New nurse with job that is causing anxiety and depression - page 2

by nurseGi

9,873 Views | 32 Comments

HERE IS MY STORY: I graduated in May with my BSN from a university, i was a good student..graduated with honors. I took the NCLEX in the summer and got my first job in a large hospital in december. I am working on a geriatric... Read More


  1. 3
    I am angry and frustrated at the behavior of a majority of hospitals these days. They are petulant, selfish, mean, lazy and self indulgent. I just don't know what is wrong with people today.

    I am so angry and disappointed and the lack of empathy and guidance.

    OP I'm sorry it does take a while to get the hang of it....8 patients can be a lot. Try to find a union facility near you and interview there. ((HUGS))

    These brain sheets might help you organize and get a little faster.....brain sheet.......here are a few.

    mtpmedsurg.doc
    1 patient float.doc‎
    5 pt. shift.doc‎
    finalgraduateshiftreport.doc‎
    horshiftsheet.doc‎
    report sheet.doc‎
    day sheet 2 doc.doc

    critical thinking flow sheet for nursing students
    student clinical report sheet for one patient

    i made some for nursing students and some other an members have made these for others.....adapt them way you want. i hope they help
    netglow, SoldierNurse22, and brandy1017 like this.
  2. 6
    This sounds like a pretty bad preceptor experience. People don't always mesh well with their preceptor. It is just a fact. Your manager should have tried to let you precept with another person. You very well could have blossomed with another person. At this point it doesn't seem like manager plans to do anything that will benefit you.

    I would find something else as quickly as possible in order to resign. If they are unwilling to work with you and are only listening to the concerns of the nurse that is precepting you, it would only be problems if you stayed on. This is a foreshadowing of what would be to come. Get out as soon as you can.

    When I first started I was put with a nurse who wouldn't allow me to do anything for our patients even though I had my license. She then would belittle me and say the other nurses were more efficient than me. Keep in mind the other preceptors allowed the other nurses to do every thing. I promptly went to my manager and asked to be placed with a nurse that I had seen precept others very well. It was a perfect match. I felt supported. The horrid preceptor ended up leaving the company and I am still here doing well. Leave as soon as you can.
    DIV-99, netglow, joanna73, and 3 others like this.
  3. 2
    OP do not be disheartened, other nurses have experienced similar. The brutal reality of your situation is that you have found yourself on one of those less than stellar units (probably why they were hiring in the first place) with management who has no idea what a new grad is capable of or needs in order to progress.

    I agree with others who say start looking for another job but I would say do not leave this job until you have another offer of employment. It is rough out there right now and most units who are hiring now and especially who are hiring new grads are less than stellar themselves. If you can manage to stick it out at this place for at least one year you will be much more marketable and can move on to better opportunities.

    The first thing you need to do is recognize that the transition from student to practicing nurse is a very rough one even when under the best of circumstances, so don't beat yourself up and don't let it ruin your confidence. Next you need to show your manager "something" to let her know your serious. (As if volunteering your time for them, and working that ridiculous 5 day schedule wasn't something! Ugh) The first thing I would do is request a different preceptor. Tell your manager that you would like to see if maybe a new teaching style might help you progress faster. Now address what they consider your shortcomings. Have they told you what SPECIFIC concerns it is that they have? When I say specific I mean "is not efficient at starting IV's" rather than "is not developing as expected". Do you have copies in writing? If so make a list of the specific concerns and your plans for rectifying them. Is it organizational skills? Communication with staff/patients/etc? Lack of knowldege regarding pathophys? It must be specific in order for you to address it. If it is not and is just a bunch of broad mumbo jumbo tell them you need to know what the specific concerns are because you are implementing a plan for improvement. Then go down the list and address it. Even if you do not intend to stay at this place these steps may help you keep collecting a paycheck until something better comes along.

    While you are drafting your plan of improvement, draft a generic resignation letter as well. Keep it in your work bag/purse/etc. Whenever you are called into the office, put it in your pocket. If you feel you are going to be fired and you will know because there is always a pre-amble. No one ever calls you into the office and says you're fired right away. It will start off with as you know we have had some concerns about your progress blah blah blah and if this happens cut your manager off with I am aware and feel it would be mutually beneficial if we just parted ways at this point. I would like to give you my letter of resignation. Your manager will most likely be relieved, agree to accept your resignation and you avoid being fired. This way when you interview and get the why did you leave your last job question you can honestly say you resigned and then go on to give them a generic non bashing reason. I cannot stress that enough....never bash a previous employer in an interview.

    If you receive an interview ask what the ratio is but be aware you will likely be lied to. Ask about their turnover rate. Ask about unit education, if there is any type of support for new grads such as residencies etc. Ask about length of orientation and if not offered ask for a unit tour! Look around and pay attention to what you see. Do the nurses look harried? Are they running around like chickens with their heads cut off? Make sure to offer to shadow for a shift or part of one. Always shadow! When you do shadow look for the staff directory!!! Most of the time it is in the schedule book. Say something like I would like to see how you handle requests for certain days off then thumb through that book and look for a directory. If you see lots of names crossed off and new names written in instead of typed in (most units update it once a year) that is a sign of high turnover and could signal a bad unit.
    DIV-99 and sunnybabe like this.
  4. 0
    You are obviously very smart, care about doing a good job, and have stuck it out while getting little support from your management. I would quit now. It will be much harder for you to get another nursing job if you are fired. I wouldn't even give them 2 weeks notice, they might fire you in the meantime if you did just to be mean--you can't really use them as a reference so who cares. They aren't preparing you to work on a busy floor and just making you feel bad about your capabilities. Run, don't walk, from that place. It will be a blemish on your work record if you get fired. Waitress or something in the meantime until you get another nursing job. That job isn't worth your time or your nursing license. When you are interviewing for another nursing job, just let them know that your last nursing job wasn't a good fit for you and don't bash the management. Good luck!
  5. 3
    [QUOTE=Esme12;7164871]I am angry and frustrated at the behavior of a majority of hospitals these days. They are petulant, selfish, mean, lazy and self indulgent. I just don't know what is wrong with people today.

