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Why do I feel so stupid

I have been an working as an RN for 1.5 years. For the past year I have been working in a small clinic "rooming" patients. I asked patient's questions regarding there visits, take vital signs, give neb treatments, medication and many vaccines. I also triage phone calls at times.

My problem is that I am not using all my skills and I feel like I just don't know anything anymore. I seldomly deal with lab reports and do not do many assessments. I feel like I have lost a lot of what I learned in school. I will be starting a new job next week and will gain a ton of experience, but I am worried that I will not always have answers for many things. One of my big concerns is that I do not deal with meds regularly and am afraid of not knowing all the drugs right off the top of my head without looking it up.

Does anyone have advice for me?

Thank you

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

The reason you feel so stupid is probably that you're about to embark on your third job in a year and a half. That means you didn't stay at your first job long enough to actually become competent -- a process that usually takes around two years. Nor did you stay at your second job long enough to become competent. Now you're going to be starting over on a third job, which means you're going to have had about 9 months of experience twice when you start, and not a year and a half.

Please stay at your next job for two years. That's how long it really takes to become competent. "Skills" can be learned -- they're just tasks, after all. What you need is the knowledge base, experience and critical thinking ability that comes only with time. And you haven't given it the time.

Thank you you for responding. I have only worked per diem, which is why I am finally starting a new per diem position where I will get the experience that I need. I will also continue to work in the clinic. I have my ASN and many big facilities in Boston will not hire ASN and they want you to have experience.

I am currently pursing my BSN and expect to be done next year.

The reason you feel so stupid is probably that you're about to embark on your third job in a year and a half. That means you didn't stay at your first job long enough to actually become competent -- a process that usually takes around two years. Nor did you stay at your second job long enough to become competent. Now you're going to be starting over on a third job, which means you're going to have had about 9 months of experience twice when you start, and not a year and a half.

Please stay at your next job for two years. That's how long it really takes to become competent. "Skills" can be learned -- they're just tasks, after all. What you need is the knowledge base, experience and critical thinking ability that comes only with time. And you haven't given it the time.

NursingN.C

Specializes in Critical care.

Even though you were not speaking to me directly Ruby Vee I will really like to thank you for the advice. When I do become a nurse next year I will definitely keep what you said in mind.

applesxoranges, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER.

I think the issue is that you have some notion of what nursing should be versus what it is. A lot of people seem like they chase after an elusive position where they will become an amazing nurse who does everything. In all honesty, the average nurse does not put an IV, foley, or NG tube in every day. There is some areas where that is more likely to happen than others, but given how many different positions there are for nurses, it simply does not happen in an average shift for most of nurses.

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