How do I hang on until I can leave?

  1. 0
    I graduated last spring and 3 months after I took the boards I still wasn't able to secure a position as an RN. At the time I was working in a SNF (as an LPN) and I was getting pretty desperate so I started discreetly asking my co-workers if they knew of any job opportunities. Well I hit the jack pot as it turned out that one of my co-workers was a nurse manager at their full-time job. So long story short I finally got a job in a off-site methadone clinic for a large hospital system and I was so happy to have a full-time, benefited, and it's unionized position that I was waking up in the morning pinching myself. I'm computer saavy so I caught on really quickly and my first performance review was glowing. Within the first six months my head nurse was asking me if I had ever considered applying for a head nurse position and when was I going back to school since I am an ADN nurse (though I do have a non-nursing BA).

    I'm very flattered by their compliments and I know not to complain in this terrible economy with so many out of work...nurses and non-nurses alike. Believe me when I say that I am thanking God everyday that I am working and able to make ends meet and I feel truly lucky and blessed to have such a good job and good co-workers.

    The thing is that....the job is not challenging....at all....in any way.

    I've been trying to deny this for a while now and I try to put my best efforts into helping the patients on my caseload. Still, I find the job to be boring at times and I feel cheated. I'm a new RN and I've never got to work the floor for even a day as an RN. I really wanted to be a L&D nurse and figured that would be my path to mid-wifery at some point in the future. Now I'm so far away from where I want to be I could cry. Also, I'm not in my 20s kwim? I have children and I'm married and it seems like my dreams are going to have go the way-side in order to keep working these very stable hours and getting a decent income that allows our family to live decently.

    I don't like to complain but I guess I need to vent because I feel a little sad. One of my former class-mates who also happens to be my best-friend told me a few days ago that she is leaving med/surg and she is going to L&D and will also be cross trained for peds and special care nursery. I know better than to let jealously negatively impact a good friendship but I can't lie and deny that I am jealous. When we were in school together she told me a hundred times during our L&D rotation that it was the last place on Earth that she wanted to work in. She only changed her mind after being floated to post-partum while she was doing Med/Surg.

    I feel like it's so ironic and un-fair but I know it's not her fault...it's really about me. I feel like I'm being held back in the methadone clinic. I feel like no nurse manager (outside of methadone) will want to hire me if I continue to stay in methadone.

    I also don't want to screw over the nurse manger who got me hired. Before the interview she said that if I wasn't going to stay then don't make her put in the effort to get me hired. I haven't been there a year yet and I feel guilty guilty guilty that I want to leave. Even if I do leave eventually I realize that I need to stay at least until I read the 18 month to 2 year mark.

    I also want to learn more.

    Sigh, I guess I'm just venting and asking how do I act like a grown-up and just accept that this is where I'm at for now? Also, what can I do to make this job more meaningful for me?
    Last edit by Lovely_RN on Sep 2, '10 : Reason: typo

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  2. 11 Comments...

  3. 2
    First, don't feel bad about not feeling challenged. For someone who is motivated and intelligent, a non-challenging position can lead you to become disgruntled, negative and burn out. Feeling like you're not being challenged is a risk factor for burnout, just FYI.

    Second, don't feel guilty for venting. There will always be someone who can't find a job, so don't feel bad about complaining about the one you've got. Venting will help you feel better.

    My advice, stay at the clinic and put in a year. A year is fair. All the while, start networking. Utilize your friend who's in L&D for connections and tips. Continue to kick ass at your current job so you can get a great recommendation, but keep your eye on the prize.

    Hang in there! You'll get to where you want to be eventually!
    roser13 and Lovely_RN like this.
  4. 3
    If you are within the hospital system, you are able to apply for a transfer. Typically they require at least 6 months, sometimes a year, before you can transfer to another unit. Don't worry about whether you are "screwing over" the nurse manager. You can't make your own career decisions based on whether you are going to hurt someone else's feelings.

    Your co-worker would totally understand if your career goals are midwifery, and you ended up transferring to an L&D or mother/baby unit. You should thank her profusely for getting your foot in the door, and for giving you the opportunities to learn basic nursing skills and advance your career.
    caliotter3, Lovely_RN, and Fribblet like this.
  5. 4
    Hi,
    Sounds like you could use hug so (((((hug))))).

    It is certainly okay to realize that this area of work is not your cup of tea. That is fine because how else would you have known unless you tried it. Now maybe a good opportunity to pursue that BSN if that is what you want and allow the job security and comfort provide you a steady income while seeking a higher level of learning. That would stimulate and challenge you mentality, help prepare you for future positions, while at the same time you are in a job that is at least secure. The opportunity for management may also help provide you with communication and people skills where you are and that is a different type of challenge as well. I wish you luck.
  6. 1
    I'm sort of in the same position you are in. I'm a new RN working at a clinic from 9-5 (great hours for a single mom)....but I feel like a year from now I will not have a chance at being hired at a hospital since I wont have any acute care exp. Meanwhile, my classmates are making me jealous when I thonk about how much more marketable they will be over me.
    Lovely_RN likes this.
  7. 2
    Personally, I'd stay @ least 1.5-2 years, it won't hurt you to stay for a few more months. If you have awesome hours right now, enjoy them with your family. Nursing hospital skills can always be re-learned. Build comradere with your current employers as they will be your first nursing references for future opportunities. While working in the field you are in, look for opportunities to network with other nurses (e.g., signing up with a particular nursing interest group and going to their conferences).
    caliotter3 and Lovely_RN like this.
  8. 1
    I agreee with Cheyfire. Does this hospital system pay for continued education? I know mine does after working a certain amount of time. Maybe look at this situation as an opportunity. Working the floors is exhausting and mental draining at times. Going to school at the same time is hard. You can use your extra energy to back to school and really focus. Like someone else said, it will keep you motivated. Then, when you get your advanced degree, you can get a transfer to a unit that may be more interesting to you! Good luck - dont feel guilty for whining about a job. You can feel lucky to have one - it doesn't mean you have to love it!
    Lovely_RN likes this.
  9. 1
    why don't you stay while you get your bsn?
    the hours are good as you say and work isn't stressful i would stay and finish more schooling. then after you're done you can look for work somewhere else.
    Lovely_RN likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from m_aidez
    Personally, I'd stay @ least 1.5-2 years, it won't hurt you to stay for a few more months. If you have awesome hours right now, enjoy them with your family. Nursing hospital skills can always be re-learned. Build comradere with your current employers as they will be your first nursing references for future opportunities. While working in the field you are in, look for opportunities to network with other nurses (e.g., signing up with a particular nursing interest group and going to their conferences).
    Search for part time work in the area you prefer or any other area, to break the cycle of boredom. At the right time you will be able to switch jobs without feeling upset about your decision. Good luck.
  11. 1
    You are probably learning more than you realize. I worked in a clinic for several years, then went back into the hospital system. I was amazed, looking back, at how much I had learned that I hadn't realized I was learning at the time. You've received good advice. A part-time job or more education may be the best for you right now. Do you feel comfortable speaking with your nurse manager about wanting more from your job? She may be willing to revise your job to make it more challenging or to allow you to develop skills you feel you are lacking.
    Lovely_RN likes this.


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