every reason to succeed. If you haven't already, see your doctor about your anxiety issues because there is treatment for that and there's no need to suffer.

Look at what you need to do today to move you toward your goal and try not to focus on potential problems months down the road. They will prepare you in lab before you ever go to the hospital. Once you're in the program, find a friend and buddy up.

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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