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I’m a week away from my 1 yr anniversary as an RN. I still feel like there is so much that I don’t know but should know. I still ask “stupid questions” and doubt myself a lot. My pre-shift anxiety and imposter syndrome kick my ass. Any advice?

July 10th, 2023

You are ok. It takes a Lifetime Nursing Career to know many things. You need to be at the bedside doing patient care for 5 years to really get nursing and then you need to realize that nursing is a lifetime learning career. You will always study, conferences, classes, webinars, staff development. I am a nurse for 49 years with a broad background in L&D, Nursery, Postpartum, Medical-Surgical, Critical Care, Quality, Case Management, Risk Management, Legal Nurse Consultanting.
And you know what? I am semi-retired and I still attend healthcare classes of interest, keep up my active licenses in two states. I continue to work as a consultant. Nurses always feel like we have to know more by continuous learning and by keeping up with the changes in healthcare. This is what you signed up for by becoming a nurse. You anxiety will become less but never totally gone. Your confidence will increase, you will learn to speak up more. You are OK right now. Just continue to learn, honor your peers and experienced nurses support. You are alright and exactly where you are suppose to be in your career for one year. There are no "Stupid Questions"!!!

August 20th, 2022

You will continue to learn throughout your career. No nurse knows everything. A smart and SAFE nurse will ask questions for things she does not know about. Maybe consider asking someone to mentor you. Or talk to your manager and maybe they can recommend resources or a point person on your shift you can talk to. Good luck and never stop asking questions!

August 8th, 2023

the only stupid questions are the ones that don't get asked.

June 3rd, 2023

Hello , and Congratulations! As you continue on in your Nursing Career. You’ll learn more as you go along the experience ladder. Don’t worry about what you haven’t learned yet! Worry about prioritizing, blending what you know works for you and what you learn from experienced Nurses around you. Take bits and pieces from them ! And enjoy the Clinical Ride !

July 31st, 2023

Thirty -three years doing this RN bedside thing and I assure you that the day you don't learn something new is the day that you need to retire. Bedside nursing is so fluid and seldom boring, and you never really know what will come at your next. The human body is so complex that you, me, the most brilliant Dr. in your facility will never know it all. Some people just exude more confidence than others, but that does not necessarily mean that they truly know more. If you leave your patients better than you found them- then you've done your job.

June 27th, 2023

Congratulations! Never feel stupid for asking! I am a leader / in management for 20+ years and have taught in an LVN program. Asking or looking it up makes you the safer nurse. I don’t care how long you are a nurse, as soon as you think you know all or enough, it is time to change careers. Nursing, meds, healthcare are ever changing and it is totally impossible for anyone to know all or enough. Learn, memorize , continue to ask and educate yourself. You will be the smarter safer nurse. NEVER do because someone said, always verify the information. NEVER give meds based on memory, always check and for many meds, have a second nurse verify. Do your best to memorize basics, but never second guess. If you need to second guess, you need to look it up. Get in the habit of verifying / looking things up. You will become a great resource when you can provide regulatory & references for your information.

June 2nd, 2023

One year is still such a short time! First of all-give yourself some grace. Nursing is so complex. There is so much to learn. I have been a nurse for almost 30 years and I promise you that I STILL learn something new almost every day. Look at your career as a life long experience of learning new things. If you ever feel like you know everything there is to know about being a nurse-THEN you may want to get out of nursing! Go into it knowing that the goal is to always continue to learn and grow-not to master all of nursing. Relax-at one year in, it sounds like you are exactly where you should be!

November 13th, 2022

Remember nursing school prepares you to be able to provide base-line or basic level of safe nursing care to patients.
No school can EVER teach you everything you will need to know for the next 20-30yrs of your Nursing Career. How could they?
Our wonderful career evolves. Things change. Evidenced Based care provision changes, grows, advances, AND SO WILL YOU!
NO ONE KNOWS EVERYTHING. Just think about everything you’ve learned during the past year!!!!!
Procedures you can do or assist with now that you knew nothing about on day #1 🤓!



