Going BackwardsRegister Today!
- by HarStarr Sep 10, '12I've been an RN in NJ for 2 years now. I've had a 3 nursing jobs totaling 6 months experience. I worked at a summer camp last year & "mutually separated" from my employer 2 weeks before camp ended. I gave flu shots last Fall (seasonal position). Most recently, I worked as a Circulating Nurse in a surgi-center.
I was terminated after only 2 months with the reasons being "resistant to autonomy", "complaints from staff", "poor attitude". I was completely blind-sided, as I constantly received positive feedback from the staff on how well I was doing. I got the position from the high recommendations of a patient at a previous (non-nursing) job. However, I also felt pressure to work independently when I did not believe I was prepared to do so.
Therein lies my problem; I lack confidence. I don't believe I have the knowledge or experience to be an RN. I've been toying with the idea of moving out-of-state and/or doing something other than nursing but I really don't want to. I love the profession (still hate NJ, though) but I think this lack of confidence will haunt me in any position I'm lucky enough to get. I want to start from scratch & become a CNA but haven't heard of anyone going backwards.
I would like to know if I would have to go through a training program. Can I work before testing? What is the practical part of the test like? Will I be able to hold both licenses simultaneously? A professor once told me I put my RN license in danger when working "below" it; is that true? I'm truly at a loss. Any comments or advice would be helpful.Last edit by Joe V on Sep 10, '12
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- Sep 10, '12 by TX.RN.ShannonWhat a difficult situation for you--hate to hear that.
I think though, once you're licensed, you are held to that standard. So since you are a RN, you would be held to standards of a RN. I guess you could place your status as inactive, work as a CNA, then see about getting it back to RN active status. But then you have to deal with keeping your skills up, CEU's, possible remediation to get it back in good standing.
From your post, it seems that you really hate your location. Since you are seriously considering abandoning nursing, I suggest relocating ASAP. A new locale may make such a huge difference that you realize that nursing is what you want to keep doing. Being miserable with your "home" or location would make anybody's WHOLE LIFE miserable. MOVE! Texas is great! LOL!!! :-)
Try some different areas of nursing. Research different areas, jobs, etc. There's so many different things---I bet you just haven't found your niche.
Don't get discouraged by your employer. Sounds like you're doing a good job--the compliments you've gotten support that. Maybe they're doing you a favor and giving you the best reason to get out of a miserable situation. Just food for thought?
Good luck and keep your chin up. I would love to hear what you decide and how you're doing.
- Sep 10, '12 by amarillaWe've been in nursing about the same amount of time and I'm also in NJ. It's not easy here (not anywhere, but especially not here) and I can understand wanting to leave and start over...
but becoming a CNA isn't the way to do it, IMO. If you're saying that you lack foundation knowledge, that's one thing - some study can bring you back up to speed, (patho, current treatment protocols, commonly used meds, etc) and then it's all about getting your hands on patients - day in, day out - so that you see how that knowledge applies to their clinical presentation and management. Technical skills are learned on the job and get easier and faster with practice. I'd almost recommend a refresher course - UMDNJ offers them - if it didn't sound like you're missing something else: confidence.
You say you feel you lack the knowledge or experience: what does that mean? You got through school, you passed the NCLEX, you've had several positions that you provided hands-on care to patients. Is it that you've missed having a structured orientation experience or perhaps got into niche positions (surgicenter, for example) without a foundation knowledge base? If you can't do a refresher or intern experience, maybe you can find a position where your range of responsibilities can grow as you learn (office practice, perhaps)?
- Sep 11, '12 by lynhardworkingrnDON'T GIVE UP! All that hard work, long study hours, no sleep, away from the family, your life. Nursing can be scary as we are dealing with humans and their illness, their emotions, the family etc. Even if you do not feel confident, project it! Don't be cocky and know it all, but comfortable confident, and learn quick who and where are your resources so if you do not know something you know where to go to find the answer. Don't be afraid to ask for peer help and advice, again know who you should go to, most experienced nurses remember ( I certainly do ) what is like to be the newbie, and want to help! Hang in there, and don't give up!
- Sep 11, '12 by westieluvThere was a point a few years ago when I had had cervical disc surgery and wasn't sure if I could handle the physical part of nursing anymore, or if I wanted to. I asked a few people in the hospital where I worked if I could apply for a job as a unit secretary instead of working as an RN. I was told that I could not because as long as I was an RN, I would have to "be" an RN, no matter what my job title or status. IOW, if I was working as a unit secretary and a patient coded on the floor by the nurses' station, I would still be held accountable for responding like an RN.
