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I don't think I'm good enough to be a nurse


Can you help a student nurse? 

I’m in my third year of studying, and I thought I would have found confidence in my abilities by now. But I haven’t. I am finding I just don’t have any belief in my abilities. People tell me that I should, but that doesn’t mean they’re right. I am beginning to think I should just accept that I have picked the wrong job. 

I love what I do, and I truly want to help people. But it doesn’t feel right, and I don’t know if it ever will. 

I know it’s late in the day to ask this, but can anyone help me find confidence in my work? Or has anyone been in this position and thrown in the towel, and realised it was the right thing to do?


Readers' comments (5)

  • If I know you I would hug you and sit you down and talk to you:
    Firstly, for me the most important part of nursing is that you care and you want to help people. That means you have compassions and love within you. Have you spoken to your friends about this? Not just people who think you "should"? Also I have faith in your abilities and if you want to be a nurse, when you do qualify, I know you'll be brilliant.

    You want to know how to get confidence.
    Make a list of everything you have done in this course and make your heading:
    This is what I can do
    Then you can see how much you have actually accomplished in this course. Then say the list allowed and say "I can " before each sentence.

    Do you feel valued in your course?
    Being valued and having your fellow student nurses and teachers telling you that you are doing well is important. I value you otherwise I wouldn't be writing this!

    Now where do you lack confidence?
    Can you pinpoint this?
    In looking after patients?
    In learning facts?
    In all the writing you have to do?

    How do you feel about being a nurse?
    What 's your gut instinct?
    If you want to continue nursing, you'll be brilliant and you'll care about your patients.
    If you want to leave nursing you'll be brilliant doing something else.
    Please be yourself and look after yourself

    I love you

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  • Just remembered:
    Want to give you another hug!

    PDave Angel

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  • I have been feeling the exact same way, going to be starting my first placement of 3rd year soon and I am terrified that i'll suddenly be expected to be able to do everything on my own. I have felt that all my placements so far have gone well but being on a community placement then at uni doing theory work for about 5 months has made me over think and i'm worried i've forgotten how to work on a ward :(
    It would break my heart having to give up now as i've worked so hard and i know i have learned a lot.
    I am just so scared for this year and even more terrified about qualifying in 10 months.

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  • My comments above are for you and for any nurse who has lost confidence.I give you my confidence I have in you until you find your own. You will make a brilliant nurse because you care about working on a ward with patients and making them better.

    Well I know you are brave as you are asking for help. There must be hundreds of nurses feeling the same way you are but you are brave and strong enough to come here and ask for help.

    Remember this:
    You have good nursing skills as your placements have gone well. This means your skills are part of you so when you return to a ward you will remember what you have to do. You are also very clever as you have learnt a lot.

    Why don't you write down everything you can and cannot do?
    You can give this list to your new manager who will then know what you can do and where you need more support.

    Its all right and acceptable to be scared. Have you talked to your friends about feeling like this? Are they supporting and helping you? If I knew you I would sit you down, make sure you are looking after yourself, hold your hand and tell you how wonderful and brilliant and clever you are.
    Then I would lift you and I would throw my arms around and give you a hug.

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  • Hugs are all very well but when you are on your own on nights with yet another emergency, being forced to make what may amount to life and death decisions, they won't help. What will help is the confidence you have in your own abilities and decision making, your knowledge base and your willingness to learn and grow. In truth, there are many professions whereby you can help others. Nursing is not the only one and if it doesn't feel right, don't continue. It is more important that you not see yourself as a failure, that you do something that you truly want to do than carry on nursing and be unhappy.

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