new nurse blues

  1. Hi, my name is neokabuki and i just graduated in may. I feel compelled to write because i need advice. i recently resigned my nursing position after only staying there for a few months. My preceptors have cited that i did not give proper attention to patient safety, provide safe medication, and have problems communicating.

    i am in the process of looking for a new job but right now i don't really know what to do. i am very depressed and confused. i still want to be part of this profession but i'm afraid that i don't have what it takes to be a nurse. when i was in nursing school, i was a pretty good student. i don't want to quit but i can't shake off this heavy feeling i have and i can't seem to get over this. Please help me.
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  2. 36 Comments

  3. by   psnurse
    I don't know that it is yet time to throw in the towel. Perhaps one of those new grad internships is what you need.

    Many times the nurses assigned to precept are the ones who have been on the unit a while. I can think of one in particular at my facility that you would have to have nerves of steel to get past. But when asked for specific examples of her general reports of inadequacy for the new nurses, she can rarely articulate them.

    New nurses aren't supposed to know everything. Sometimes the people who have been around awhile forget that simple truth. So hang in there.
  4. by   funnynurse
    Just as the previous nurse said, don't throw in the towel. You may just need a little more time than most. When they said you had trouble communicating, what did they mean by that? Are you of a different nationality? What type of nursing unit were you working on? When I became a nurse 3 1/2 years ago, I started on a cardiac stepdown unit. There were 5 new grads all together and after one year, only 2 of us were left! I fortunately had experience on a step down unit as a student my last year of school and as working as a tech. I was able to have one nurse preceptor during my last semester at clinicals. The one on one attention was geat. I did 12 hour shifts which really helped also. Reality hits hard when you get your first job! The more you learn in school, the better you are when you get out! Try starting out on a med surg floor if you did not before. Also explain your situation to future employers and hopefully they will tailor the orientation to your needs and pair you up with a nurse who has patience!
  5. by   KARRN3
    DON'T GIVE UP YET. MY FIRST JOB OUT OF SCHOOL WAS AS YOU DESCRIBED YOURS. I WAS A GOOD STUDENT AND FELT LIKE I WAS A GOOD NURSE BUT IT WAS JUST A BAD FIT AT THIS HOSPITAL. I RESIGNED, MY SELF ESTEEM A LITTLE BRUISED GOT ANOTHER JOB AND A FRESH START.DO YOUR BEST, ASK FOR HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT, ACCEPT CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK AND ALWAYS KEEP THE PATIENT THE PRIORITY AND YOU'LL DO FINE.GOOD LUCK.
  6. by   fiestynurse
    Try not to get too discouraged. Your first year out of nursing school is very hard. I stayed for one year in my first nursing position on a medical floor and then took two months off. During that time I researched many different nursing positions and facilities. Took a job on a Gyn/Ocology floor, with a great head nurse. She taught me how to pay attention to details and organize my day.
    I think it's all about finding the right environment for you to excel in as a new nurse. Look for a great nursing manager and a good orientation and preceptor program. Ask around and do a little research in your area. Follow your intincts when interviewing for the job.
    Now, pull up your socks and get back out there!!
  7. by   thisnurse
    oh girlfriend i feel your pain...lol

    DONT let them make you feel like you are incompetent. i just went through the very same crap at my hospital. it was unbearable. i didnt quit tho because i KNOW i am a great nurse with a lot to give. i was just inexperienced.
    im too pig headed to quit. i thought that i really needed to learn how to handle people like that.
    six months later i feel like i passed the audition...lol

    dont quit yet...you worked too hard to get what you have. try somewhere else. things ALWAYS work out the way they are supposed to even tho we cant see it at the time.
  8. by   wrkoutgirl
    dear new nurse . as i was reading your topic i felt as if someone wrote on this discussion trying to help me, i sounds EXACTLY how it happend to me only 2 months ago. afte i complaint about having a different uncopetent and uncooperative "preceptors" (7 preceptors in 10 days) they switch me to a unit i did not care for it. An "experienced" uncaring and with/ out any patience nurse took me to hell until i desided that my self esteem was on the floor and i was even risking making a mistake that would cause me my llicence. i found a new job where i asked millions of questions about their preceptors and their orientation program and after 2 weeks only i am so excited and very impressed (so far) we can do it!!, some times experienced people forget that they used to be new once, remember in nursing school when some nurses were not so happy to see you at their unit for your clinical day? well, this is similar to a very small number of nurses. you sorvived nursing school , go for it , lets do it together, please e mail me if you want to keep in touch , we are in the same boat. monica
  9. by   neokabuki
    Thank you everyone for your kind words and support. Although I am fluent in another language, I have no problem communicating in English. My problem stems from my "incompetence" in dealing with doctors, patients, and their families. I didn't know what to say to say sometimes and I got scared dealing with difficult families and patients. When I asked some of my preceptors for help, they expressed their concern about my inability with communication.

