I graduated with my A.S.N. in December of '11. By the time I got my ATT and took my boards, it was late February. I started my first nursing job in long-term care on a skilled unit in March. I've always loved the geriatric population; I felt as though it was my calling. Until the reality of being a nurse in LTC set in. I worked the 2-10 pm shift, and even though there were 2 nurses on day shift, I was the only one on evenings. I would have anywhere from 35-40 residents under my care. For a new nurse - or any nurse - I felt as though it was unsafe and too much to ask. I expressed this concern to my boss. She brushed it off and said, "This is how long-term care is. Get used to it." So after doing my best for 2 months, I moved to a hospital setting; cardiac telemetry to be specific. I thought, "Oh, I'll have 4 or 5 patients instead of 40; this won't be too bad." I was wrong. I had 4 weeks of orientation - the first week was in a classroom - then they turned me loose. I have had 6 patients every single night, with the exception of one night; I had 5 patients. Oh, and we don't have any CNAs on the night shift (7p-7a), so the RN is responsible for total patient care. I'm constantly feeling overwhelmed, like I can't possibly get everything done. One of my professors said that new nurses go through an initial shock period. I laughed at her and thought, "I've been working in healthcare for years! I'll be fine!" Well, I was wrong. I'm definitely going through that initial shock phase. It's always been my dream to be a nurse, but I'm questioning my career choice. I love caring for others, but I feel like I have very little time to do any actual caring. What, with juggling physician's orders, analyzing EKG rhythms and charting, charting and more charting! I feel like I chart for 3-4 hours a night! I've only been at this job since May, but I'm feeling like it's not the right fit for me. What if I never find the right fit? I can't keep job hopping every few months. It shows a lack of reliability. Please tell me I'm not the only one feeling this way! Please tell me it gets better!
Sep 26, '12
I am just finishing up a 2 month residency and will be on my own in a week! I could not be more freaked out and I actually feel more stressed now than when I started! I decided to begin my career on a med/special surgery unit because I thought the experience would be really beneficial, but now I'm just miserable. I love Women's Health/L&D and I regret taking this Med/Surg path. I've heard I should give it 12-months but cannot imagine spending a year on this unit. I just feel like I'm trapped now! I'm so disillusioned with nursing, I'm sick of constantly being stressed and on high alert, and really tired of worrying non-stop about protecting my license and the threat of being written up.
Honestly I was ready to quit last week when I got off my last shift (I had worked or had residency class for 7 straight days in a row), but reality kicked in and I do not want to job hop or go without an income. Besides, with only 2-months of "experience" under my belt I'm not willing to risk not being able to find another job. In addition to the stress from work I'm a single mom and I miss my son. I thought with nursing I would see him more, but so far the opposite is true and it breaks my heart.
I'm not sure what the answer to my stress & disillusionment is except to just keep trudging through this. Everyone says it gets better, but why does it have to be so awful to begin with? I'm looking forward to a time when I can possibly enjoy a shift...
Last edit by JillyBJilly on Sep 26, '12