Developing skills, teaching others and building good foundations

27 July 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 14


In her series on the early steps of a newly qualified nurse, Heather George, Critical Care Staff Nurse, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary ( describes the challenge of mentoring a student

I am now around 8 months into my journey as a newly qualified nurse, and I still have moments when I can't quite believe that I am, in fact, a qualified nurse. I feel so privileged to work as a nurse and to have the responsibilities I do, but I still have many moments of self-doubt. Imposter syndrome still rears its head from time to time and I struggle with a sense of belonging in the job. I'm not sure if that is a normal feeling for new graduates but, from conversations I've had with colleagues and other nurses I trained alongside, it seems it could be. I do feel that these concerns are dissipating as I form better connections with my team and build a better support system in work.

Recently, I have been dealing with a new anxiety that reminds me of my final year of nursing training. This is when I encounter a relatively common task in my workplace that I still don't know how to complete or have very little confidence in completing, and I suddenly feel very embarrassed, thinking that I should know how to do this by now. I recall having a similar feeling during my final-year placement in university, as there comes a point where you can't flash the ‘I'm new’ card quite so readily, and instead I have to face the slightly disappointing reality that I probably could have been a bit more proactive in my learning.

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