As the start date approaches for my new job as a nurse practitioner, i can feel my feet get cold and my stomach turn somersaults. I had a 'photo shoot' last friday and felt like i was playing pretend. The impostor feeling haunts me as my start day approaches and i have decided i should step up to this role instead of belittling myself, saying i'm only a nurse practitioner or i only came from bedside nursing as medical experience. I have always been a believer that nurses are an independent medical professional, but there is a small part of me that wears all white and a funny hat and only says, "Yes, doctor" and i'm not sure where she came from.
Because i have been in a novice role for quite some time (because i've been in school up until this point, believe it or not), you would think i'd be used to the situation of being a novice. But i have realized that as a nursing student or a new nurse, i was more graceful at embracing and utilizing this role because i was a 'non-traditional' student. Afterall, i was in the graduate school. I was not 19 years old. I was entering the profession with some other experiences under my belt. But as a nurse practitioner, i feel somewhat suspicious that perfect strangers will believe the advice and diagnoses i will propose.
I also can't help but feel like the day i felt before i started high school. I have a new peer group that i'd like to get to know, but i'd like them to believe i'm competent. This is a difficult thing to convince strangers of when i question my own competence. It doesn't help that i'm meeting them while being visibly pregnant. Although i didn't have to start high school visibly pregnant, i have the same teenage worries: Will they like me? What's the culture like? OMG, What should i wear?
One of my old co-workers told me, "It's time for LissyJo to wear big girl undies!" I responded, "...To which i will promptly soil." Just like my first day of high school, my first day as a NP, i will jump in with both feet, a big smile on my face and clean pear of underpants and hope i make it through the day without crying or farting.