Performance anxiety and low confidence can be common among new Nurses as the field can feel intimidating. For your new journey, here are helpful tips to boost your confidence and help you to become the strong and resilient Nurse we know you can be.
Find a Mentor
Mentors can be beneficial as they offer advice, guidance and support. They ease the transition to practice for new graduate Nurses, re-entry Nurses, and Nurses new to a specialty area.
Andrea Tran, an RN and lactation consultant cautions new Nurses to choose experienced Mentors who also have a knack for teaching. "They will tell you to let them know if you have any questions and ask you if you want to watch or participate in something you haven't done before or haven't yet mastered. They will make you feel good about your progress."
Knowledge is Power
Consistently learning and growing your knowledge will make you feel more confident in your decisions. Always ask questions if you're unsure about something. There are numerous training courses and opportunities for improving your skills.
Don't Compare Yourself To Others
It's normal to feel the need to compare yourself to others but it's important to remember every Nurses' path is different, every shift is different, and every experience is different. Your team members are exactly that, your team, not your competitors. Learn from them but also be proud of the skills you have and the work you do.
Stand Up For Yourself
Unfortunately, we know bullying exists in the Nursing profession, but you don’t have to succumb to it. Being bullied can affect your self-esteem big time. Bullies feed off of low self-confidence and a passive communication style. Hold your head high, make eye contact, and stand up for yourself by speaking with a strong sense of self. Believing in yourself is a powerful tool!
Positivity is contagious and it feels good to lift others up. When you spread positivity, you’re creating a warm and inviting environment. Not only will people gravitate to you they will in turn feel better and spread that positivity further, boosting morale and confidence for all.
Don't Seek Validation From Others
Sometimes Nursing can feel like a thankless job. Remember why you're here - to care for others. If you're looking for a 'job well done' as approval for your hard work, you might be let down. It is important to recognize and appreciate yourself internally for your contributions and all that you do for others.
It’s imperative Management recognizes staff for the incredible work Nurses do. But recognition is different from approval. Validation should come from within and not from others.
Being a Nurse can have physical and emotional affects from stressful working conditions. Self-care and healthy lifestyles are crucial. Nurses should seek out help from their mentor, a therapist, or other trusted colleagues if they are feeling distressed. It is essential to be mindful about eating healthy, getting enough sleep and maintaining routines. Positive affirmations and healthy rewards for your hard work are needed.
In your Nursing career, have you experienced self-esteem issues? What helped you overcome those difficult times? Please share with us in the comment section below.