Don't do the CNA thing just because you had one bad experience as an RN. Being a CNA is extremely physically exhausting, you often times aren't treated with respect, and the pay is much lower. Why would you revert to that if you put all that time, money, and effort into becoming an RN? Why not follow some of the suggestions above so that you feel more confident then look for a job where you would be happy, even if you do have to move, which sounds like it would be a blessing to you, since you hate NJ anyway. Have you thought about home healthcare or hospice? I worked for a couple of years in hospice and am certified in it, and even though there is still a learning curve, it is much less stressful in the sense that you aren't saving lives, you are making the ends of lives better and providing emotional support to patients and families, one of the most rewarding aspects of nursing. Just a thought.
Amarilla, not to get OT, but I'm curious as to why you believe that being a nurse is especially hard in NJ? I don't live there, I'm just curious.
- Sep 11, '12 by ~*Stargazer*~I get that you are lacking in experience and confidence, but I don't think that giving up your RN license to become a CNA is the answer. It sounds to me like you need a more "entry level" nursing job that will give you some hands on experience and on the job training. All of your previous jobs you listed are niche jobs that don't provide you with a basic foundation for nursing practice, and without that basic foundation of practice, I can see how one might struggle.
- Sep 11, '12 by KristilynnzRNI suggest finding somewhere that offers an extensive preceptorship/training program. I'm a new graduate and I'm considered an "intern" at my hospital. It's a 12 week program, with tons of classes that recap everything I learned in nursing school. I found them very beneficial as they really helped me make sense of some things I had a hard time understanding in school. I'm basically on my own on the floor now, with my preceptor there if I need her. I never feel alone, which is great. Also, when she's no longer precepting me, she will have the set of patients closest to me so she is still there when I need her. Feeling alone when you are unsure of procedures would have to be the worst thing in the world. It's not your fault if there are things you don't know or questions you have, and you are smart to inquire before taking on a task that you don't feel comfortable with. IMO, that makes you a good nurse. I think once you find the right fit for you and a work environment that is supportive and willing to help you grow as nurse, you will shine. You went to nursing school, you CAN DO THIS. Best of luck!
- Sep 11, '12 by suekevNursing is def not for everyone. While the real estate crash was going on, I went back to school and 3 years later was an RN. I worked in a hospital on the telemetry floor and decided I didn't like 12 hour (14-15 really) hour shifts and being totally exhausted ALL the time. I worked 10 weeks in a nursing home with 8 (10-11 really) hour shifts and found both to be too little training, too many patients and too many bosses (patient, patient family, charge nurse, doctors and administration). School does not prepare you for the reality percentages which seemed to me to be 65% med admin, 25% documentation, 5% admits/discharge and 5% patient care. Without a MINIMUM of 2 years clinical experience, you are stuck in a hospital, rehab/nursing center or a doctors office. I decided to hang up my stethescope and go back into Real Estate. I get up without the dread of another shift forefront in my mind, walk for an hour, read the paper and have breakfast, start work @ 10:00 and am ready no later than 8:00 PM to relax having enjoyed my lunch and dinner and going to the bathroom when I need to, not when I have time. The pay is 3-4 times as much and my stress level is WAY down and my job enthusiasm is WAY up. Best of all, I am making the decisions all day, not waiting for someone to authorize something a two year old would know what to do.
- Sep 11, '12 by lbrn22Thank you for your honesty. I am a new grad putting in application after application without interviews. I was self-employed for 22 years, but I guess that doesn't mean **** in the health field. Being a good employee who is reliable and ready to learn is getting me pushed to the bottom of the HR File. This Thursday there is a job fair and I am going. I cannot wait forever to be hired as a nurse. Hence, this week and again on the 28th I will be looking for jobs that may not be a nursing job. IF there is a job where nursing may apply even a little bit that will be great, but I am not counting on it.
Nursing will lose an intelligent, good hearted, hard working person if they do not give me a job soon. I am a single mom, and I need to work. I cannot wait!!
- Sep 11, '12 by mrcnstncIt's breaking my heart to hear so many wonderful nurses struggling in our profession. I lost a position at a VA clinic 7 years ago, used my skills and abilities to work for a Naturopath for almost 5 years and found out the hard way she was involved in an IRS situation that when found out, cost me my job. I have been out of the "conventional" medicine field for quite some time, not even certain I believe in it as I once did. I have over 20 years experience in varied settings from Med/sug to dialysis to clinic nursing. I consider myself diverse, confident in my knowledge and skills yet can't even get an interview. My license is current, I've never been investigated for any wrong doing in my profession. I have interviewed for "lesser" positions such as phlebotomy and been told the same things as ;You are an RN therefore you must work as an RN so what does HR want??? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I do alot of volunteer work but it doesn't pay the bills.