ASK FOR A 2nd SET OF EYES .. FEELING SOMETHING JUST ISNT RIGHT BUT NOT SURE WHAT…Ask, run concern by someone, that is part of your charge Nurse’s responsibilities. As well as Nurse Supervisor..



MANY act as though they have forgotten that and snap, bite, eat their young.

I always in any new learning job environment etc always look for that One Person I feel comfortable asking “Stupid Questions.”

Ones you see help others graciously and does not return to desk saying negative things about having helped that RN.

I also ALWAYS PAID ATTENTION TO WHOM WAS ESPECIALLY PROFICIENT IN WHAT SKILL. I.E. take note of who is the best IV starter. Who loves or has special skills for inserting foleys..
Who is good at talking patients and or family down off the angry tree.

On one unit I was the IV Queen and ironically my preceptor was the FOLEY Queen. We would switch those skills when one of our Veterans needed an IV or a foley. And we told them she loves and is super above good at doing this and wanted to help.


Insecurity, Fear, Guilt Are MAIN CATALYST to many of the KaBooms you will see in the workplace.

Family: guilt fear leads to attack = Nurse.

Colleagues: insecurities, stress with poor coping, and believe it or not FEAR of being Surpassed are all triggers for their KaBoom.

Realize you need to learn (you already have and that is PERFECT!)
Realize our field is ever changing and growing.
One job / career in which you will NEVER get bored🤓!

Now they’re apps on your cell. 🤪

TEACHING MATERIAL FOR PATIENTS ARE WONDERFUL CHEAT SHEETS FOR HELPING YOU LEARN AS WELL AS THEY ARE PRESENTED IN THE MOST SIMPLE OF FORMAT. If I recall correctly, they are written as fifth grade level. Microdex. Carenotes. Krames. If need be, step aside quiet moment, review it, then present to patient. Win. Win. You get quick refresher. Patient / Family/ Caregiver gets take home teaching sheet.
Don’t forget to print their copy in their primary language.

PROCEDURES : walk away to quiet area and review steps before you enter room. Ask person best at that skill to come with you in quiet are review steps with them. and have them in room with you.

Can I do it..yes..

I made sure I told students that tale before I accompanied them and their instructor into room.

Students seemed to be drawn to me even in my first Med Surg job. I told them you should probably go with Nurse XYZ as they have done this longer than I have so would know and teach you more..they would never leave my side.

I was VERY OPEN AND HONEST about good bad ugly wonderful unique amazing part of our Career.
I also would say “one time I did xyz and this happened…DONT DO THAT!!
I on more than one occasion heard a student say “I can’t believe you told us that.” “My mistake was learning teaching moment for me then and for you now. Are you ever going to do that.”... “No”. “Excellent, there you go/ That’s why I told you …Praise God my mistakes had NO NEGATIVE OUTCOME FOR PATIENT, it was all about doing something and having to start task all over .. having extended my time because I put myself back at square #1 when could have and should have been on #4-5-6 or what have you.”…


Continue studying. I found free CEU courses on line and as Nerd 🤓 that I proudly am 🤓, I did those and it helped a good deal.

Best wishes on your Career to which you were Called Nurse!!!

August 25th, 2023

I'm a 42 yr nurse! Ask the questions!! We learn new stuff everyday. You learn by asking those questions. Don't be afraid or embarrassed by what you don't think you know. You have so much thrown at you in nursing school you won't remember it all. Asking those questions will help prevent mistakes.

November 3rd, 2022

You will continually learn. I didn’t feel 100% certain until between years 2/3. It was like a switched flipped and I laugh about it still. Something that helped me was studying for my certification. It helped concrete some of the workflows and pathways my unit used.

August 14th, 2023

I’ve been a nurse for 12 years. I ask questions or look things up almost every shift. You’ll never know it all! If you think you do, you’re a dangerous nurse. Keep asking questions, keep growing, keep being curious and wondering if you’re sure about what you think you’re sure about. Nobody inherently has nursing or medical knowledge. You only learn it by having questions and seeking out answers.
Take courses online or in person that are relevant to the area where you work and even anything you’re interested in transitioning to!
You’ll gain confidence in your abilities over time, but you’ll never know it all!
I will say, a lot of places have wonderful new nurse training programs and preceptors, and a lot of places just throw new nurses in the deep end which can really shake confidence and be dangerous for everyone involved. If you work in one of those places, consider moving somewhere that is supportive of new nurses and requires a lot of education outside of just working shifts, usually replacing a shift the week it’s required (think: skills days, telemetry classes, phlebotomy/IV classes, neuro days, cardiac boot camp), and that has an educator for your unit that’s around and available. I think things have changed a lot post-Covid, and not in a good way, especially for the newbies!

