Feeling like a TOTAL loser (long)

  1. I am a new RN, graduated in May. My first job was in the rehab dept of a LTC and assisted living facility. I quit because I relocated. Before that, I worked as a CNA in LTC. Anyway, I moved to Pensacola, FL from TN about a month ago. Not only am I homesick, I am having a hard time finding a job.
    I don't know where I want to work. I feel so comfortable in a LTC/SNF/rehab. I like having the same patients and schedule everyday. Problem is, I don't really get the opportunity to utilize all of my skills, which I feel is important as a new grad. I get stressed out easily, so it is easy for me to gravitate towards working in a nursing home or rehab. With all the stress of moving and missing home, I don't want a super stressful job. So I have applied at six different nursing homes. One called back, and I do have an interview tomorrow. But the position is for 11-7 full time, not too happy about the hours mainly because I know I will have a big pt load on that shift.
    There are three big hospitals in the area. I think I could get hired on but I am afraid they would stick me in a department I hate. I don't have much experience, so probably med-surg, which I did three semesters of in nursing school. I know they say to get a years worth of med-surg, but I don't really want to.
    I went on an interview today for assisted living. The administrator, who is also the owner and an MD, made me feel like an idiot for applying. He wanted to know why I wanted to work as a pill pusher versus in a hospital setting. He said he could pay a med tech $8/hr to do my job, but it looks better to have an RN on staff, that's what families want to see he said. He would orient me with a med tech because there are no nurses on staff now. I was told I would not get to do nearly any nursing duties because it is assisted living. Only PO meds, no wound dressings, labs, anything. And my patient load would be about 75. I am not interested. At least in a nursing home, I would get to use some of my skills. I am also interested in becoming a nurse practitioner one day, maybe geriatrics. Would working in a hospital be a better place to gain experience?
    I don't know what to do. Working in a big hospital intimidates me. I just applied online at one of the hospitals for a graduate nurse position. Maybe they will call, or one of the other places I applied. Does anyone have any advice? I am ready to pack up and go back to TN where I know I can get a job I feel comfortable in. But now, I need to work and save up enough money to pay my moving expenses to get back and find a place once I am there.
    Am I being too picky? Should I just suck it up and get a job working med-surg in a big hospital? Am I selling myself short by not working in a hospital? I am so confused and depressed. And I feel like a total loser with no job. Any advice would be greatly appreciate, and thanks for letting me vent.
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   underpaidrn
    Vent away, honey. What you are feeling is fairly normal for a new RN. You are overwhelmed with moving and now having to make a choice for a new job. Work wherever you feel most comfortable. Yes, you will have more skills used at the hospital. You also have a choice as to what unit you would like to work on. In LTC, you are apt to lose some of your more critical skills but the pace is less hectic and I say that hesitantly because staffing at LTCs is notorious. I agree with the MD that an ALF would not be for you. If you are considering moving back to TN, then perhaps you need to start putting out feelers for the area you want to go back to. All in all, you yourself hold all of the answers. Just know that what you are experiencing has been experienced by most of the people on this website. Hang in there. Take a little time to sit back and review your choices and decide what you really want to do. We're here for ya. I'll keep you in my prayers.:kiss
  4. by   jmking
    It sounds like you really like geriatrics. Maybe find a rehab facility, or another LTC. Working med-surg is great too, but I would still explore your options.
  5. by   mikethern
    If you can't choose what to do, I would recommend you work med-surg for one year and then re-decide. Med-surg will give you a good foundation for any specialty that you eventually choose.
  6. by   fultzymom
    Sorry to hear that you are having such a stressful time right now. I don't think you are being picky, you just know what you enjoy and what amount of stress you can handle right now. I personally have not had the desire to work in a hospital setting. I love working in LTC. That's hard to believe that in Florida it is hard to get a job in LTC. Their are elderly people everywhere in Florida. I guess what you do from here really depends on how badly you need the money--how long can you go without a job? I don't think that you should go somewhere to get a job where you know that you don't want to work unless you desperately need the money and have no other choice. It would be a waste of your time and a waste of their time. Have you went in and talked to the HR department at the nursing homes personally, or just dropped of an application? I always tell people who call here that they should meet our HR department and try to make an initial impression when they turn in their application. Good luck with your search.
  7. by   HealthyRN
    I'm really sorry that you are going through this. It is always difficult when you move to a different state and especially being a new grad on top of that. I agree that you probably shouldn't take the job at the ALF.

