Six months as a nurse, one year as a nurse, and 10 years as a nurse.
Different stages of a nurse’s career carry different experiences. Nursing is variable when you progress through your career and become an “expert.”
Of course, no nurse becomes an expert, no matter how many years you’ve been working. However, you do get better at your job, and you gain confidence.
Starting out, though, you may feel like you don’t know anything, and that’s okay. It is interesting to see what it is like for a nurse at six months, one year, and ten years.
Your mileage may vary, but most nurses follow an arc as their time in the profession increases. In other words, what you are experiencing is probably normal.
When you’ve been a nurse for six months, you may still feel unsure of yourself. You’ve probably faced some tough situations and come out okay.
If you haven’t, you likely live in fear of one. Even if you have had troubles, like a code, you may still dread the idea of that happening again.
The good news is that this is normal. Even more experienced nurses don’t like it when a patient goes south.
You need to have confidence that you can handle the situation and know that your coworkers are there to back you up. When you are a nurse with six months experience, you rely heavily on the more experienced nurses around you.
A nurse who has been on the job for one year usually has a nice store of confidence. You’ve weathered the storm and come out mostly intact.
Sometimes, though, nurses at this point may consider a change of career. It is almost like a dark night of the nursing soul.
You may be right, because you’ve likely been at the same position for a year. If you are feeling restless, it is time to try another specialty to nursing.
Maybe where you are just isn’t a good fit for you, and you need to explore the many opportunities that the profession has to offer. In some ways, though, you may just be happy where you are and attaining the experience that is so important to nursing.
After ten years in nursing, you may experience two different feelings: pride in making it so far or exhaustion. Nursing is hard work, and ten years on the floor can make you feel run down.
You are a wealth of experience by now, though. You’ve seen most situations four times, and everyone comes to you for advice.
Depending on your age, you may consider retirement at this point, but management may be a better option. That way, you can use your experience to the betterment of the new nurses while taking the pressure off of your body.
Ten years is a milestone, and if you have been in nursing that long, you certainly deserve kudos. It is now your time to shine and figure out what you want to do with all of the valuable experience you’ve earned over the years.