More than regular new grad anxiety; feel like quitting.. too soon?

  1. Hi there,

    I already posted on this forum previously but I wanted to post again.

    Honestly, I've been reading a lot of posts here and very much relate to the experiences of new grad RNs. I've been orienting on my unit for about 2.5 months (didactic and unit time together) and I'm about 9 days away from finishing up. I've been training in critical care and felt I have learned A LOT however I get a lot of anxiety before, during and after work, and on my days off, just thinking about the unit and everything I've been doing. All the crazy thoughts/questions/ideas that fly through an anxious person's head has not been new to me.

    I know there is a huge learning curve for new nurses and people say this will pass with time however, I sometimes wonder if nursing just isn't for me. Or maybe it's the actual unit that isn't for me. However, with all the talk of liability and the stress of the units, my anxiety becomes even greater and I feel like I should just avoid it all by getting out. However, I have also worked extremely hard to obtain my BSN and RN license and quitting wouldn't be great at all. However, sometimes I just feel like my sanity and happiness is more important than all that and maybe I'd be better with a less stressful yet lower paying job elsewhere. I mean, I wonder if I could use my degree in a decent non-clinical job elsewhere.

    I've been thinking about taking anti-anxiety meds since it seemed to really surface during nursing school and now I feel it even more. I don't know, I just feel really divided and uncertain about what decision to make. Maybe some of you can offer some advice or pointers. THanksk so much.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from azzurra29
    I know there is a huge learning curve for new nurses and people say this will pass with time...

    It will pass with time! You will start to feel confident. But you are new, and nursing is hard! I've felt like quitting many times, and have driven home in tears many nights. At some point, that stopped being the focus of my day. At some point, I started to move on, and feel confident. And you will too! Be gentle with yourself, nursing is no walk in the park!

    Can you ask for a little bit more orientation? 3 months isn't enough. I had 6 months offered to me.
  4. by   wfperseus
    Hi - I've been feeling the same way as a new nurse on a med-surg tele floor. I'm incredibly insecure and feel anxious on my days off (really spoils the time off!). Do you have access to Employee Assistance at your facility? They could probably put you in touch w/ a good counselor.

    Good luck!
  5. by   BayAreaRN
    Hey! I'm a new grad as well and been in the job only for 8 months and I feel exactly the same way as you do.

    However, I figured that if I feel miserable in this job.. why stay? I'm starting a new job as a cardiac data and quality coordinator in another hospital and so I'm quitting floor nursing (for now at least). I heard so many bad reactions from my co-workers saying that it's the wrong move, that I need more time doing bedside... but IT'S NOT THEIR LIFE.

    Figure out what you really want and go for it. Life is too short to be miserable.... nursing is not just bedside... there are lot more opportunities out there.

    Goodluck!
  6. by   azzurra29
    THanks for all the replies from everyone. I'm getting to thinking a little more clearly about things although it's still hard to make decisions. Maybe quitting at 2 months is too early... thanks again.
  7. by   HealthyRN
    I agree that 3 months may not be enough orientation time for a critical care unit. Could you ask for more time if you still do not feel comfortable at the end of your orientation? I was offered up to 6 months orientation for my ER position, but I ended up only taking 4 months. I knew that I was ready by that time because I couldn't stand the thought of another day with my preceptor.

    It may be that the feeling will pass and you will come to love your job. I was also very nervous and had many, many days that I wanted to quit. However, even after I became more confident in my skills and was on my own for several months, I realized that I still didn't like my job and I was very unhappy. Even in my last year of nursing school I had doubts about if nursing is really a good career choice for me. After 9 months of ER experience, I have decided to pursue other avenues and I recently quit my job for a position in which I will be teaching health education courses to seniors in assisted living centers. Although my nursing background was helpful in obtaining this position, it was not required. If you do decide to leave your position, there are options outside of acute care, especially since you have a BSN.

    In your case, I would stick it out at least until you finish your orientation and then reevaluate how you feel. Did you enjoy any of your clinicals in school?
  8. by   azzurra29
    Thanks for the input KatRN, BSN. I plan to stick out my orientation which is about a week away from finishing up and that's with an extra week added on since the nurse educators felt I needed it. I told them I was "stressed" and they said it's normal but I think my stress has been excessive so that's why I was posting on this forum, trying to think things through.

    Looking back on nursing school, I did enjoy some of the clinicals but nothing major. In fact, I wonder if bedside nursing is really a good career choice for me as well. Actually I can see myself working more in the community in less acute settings although I don't know how easy that would be to get to that point. Anyhow, that is that. I appreciate all the responses so far here. THanks a lot.


    Quote from KatRN,BSN
    I agree that 3 months may not be enough orientation time for a critical care unit. Could you ask for more time if you still do not feel comfortable at the end of your orientation? I was offered up to 6 months orientation for my ER position, but I ended up only taking 4 months. I knew that I was ready by that time because I couldn't stand the thought of another day with my preceptor.

