How far I've come: reflecting on my progress after 6 months in the role

25 May 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 10


In her series on the early steps of a newly qualified nurse, Heather George, Critical Care Staff Nurse, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (, considers how experience is improving her confidence

The past 6 months as a newly qualified nurse have flown by. At this point, it feels like things are starting to flow more smoothly at work and, dare I say it, become a bit easier.

There are still moments, such as when my first sedated and ventilated admission arrived on our unit, when I clearly noticed myself retreating into my shell and allowing more senior, confident nurses to take control. Quite frankly, I felt like a bit of a lemon until the patient was settled in and the retrieval team had left.

After I'd reflected upon it, I realised my shyness stemmed from the experience I lacked in swapping patients from transfer ventilators to the ventilators in our unit and switching over continuous infusions. I just didn't know enough, and usually it's all done so fast and efficiently that I hadn't had the opportunity to learn. Once I had realised this, I didn't feel like such a lemon any more!

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content