    Med-surg will provide you with the best foundation for the rest of your nursing career, especially if you want to become an NP. I didn't want to hear that either, but now that I am an NP student, I believe that it is true. The vast majority of NP jobs want some prior acute care RN experience. It will be much more difficult to get in a hospital if you wait too long after graduating. I would just get the med-surg experience and then move on. Just remember, a year goes by quickly.
  8. by   Jen1228
    Thanks everyone for your advice and support. It's hard not having any friends or collegues here I can talk to. I really appreciate you guys responding.
    fultzymom, i didn't think it would be hard to get a job in LTC in FL either. But there are 3 nursing schools in the area that graduate RNs and LPNs twice a year, so I guess jobs aren't as available. I do try and talk with someone everywhere I fill out an application. Sometimes the person I need to speak to isn't there or at a meeting. A couple places told me they only need LPNs for floor nursing. The hospitals in the area advertise all the jobs online and you have to apply online, so it's difficult to make a first impression.
    I am thinking about applying for a PRN position at one of the hospitals. Is this recommended for new grads? Or will they want me full time? I am wanting PRN because I am taking online classes fulltime in January and next summer to finish my BSN.
  9. by   sleepyjane
    I am a new grad RN, too and I can definately relate to some of what you are saying. Maybe you could look into an acute rehab facility. Not as stressful as med surg for a new RN since the patients have been stablized for the most part. I am currently working as a rehab nurse and at first I was afraid that I would lose a lot of my med surg skills but its quite the contrary! I see lots of PICCs, wounds, VACs, trachs, burns, etc. And the patients come in with all sorts of comorbities so you get exposed to a lot of different medications. Time management is something that you become a pro at (not me, not yet anyway!) because you have to plan your day around your patients therapy schedule. And the best part is that you get to develop a relationship with your patients since they are there for at least 2 weeks and the difference you see from the time they come in to the time they go is amazing and rewarding! I am only just beginning my 3rd week off orientation and I find that I am learning so much everyday. I work with a variety of age groups. Since LTC is something you are interested in, but also want med surg experience without that big hospital environment, I thought acute rehab might be something you would like.

