Nurse's Station

How To Build Confidence In Your Nursing Skills


Conquering Confidence in Your Nursing Skills
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In nursing school, you aced every exam and impressed all of your professors. Now, with your learned skills being put to the test, you find yourself constantly second-guessing your actions. Your senior nurses are just as baffled as you are and are now wondering what happened to the self-possessed and intelligent young nurse they interviewed just a few months earlier.

It is perfectly natural to lose your confidence when adjusting to a new nursing role, and this is especially true for those who managed to sail through to graduation. New peers and supervisors are putting you on edge, just when you have very real patients to take care of. Those patients will sense your hesitation and self-doubt, and you will impede their care unless you take steps now to gain your confidence back.

What is Confidence?

Confidence is one of those words that we understand at face value, but have a hard time quantifying. It is a factor of mental well-being that is determined by your level of achievement, sense of belonging, and your self-esteem. It has a lot to do with how you see yourself, but even more to do with how you perceive others to see you. Some of the common attributes of a nurse with confidence include:

  • Optimism
  • Independence
  • Assertiveness
  • Trust
  • Enthusiasm
  • Emotional Maturity

Humans look to people who possess confidence and admire their calm and cool demeanors in the eye of the storm. You can build your own confidence and become a more effective nurse by:

  • Counting Your Achievements – Make your own log of your most recent achievements, and refer to it whenever you feel self-doubt. This list can include exam scores from nursing school, recommendations from your professors, or something you did to help someone else.
  • Adding to Your List – Catch yourself doing something right and add it to your own nursing achievement list. This will be even more impactful when it is something that you previously felt unsure of, such as starting an IV or taking a patient history. This forces your mind to focus on the positive contributions you are making in nursing and encourages you to strive for even more.
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