Monday, August 07, 2006

Confronting the nurse impostor

Recently I read that women who move up into new positions feel like fakes. So common is this feeling it has been given a name - the ‘Impostor Phenomenon’. The upwardly mobile woman internally feels that she is a phoney who achieved her new status purely because of luck, rather than by her intelligence or ability. The literature goes on to say that this is not an abnormal feeling, but something that normal individuals experience when they transition to a new role that changes their identity and relationships. The woman gripped by the “Impostor Phenomenon” may suffer from anxiety, low self-confidence, depression and a feeling of disconnectedness. (Check out the full article at: In another, now lost article, I read that this feeling can last for several months.

Help! I’ve been in this job for a year and still feel like an impostor! At times I feel that I achieve little, that I can’t do the job properly, that I should give up and go back to my own little patient load. I feel lost - aimless even. Surely there must be other people who can do this job better than I can?

It’s got to the point where I must quit… or take action! I’ve decided to take action, so today sees the launch of my plan that will put these ‘impostor gremlins’ to bed for good! I’m pulling myself together, taking responsibility for my development and taking control of my future. (Sounds good anyway!)

How, you may ask, will I achieve this?

First comes this blog with reflections on my development and plans for the future. Then a PDP on Thursday. I’ve also got some specific tasks that I’m putting into action (I’ll write more on them later)… things are looking up already - I will defeat the impostor within!


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