Hey guys, I know there seems to be a plethora of posts regarding new nurse woes but I just need to let off some steam and vent a little bit. So I've been an RN for four months at an LTACH and couldn't feel any more incompetent and discouraged. Previously I had worked as a CNA for three years and truly believed this experience would have made my transition into the nursing profession a little more easy (needless to say..it didn't). The floor consists of patients that are mechanically ventilated and/or patients that come directly from the ICU. It's difficult for me because oftentimes, I feel like I don't know what's going on with my patients. My orientation lasted a mere four weeks and then I was on my own. Labs will pop up and I'm unsure of what exactly is going on. Patients' conditions are always changing rapidly. I think sometimes I am too focused on getting tasks complete rather than focusing on the overall patient. To be quite blunt, I feel like an idiot. To make matters worse, some of the nurses on the floor aren't the nicest. My preceptor was extremely sarcastic and would look at me like I was a fool when asking a question. She told me today when she was charge "You need to get your sh** together." While she said it with a smile, I don't find the humor in it. She is a very hot and cold individual. If I make a mistake she always says "Don't tell them I trained you." It's also discouraging when you hear the nurses talking about nurses on the other shifts and/or the other new grads. I'm an overthinker and paranoid person as it is and it makes me extremely uneasy to think about what they could be saying about me. My nurse manager is also the type that'll say hi to you one day and will walk by you the next. I am under the impression she finds me incompetent as well. I was spoken to last week by her because of an audit that was done concerning scanning medications. I fell under a certain percentage and explained to her that I would never just click 'admit' for a medication and that I only do that with creams and powders that I can never find in the patients' rooms. She just looked at me and then proceeded to tell me about how I documented a critical value in the wrong place. Sorry for the rant guys but I just feel so bummed! I did my preceptorship in nursing school at a well-known hospital and the environment was entirely different. People were extremely friendly and I never overheard any badmouthing going on. I truly just hope things get better. I want to stick it out at least for a year to gain some experience and then get the hell out of there but it's just so difficult when you have a sense of dread in your stomach before each shift. I knew people said being a new nurse was rough, but definitely didn't expect it to be this bad! Thanks for listening everbody, I've needed to get this off my chest for quite some time now!
It definitely sounds like you need to set up a meeting with your nursing management to discuss why you feel so incompetent, and what resources are available for you to feel more confident as a new nurse. Any decent nursing management staff should have some sort of way to deal with this problem.
Also, it's been said that it really takes a solid year for a new nurse to start to feel comfortable in their new role and transition from a student nurse. I guarantee almost every nurse on your unit (and the management) has felt the same way at some point in their career.