Does this get better? Or can I make a switch now?

  1. So, I started my first job ever as a nurse 2 months ago. After much shifting around of preceptors (not my choice, lots happened with each one, then some covered for the main one, etc. lotsa being bounced around) I feel like I am ready to quit. The floor felt like a great fit at first, now I feel as if my preceptor has zero faith in me with my assessment skills (which I am VERY confident in) and she is a serious control fanatic. I have seriously debated quitting after the past few weeks. I have only been there 2 months and this is my first nursing job, but I am miserable (tonight I came home sobbing after hearing how much I suck ALL day at time management, I am not moving fast enough for them, and essentially how much I suck as a nurse). I'm thinking I am already ready to quit. Is it too soon? Does this get better?? Can I switch areas in nursing yet? Or stick it out? Please help! this is really destroying ANY confidence I had.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from firefightnnurse
    So, I started my first job ever as a nurse 2 months ago. After much shifting around of preceptors (not my choice, lots happened with each one, then some covered for the main one, etc. lotsa being bounced around) I feel like I am ready to quit. The floor felt like a great fit at first, now I feel as if my preceptor has zero faith in me with my assessment skills (which I am VERY confident in) and she is a serious control fanatic. I have seriously debated quitting after the past few weeks. I have only been there 2 months and this is my first nursing job, but I am miserable (tonight I came home sobbing after hearing how much I suck ALL day at time management, I am not moving fast enough for them, and essentially how much I suck as a nurse). I'm thinking I am already ready to quit. Is it too soon? Does this get better?? Can I switch areas in nursing yet? Or stick it out? Please help! this is really destroying ANY confidence I had.
    It is too soon to quit, and it does get better.

    The red flag that struck me is that you are "VERY confident" of your assessment skills. No new grad with only two months on the job should be VERY confident of their assessment skills. There is still so much to learn, and you don't even know what you don't know. If you're expressing a high degree of confidence already, no wonder she doesn't have faith in your assessment skills. As a preceptor, it is extremely difficult to teach a new grad who already thinks she knows it all. You cannot possibly know all about assessments -- you haven't had a chance to encounter much of anything in the vast array of abnormal findings.

    Your negative relationships with your preceptors can be attributed to your over-confidence. Stick it out and become humble. Watch, listen and LEARN. Work on your time management skills -- something that ALL new grads suck at. I can state with a high degree of confidence that a new grad who doesn't suck at time management is overlooking a lot.

    It takes about a year to become confident in your first nursing job, and about another year to actually become competent. Somewhere to the end of your first year, something "clicks" into place and you begin to feel that you CAN do this after all. Most of us, at that point, discover that we actually like our jobs, our colleagues and our career. It's just that the first year is miserable, and we all have to GO through it in order to GET through it.
  4. by   firefightnnurse
    Very interesting. No need to be nasty with commemts like "learn to be humble " i haven't mentioned any of my past jobs and experience (in the medical field). I know i have a lot to learn, however there are definitely ways to teach it, o e of them is not to be so critical (to the point of nastiness) of a new grad nurse and dwell on every little thing done wrong and no words said of anything i may have done right. As for my relationships with my preceptors: one went out on maternity, the others filled in for the one who went on a vacation. I never asked for a new preceptor, i was just trying to be nice and work with the facility. My "overconfidence" as you stated is not something that has attributed to anything, because it does not exist. When I have an abnormal, i double check with the preceptor, when i notice something amiss, guess what? I ask. You were very quick to judge how you feel i am overconfident, but failed to remember that people come to nursing from a vast array of backgrounds (in my case many years working in public service). Constructive thoughts are always welcome, attacks on my personality: not so much. Have a great weekend
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    I begin to see why you are having difficulties. Good luck.
  6. by   firefightnnurse
    Wow...nurses really do eat their young...
  7. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from firefightnnurse
    So, I started my first job ever as a nurse 2 months ago. After much shifting around of preceptors (not my choice, lots happened with each one, then some covered for the main one, etc. lotsa being bounced around) I feel like I am ready to quit. The floor felt like a great fit at first, now I feel as if my preceptor has zero faith in me with my assessment skills (which I am VERY confident in) and she is a serious control fanatic. I have seriously debated quitting after the past few weeks. I have only been there 2 months and this is my first nursing job, but I am miserable (tonight I came home sobbing after hearing how much I suck ALL day at time management, I am not moving fast enough for them, and essentially how much I suck as a nurse). I'm thinking I am already ready to quit. Is it too soon? Does this get better?? Can I switch areas in nursing yet? Or stick it out? Please help! this is really destroying ANY confidence I had.
    Some preceptors forget what it's like to be new, and you haven't had the desired supportive relationship and consistency.

