Im a nurse and most nurses seem to agree 2 years is the mark when you become proficient.

I passed the nclex but there are so many things you only learn by doing and living it, not reading it on a book or on a lecture by a nurse who stopped working with patients 20 years ago.

This sucks because until then your coworkers are not going to fully trust you and, in my case, they want me to do things their way, because otherwise it’s wrong. Add 6 nurses to the mix that feel entitled to this and you’ll understand why Im burning out: every one of them feels entitled to correct me, but the way one works contradicts how the next one does.

I wonder if this is a rite of passage across industries and workplaces and if in some industries it takes way less than 2 years to be proficient.

If this is how life is, how do I survive till year 2?

  • Awa
    24 months ago

    Nurse here. Yep it took about 2 years until it all clicked, but always learning. What’s your unit? It sounds like your coworkers are also burned out if they are bullying you. Do you have a nurse educator? Maybe they could guide you on things you are unsure about or need more practice with. Is there a way you can transfer to another unit that may be a better fit? If you are not stuck at that hospital under contract, look into travel nursing when you get a year under your belt. Sometimes there are local opportunities. Some hospitals have New Grad positions where they try to ensure their new nurses are mentored properly to build confidence.

    If you are stuck at that unit/hospital, try to keep pushing through. Build that thick skin. Regarding confidence: fake it til you make it, but always ask questions and make sure patient safety is your top priority. Try not to think of your coworkers ask trying to push you to do things their way as a bad thing. IMO, everyone has a different way of doing things. Observe coworkers techniques and adapt to whatever works best for you. I go by the old “kill them with kindness” technique. Pleasantly thank them for showing you their way of doing things, but in the end you do you as long as you keep your patients safe.

    Can you switch shifts? If so, perhaps give that a try. When I was burned out on days, I switched to nights and the tempo and personalities were different.

    It is hard. And the only ones who understand are those who have gone through it. In the end, if it is truly wrecking your soul, it is not worth it. Try to stick it out if you can, but not at the expense of your mental, physical, or emotional well being.

    I wish you the best. Feel free to DM me if you want to chat any further on this topic.