However for a second year student who is exactly halfway through his training, the thought of qualifying only makes the ‘second-year blues’ even worse.
The one universal constant in nursing seems to be that nobody thinks they know enough.
From the second-year student up to the consultant; there is always more you think you need to know.
Just when you have some level of familiarity, a new layer is peeled back to reveal even more complexity. I fear the end of my third year not because I will necessarily miss my university life but because I am anxious I will lose that comfort blanket of my student status and be expected to put my woefully inadequate knowledge to use caring for patients and literally making life-and-death decisions.
Read our Newly Qualified Nurses’ Week tips and advice
Thinking rationally, I can see how the three year course is structured so that I will be exposed to the right amount of knowledge so I can be a safe, professional and competent practitioner.
Then when I qualify my knowledge will flourish depending on what field of nursing I choose to go into. There have been time when my knowledge flows from me like I am channelling some expert on the subject but those moments of lucid rationality are few and far between.
So what advice can I give to people in my situation or to those heading into work for the first time?
I would say that you should rest assured and be confident that you do know more than what your anxiety is telling you. Remember that all the studying you do must be balanced with a healthy amount of relaxation and finally, remember that the phrase “I don’t know” will earn you more respect out in employment than worrying that you don’t know enough.
Do you have any more tips to beat the second-year blues? Do you have any suggestions for those students leaving education to become nurses? Let me know.