Self-Confidence In The Nursing Experience As A Nurse Essay

Self-Confidence In The Nursing Experience As A Nurse Essay

I believe that all nurses have felt a sense of uneasiness or fear when moving into uncharted territory in our nursing practice. It is an uncomfortable feeling when a skill that we have not utilized since a simulation in nursing school or a technique long forgotten after many years of neglect is needed. It reminds me of the low self-confidence look that is often seen in new nursing students as they walk into a patient’s room for the first time during clinical rotations.Self-Confidence In The Nursing Experience As A Nurse Essay


I do not have to look back very far to see a time when my self-confidence as a nurse was at an all-time low, reminiscent of that nursing school student. Almost a year and a half ago, I walked through the doors of Sunrise Adelante Clinic as a triage nurse with responsibilities for medical decision making, clinical care, and triage. Prior to walking through that door, I had been a stay at home mom for the past year. Before that, I worked for a large insurance company as a telephone triage nurse for several years. My clinical skills as nurse had gathered cobwebs, going untouched for three years. My self-confidence as a nurse has grown since I first walked through the doors at Sunrise. I now look forward to dusting off the cobwebs when I encounter a needed skill that has not been used for some time. From these experiences, I found the concept of self-confidence interesting and timely. In the article reviewed, Concept Analysis: Confidence/Self-confidence, the author discussed the importance of building confidence and self-confidence during nursing education and in nursing practice as a means of building a trusting relationship with patients (Perry, 2011, p. 218).Self-Confidence In The Nursing Experience As A Nurse Essay

How Nurses Can Build Their Confidence
While most of the time, nursing is a highly rewarding profession, there are times when even experienced nurses feel like they are in way over their heads. It might be a particularly challenging patient, or another nurse who seems to have the answers to everything, or just a new situation that brings on feelings of inadequacy and doubt, but regardless of the cause, when your confidence is shaken, you might wonder if you’re even in the right profession at all.

Travel nurses often experience a “crisis of confidence,” especially in the early days of any new assignment. Even if they know that they have been well trained and have a wealth of experience themselves, entering a new situation and working with a new group of colleagues presents a challenge.

There’s usually a learning curve as you get to know the personalities and politics of the department and the facility, and you might feel like everyone is watching you, the “new kid” to see what you can do — and whether you will make mistakes. While there is little besides time that can help you get past the first day jitters, you can build your confidence as a nurse going forward, and reduce those nagging feelings of self-doubt.Self-Confidence In The Nursing Experience As A Nurse Essay

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Build Your Knowledge

Knowledge is power, and when you are well educated, you feel more confident in your abilities. Going back to school for an advanced nursing degree not only provides you with more training and insight into the theory and practice of nursing, it opens up new opportunities for your career.

With a master’s degree, for example, you’re qualified for roles as a nurse leader or educator. However, even if a full degree isn’t practical for you right now, taking workshops or individual classes in areas that you’re not familiar with or want to expand your skillset to include can help you feel more confident in your work. Don’t limit your education to just nursing, either; learning communication, conflict resolution, leadership, and other “soft skills” can help you stand out on the nursing team and boost your confidence.Self-Confidence In The Nursing Experience As A Nurse Essay

Ask Questions

Even if you have an advanced degree and several years of experience, avoid falling into the trap of thinking that you know everything. Nothing can deflate your confidence faster than being sure of something, only to find out that you were wrong.

If you aren’t 100 percent positive about something, ask questions. Even if you think that your question could be perceived as “stupid,” ask anyway. It’s better to be sure than to make a mistake, especially in the life and death world of nursing, and remember that if you have a question there is a good chance that someone else had the same or a similar one.Self-Confidence In The Nursing Experience As A Nurse Essay

Find a Mentor
Mentors serve a vital role in any career, but especially in nursing. A mentor can serve as a sounding board when you’re feeling frustrated, provide insights that you might not have considered, and a champion when you need one.

Even if you don’t have a formal mentor, building strong relationships with supervisors, instructors, managers, and nurses with more experience can be a great resource for learning and support. Offer to take him or her to lunch or out for coffee, and ask for suggestions for resources or advice on how to handle certain issues. Knowing that you have someone in your corner can help you feel more confident and make better decisions.

Build Your Communication Skills
Effective communicators can build better relationships, since they generally tend to be better listeners, and can share information without appearing confrontational, condescending, or unaware of the other person’s feelings. Not only do strong, productive relationships help you remain confident, but also when you know that you have the skills to communicate with others, even when the subject is challenging, you are more likely to speak up and address problems.Self-Confidence In The Nursing Experience As A Nurse Essay

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Nothing will torpedo your confidence faster than comparing yourself to others. While other nurses or administrators can serve as inspiration for your own career path, don’t diminish your own abilities and achievements by comparing them to others’. At the same time, do not compare yourself to others in a negative way, i.e., inflating your own ego because you know you can do something better than someone else. Overconfidence can lead to mistakes, so stay humble, and run your own race.

Even when you have been a nurse for many years, there will be situations that shake your confidence. If you stay focused on improving your skills and relationships with others, though, you’ll have the self-esteem you need to handle anything that comes your way.Self-Confidence In The Nursing Experience As A Nurse Essay

Nursing can be a tough profession. There may be days that stress you out and make you feel bad about yourself. You might question if this is the right job for you or if you’re good enough to be a Nurse. Here are a few tips to improving your confidence and staying positive during difficult times.

Fake it till you make it?

An American Sentinel University article discusses the popular mantra and says, “Clearly, as a Nurse you cannot ethically fake skills or knowledge you don’t have. What you can do is to convey confidence that you don’t necessarily feel, by flipping the script. For example, when you don’t know what to do for a patient in distress, don’t focus on your knowledge gap- instead, try to feel confident about your ability to leverage whatever resources you need to figure out the next steps.”Self-Confidence In The Nursing Experience As A Nurse Essay

Never Stop Learning

No one knows everything but constantly learning and growing your knowledge will make you feel more confident. Always ask questions if you’re unsure about something. Try taking workshops or individual classes in areas that you’re not familiar with or want to expand your skillset. Knowledge is power!

Don’t Compare Yourself

Sometimes our insecurities can come from watching someone do a great job and wonder if you’re doing good enough. Instead of comparing how you work and what you have to others, be proud of the skills you do have and tell yourself you are doing a great job and you are doing the best you can.

Stand Up to Bullies

Unfortunately, we know bullying exists in the Nursing profession, but you don’t have to succumb to it. Being bullied can effect your self-esteem big time. Bullies feed off of low self-confidence and a passive communication style. Try to hold your head high, make eye contact, and stand up for yourself by speaking with a strong sense of self.Self-Confidence In The Nursing Experience As A Nurse Essay

Don’t Seek Gratitude

An article by Transition Nursing states, “Unfortunately, as Nurses we are often the last to be “thanked”. You know this to be true and you’ve most likely experienced it. You work hard for your patients, but not every patient will express gratitude. They may be dealing with a new and traumatic diagnosis and because of it, they are not themselves. Remember why you got in to this profession. Be firm in your belief that you have contributed, helped, and cared.

Perfection isn’t Real

You are human and no one is perfect. It’s best to admit your flaws and when you’ve made a mistake. Confident people are able to admit when they are wrong. You cannot convey or build confidence by covering up or denying your role in a mistake, or by reacting defensively. Learn from it and move on.

In your Nursing career, have you experienced self-esteem issues? What helped you overcome those difficult times? Please share with us. Self-Confidence In The Nursing Experience As A Nurse Essay