Nursing job struggles

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    I feel I have done everything by the book my whole life. I didn't have a boyfriend till I was 16, I didn't have my first kiss till I was 16 also, I went to college, I got good grades, I got accepted to nursing school...graduated, got married, and got my bachelorís degree in nursing 2 years later after my associates. I did EXACTLY what I thought I was supposed to do. Except...I didn't attain the career job I thought I'd have by now. And this kills me.

    I have so much anger and aggression towards those friends and people I know that were able to attain a hospital/acute care nurse job right out of nursing school (might I add..right after receiving their 2 year associate's in nursing). It seems everyone I know that attained an acute care nursing job just got lucky. They didn't know anyone to help them receive their job, but yet they got it. Me, on the other hand, have had at least 2 acute care nursing job interviews in which I KNEW someone that got me an interview...and it didn't help.

    I know what you're saying right now, "you must have not interviewed very well". I did. I had SEVERAL interviews prior to these two acute care nursing job interviews and I thought both times I NAILED them. I had several interviews else where before them and I thought I was pretty good at selling myself by then. But apparently what I had on paper and how I presented myself in the interview wouldn't have mattered anyhow, they had candidates chosen already in their heads. After all, it is about "who you know".

    Here's why I think I deserve my career job. My career job is being a registered nurse in a hospital. And I have an interest being a surgical nurse. I was so "awe stricken" when I did my surgical rotation in my associate's nursing program. And I've wondered many times why? Is it because I am attracted to art? Am a creative person that has always been good and steady with my hands? Or maybe it's because I like to see what's behind what our eye's can't interpret from the outside? I don't know, and maybe I won't know till I finally, if ever, become surgical nurse. My real passion in life... However, I would take ANY job as an acute care nurse at a hospital because I feel it's where I will be able to learn the most, and feel like a GOOD nurse. I've worked a little over 2 years in long term/rehabilitation nursing.

    Once believing I'd NEVER be able to hang in the industry as a charge nurse over 28+ patients, I surprisingly have... but there are some days I feel like a "******" nurse because I didn't do everything to a "T" how I would have done if I had more time. Being scolded if I'm even five minutes on overtime, I sometimes am unable to do a thorough research on all my patients. I LIKE to sit down and read their whole history and physical. I feel equipped and better than ever being their nurse. It's SUCH an awesome feeling to be able to answer ever detail about them in "your" charting. Makes me feel like super woman! Proof to myself I do CARE about my patients, and how I deep down know in myself I would be an awesome nurse in the hospital setting. I sometimes imagine how I would respond after I was offered a job in the acute setting in a personal one-on-one sitting. It made me cry.

    I HATE how I sometimes regret going into the nursing profession because I've been unhappy with all the nursing jobs I've had. When I was in nursing school I was working as a Radiology transport tech aide for a major hospital in my area, and every nurse I knew in the hospital setting seemed happy, fulfilled, and satisfied. I envied them, I wanted to do exactly what they were doing...one time I even told a nurse something wasn't right about a patient I brought back from Radiology. He actually coded right after I said that and died. Since then, I will always trust my instincts. And so far it's worked out to my advantage every time.

    Alright, I guess it's apparent that I desperately want an acute care nursing job in a hospital setting... It's my only want in life right now. I feel once I attain it I won't feel as guilty becoming pregnant. Being the girl that "goes by the book", I feel I need to accomplish this goal before I set forth bringing a child into this world. My husband wants children so bad right now and I do too...expect I haven't attained MY career goals like he has... And I hate to say it, but I'm jealous how someone like himself that has NEVER attended college, make more money and has become more successful than myself. After I've spent over 20K on my education!? It's just appalling to me (my husband is a CHP officer making over 100K a year). Can ya blame me?! I'm jealous. I'm of course SO appreciative and happy he's doing something he's always wanted to do, making that kind of income, but I am bitter. I can't even tell you how many nights I've given up on sleep to study through out the night prior to a big test. I'm angry deep inside, because I feel like it didn't matter.

    WHEN will I be happy and satisfied in my career choice?! If I EVER get my dream job, whether it be in a hospital setting or in another setting I never would have dreamed of, I will always remember to give those like myself in my current situation a fighting CHANCE. I think I would offer the job to every interviewer to just see their reaction. If they react anyway I think how I would react, I would give it to them hands down. You can talk all you want about how much passion you have about something, but your emotion towards your passion doesn't surface to the top...it ain't there.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Jan 4, '13 : Reason: Formatting
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    I hear you about your frustration when it hasn't gone the way you wanted, especially since up to now everything pretty much has gone according to plan. Well, welcome to life. It doesn't always go according to plan. Two comments:

    One: Don't get pregnant after you do get a better job-- the point of having your dreeeeammmmm job is to keep it, grow in it, learn all you can about it, make yourself valuable in it, become an expert in it. Not to work for 10 months, get pregnant, and leave.