    Still, the best thing for you is not to switch at 2 months.

    Ask your preceptor what you are doing well. When you receive negative feedback, ask your preceptor exactly what you need to do differently to meet expectations. Read "When You Receive a Warning at Work" to learn what you should expect.

    Best wishes, my friend
  8. by   chacha82
    Having multiple preceptors, while not ideal, is the reality in acute inpatient care. I had two core preceptors and 1 I think who filled in for the other two on occasion. I have done the same with our new nurses. It is their job to help you hone your time management skills. If they don't emphasize that, then they don't prepare you for the job. I like to have my assessments charted early on too, but AM meds and pre-procedure stuff is often the priority. If people's blood pressures are high and you haven't given them their AM norvasc, it will not be a defense to say "But my assessments are charted."

    It's great you have prior knowledge from other careers, but try to focus on what your preceptor needs you to do right now. Honestly, I don't remember my preceptors giving me lots of praise. They quickly pointed out what I wasn't doing right because that's what had to change immediately in the moment. My preceptors were nitpicky with me about certain things but they did it for my benefit, knowing that the DON expected new grads to have those skills down. It will get better and you will develop your own "style."
  9. by   NickiLaughs
    I went home crying my first 6 months at my first RN job. I was an LVN for this prior for 4 years. I think it's almost a common mentality. It's so hard to get that flow started. Getting different preceptors sucks and it definitely makes it hard because every nurse as a different style and expectation. My first ER job after I switched from ICU sucked because I had a beast for a preceptor, she was an amazing RN, but such a flat personality that I couldn't tell if I was going to fail for my first 8 weeks. I finally just snapped and asked if I should go home now since I clearly wasn't meeting her expectations.
    She was shocked and then said, " no you are fine, I'm just trying to fine tune you." Had I heard that weeks before my stress level decreased greatly. You may just need to ask her (probably nicer than I did mine) what areas are you doing ok in and what areas you should focus more on. When you give her a specific question she's got to respond somehow.
    Good luck and hang in there.
  10. by   outriton
    Most people have trouble with orientation/working in a supervised manner at some point in their nursing careers, whether that be an awful preceptorship/leadership in nursing school or a bad pairing on the job during a residency/orientation. This doesn't even have to be when you're a new nurse since you do have paired orientations when you move to some new jobs as well.

    Things change a lot once you're on your own. I advise you to stick it out until your orientation is over so you can see how you really like nursing as a job on your own. Right now your struggles are with how you don't like being on orientation, and some of that can be because of personality clashes with your preceptor rather than anything to do with you. Some people are very by the book or think their way is the only way or just downright aren't good teachers even though they're good nurses. It happens. It doesn't have to define or end your nursing career though.
  11. by   bankssarn
    Quote from firefightnnurse
    Wow...nurses really do eat their young...
    Indeed, they do...

    I'm 5 years in and I'm still waiting for it to get better, OP, out of curiosity, are you working day shift or night shift? Maybe try another shift and see if that's a better fit? In my experience, nurses that typically work days are much more cutthroat than nurses that work nights. Maybe if you're working days now, nights might help you to ease into the position? Just a thought. Best of luck to you in your career.

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