1.5 years in and at the end of my rope....? - page 2
Not sure how to start this. I guess I would first like to say that I have immense respect for nurses of all areas and specialties, from the most advanced, specialized nurse to the... Read More
Jan 3, '12It's also the responsibility of political leaders to understand the importance of nursing, and provide adequate support.Many facilities are grossly understaffed, yet so many nurses are unemployed. This has been going on for some time. While I understand that the economy is largely a factor, I'm also tired of working overtime. As a second career nurse, I've contemplated leaving the profession for this reason alone. Life is about balance, and nursing fails to allow for balance.In the end, it's either them or me...and it isn't going to be me. For now, I plan to stick it out. However, I do know that I won't tolerate the existing climate for another 20 years. They need to start planning effectively, because it is only going to get worse.
Jan 3, '12Betcause these threads are so heavy on the "nursing is awful"side of the spectrum, I feel somewhat obligated to post that there are those out there who love our jobs and our professions. I feel I have adequate staffing and support in my position, I don't feel disrespected by doctors or colleagues, and I feel like my pay is appropriate.I work with people on my unit who think differently, so I always wonder about posts like this. Is it really that bad, or are some poeple not happy anywhere? Am I simply a happy, secure person who doesn't get bent out of shape easily, who doesn't want or need drama in my life, so I don't seek it out? I have no doubt that there are places that are really really awful to work at; mine is not one of them, but you'll still find people at my work who complain about how underpaid and overworked and disrespected we all are. I think there is a certain segment of society who are not happy anywhere, and unfortunately they are the loudest.OP, there are nursing environments where you are respected and appreciated. I know, I work in one of them. If you are a jaded, unhappy person, though, you won't see that. I'd look closely at your environment...do you need to change your attitude? Are you really being disrespected, or is that merely your inaccurate perception due to your own insecurities (god knows, this profession is full of insecurity, it's banged into us with those silly Nursing diagnoses!)? Or if it's really your environment, well then, change your environment. I know jobs are scarce, but hope that you keep looking for a better fit, rather than throw a good profession out the window.
Jan 3, '12Ok people, I just want to make clear that I did put paragraph breaks in that post...apparently posting from an iPad isn't the most supported platform on this website.
Jan 5, '12Well, I'm 1.5 years in as well and here's my 2 cents worth.
First of all, I think your age is a big factor. I'm 47, started my 2nd career as an RN at 45. I look back at how I thought, acted and processed things when I was in my early-to-mid 20's and I strongly suspect I would be in the same frame of mind in which you currently find yourself. Fortunately, starting from scratch in a new career - and a challenging one at that - at 45 brought one huge benefit: life experience. Usually by the time you reach your 40s you have learned what to not worry about and what to really get worked up about. You just don't have that in your 20's, despite the fact that you sound like you have your head on straight enough. So, I think your emotions and perspective are being partially colored simply by the fact that you are for all intents and purposes still relatively young. That's not a personal jab at you, it's just a fact.
As it is, even with my self-proclaimed life experience, there have been a handful of "WTH did I get myself into?" moments. I think anyone has those moments when they are embarking on their career, no matter what their profession. Personally, I think nurses probably have a fair share more than other professions.
I was always told by my nursing instructors that the first one to two years in are often the most challenging times. By that time frame, both you and I are still pretty much new RNs...or at least new-ish. This is my second (and last) career. I don't hate it, but even if I did I don't have the luxury of time to reinvent my career path. But if I were in your shoes, this is what I might consider doing:
First, hang in there. Lay off the job search for a while. It's a tough market out there and continuously applying for positions and not getting them is going to make you feel more trapped and desperate and eat away at your self esteem. Just take a breather for about 6 months.
Next, try to separate the things you have no control over from the things you do. Don't worry about the ones you have no control over and focus on the things you do. Identify the things that you think make you a good RN and remind yourself of that. As a matter of fact make a list of the things you think make you an good RN. I'm willing to bet that list will at least in part reconcile with the list of things that initially attracted you to the field of nursing.
Next, identify one or two things you would like to be better at as an RN and then set out to work on them. It will give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction and hopefully be noticed by your managers.
Use the time you have been job searching to consider other areas of healthcare/nursing that might interest you and investigate them.
I guess what I'm saying is just give it some more time. Take a breather from trying to flee. Get introspective, readjust your expectations, readjust your perspective and after another 6 months to a year you're still feeling the same way, then focus your resources on transitioning into another job or career.
Best of luck!
Jan 5, '12Been a nurse all of my working life and wouldn't want to work with the load of patients described. Do you need the job for insurance or can your husband include you in his insurance? If you don't need full time for insurance and your hospital has prn positions maybe you could go prn, still pick up 40 hours or so, and not have to go into the same unit every time. Floating has its challenges but being adaptable is good. It might also be easier getting another internal position if you are known to other managers in your institution.
Probably adding to your stress is feeling rejected after not finding another position. It is apparently a feeling many new nurses have and many of them have never found a position. Hang in there. The grass is not always greener in another job, just different grass.
Jan 5, '12I agree with posters who suggest laying off applications for a bit. You seem to be hitting walls. It could be that you have not been creative in your assessment of possibilities. It could be the job market in your area is flooded. Regardless of reason it is making you feel worse.
Other suggestions. Complain less to your DH. Most guys have a "fix it" mentality. He can't fix it. After a while your discussions sound like nagging for him to make more money so you can quit or go part time, make you sound like fish sales woman on the docks, or just a chronic complainer. You don't need to have those thoughts in your marriage. That does not mean you cannot discuss it. It just means you have to re-frame your comments.
Quitting nursing is a bad idea if you plan to ever go back. This is a technical field and as such changes quickly. If you are out of it for long it will be very hard to return. if you leave with this negative feeling your chances of return are limited anyway.
If you can go part time, or have the luxury of taking on call positions do that. The other odd ball solution is to add an on call job. You can then see if the grass is any greener and get more experience so when you do apply again you can show experience in another area.
I personally think much of the problems that are often brought here are related to 12 hour shifts. Research has shown they are too long. We all know that a 12 hour shift does not end in 12 hours so it is even worse than the research indicates.
All of this is just my. I have been around the block a few times and tried many blocks. Mostly what I have found is that once people give you lots of advice you are free to do what you think is best for you.
Jan 5, '12Totally get what you are feeling. Right after graduation I started floor nursing on an Ortho/Neuro floor. It took only 10 months and I was burnt out. I vowed never to work another "floor nursing" job again. And guess what? I haven't. I work as an "on call" school nurse. I love it.
Jan 11, '12I think folks have some good comments. One I disagree with is to stop applying for open positions. It usually does not take long to apply once you are registered as an applicant with an employer. End/beginning of calendar years and also fiscal years are often the times employers have budget to hire new nurses.
Some employers are better than others. Unfortunately the better ones can be harder to break into. On the other hand, you now have some experience, and should have a better shot compared to when you were a new grad. Are some of the units on your hospital better staffed than others? Moving within might be another option.