Made a mistake becoming a nurse?

  1. Hi everyone,
    I'm about to graduate nursing school and am finishing up my preceptorship, which is going well, but I keep wondering lately if I've done the right thing by becoming a nurse. Is this normal? I feel like a pill pusher, overwhelmed, and exhausted.
    I'd love feedback from those that have been there.
    Cathleen
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Bryson_ca
    Quote from cathbow
    Hi everyone,
    I'm about to graduate nursing school and am finishing up my preceptorship, which is going well, but I keep wondering lately if I've done the right thing by becoming a nurse. Is this normal? I feel like a pill pusher, overwhelmed, and exhausted.
    I'd love feedback from those that have been there.
    Cathleen
    Hi Cathleen,

    I am entering my last year of a 4 yr BSN, although I am in CDN, I understand how you feel I am working as an undergraduate nurse this summer. The scope of practice is almost the same as an RN however I am under another RN's license.

    Anyways I have had a similar week of realization, there is significant time pressures and I am so tired at the end of the shift all I can do is sleep when I get home and repeat the next day.

    The transition is overwhelming, however, what is helping is:
    1) taking a casual position and working fewer hours.
    My employer has no obligation to me as explicitly stated in my hire contract so the same is true in reverse. Go long weekend ^_^, care for yourself first.
    2) Ask and move around, some units have great managers and therefore staff, ask about length of orientation and how the unit is going to support a new nurse to be successful and grow as part of the team? If you get a funny look, time to go to the next unit or hospital.

    Lastly, I have felt as you do at times but I also have found areas of nursing that I really like and even though I am not in that area this year I will get there by next year.

    As to your original question I doubt that nursing was mistake, even if you find another career the skills and education you have will be invaluable and the experience has help to make who you are today.

    Best of luck in whatever you decide,
    Rolland
  4. by   smokieskat
    hmmm...well, I was a nurse for 20 years and many times I said I was ready to go to work in a fast food place. Then there were times that it was so rewarding, like my life actually made a difference in someone else's life. Find your focus.
    I have been sitting out for the past 12 years and now I am working to get back in
  5. by   Tweety
    I think those are pretty normal feelings. I experienced many doubts at first myself.

    Remember you're not just a pill pusher running around doing tasks. What you're doing is important and is making a difference to people.
  6. by   oneLoneNurse
    Quote from Bryson_ca
    Hi Cathleen,

    The transition is overwhelming, however, what is helping is:
    1) taking a casual position and working fewer hours.
    My employer has no obligation to me as explicitly stated in my hire contract so the same is true in reverse. Go long weekend ^_^, care for yourself first.
    2) Ask and move around, some units have great managers and therefore staff, ask about length of orientation and how the unit is going to support a new nurse to be successful and grow as part of the team? If you get a funny look, time to go to the next unit or hospital.

    As to your original question I doubt that nursing was mistake, even if you find another career the skills and education you have will be invaluable and the experience has help to make who you are today.

    Best of luck in whatever you decide,
    Rolland
    Notice Bryson, you are from Canada. Coming from Canada originally I note that alot of Canadian institutions hire casual or part time to get out of paying for benefits. I didn't mind it for a time.

    Not being tied down is a nice benefit for awhile since you learn where to work and where not to work. Move around enough and I am sure you will find your niche if that's what you are looking for.
  7. by   chuck1234
    It is absolutely normal...
    I was an LPN, and during the first 2 months after I started my job, I kept asking "What the hack I am doing right here?"
    As I got more experience, knowing the "trick" to get things done more efficiently...so I had more time to rest my feet...
    Now I am an RN, and I think I have made a right decision to become a nurse...I am enjoying it more right now....especially, when I did a good job....the family members really appreciated it...and sometimes...all I want to see it is smile on my patient's face.
    Good luck to whatever you do in the future.
    Happy Mother's Day.
  8. by   brwneyegal
    it is absolutely normal to feel overwhelmed when getting ready to graduate and start a nursing career. i remember going to my first job and thinking i do not know anything why did i go to school for this. but i have been a nurse for 11 years now. i love what i do most days. it is all worth it when a patient looks at you and thanks you for helping them. we as nurses get a rare glimpes of a person at their most vunerable and we do make a difference.
  9. by   queenjean
    I think that for a new nurse, it takes around a year to really hit your stride.

    It's overwhelming I think because there is so much responsibility. Fast food is busy, too, but hardly life and death.

    But when I hit my stride in nursing, really became comfortable with it, it was so rewarding and so worth it.

    Good luck
  10. by   scattycarrot
    Well,I have become totally jaded about my nursing career so at this moment I would say..'yes,I made a mistake' but then I think about all the amazing expereinces I have had in the ER....the fantastic patients who touch your heart and you never forget,those adrenaline rushes when a code is called or a mass trauma comes in, watching a patient who comes in almost DOA make it to the ITU/theatre and make it, making a patient smile through their pain, being privilaged enough to share in peoples emotions at their rawest and most vulnerable, even the sad memories...the babies and infants who have not made it,mistakes that shouldn't (but do)happen, supporting relatives in thier grief are all moments I wouldn't change and made me the nurse and person I am today. So,ask me again....was it a mistake to become a nurse? and my answer at this moment would be no. And that is the nature of nursing....you WILL have good and bad days but you just need to remember that as a new nurse your coping mechanisms are in their infancy but they will grow as you do. Never lose heart and use your collegues as support. And don't worry to much if you stay awake at night thinking about what you didn't do in your shift...thats totally normal and we have all been there! Remember:you are never alone in your expereinces and there is help out there if you need it...and you will and thats ok. Good luck!
  11. by   smokieskat
    Scattycarrot, that is the best reply I have seen yet to the original thread. There are good days and bad. The lives we touch, in my opinion, answer a resounding YES! to the question of "did MY life make a difference in the scheme of things".
    I was out for 12 years and am now trying to get my license in NC. The example of "fast food" and not being life and death is exactly the point. I was severley "burned out" back then. Life in general had become too hard.
    I read some comments about not renewing the license...ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! Make it INACTIVE at the very least.
    I also said earlier to FIND YOUR FOCUS. Determine what you value MOST. For me that has become my faith and belief in God.
  12. by   alana-24
    I've just qualified as a learning disability nurse and i often think i made a whopper of a mistake!

    I always wanted to be a general nurse but i suppose destiny had other plans for me and i ended up working in a service that will not be here after 2010! Moral is low and i get more trouble off the staff than the clients as they all seem to have been in the same job forever!

    It's hard to try and change attitudes and institutionalisation but i suppose thats part of the teritory and comes with this particular job!

    I've only been in post for 41/2 months and am finding it hard to be assertive without sounding completely horrible, if anyone has any advice on staff management it would be appreciated as i'm well and truly out of my depth where this issue is concerned!

    take care and keep safe xxx
  13. by   ICU/CCU
    I think I can safely say that every nurse has wondered this at some time. In fact, we often revisit that question - or at least I do. I have been a nurse for 11 years and after a run of caring for some very sick patients and having long, difficult days I was found asking doctors and nurses alike if I could be their poolboy. Two problems with this...the first is that I am female. Shortly after reaching my limit and asking people this question, I had a run of caring for patients who were extremely grateful for how hard I was working and appreciated me more than I felt was necessary. Hang in there and know that as with any job, there are good times and bad times. This is a very rewarding profession overall. If you truly don't like the area you are in, there are many specialties to try.

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