    By the way, in the first few weeks of orientation I actually flourished in the program. But I had a very experienced nurse as a preceptor who questioned my abilities in basic nursing practice. None of my previous preceptors mentioned this problem. After this encounter, I started losing confidence and made several medication errors. I have lost faith in myself and my abilities. Most of the patients I took care of saw me as a kind, caring, and empathetic nurse. Thank you for listening.
  10. by   wrkoutgirl
    hi new nurse this is monica again. i was your sixth reply. you new message sounded even more familiar w/ my experience! every time i asked something b/c i wanted to make sure that i got it right, this "Preceptor" acussed me of not thinking on my own, and even implied that my school did not prepared me enough. i too loss confidence in an amazing way. i got to the point that i was not thinking straigh and even the simplest task was difficult for me. i progressively felt as if i had NEVER been to nursing school. i started making stupid mistakes and that's when i desided that eventhough i am not a quiter i need it to be nice to myself and give ME a better place where i can be a caring and conciencious nurse and LITLE BY LITLE the technical part comes to us and only gets better. i read a fabulous book witten by Donna Cardillo " How to survive your first year of nursing" it only cost 20 box and it just makes you feel better while it gives you lots of advise and hints on how to survive difficult situations and how to be prepared to the unexpecte. my e mail adress is
    wrkoutg@aol.com please feel free to writte wh;en you feel that you need to talk. go for it and remember that you can do it!
  11. by   RNKitty
    Wow! I thought I was reading my own story! You are not alone, and YES, NURSES DO EAT THEIR YOUNG! And you wonder why a profession that is experiencing a shortage would be so brutal to the newcombers. Plus, aren't we supposed to CARE about/for people? Gentle mentoring wouldn't hurt anyone, and would really improve the situation.

    I left one job because I was hazed so bad I left in tears every night. For the past three years, I have been in a job I love, and I am glad I am a nurse, but looking back on my nursing school years or my first two years as a nurse, I would never have chosen nursing as a profession.

    Nursing schools, especially the BSN program I graduated from, seem to want to cram you with theory but provide little practical clinical. That comes with time.
  12. by   sharann
    You are not alone new nurse! I too had the same horrid experience in my first job as a new grad. The nurses were barracudas. I never twice had the same preceptor, nor did they ever give me feedback. They just treated me like an aide who could pass meds. Fortunately I was terminated on the last formal day of orientation. The manager said I was too nervous and suggested counseling. I suggested minding her own buisiness and if I wanted could have fought this. But I did not. Thankfully, I have moved on and am now at 1 and 1/2 yrs into nusing and loving my job. Move onward and upward!!!
  13. by   VickyRN
    Hi neokabuki
    Can really empathize with you, girl. Right out of nursing school, started in the NICU. It was a TERRIBLE experience, one from which I have yet to totally recover. I was to be on orientation for ten weeks. Two weeks into orientation, the nurse manager switched preceptors on me (no explanation at the time). My new preceptor was tough as nails, worse than any nursing instructor I had ever had. I was an excellent student in nursing school, but by the time G----- my preceptor was through with me, I had NO self-confidence left. It seemed in the midst of it all, I could do nothing right. Just about everyone in the unit turned against me. My dream job had turned into the blackest nightmare. I cannot describe to you what an emotionally distressful time this was. I couldn't sleep at night and dreaded going into work. The undescribable anguish almost aborted my nursing career before it had even started. Thankfully, I had the smarts to get out (after 7 weeks of pure hell). I left that hospital for another one, a very small community hospital, in which I was welcomed with open arms. My super-bruised self-esteem really needed this, because I had NO CONFIDENCE LEFT!!! The people at this little hospital were very encouraging, trusting, kind, and made me feel valuable and helped to resurrect that truly good nurse who was there all along. So my advice to you, girl, is TO GET OUTTA THERE!!! There are decent work environments in which you can flourish.
  14. by   neokabuki
    To monica and all nurses who responded, thank you all so much for the support. I have a few interviews lined up and I am going to make sure that the orientation program will fit my needs. Will it be too much if I ask for part-time evening or night shift? My last job was in med-surg and I am applying for another med-surg unit. I consider myself to be a very thorough but slow-paced learner that has more exposure to theory and less on clinicals. What is a reasonable orientation period for this type of learner.
    Thank you again for the support.

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