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When does it stop being scary?


Specializes in NICU, CCU. Has 8 years experience.

I'm a new to specialty nurse in the ICU. I had 2 precepted weeks on the floor before covid hit us, hard. So basically my entire preceptorship was proned covid patients. I got really good at that, but now I'm independent, covid has lightened up, and im supposed to take care of things I have literally never seen before (my only other experience is NICU). My charge nurses are awesome and everyone is helpful, so I don't feel unsafe or unsupported. I just feel like a blumbering idiot 95% of the time. Please. Tell me at some point this feeling goes away?

Charge200J, BSN

Has 5 years experience.

It gets better! Look how much you've already learned and grown. Sounds like you've got a good group of co-workers. Keep asking questions and looking up stuff that you don't fully understand. Get out of your comfort zone and keep taking those new patients/disease processes/devices etc. Give it 6 months and you'll be amazed at how much you have learned, by 1 year you won't even recognize yourself. Keep at it! 💪

JustAnotherNursemaybe, BSN

Specializes in NICU, CCU. Has 8 years experience.

Thank you! This was the exact thing I needed to hear tonight

LOL but at least I get to check off "give adenosine" on the list


Specializes in ICU. Has 5 years experience.

it will take a while, but you will start to feel more comfortable as you do it. for example, you can take the CRRT, impella, IABP classes, but not know what to do until youve actually taken care of these patients. just remember to use your resources and its better to ask questions than to just assume. for the most part, people remember how it was to be fresh out and are willing to help! good luck with everything!


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

icufaq.org is a wonderful website covering many topics that might help you.

I started in ICU, did the specialist ICU course after 6 months and 1 year's worth of consolidation afterwards. Crazy times!

But after about 8-9 month mark, after getting the course under my belt, it clicked. I got sick patients and I could take care of them well. It fell into place, the anatomy and physiology of it, what to do, who to turn to for help. It just get better and I felt so much more confident. It wasn't, and still isn't, perfect 30 years later but that's okay.

My mentor said after the specialist nurse course everyone is really good and knowledge is fresh; they are great to be around and work with. And I think give a job 6 months at least to find your feet.

But I love ICU and I'm so glad I stuck it out. Covid-19 is super tough, so its hard to make a career judgement call now. You're a big help in a very tough time, so try to stay.

I am consider changing to ICU and I am in my 40's. I am afraid of the stress of starting over and the sharp learning curve. Any advice?

JustAnotherNursemaybe, BSN

Specializes in NICU, CCU. Has 8 years experience.

Beeker- I don't know if age would have anything to do with it, as long as you are willing to be engaged and flexible. 

I would encourage anyone to make the leap! I am really really loving ICU. Yes, its hard. But its exhilarating. I feel like I have grown more as a nurse in the past 6 months than I did in the 5 years prior. Just study study study as much as you can before you hit the unit. My hospital bought AACN's ECCO modules for us and I really like them