June 3rd, 2023

Give yourself some grace. You still have your nursing placenta on, but I would be willing to bet that if took some time to reflect on how much more you know from what you knew a year ago, you would be amazed at how far you have come! There are no new stupid questions; keep asking! One thing that helped me when I was starting out (and I still do it 20 years in), is when you have a patient with a condition or situation you are unfamiliar with, jot it down. At home, when you have had time to decompress, look it up, take some notes. You will be prepared the next time you see it. Nobody knows it all and we all started right where you are. You've got this!

July 29th, 2023

The first year is definitely a challenge. I cried a lot but I worked with such amazing experienced nurses , they were patient and were emotionally supportive. I hope you have this also. My advice is know what you do not know, know your resources to learn what you don't know, display confidence even when you don't feel it and find a mentor or observe closely the ones you respect.

August 21st, 2022

A year isn't really that long a time in a new career, especially one like nursing where things
are changing all the time. It was a very long time ago for me, I'm retired now, but I still
remember doing a lot of research on my own time when I first started working. Still doing a lot of reading textbooks, journals, etc. My first job was in ICU on night shift. Talk about stress, ha. It was a whole new world of high anxiety. Try not to be too hard on yourself and give yourself time to gain some confidence. Also, take a moment to think about whether or not you really like what you're doing. If it's not the right fit, there are many, many ways to go in a nursing career. You don't have to box yourself into something you don't really want. Good luck to you. :)

June 12th, 2023

Keep asking questions!! Nursing will continue to change and grow the same as you will as a nurse! Carol 40 years as a RN.

July 25th, 2023

Been a nurse for 5 years, healthcare for 11 yrs. I still have anxiety and imposter feelings. Keep asking good questions. Keep doubting. That means you care. BUT, if the anxiety and stress is becoming intrusive and affecting job performance, seek out additional training, EAP benefits and support from a mentor.

August 21st, 2022

3.5 years in and I still question myself everyday if I really know what I'm doing and if they should trust me, I can't say when that goes away. Like the others have said, ask questions, try to understand what you're doing and why, it helps in the long run. Keep your head up, you got this!

August 21st, 2023

I recall feeling that way when I first started as well. Much of that will get better with experience. The more you actually do stuff, the more confident you become on taking care of things. That being said any new position that you take will still have a learning curve. I have been a nurse for 19 years and I just took a new position. I had a bad shift the other night and started having anxiety going into my next shift. I am now more positive after two more shifts have passed by. A few things I find helpful:
1. My faith: in Jesus, father God, and the Holy Spirit. I pray for my company and the patients/residents every shift and thank God for His help and grace. I try to stay in communication with Him throughout the day and tell Him what Im concerned about and be obedient to His leadings. I’m not always successful but work is so much better when I am.
2. Humility: don’t worry about stupid questions. At least you’re asking questions. Thats how we learn. Find the wisest and respected nurses and try to emulate their best characteristics.

June 27th, 2023

I would say move around in specialties get as much experience as u can. U will eventually find the one for u. And also anxiety doesnt go away it just lessens. Andbor ublearn howbto manage it better.

June 24th, 2023

Congrats on your 1 year, I’m sure it feels like it flew by!! Show yourself some grace because I’m sure you’ve learned a TON in that 1 year and for that you should be proud! I felt the same exact way. I was overwhelmed with not knowing what I didn’t know. Be easy on yourself because in reality no one actually expects you to know everything except yourself. Idc how smart other people come off, they don’t have all the answers either, neither do the doctors (I’ve seen doctors with cheat sheets on their phones). Just know who your resources are when you have questions about meds, procedures or test results and read those doctor’s notes!!!!! I’ve learned A LOT just from the notes. Never be afraid to advocate/ ask questions about your patients because how else do you learn if you don’t ask? You will never stupid for asking questions. You’re not stupid, you’re just new!

