worried about nursing skills


Hi everyone!

I'm about to graduate and move into a final rotation. I'm concerned that I don't really know much about nursing skills like ivs, etc. I'm someone who takes a ton of practice to master a skill. Any recommendations as to how to improve without the equipment in my home? Not sure what to do to alleviate my anxiety regarding lack of skills. Thank you!


110 Posts

I think most of us DO feel that way....but I'm glad to hear someone else say it. I precepted in ICU and I still feel that way!! I just find myself praying about it ...I wonder if there is a "refresher class" I have heard of older RN's returning to work and they go through something like that but I have no idea what it consist of?? Do you have a job yet?


170 Posts

Thanks for such a quick response! I don't have a job yet because I have a couple months left with the final rotation and liscensure, etc. I would love to take a "refresher course" or a basic skills course or anything! Not sure if they exist. I hope things work out for both of us!


110 Posts

Me too! I graduate May 15th ...our teachers have been telling us since January to go ahead and put in applications because if we wait until May we will have more competition and as you know the job market isnt so great right now HOWEVER I am a procrastinator and havent even put in the 1st application ....I mean I would just like to GRADUATE before I accept a position. I am from Birmingham and the job market is terrbile. How is it looking for you?

86toronado, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 528 Posts

Specializes in neurology, cardiology, ED. Has 5 years experience.

Does your school have a skills lab? Ours does, and if the instructors in charge aren't too busy, they are always willing to take some time and give a quick refresher on how to, say, flush a central line, or hang an IV. Is that what you're talking about? Or are you talking about starting IV's? Our school doesn't teach us that, says it's "agency specific". I did get trained to draw blood at work though, so I'm not that nervous about starting IV's now.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

I was a nurse manager who hired new grads and was on a committee that helped direct a new grad orientation program at a huge teaching facility. Facilities are very aware that new grads do not get enough experience practicing and developing skill at any nursing procedures. When we interviewed new grads we were lucky to find that they had experienced doing many skills. Our orientation program was set up to give new grads some time to get experience doing those procedures.

You really want to find a job at a facility that has an orientation program for new grads. They are saying that they acknowledge that you don't know everything and are willing to continue your education and help ease you into the profession. A good orientation program for med/surg units should last about 10-12 weeks. For the ICUs they should be 6 months. Call the nurse recruiters at the hospitals in your area and ask about new grad orientation programs.


194 Posts

I am in the same boat, except I have another semester to go before graduation. It seems that there just isn't enough clinical time to actually become proficient at anything as you go from one rotation to the next. I don't feel comfortable doing any of the skills I've learned yet. Just when you think you've mastered hanging IVs and setting the pumps, you get dumped into a rotation where you don't go near an IV. It sucks! I am trying hard to get a nurse tech position so I can actually apply the skills I am supposed to know. Do you have an opportunity to get a job before you graduate?


54 Posts

Daytonite - thanks for the Critical Thinking Flow Sheet! I haven't gotten to that part of the program, but was worried about what might be involved. Seeing a "map" like this makes me feel like I will be able to grow into it and handle it.

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