    Two: Passion is fine. But seriously-- in interviews, dial it back a teensy bit from where your last paragraph leaves off.
    Everyone who interviews and writes essays thinks they have to talk about their passsssssioooonnnnnn, but believe me, the recruiters have all heard it before. They want to know what you have already learned about your goal position-- have you bought a book on surgical nursing you DIDN'T have to read for school and read it for pleasure, so you have a better context to hang new learning experiences on? Have you shadowed in a surgical unit? Or are you willing to try anything new, anything at all, to get your feet wet and see where it leads you, because you've read about X, and Y, and Z, and they all have great points to them so you mean to give it at least two years to check it out? Say that, then. It shows a good attitude, and recruiters like people who say that and mean it.

    "Unfair" as a tag choice says a lot about you. Yep, perhaps it is. OK, then. Life, however, has an interesting way of throwing you curveballs. Good rant thread, then. No more advice, since you're not really asking for it. Well, except this, which will actually answer your ultimate question: Time passes. Something will happen. It will get better.
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    "It seems everyone I know that attained an acute care nursing job just got lucky. They didn't know anyone to help them receive their job, but yet they got it."

    Bullcrap!

    They lied to you hon. Someone got them the job. Often family working in the system, or a very high up adminstration connection. Trust me on this because it's true for new grads.

    I'll add that they won't tell you, that is, until they forget to keep it a secret and accidently spill.
    Last edit by netglow on Jan 3, '13
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    Quote from netglow
    "It seems everyone I know that attained an acute care nursing job just got lucky. They didn't know anyone to help them receive their job, but yet they got it."

    Bullcrap!

    They lied to you hon. Someone got them the job. Often family working in the system, or a very high up adminstration connection. Trust me on this because it's true for new grads.

    I'll add that they won't tell you, that is, until they forget to keep it a secret and accidently spill.
    Pfft...probably right. Sure hasn't helped me!! Shall there be a day I hire nurses I'm hiring all those that have worked their asses off going up the ladder!
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    That's great you've always been a "good girl" and done everything by the book but I don't see why that makes you more entitled to land a job than anyone else. I understand your frustration but welcome to the real world! At least you have a job! There are 100's of nurses that can't find anything! You're gaining experience which is a huge advantage. Maybe you don't interview well. Maybe you're too over-eager. Are your references giving you good recommendations? Who knows! You're right-a lot of time they're just going through the process to hire someone they already have in mind but not all the time. Can you look for a job in a hospital that has a rehab unit? I would try that and then once you're in, you can transfer to a different unit after so many months. In the meantime, focus on the positives that you have a job that you are succeeding at. Hospitals are stressful places too. It's rare I feel like I am able to give the best care I would've liked to or ever have time enough to sit down and read through their entire chart/history. We have to take short cuts all the time just to get through the day. We don't have as many patients but they're sicker and more needy so time management and short-staffing is a big issue in the hospital. The OR is very stressful as well with surgeons yelling at you to hurry up and find some instrument or supply and you're patients are asleep most of the time so you really have very little interaction with them. What I'm saying is that the hospital isn't perfect either and you wlll find it's just as stressful in different ways. Tell everyone you know you're looking to get into a local hospital. Many times a friend of a friend already works there and can put in a good word for you. Contact the nurse managers (make an appt) and tell them you really want to work there and ask what you need to do to get on. If you have more interviews and don't get hired call the manager and ask what you can do to improve your interviewing skills for the next job you apply for. The floors that have a high turn-over rate will be easier to get on to. Good luck! I do hope you find something soon!! It sounds like you will make a very dedicated nurse!!
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    How many med-surg positions have you applied for? I applied to about 50 before getting an interview and got my first rn job. Also the most helpful thing I found was to have a relationship w/ the hospital recruiter- they are the one who will get you an interview. I only have my ADN but I also have a ba and worked as an analyst for 8 yrs before switching to nursing. I think this experience more than anything helped me get my job. Good luck you will get there eventually!
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    Quote from jenannebeard
    Pfft...probably right. Sure hasn't helped me!! Shall there be a day I hire nurses I'm hiring all those that have worked their asses off going up the ladder!
    Sorry Hon, but that really won't happen either. You'll hire the candidate who is the most competent & best fit for the job. Otherwise, you 'll just be maintaining a revolving door - endlessly training without achieving satisfactory outcomes & massively inflating your labor budget which will then cause you to lose your manager job.

    I'm curious - how will you know who has "worked their asses off"? Will there be physical indications? LOL.
    loriangel14 likes this.
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    I would think your attitude of entitlement and superiority is likely shining through in your interviews.You don't deserve your dream job more than the others and no life isn't always fair.Get used to it.


    And you're jealous of your husband? Really? Just because he didn't go to college you think he doesn't deserve a good job? You need to get over yourself.
    blackgurl21 and moncj66 like this.
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    When I was whining to my mom about how hard it is to get your foot in the door in a preferred shift/unit/hospital, she floored me pretty easily. In our native language she told me a little proverb. It translates (roughly) "everything is hard in the beginning."

    I stopped whining (to her hahah!) and put my head down and started networking.

    I'm going to try to remember that in my first years as a nurse and try not to get downhearted.
    loriangel14 likes this.
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    Really? I just logged on here after months to see your comment. Course I want my husband to be successful. But I too just want to be as successful when I when to college and paid hard earned money on my education. Can you blame someone to want more for their handwork?

    Oh and I finally got a hospital job.

    Thanks.


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