June 19th, 2023

Not an answer or advice, but I can empathize as I am nearing my 1 yr anniversary ad an RN. I am a mature 56 yrs old who has plenty of life experiences, however, only 4.5 months in at working in the hospital! I came from being an LPN for two years as a pediatric, home health, nurse, and stay there the first five months of being an RN. So, I feel as you do being an “imposter”, get pre-shift (and occasional mid-shift) anxiety of the unknown all the time! I will occasionally apologize for asking many questions, though I know it’s the best thing to do and I’m not truly sorry for just that reason. It’s patient safety first, and if you’re unsure, that is the only thing to do is to ask questions before you do anything! I hope you have supportive, coworkers, or at least one person per shift that you’re comfortable in going to and asking. But don’t ever feel bad for that. I believe that a good nurse will always ask questions and do what’s right for the patient. And it’s an ever-learning, ever-changing profession! Congratulations and best of luck to you!

June 3rd, 2023

I have been a nurse for 27 years in many different areas. Home Healthcare has probably given me the most education as far as so many disease processes, wound care, and post hospitalization treatment. It takes time but it will all come together like a puzzle. There are still times when I am looking something up because I’m not quite sure of myself, so give it time,

November 18th, 2023

Hey there! Huge congrats on hitting the one-year mark in your nursing journey! 🎉 It’s a wild ride, right? Every patient throws something new at you, but those challenges are the real teachers. I totally get the pre-anxiety – been there, done that. Being a mom and a nurse is like juggling, but you’ll get the hang of it.

Don’t forget, questions are your secret weapon. Keep firing them off, and you’ll become the safest nurse in town. Stick to those license duties, take your sweet time with patients, and document like it’s your secret superpower.

Here’s to more growth and looking forward to hearing all about your adventures in nursing! 🌟

November 18th, 2023

Hey there! Huge congrats on hitting the one-year mark in your nursing journey! 🎉 It’s a wild ride, right? Every patient throws something new at you, but those challenges are the real teachers. I totally get the pre-anxiety – been there, done that. Being a mom and a nurse is like juggling, but you’ll get the hang of it.

Don’t forget, questions are your secret weapon. Keep firing them off, and you’ll become the safest nurse in town. Stick to those license duties, take your sweet time with patients, and document like it’s your secret superpower.

Here’s to more growth and looking forward to hearing all about your adventures in nursing! 🌟

October 14th, 2023

As one of my college professors once told me years ago, there is no such thing as a stupid question, we always ask questions in order to gain a better understanding of what we are doing when caring for patients. The saying actually states "There is no such thing as a stupid question, we ask questions out of the need to know the answers in order to improve our knowledge and our care of our patients". So never be afraid to ask a question when it comes to patient care, better to know than not to know.

October 4th, 2023

Hi congratulations on your one year anniversary. As a nurse we learn daily and no question is stupid. When in doubt never hesitate to ask a question . A question may be the difference between life and death for a patients.

October 4th, 2023


September 30th, 2023

I promise you we all do this in the beginning. Nursing in the first year feels like you’re just tasking. I used to do 5 med checks and look up every med in the drug book before giving it. It’s how I found out Vistaril shouldn’t be given IV even though the MD accidentally wrote it for IVP. So it increased my anxiety knowing MDs can make mistakes when writing orders. What if that’s not what he meant to write? What if the dose is wrong? Is that within the normal range? The patient is big/small, is this dose too high/low for them? I would literally have dreams that I forgot to give a med or draw blood and wake me from a dead sleep. It will get better. The best thing you can do is have confidence in yourself. Remind yourself that you’ve got this. Like literally say this to yourself before you walk in. Even if you don’t feel confident, pretend you are and it will eventually become your reality, but always be safe. And there are no stupid questions if not asking would cause you to make a mistake. 16 years in and I still have to ask “stupid” questions sometimes. I bet you’re a way better nurse than you give yourself credit for. Good luck and God bless!

