New Grad 5 1/2 months in wanting to quit!

  1. 0
    Hi all,

    I have been reading posts from this subject for quite some time because I have been struggling with this issue since I got hired in October. I completed school in May of '12 and looked for jobs for months and months with constant rejection emails. I finally found 2 jobs in acute care settings that I had my choice of where to work!

    As a student nurse doing my senior practicum I traveled to Denver, where I'm from, to do my internship at a very prestigious hospital in the state to try and increase my chances of getting hired after graduation. While I was doing nights and traveling between classes I really did not enjoy my time on this unit. I had a great preceptor, but knew that this unit may not be where I want to be. It is a cardiac intermediate care unit, and it just wasn't the right fit at that time.

    When it came time to apply for the new grad program I was able to interview in the ED, which is where it's been my dream to work. Unfortunately because of the sheer amount of number of applicants, I didn't get it. I had to wait a few months to re-apply to the program, pass NCLEX, etc.

    I was chosen to interview in the unit I did my internship at, and got hired. I was ecstatic to have a job, and this is a great semi critical care unit to start on. Once hired, I had a lot of anxiety which is normal. But I had some bad experiences with preceptors. Nothing blatantly horrible, more passive aggressive-esque kind of stuff. I latched onto one preceptor and she has been a great resource. I had a bad, unfair review and then went to nights which does not seem to sit well with my body.

    I had such extreme depression and anxiety before my night shifts, I lost 15 pounds, stopped talking to my family, all very uncharacteristic. My family and I were worried. I figured once I was done with my night rotation things would get better. Or at least off orientation things would get better. False. I cry every day.

    My final review was great, good feedback from preceptors, and now that I've been on my own, I've had patients and families give be amazing feedback that does help, but I cannot get over my sheer dread for going in. I can't enjoy days off, I've been prescribed Ativan for my days off for anxiety and constant crying, and I just don't know what to do.

    I know that I need to put my time in, because it sounds like the 12 hour acute care setting is not for me. Theres nothing I can put my finger on that I don't like, I just don't know if it's because im so young and fresh out of school that it is a hard transition. I don't want to quit because I've worked so hard to get here, but I can't live like this. Help!
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Do you know what area you would like to work in? You are almost at the 6 month mark, I would start applying to some other positions maybe prn to dip into various other specialties so you can find your niche,
  4. 0
    Why don't you consider a antidepressant. Using Ativan on your days off isn't enough you need to level your mood. Once you do that you may feel so different about things.
  5. 1
    Night shift can be lethal. It's not normal, and most people feel sickly, weak, exhausted, and confused. Don't fall asleep driving home on the morning- Ativan has a habit of sticking around in your system...
    BrendaH84 likes this.
  6. 1
    I hear you. I hate to make sweeping statements, but patterns can't be ignored - SO many new grads feel like you do at the point you are at. Research has been done on it, articles written on it. I personally would encourage you to get on a schedule, push yourself to eat right and exercise even when you not feel like it, ditch the Ativan if you can and hang on. Once I crossed the 8-12 month time frame, started seeing other new grads starting their journey and started feeling a bit more confident, my anxiety and disillusionment abated significantly.
    krazievi3t6url likes this.
  7. 0
    I was where you are. All first year jobs are hard, but in my hospital, the floor I work on is called the hell floor for a reason. Guess what? It's intermediate cardiac care. I had chest pain, I had globus hystericus (super fun, look that one up) and was generally miserable. It got better between months 6 and 7, and now, almost a year in, the good days far outweigh the bad. I personally am usually able to manage anxiety with exercise, but definitely consider meds for depression while you wait out the rest of your first year. It will get better.

    (To be completely above-board, two weeks ago I was in a bad place, but it was more related to the nurse I follow than the job itself. I'm switching to nights because it is a better fit for me.)
  8. 1
    I'm so glad to see someone feels the way I do. I dread going into work everyday. I am also worried I made the wrong decision going into nursing and I am in way over my head. I keep reminding myself I just need to make it through one year and then I can start looking for other positions not in an acute care setting. I don't feel like acute care is for me either, I just feel incompetent and overwhelmed. I also have anxiety most of the time worrying about my patients, even on my days off and I cant enjoy my days off. I feel bad because I know I am very lucky to have a job, but I complain about it 90% of the time, I almost hate it. I just don't know if this is normal for new grads or if I really shouldn't be doing this.
    BrendaH84 likes this.
  9. 0
    do your best to survive each day and after you get to the 1 yr mark apply for transfer out. Keep an eye on opportunities make friends with people from other floors and departments you would like to work in. That is what networking is. The first year is the hardest and your experiences in that time period forms the template of your nursing outlook. See if you can find a mentor that may be someone assigned or not, sometimes its just a nice nurse on the floor who is willing to take a newbie under her wing.
  10. 0
    Quote from NRS86
    I'm so glad to see someone feels the way I do. I dread going into work everyday. I am also worried I made the wrong decision going into nursing and I am in way over my head. I keep reminding myself I just need to make it through one year and then I can start looking for other positions not in an acute care setting. I don't feel like acute care is for me either, I just feel incompetent and overwhelmed. I also have anxiety most of the time worrying about my patients, even on my days off and I cant enjoy my days off. I feel bad because I know I am very lucky to have a job, but I complain about it 90% of the time, I almost hate it. I just don't know if this is normal for new grads or if I really shouldn't be doing this.
    i actually laughed hysterically out loud when i read your post. i think i have said your exact words at least once a week for months.
    i really USED to be a normal person, now i sound so negative all the time.
    a few more techs and someone at the desk to handle new Dr's orders and new admits etc would fix everything, but alas, everyone is cheap.
    Last edit by BrendaH84 on Apr 21, '13 : Reason: added quote


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