Updated: Sep 29, 2020
1) Believe in yourself. This is probably the most important thing to remember. You have to believe
that you are fully capable of being an ER nurse. Believe that it is no accident or coincidence you got this job. You can’t expect anyone else to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. So, truly take this to heart and manifest it each time you go on the floor.
2) Be willing to learn. This seems like an obvious one, but it’s vital to how successful you will be as an ER nurse. The great thing about the ER is that you have a variety of different medical conditions that come in. This means that you always have an opportunity to learn something new. Embrace the opportunity to take on patients with conditions that are unique. This way you will expand your knowledge and in turn that will build confidence.
3) Ask Questions. When I first became a newly licensed RN I would sometimes feel intimidated to ask questions about certain things. I felt that somehow asking certain questions about things equated to my nursing skills and capability. Through growth I now know that is absolutely not true! In fact, asking questions is one of the smartest things you can do. It helps to provide you clarification on things and it’s a great opportunity to learn something you may not have known before.
4) Study outside of work. I know this isn’t necessarily a fun one, but it will help a lot. Often times if you’re on orientation as a new nurse you will be provided with information about your specialty of nursing, and the common procedures that you should be familiar with. For instance in the ER some common codes we have to be familiar with include code sepsis and code stroke. With both of these codes they require certain types of blood work that we have to know in order to properly treat the patient. In addition to knowing pertinent information about your specialty you can get certifications. Some include TNCC (Trauma Nursing Core Course) and CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse). Both of these certifications are great, because you will expand upon the knowledge you already have. In addition, it can provide as a refresher for certain information you may have learned, but have forgotten. So, studying definitely serves a purpose and it will help to build your confidence as well.
5) Practice. The best nurses didn’t gain their experience overnight. It took practice. How do you gain practice? The answer is by experience. The more experience you gain on the floor each time you go out to work you will realize that you will get better and better. Before you know it you’ll be a pro. It will take patience though. Everyone learns at their own pace, and it doesn’t serve you any good to compare yourself to others in the process of learning, and gaining experience. Focus on you and be the best that you can be!
In all, these are my 5 tips on how to become a confident ER nurse. These are tips that I take to heart and use in my life as an ER nurse. I hope you found them helpful to you as well. If you have any questions or comments on the tips I provided, please leave a comment below or DM me @nursekimdarpoh on Instagram.