Image Source: Deviant Art
There is a fine line between the two.
Unfortunately it’s perception lays in the eyes of its beholder. While you think you are being confident, other will scowl at your arrogance.
As a nurse, especially a new nurse, be sure to listen more than you talk. No matter how much you think you know, no matter how much you think you don’t know, you will NEVER know everything, so don’t act like it.
Yes, we all are ‘strong’ nurses. We all have ‘strong’ personalities. But, there is greater strength in numbers. You and everyone else are all members of the same team.
Smugness is not a quality anyone likes. And I firmly believe we don’t elicit this arrogant-type behavior on purpose. I too like to ‘flaunt it, when I got it’. I too want to flex my ‘skillz’ when the opportunity arises. But don’t mask an eagerness to prove yourself with old fashion pompousness.
A new nurse is not simply a New Graduate (GN), not just a GN who recently passed their state board exam (NCLEX). A new nurse can simply be ‘new’ to the floor. New to the unit, new to your (hospital) employer. We all have a unique set of skills we bring with us, no matter how long or short our time line of knowledge is. We all can contribute in a positive, proactive manner.
At the end of the day if you put the patient and your team before yourself and your ‘skillz’, no one will ever accuse you of arrogance, nor will the question your confidence.