Being a nurse is not easy, and I have to admit that I used to think it was. Sure, I knew that there would be a lot to learn but I never expected the level of juggling that would have to take place in a 12-hour shift. There are other nurses, doctors, techs, social workers, and therapists you are communicating with, on top of keeping your patients alive and communicating with them as well.
I’ve had the experience of being a hospital staff nurse, a preceptor, and a charge nurse, and I can tell you that I’ve grown so much, learned so much, and been challenged in ways that I never thought possible. Dealing with the hardships of staffing, making the assignment, putting out fires and quieting the drama have taught me so much. Hardships are opportunities to grow, although we rarely see it that way. These hardships and setbacks have helped develop my confidence as a nurse.
I admit that when I have difficulties at work it can be easy to let them affect me personally and dwell on them, but I’ve learned to have a (somewhat) short memory. When it comes to criticism, acknowledge that everyone has a learning curve and adopt a growth mind-set. Move on quickly from these setbacks, and use them as opportunities to learn and grow.
To me, it’s important to celebrate the small daily wins–a patient says “thank you”, your manager says “good work,” or the team coordinates the care perfectly. When you celebrate the small victories, it will develop your confidence even more. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Remember why you became a nurse. If you can do these things, those hardships will lead you to an extraordinary place.