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10 Words of Wisdom for New Nurses

Jo, RN | Scrubs Magazine


10. You will someday feel like a nurse.

I remember when that happened. I’d had a day during which I had made only a couple of minor mistakes, caught them before they’d done any harm and had caught a problem before it developed into something severe. Further, I’d had time to pee and eat and actually take time with my patients.

That didn’t happen until I’d been a nurse for more than a year—maybe even more than two. I don’t remember the exact date, but I do remember the feeling. It was as though I had finally gotten the hang of swimming with the current.

This will happen to you, too. I can’t stress that strongly enough. Nursing is a constant learning process. You feel off balance every day of your professional life, and there’s always something you don’t know. Nevertheless, there will come a day when you realize that you’re looking ahead of what’s immediately in front of you, and when care plans finally begin to make sense. You’ll build on skills you already have when it comes time to learn something new. Yeah, you’ll screw up royally the next day and go home in tears, but you’ll have had that one day when you could say, honestly, “I am a nurse.”

And then, a few years down the line, you’ll be chatting with a notoriously hard-assed doctor and apologize for doing something dumb, like calling her at 3 a.m., and she’ll say, “Y’know, if it comes from a good nurse, I don’t really mind it when I get called at 3 a.m.” And she’ll smile, and you’ll know that Good Nurse = You.

Next: Career Advice for New Nurses >>

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