worrying as a new nurse


help! does the worry ever go away? I worry that I may kill a patient, or that I will miss a glaring lab resulting in the sudden demise of a patient! does the anxiety ever decrease?


61 Posts

Specializes in Geriatric/Psych.

Well, I am a worrier as well. Have been a nurse for 9 years now. The worrying decreases; but I look at it this way:

If one becomes too assured of their nursing work, they are more likely to fail or have a mishap. I don't want to become too 'comfortable' because of this theory I have. Just remember your basics of nursing, and you learn nursing the more you do it. School didn't teach you everything you need to know.


4 Posts

i feel the same way, a seasoned nurse told me if i am scared, i am in the right place.

Specializes in ER/Observation,med-surg,geriatrics,.

I have been working since the ripe age of 14 [started as a jr first aider in upstate NY riding the rigs] Now in nursing since 84- I worry every minute and follow all the rules to a "t" anally retentive , probably.. but I would never want to cost someone his/her life....its just the nature of the business for us to worry..I truly worry about the staff thats too lax or cavalier in attitude..would we want that person taking care of us ?? Not really....:uhoh21:


4 Articles; 846 Posts

Specializes in Med surg, Critical Care, LTC. Has 20 years experience.

smtwinfalls, I wouldn't be too troubled by making mistakes, sometimes this worrying can become a self fulfilling prophecy.

We are all human, and we all make mistakes. What's most important, is that we learn from them, and try never to repeat the same mistake twice.

No one comes out of nursing school knowing everything, not by a long shot. Your given the basics in school, you learn on the job. Truth be told, I have been a nurse 16 years, and I'm still learning. I'm very comfortable with my knowledge base, and have excellent assessment skills. I also trust my instincts. I've worked probably 10 years in critical care, but I don't want to have peoples lives in my hands so much anymore, so I'm looking for something else - less intense.

Always follow the five rights of drug administration. Better to double check than give the wrong med.

All nurses have made med errors. If any say otherwise, don't believe them. We are imperfect people in an imperfect profession. Always own up to your mistakes, this will build respect from others, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, you will respect yourself. Don't beat yourself up over an error. BUT DO LEARN FROM IT.

I've made a couple of doozies, one sent a patient to ICU in complete heart block (long story, I ultimately gave the med, but the investigation showed a system error) I felt like schit!! I beat myself up over that for a week. I spoke to the doctor who's patient was given the wrong med, about a week after the incident. I said "I'm the one who gave John Doe the Verapimil." the doctor replied "I read the incident report, while you ultimately gave the med, it was a system problem that won't happen again - anyway, he's doing fine, I'm discharging him today".

I hardly ever make med errors anymore, I don't know if it is because of the few I've made in the past and I've learn not to repeat the situations that led to them, or if I've just become more aware of my "imperfectness" as my career has gone on.

Keep your chin up, trust what you know. Utilitze all sources of assistance, listen to conversations between nurses and doctors, it's amazing what you can learn by just being at the nurses station doing your own work and keeping your ears open. Don't be afraid to look up information, or call pharmacy for advice. Teamwork. If anyone gives you grief for asking questions, just smile politely and say "I'm still learning".

Hold your head high. Good luck and God Bless



12 Posts

Specializes in Paeds - acute, community, agency. Has 22 years experience.


Always ask if yu are unsure - as a newly qualified nurses others iwll expect that!

Follow your instincts and do things as carefully as you can.

22 years in I have made about 10 fairly serious mistakes (in my eyes) and 4 were in my training - you learn by your mistakes and rarely do the same one twice!

You can use a mantra 'I am a competent nurse' or whatever works, as worry does not help, but competence does!

Have fun, too!:jester:


This topic is now closed to further replies.