How systems can help nurses overcome imposter syndrome

Many nurses struggle with imposter syndrome, but systems and academic institutions can help alleviate it, Kimberly Pate, DNP, RN, director of policy and professional development at Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., wrote in a blog post on the American Association for Critical-Care Nurses website.

Imposter syndrome is the feeling that one does not deserve their success or that it was not achieved by their efforts or skills. The syndrome is not limited by age, gender or years of experience. Some studies found anywhere from 9 percent to 82 percent of professionals experience imposter syndrome, the post said.

Here are what healthcare systems and academic institutions can do to support nurses:

Healthcare systems

  • Implement strong mentoring programs at all levels.

  • Build and maintain well-being programs.

  • Create a culture of support and teamwork where all clinicians are able to share and overcome their fears and learn together.

  • Focus on positive performance and address performance improvement.

Academic institutions

  • Incorporate imposter syndrome content into nursing courses.

  • Provide emotional education to students.

  • Build mentoring relationships with students.

  • Educate faculty and clinical instructors on signs of imposter syndrome and develop strategies to build student confidence.

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