September 26th, 2023

You learn every year , by the people you are working with , your patients and by keeping up with your continuing ed. There are no stupid questions.

September 19th, 2023

Keep asking “stupid questions “. They will be your savers. I’m a Nurse for 30 years now! I still ask questions! Enjoy the ride! You’ll be alright!

August 22nd, 2023

First off. There is no stupid question. You don’t know what you don't know. Learning is a process. Figure out how you learn and retain best. Find a mentor that will help you. Get the basics down real good. Then build on it step at a time. You passed the boards so I know you can do it. You got this!!!

August 21st, 2023

It helps me to identify my needs into categories : knowledge like evidence based practices, policies, procedures, how to do something are all separate from the practice doing it. Other categories include wisdom, humility, self awareness, encouragement, perspective can be identified as my strengths and values - see Viacharacter assessment online. Then there are my social needs like peer support, life balance…
I have been an RN for over forty years and found being upfront, at least with myself, to name my needs is a good place to start.

August 3rd, 2023

I have 2 years experience now and still feel the same way (I did switch specialties after my first year, though). Honestly, I had to quit the hospital completely and got into Health Insurance because of my mother-in-law who’s been successful in it. Right now that’s really slow and I’m pregnant so I’m trying to figure out what to do… :( The hospital really was too much to handle, but I’m finding few outpatient/office/remote options because no wants to work in the hospital/they require years of experience. Sorry I don’t really have advice, just want you to know you’re not alone. Ultimately, I decided my mental health was more important that a job and if I don’t take of myself, I can’t take care of other people.

August 1st, 2023

Listen, everything you are feeling tells me you are a good nurse because you understand the weight of the responsibility in caring for our community. You anxiety is normal, keep asking questions and seeking knowledge with experience and time your confidence will grow. Please understand as a nurse there will always be a little anxiety in difficult situations no matter how much experience you have because of the importance of your role in the outcome of your patients. To help practice deep breathing excercises. Even at work, congrats on your career, wishing you the best.

August 1st, 2023

Number one, there are no stupid questions. The stress in an emergency environment like an ICU or an OR can intimidate even experienced nurses. Journal your responses when you've learned something new about a procedure or a facility policy for future reference. Nothing personal. You are not charting here, but learning how to assess a situation and safely respond to it, either alone, or as a team member. A timely question could save a life, as well as your license. Mary R. RN, BSN 50 YEARS A NURSE

July 31st, 2023

There are no stupid questions. Even very experienced nurses double check meds, procedures, and documentation with each other. You will learn something everyday.

July 23rd, 2023

Hi, Anxiety nurse . . . I understand . . . you are not an imposter but you are a caring human being. Place being caring as a great quality that you possess. I was like you when first graduating from an awesome Diploma School of Nursing, years ago. Transitioning from student to registered nurse is not that simple. it's one thing to have an assigned patient to you and another to care for an entire floor, an entire unit. Yes, I have been there, and yet my passion for nursing as a profession superseded my fear of failure, failing self or other . . . and eventually, caring for patients and families taught me more about the direction I would take in furthering my desire to become a better, more compassionate and caring human being. I have spent a lifetime searching for and discovering a meaning of caring that often takes risks . . . so, believe in yourself and know that you are doing the very best that you can . . . and know that others, like me support you in your career endeavors . . . Take Care, Dr. Brian E Mendyka, PhD, RNC

July 12th, 2023

Imposter syndrome is typical if you aren’t secure or confident in what you’re doing. If you don’t have providers that can teach or management/fellow nurses that can help you learn then it will be difficult to learn! It takes alot of experience and time to really understand what the patient is diagnosed with and how to care for them. Alot of people stay on one unit for several years but that also limits your exposure. If you’re on a med surg unit youre never going to see the head bleed patients or MI patients to know should be done for them. Some people really love one specialty but I recommend learning/seeing different patients. ENLS is a new learning capability and medscape provides alot of information. It gets easier. I do recommend getting the questions answered sooner than later; I google alot!

June 27th, 2023

Remember questions are only stupid, if you don’t ask them. You are still a baby nurse and you can’t learn everything in one year. It takes over 10,000 hours of learning and studying to become an expert. Keep asking questions and with time this feeling of imposter syndrome will start to decrease. Many nurses go through this sensation and remember you are never alone.

