2nd thoughts about being a nurse

  1. I was so excited that after 4 grueling years of school, I got my BSN. I really thought life would be better, but it stinks. I have been working about 4 months on med/tele. I am so sick of having too many patients, including some unstable ones. I am sick of catty coworkers, rude mDs, demanding families, no respect, overtime, the mone isnt worth the stress, anxiety, depression, grouchiness, no life, I hate this job. I am so mad.........I worked so hard. Nursing isnt what I thought it was, it isnt about caring for patients, its about how hard can u work one person, there is too much work to do, I feel like I am risking my license every day.......I dont want to go to work and when I am at work, I just wannna go home.
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  2. 64 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    I am so sorry that you are so frustrated. It really takes a while to get used to nursing--about a year or so. However, you seem very upset - would you consider another type of nursing? What about talking with your educator? Did you get an adequate orientation? How are the other new grads feeling?

    Being the newbie isn't easy. You are right that there is a lot of stress involved in being a nurse. Some stress is to be expected. However, its concerning that you say that you feel your license is in jeopardy. You need to find out what things you can change about this job (i.e. becoming more organized, being more knowledgeable about the pathophys of the patients, etc. and what you can't change; ie being short-staffed, inadequate orientation, rudeness of staff and co-workers).

    Weigh and decide whether it is worth it to try to salvage this job or whether it is best to pick up the pieces and move on.
  4. by   augigi
    It sounds like your problems aren't with nursing per se, but with your current job/unit/colleagues. Start looking for a new job. Of course it's a huge adjustment starting as a grad, and there are many "real world" shocks such as the patient load and time management necessary.

    I personally felt that I couldn't provide adequate care to each patient when overloaded, and combined with other issues such as my interests, I ended up in critical care, where I took care of 1, maybe 2 patients. I still needed excellent time management, but I got to take care of the *whole* person and do those "extra" things which make things more pleasant for both the patient and myself.


    Write down what you want and expect from a job, and then go and find it. There are so many choices and job areas available to nurses that it just isn't worth expending so much emotional energy to continue in a job you hate.

    Best of luck.
  5. by   BernieRN
    This is really sad, and I have had the same thoughts myself. I am not even a nurse yet, and am still taking general courses. I have followed these boards for quite some time and the more I read, the more I wonder.
    I had always wanted to be a nurse...to care for the patient, not to run around like a chicken with its head cut off. Not to do tons of paper work. Not to deal with inconsiderate people. I just want to care for people. I have actually thought about being an aide instead, but couldn't live on the wage, I don't think.
    I know there has to be nursing jobs out there that are a bit more in line with caring, instead of "politics" for lack of a better word. Hospice comes to mind. Any feedback from those in the know would sure help in this thread!
  6. by   smileysenior
    I have pretty good time management skills.........but we are severely understaffed. I have 6-7 patients and most are very unstable.......tons going on. I feel like some people get neglected no matter how hard you try to be attentive and you miss out on important details because u r rushing like crazy. It's hard.........I wanted to help people, but I feel like I am taking orders and doing tasks........I do want to find a new job because I know this is just one side of nursing.....and i dont want to give up on this career....I have learned alot but I never get to see my family or friends, the little friends I have, I am tired, stressed, cry alot, depressed, anxious.......I am miserable. I want to be happy.........I am becoming the bitter nurse I never wanted to become. That scares me! I wanted to stay at this job for a year or at least 6 months because it would be good experience and look good on my resume but now I just want to be happy. I had planned to get my masters.....in august of 07 but I am having doubts.....I feel like with a masters, i cud be a practitioner and be able to spend more time with patients in a clinic setting or something.....thanks for the good advice!
  7. by   traumaRUs
    Some jobs are just not doable. 6-7 patients MIGHT be doable for a very experienced RN. However, for someone with 4 months of experience, 4-5 patients is more realistic. I would look for another job: maybe go into critical care where the orientation is usually more thorough. May I ask how much orientation you got? I'm figuring that you graduated in May, took boards in June, had 10-12 weeks of orientation - so you're just out of orientation? This can be a daunting time!

