advertise with us find a job post your topic join the community log in
Visitor Topics
New Nurse Frustrations

I started on a surgical oncology floor in January. My orientation lasted approximately 6 weeks, and then I was on my own. I know that I have learned a ton since nursing school as well as since my orientation started. However, I continually feel frustrated will everything I do not know. I go to work terrified that I am going to see something I do not understand or do not know how to do, and although a lot of the experienced nurses are great, I feel like I am constantly bugging them to ask questions or ask for help. After my shifts I go home and worry about doing everything I needed to do, charting what I needed to chart... etc.

Does anyone have any advice on coping with being a new nurse on a high-stress floor? What can I do to be able to go home and not worry about my day on the floor? I'm terrified that I'm not pulling my weight on the floor because of everything I am unsure of.


Read more Visitor Topics articles

5 Responses to “New Nurse Frustrations”

  1. Sara Says:


    I am a new grad-RN also. So, I don’t have any magic answer for you. My biggest comfort is knowing that ALL new grad RNs feel this way. I have a few friends who say, “Oh, yeah, I’m loving my job and had 7 patients and got off work on time.” But, everyone drowns at one point or another.

    I am on a critical care unit and I feel like I know absolutely nothing. I have only been there several weeks. I have made some pretty silly mistakes (no harm caused) but still–I feel like I should be “better” than what I am. I ask LOTS of questions. And I still ask questions even when people give me a funny look or don’t understand…

    Nursing school only provides you with the basics. I was a CNA for 8 years, and yet, on the floor, I get so nervous sometimes that I can’t even function to do CNA duties that I have done hundreds of times (i.e. TED hose!)

    I worry constantly and so my days off are not exactly “relaxing.” I am always focused on “what I don’t know” and terrified of harming a patient because I overlooked some vital piece of information.

    I know it will get better. And being in this place of half-competence is unsettling…especially when all of the nurses around you have been on the floor 20 some years with a couple exceptions.

    I guess my best “advice” (if you can call it that) is to know you are not alone! And it will get better and better…and (not sure who said this) but “failure is not fatal!” That is sometimes hard to remember.

  2. aimee Says:

    Be thankful you have a job! Pray and have faith that you made it this far for a reasaon.

  3. Stacy Says:

    I completely understand! I am a new grad – working for six months on a secured behavior unit. I ask questions all the time, and I often apologize for asking, but my supervisors and fellow nurses all say that it is better to ask, that is how you learn. I can’t wait until I feel like I really know what I am doing, but I have been told that takes at least a year and usually 2.

    All nurses were new at one time so they should all understand! You are not alone!

    Congratulations on getting a job, and keep asking questions- I am sure you are a wonderful nurse and your patients are lucky to have someone that cares so much about doing a good job.

  4. layla Says:

    I’m a new RN and its absolutely impossible to get hired as s “new RN” in DE. Does anyone have any suggestions?? I need all the advice I can get. I know about the economy; risks as a new RN;$$ it cost to train a new RN;networking;etc. Ive worked at Pcp offices while attending school and never imagined not having a job in something I worked so hard for. I know a lot of People are in this position n I’m trying to stay positive.

  5. Jenna Stiltz RN Says:

    I found this book, The Male Nurse by Jake Duke, and it is hilarious. This guy tells about the realities of nursing school, and the frustrations of nursing in general. He is so realistic. Any nursing student or nurse needs to read this book. One chapter is dedicated to travel nursing. I found it at

Leave a Reply

search realityrn

sign up for weekly cartoons, tips, and blog posts
first name
last name

Register to win a pair of RX Medical Silver Fox Crocs

Nursing Jobs