    I am so angry and disappointed and the lack of empathy and guidance. [QUOTE=Esme12;7164871]

    I couldn't agree more!

    I mean seriously, lets take a brand new grad fresh from school and full of idealism, give them a preceptor who probably would rather be walking on broken glass than precepting and who probably knows all of nothing about teaching. Of course, she/he did take that two hour hospital course on precepting; but only because she/he hasn't had a raise in forever and they offered an extra buck or two an hour for precepting.

    Lets pair that with a manager who has little to no experience working with new grads. Said manager needs and really wants an experienced RN to take some of the weight off the other staff RN's before they start to leave out of sheer desperation when some other less than stellar unit at another hospital starts bleeding their staff. Of course said manager can only get administrative approval for the lowest rung on the payscale which is the new grad, but hey its better than nothing.

    So lets have this new grad follow around their preceptor for a few weeks on a unit that probably resents the added work a new grad presents to the rest of the staff and treats the new grad accordingly. When this formula doesn't magically produce a competent nurse in the shortest amount of time possible, ready to take on a ratio that an EXPERIENCED nurse would struggle with well we can just blame the new grad. YOUR not developing, YOU need better time management, etc. etc. Management speak for YOUR the problem which only serves to create self doubt and guilt. I mean they are putting so much time and effort into YOU, you really should be grateful and try harder. And try they will, after all they need that magical one year of experience before they can go anywhere else and they know that there are 10 unemployed grads waiting in the wings to take their place should the opportunity arise. A vicious cycle that just keeps repeating ad nauseum.
    Esme12, roughmatch, and brandy1017 like this.
  6. 4
    Quote from nurseGi
    the 4th week. I started with 1 patient and moved up from there (im now up to 5), Nurses on my floor can get up to 8 patients. I noticed my preceptor was very care-free and usually busy with her patients to even teach me things.
    As a new grad you need and deserve a preceptor's undivided attention.The preceptor should not have an assignment of her own- especially not in the first weeks of your orientation.As the weeks go by an you become more independent then he or she can pick up a few. That's a crappy orientation you are getting.
    netglow, Tina, RN, SoldierNurse22, and 1 other like this.
  7. 2
    It wouldn't surprise me that you are actually doing quite well and you are considered a threat to the unit. The culture of season nurses eating their young is still an issue. I suggest going to your HR rep. and request a transfer. Keep your progress notes as proof of the hostile environment. You are not crazy. You are being bullied.
    netglow and IloveNursing2214 like this.
  8. 2
    I don't think you have failed at all. Your preceptor & manger are the ones who have failed you. This is a horrible way to treat a new grad! Please look for a workplace that will nurture you so you can become the nurse you wan to be.
    krazievi3t6url and netglow like this.
  9. 0
    "It is rough out there right now and most units who are hiring now and especially who are hiring new grads are less than stellar themselves."

    So very true. The good units have low or no tunover, thus offering few and far in between hiring opportunies, and when they hire they will pick from an extensive list of experienced nurses who who have asked to work there (word gets around abou the good units). It is usually the crappy units that take new grads. That is the case in my hospital, and from talking to other peoople who graduated with me, elsewhere too. If you jump ship now you might be exchanging 6 for a half a dozen, or landing in an even worse unit. No point asking about patient/nurse ratio or turnover during interviews; they will never be truthfull to you about it.

    I am going to be the odd man out here and tell you to ride this storm out. But with a different attitude. First, never cry in front of anyone, especially your preceptor or management; you will not elicit pity or compassion but derision for you will look weak and emotionally unstable. Cry only where no one will see you. Second, show confidence in your clinical skills. When you are going to perform a nursing skill, act and pretend like you have done it a thousand times. Do not show insecurity, do not let others think you don't know what your are doing (but never do something you don't know how to do). Third, try to find an informal, unofficial preceptor amongst your fellow RNs. Not all nurses eat their young, you will find that some are actually willing and able to help you. You obvsioulsy need help and coaching and your preceptor is not giving it to you but maybe some of your colleagues will. Fourth, you will be a stronger and better nurse after you pass this transition. It is the strongest fire that forge the strongest bonds and you will emerge a much stronger person and nurse after this ordeal is over. You you feel proud of it and will have grown a thick skin which will help you through the rest of your career. But if you make it through it, don't ever inflict the same treatment you received onto the new grads who will come after you. It is only by refusing to treat other new nurses like we were treated that we will stop this sick cycle of older nurses bullying and eating the young nurses.
  10. 2
    This sounds like bullying to me as well ... So sad .
    netglow and Red35 like this.


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