    It may be that the feeling will pass and you will come to love your job. I was also very nervous and had many, many days that I wanted to quit. However, even after I became more confident in my skills and was on my own for several months, I realized that I still didn't like my job and I was very unhappy. Even in my last year of nursing school I had doubts about if nursing is really a good career choice for me. After 9 months of ER experience, I have decided to pursue other avenues and I recently quit my job for a position in which I will be teaching health education courses to seniors in assisted living centers. Although my nursing background was helpful in obtaining this position, it was not required. If you do decide to leave your position, there are options outside of acute care, especially since you have a BSN.

    In your case, I would stick it out at least until you finish your orientation and then reevaluate how you feel. Did you enjoy any of your clinicals in school?
  9. by   MKZ
    I had six weeks orientation in the ICU. I have been there for ten months and despite my requests, I have had no formal evaluation nor have I been shown the fire exit. What is going on in this profession? Oh that's right, there is a Nursing shortage. Does not make it okay to condescend new nurses, treat them like they are totally a burden, nor does it make it okay to have to bear the brunt of what is lacking. Just because they hired you does not mean they will treat you well. When you are anxious and nervous, thats normal but no one should cry after work, no one should be made to feel inadequate after they have done their best and then some. Women put up with horrifying conditions. If you are not apalled, then you are not paying attention. If you want to quit, quit. Screw it...go to a place where your heart feels safe. And unfortunately, a good nursing job is far and few in between. Until more funky nurses unite, this job is going to suck...suck so bad its not worth any money at all.
  10. by   Little Panda RN
    I think alot of us has thought about quitting nursing and some have. I am leaving full time nursing and I am going flex time. I have been in the medical field since 1994. 12 of that as a medical assistant. I have always worked in the clinical setting side by side with doctors and I am tired of it. There are alot of very unhappy people and it can suck the life out of you. Hospital is worse at least in my opinion. I have been an LPN for a year and I am bowing out for the most part. I am going back to retail management where I have some control over my enviornment. I am taking a pay cut, but that is okay. Less stress = a happier me. My husband is all for it, he says that nursing is dragging me down and I am not the person he used to know. My friends also tell me this. So I am going to try something different and see what happens. I can always go back to nursing.
  11. by   NJNursing
    My senior year of school I made it a point to talk to a lot of the nurses who had been there 1-3 years and what they wished they had done more or less of their 1st year and almost all of them said they either were glad they did or wished they did an internship, so that's what I did. It was 18 weeks of orientation in 6 week increments. You spent 6 weeks on one floor of your choice, 6 weeks on another floor of your choice and then your last 6 weeks were spent on the floor that you were hired to which was also your choice.

    I only had real thoughts of nursing not being right for me right about graduation. I think it was the pressure. The hospital I'm at has great staff, they're supportive and nurturing (at least on my floor) to new grads and new hires. I did most of my clinicals at this hospital and by the satisfaction of their employees was I able to see that it was a right choice for me. In the beginning my preceptor was kind of like someone who oversaw me. Then towards the end he was someone that i could just reference. He was a great teacher and very knowledgable. I'll always be grateful for his help. I think that's important as well - that the people who are precepting you are really in it to help you and not just for extra money!
  12. by   fmwf
    Quote from MKZ
    I had six weeks orientation in the ICU. I have been there for ten months and despite my requests, I have had no formal evaluation nor have I been shown the fire exit. What is going on in this profession? Oh that's right, there is a Nursing shortage. Does not make it okay to condescend new nurses, treat them like they are totally a burden, nor does it make it okay to have to bear the brunt of what is lacking. Just because they hired you does not mean they will treat you well. When you are anxious and nervous, thats normal but no one should cry after work, no one should be made to feel inadequate after they have done their best and then some. Women put up with horrifying conditions. If you are not apalled, then you are not paying attention. If you want to quit, quit. Screw it...go to a place where your heart feels safe. And unfortunately, a good nursing job is far and few in between. Until more funky nurses unite, this job is going to suck...suck so bad its not worth any money at all.

    YESS!!!

    1-No f/u eval--but plenty of illegit peer reviews.

    2-3wks on nights 3 wks on days. 5,6 pts from the start (=day one).
    Preceptors (written and spoken)English VERY questionable and taking patients. (I speak two languages besides English). With a complex at that! That was surreal.

    3-No locker, no tour no postive feedback, no quantifiable evals no APIE, no signing out of orientation. Just smart petty remarks and threats to "put you back on". Very little (no) professionalism. Residents/med students untouchable (not the way it was in nursing school). Nurses subservient to everyone, including the highly esteemed and popular waittech.

    4-4(four) nurses left during my orientation. I left after 7 months, IBS (no elimination and hydration for me), EBV after hospitalization with flu (dehydrated).

    5-I want my nursing school refund. Should be waitress school and advertised as such.

    6-Asked 5 customer service questions on my last (internal transfer)interview. Not one nursing question. Hated each question. Could not fake it. Failed miserably. (Taking suggestions for my next interview on Monday for L&D).

    7-Uniting? All for it...how to do it!?? Let's go!!! ( I am ready to call up admin and give them a piece of my mind. )

    8-How not to sell out on my next job? I can't lose the house now...We will be homeless.

    fmwf

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