Saturday, June 26, 2010


I have days where I want to be able learn new skills like they do in 'The Matrix'. Simply download the new skill and be able to perform it perfectly; the ultimate immediate satisfaction. Being a newbie nurse is hard- there are the things I already know how to do well, and then there are the things I am still learning. I'm so over the rookie stage- being observed by my trainer presents a certain security but at the same time, I am keenly aware of them watching everything I do.

But what are the benefits of the rookie stage? Well, for one thing, mistakes are expected and in some ways this time can be fairly forgiving. I was given a little ribbon to attach to my ID badge that says 'Training'- I love it and wear it proudly. The expectation (from everyone else at least, my mind is another story) is that you aren't supposed to know everything yet...or a whole lot because, really, we can't know everything. Another benefit to rookie time is that it is such a great learning time. And generally the learning moments come directly from the aforementioned mistakes that are almost always made. Because as most of you already know- you don't usually forget the solution/process to something that you already screwed up once.

While this is true, it is also infuriating. Why can't I just go in and know how to do it and rock it the first time? Think about movies we watch. The character (an athlete, doctor, spy, or your everyday bad ass) goes through a sequence of actions effortlessly. They almost never look nervous when performing whatever amazing feat is at hand. And if by some chance they screw it up, they can shoot it again. We don't have retakes in real life. And while I am not doing complex procedures at work, I am working on real people and the last thing I want to do is hurt them unintentionally.

When I first got my RN license, people would say 'You're a nurse now!'
While it is true that now I can practice as a registered nurse, I feel like I have to earn the title nurse. With each moment of screwing up, learning to correct the approach, developing a stronger skill set, not letting the nerves take over, I will further fill the role, and my sense of self within it.


  1. I agree--I feel like I'm lying when I say that I'm a nurse. I'm not working as a nurse, and I may not ever work as a nurse, so what kind of nurse is that?

  2. The kind that is part of the process of being an NP?:) I don't really know- just hypothesizing:)