    As to getting your masters...find out what type of nursing you want to do before committing to a specific program. Good luck.
  8. by   smileysenior
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Some jobs are just not doable. 6-7 patients MIGHT be doable for a very experienced RN. However, for someone with 4 months of experience, 4-5 patients is more realistic. I would look for another job: maybe go into critical care where the orientation is usually more thorough. May I ask how much orientation you got? I'm figuring that you graduated in May, took boards in June, had 10-12 weeks of orientation - so you're just out of orientation? This can be a daunting time!

    As to getting your masters...find out what type of nursing you want to do before committing to a specific program. Good luck.
    12 weeks orientation......I was taken out because some other nurses had quit and they needed staff. I figured a year was enough time to decide what I wanted to do for masters.....
  9. by   traumaRUs
    Wow - so you have only been out of orientation for a short time. This is a very hard time for all new grads. Does your hospital have a mentoring program? Is there a more-senior staff nurse that could give you some pointers?

    You are right a year is enough time to decide what type of master's program you want to enter IF you have enough positive experiences. However, my concern is that you don't even like what you are doing now, so how will you choose what master's program to enter?
  10. by   Gompers
    Quote from smileysenior
    I feel like with a masters, i cud be a practitioner and be able to spend more time with patients in a clinic setting or something.....thanks for the good advice!
    Though the requirement for most NP programs seems to be one year of experience, I'd recommend getting a few more. NPs are advanced practice nurses - and while you do learn quite a bit in graduate school, nothing can replace good old fashioned nursing experience. I also don't think that you'd get more time with each patient working as an NP - think of how many patients they see a day!

    If what you really want is to feel like you're able to spend time with your patients, you might want to look into ICU nursing. Often you'll only have one or two patients and are responsible for almost all of their care (some units don't have nursing assistants). You will spend your whole shift with only one or two patients and though it's busy in a differnt kind of way, there is a lot of satisfaction in having so much involvement in their care.

    I hope things start to improve for you. It really does take at least a year to feel comfortable as a nurse, and oftentimes longer until you find your niche. Good luck and take care.
  11. by   smileysenior
    I love pediatrics and ob, womens health. So I have an idea of what I would like to do.....I do know that floor nursing on medsurg isnt something I want to do long term........I may venture into another area instead of nursing though. I dont want to be bitter and burnout. I would rather be happy and have a life. You only get one. I am glad I didnt go to school straight out of nsg school..........I am starting to feel that I might not want to get another degree in nursing.
  12. by   smileysenior
    Quote from Gompers
    Though the requirement for most NP programs seems to be one year of experience, I'd recommend getting a few more. NPs are advanced practice nurses - and while you do learn quite a bit in graduate school, nothing can replace good old fashioned nursing experience. I also don't think that you'd get more time with each patient working as an NP - think of how many patients they see a day!

    If what you really want is to feel like you're able to spend time with your patients, you might want to look into ICU nursing. Often you'll only have one or two patients and are responsible for almost all of their care (some units don't have nursing assistants). You will spend your whole shift with only one or two patients and though it's busy in a differnt kind of way, there is a lot of satisfaction in having so much involvement in their care.

    I hope things start to improve for you. It really does take at least a year to feel comfortable as a nurse, and oftentimes longer until you find your niche. Good luck and take care.
    Not really interested in ICU! Even though it is better in alot of ways but like you said, a different kind of busy.
  13. by   augigi
    Hey, knowing where you *don't* want to go is a great start! Hope you can narrow down where you do want to go. I'd suggest asking for more help, but if you have a toxic work environment the best thing may be to leave. You have to look after yourself before you can be any use to others.

    If you do decide to go to another field, you can always use your nursing on the side to help with the schooling. Don't forget there are lots of areas outside clinical nursing as well that would allow you to use your current skills and education.

    Good luck.
    Last edit by augigi on Sep 27, '06
  14. by   traumaRUs
    At least give yourself another chance with a different type of nursing before throwing in the towel. All nursing isn't created equal. I started in LTC as an LPN and hated it. As a new grad RN, I was on med-surg and like it, but didn't love it. However, went to a level one trauma center with two years of RN experience under my belt and LOVED it.

    What I'm getting at is it does take awhile (sometimes) to find your place in nursing. Not all units are creasted equal.

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