Anxiety in nursing? HA. There have been times in my career that I have been absolutely paralyzed by it before a shift. It is a horrible feeling and there were literally moments where I thought not being alive would be better than the feelings I was experiencing. For years it was before almost every shift that I would feel this way. My anxiety stemmed from the fear of "What if I can't handle what happens?", "What if I harm someone?", "What if I make the wrong decisions?", These uncertainties plagued me to no end and the intensity of these fears were nightmarish for me. I realized that some anxiety is normal but what I was experiencing was pathological, I got treatment that unfortunately for several years was not effective. My attendance became a problem, I developed profound depression and eventually I had a psychotic break and was unable to work for close to a year. Eventually I received treatment that was helpful and with time I was able to get back to work.
I don't know if the stress and anxiety I had caused my decompensation but it certainly contributed to it. Nursing is just flat out hard, the responsibility we have is enormous and the support we are given to carry out our responsibilities is usually inadequate.
I can honestly say that I no longer stress out about work. I finally accepted the fact that I have survived every shift I've clocked into and short of being struck down by God in the middle of my shift I'm going to survive that one too. It's normal to have a little anxiety or even a mild sense of dread, but if it starts to impair your ability to function, decrease your quality of life, or even starts to consume you than you definitely need to get treated by a mental health professional. Life is too short, and too precious to live in that state of anxiety.
Good luck to you.