    Keep your chin up! Being a new nurse is tough...hang in there!
  10. by   Jen1228
    Thanks sleepyjane. All that you mentioned is what I enjoyed most about rehab. It's funny that you mention working in an acute rehab. That really is what I want to do. When I lived in TN there was a small 54 bed rehab hospital that specialized in pts recovering from catatrophic accidents, head trauma, etc. I chose not to apply there because I knew I would only work there a couple months before I moved to FL. That hospital is now opening a branch here in Pensacola, right down the road! Problem is that it is still under construction and not opening until January. I have already sent the HR director and even corporate my resume. A couple of the girls from my nursing class work at the Nashville, TN location and LOVE it. If that hospital were open right now, I would be there. I still hope to get a job there when it opens, but I need something until then. That's another reason I have been hesistant to apply at a big hospital, what if I get the job at the acute rehab? Then they will have wasted all the orientation on me just for me to leave. LTC doesn't orient very long so I feel less guilty leaving there.
  11. by   newb
    It is OK, sometimes it is hard to know what to do, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed or fearful. Yes it is also hard to start something new, finish school and join the "real" world, looking for jobs, deciding where you'd be a good fit, it is all intimidating; I know, I myself am a new grad (graduated in June). My very 1st RN job I was terminated after 6 days at a local hospital for really stupid reasons (see my blog Help! lost my 1st RN job) (sorry don't know how to do a link but if you care to find it just do a search) but it gave me a clear understanding of where or under what environment I DID NOT want to be in. Sometimes this is a start. From that experience and reflecting back on nursing school I think I figured out that I was tierd of excessively stressful environments. I have spent so much time stressed out, overwhelmed and trying to be absolutely perfect that I just cant do it anymore (besides school, and recent grad I am a single mom of three kids, this could have some to do with it). I am perfectly burnt out on high maintenance, high stress environments that make me feel bad, that I just don't want to do it anymore. So I have decided at this point in time to not apply or work at a hospital, but this is just my personal choice; I have always admired nurses who can do this kind of nursing and have always thought I wanted to be able to do the same things, until I realized that maybe it wasn't right for me, right now. I guess what I am trying to say is that sometimes we really don't know what will be right for us, sometimes we find out by mistake what is right for us, hopefully you can figure it out with a little research and deduction.
    Have you thought about applying to a doctors office? They have advise nurse/triage, doctors assistance, outpatient care.
    Definitely do lot's of research into the company/ type of job duties first! find out job details (ie, what you would be doing, how long and what kind of training), and ask ton's of questions at the interview. Have you thought about a SNF? A SNF would allow you to use some of your skills more than just LTC, but still the training could be potentially short and most likely you would have to keep up on your studies your self. I also want to be a NP, but at the moment have burnt out from stress, however I still must get a job I just have learned that the right envir. makes all the diff in the worls. Hang in there, if you keep looking for the right thing for you, you'll find it. Also I don't know if you have your BSN or not but that also opens up the field of community nursing (health dept.) or corrections, school nurse, you name it. anyways I wish you the best, hang in there, you'll find what your looking for.
  12. by   Larry in Florida
    Quote from Jen1228
    I am a new RN, graduated in May. My first job was in the rehab dept of a LTC and assisted living facility. I quit because I relocated. Before that, I worked as a CNA in LTC. Anyway, I moved to Pensacola, FL from TN about a month ago. Not only am I homesick, I am having a hard time finding a job.
    I don't know where I want to work. I feel so comfortable in a LTC/SNF/rehab. I like having the same patients and schedule everyday. Problem is, I don't really get the opportunity to utilize all of my skills, which I feel is important as a new grad. I get stressed out easily, so it is easy for me to gravitate towards working in a nursing home or rehab. With all the stress of moving and missing home, I don't want a super stressful job. So I have applied at six different nursing homes. One called back, and I do have an interview tomorrow. But the position is for 11-7 full time, not too happy about the hours mainly because I know I will have a big pt load on that shift.
    There are three big hospitals in the area. I think I could get hired on but I am afraid they would stick me in a department I hate. I don't have much experience, so probably med-surg, which I did three semesters of in nursing school. I know they say to get a years worth of med-surg, but I don't really want to.
    I went on an interview today for assisted living. The administrator, who is also the owner and an MD, made me feel like an idiot for applying. He wanted to know why I wanted to work as a pill pusher versus in a hospital setting. He said he could pay a med tech $8/hr to do my job, but it looks better to have an RN on staff, that's what families want to see he said. He would orient me with a med tech because there are no nurses on staff now. I was told I would not get to do nearly any nursing duties because it is assisted living. Only PO meds, no wound dressings, labs, anything. And my patient load would be about 75. I am not interested. At least in a nursing home, I would get to use some of my skills. I am also interested in becoming a nurse practitioner one day, maybe geriatrics. Would working in a hospital be a better place to gain experience?
    I don't know what to do. Working in a big hospital intimidates me. I just applied online at one of the hospitals for a graduate nurse position. Maybe they will call, or one of the other places I applied. Does anyone have any advice? I am ready to pack up and go back to TN where I know I can get a job I feel comfortable in. But now, I need to work and save up enough money to pay my moving expenses to get back and find a place once I am there.
    Am I being too picky? Should I just suck it up and get a job working med-surg in a big hospital? Am I selling myself short by not working in a hospital? I am so confused and depressed. And I feel like a total loser with no job. Any advice would be greatly appreciate, and thanks for letting me vent.
    Go to the site Prison health services (google it) and go to work using your skills and get paid well. The MD you spoke of; forget !! Your an RN not a med tech for petes sake! Now go for it.

    Larry in Florida!!
  13. by   Jen1228
    Thanks newb, it's nice to know I am not alone. I will check out your blog. Sorry you had such a bad experience. I too spent all of nursing school trying to be absolutely perfect and I think I burnt myself out on the high stress environment. I actually have applied to three different ads for an office nurse, but no calls back. They all wanted a year of experience, but I figure I would give it a shot. I should have been more specific, but most of the nursing homes I applied to do have skilled nursing care floors. As far as corrections or the health dept, there are openings, but again, they want at least a year of experience. Thanks for your insight and good luck to you. Where do you plan on working now?
  14. by   Curious1alwys
    Quote from newb
    From that experience and reflecting back on nursing school I think I figured out that I was tierd of excessively stressful environments. I have spent so much time stressed out, overwhelmed and trying to be absolutely perfect that I just cant do it anymore (besides school, and recent grad I am a single mom of three kids, this could have some to do with it). I am perfectly burnt out on high maintenance, high stress environments that make me feel bad, that I just don't want to do it anymore.
    AMEN and DITTO!! Like you, I am considering never again setting foot in a hospital setting because of these same feelings. I think once I can get to the point where I just accept these feelings as part of me and part of my personality---not good nor bad----just ME...maybe I could get past feeling like a failure. It is hard as a new grad RN to feel like a failure if you can't cut the hospital setting!! You know what they say "if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen". But that doesn't mean the kitchen is the only place for you to hang out, lol.... Good luck Newb, I love your attitude, now if I could just make myself believe that..

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