June 26th, 2023

Please keep asking questions. The nurse that does not ask questions is a nurse that needs to leave the profession. You’re dealing with patients lives and there’s no way possible for you to ever know everything and a super congratulations on almost finishing your first year.

June 24th, 2023

Congratulations on many your first anniversary, hopefully tere will be many more. First of all, there is no such thing as a stupid question, if you don't know the answer, you need to ask. No actually, the only stupid question is the one not asked. If you think you know and want to check yourself, when you ask, explain you want to double check your are going to do he right thing. "I think I know, but can I double check?" Secondly, you are never done learning. I've been an RN 35yrs and I an constantly reading articles, doing education sessions. Things are constantly changing in health care!!! Before each shift do something to relax you, only you know what does it for you. Listen to your choice of music, play a game on your phone, pray, sit in silence. Whatever gets you ready to kick some ass! Good luck.

June 24th, 2023

The thing about nursing is that you will never have all of the answers. Nursing is a constant learning curve. I usually tell my students that it takes about a year to feel comfortable for any specialty you start. As a new RN, that might be 1.5 years. I’ve been a nurse for 7 years and I’m about to start another specialty, Im already preparing myself that I’m going to need at least a year to feel comfortable in this new specialty. Embrace the fact that you’re always learning, seek out new opportunities to learn and never assume you know everything. Great job so far and keep learning!

June 19th, 2023

Hi new nurse! This is very normal! I am a nurse of 7 years and I can assure you that you will be asking questions throughout your nursing career! It’s better to ask questions than to proceed if unsure! The nerves and anxiety are very normal and I guarantee you that you are not the only nurse on your tour with those feelings! Just continue to grow and learn to be the best you can be at your career❤️

June 19th, 2023

Hello and congratulation to one of best and challenging professional in the world. Please remember there is no such thing is a "stupid questions". I have been in nursing for more than 35 years and I still ask questions regarding those things I am not unsure of. Seek out someone who will be a greater mentor for you and please no do not allow your. self doubt let it get the best of you. I really refer working with a nurse that has questions instead of one that think she/he knows everything.

June 11th, 2023

Congratulations 🎉 on the achievement of this milestone.
My careers are both simultaneously nursing and photography. I've been in health care since 2000 (started in EMS) and photography since 1995.
Till this day, night before my hospital shift or night before studio session or a wedding, I feel a bit apprehensive, anxious, sometimes insomnia kicks in 😂. I leabeed that it's normal to feel vulnerable, it allows an opportunity for growth, an improvement and these qualities I welcome. I get concerned when I don't feel as such before the shift or an assignment ... You got your year under the belt, ask yourself, "what's next?!" and start working towards that goal - a certification? CEs for self learning, being something unique to the unit?

June 6th, 2023

Hi ya.. No nurse knows everything. You will learn something new every shift. Nursing is a "learn as you go" field and needs to be. Healthcare changes so much everyday and learning new ways of doing things is constant. There are no "stupid questions". The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask. It's important to work as a team and feel secure enough to ask for help if needed. Don't let pride or arrogance get in the way.
The most important thing to be concerned with is your patients safety and well being. I try to go in about 30 mins early and go through my patients charts. Look at labs, procedures/results and Notes. This way I have a good idea what I am going to be dealing with. This always helps with pre-shift anxiety. Getting a thorough report helps too. The longer you are in the field you will learn more things and betters way of completing tasks you will then feel stronger and more confident.
Give yourself some of the care and patience you give to your patients. Congrats on your first year. I wish you many more.

November 13th, 2022

No question is stupid. If you don’t ask then something bad may happen. Hopefully you have a resource that is supportive to new RNs. Hang in there!

September 30th, 2023

Honestly I’m a critical care nurse, and beyond just experience and asking questions and participating in rounds… continuing education, moving to different types of units, and studying for and getting certification for your specialty is really helpful in my opinion. Studying for my CCRN taught me a lot about my critical care nursing and I felt much more confident.

June 12th, 2023