Should I get a new job??

  1. Hello,
    I graduated nursing school in June of 2001 and have already passed my boards. I have worked at several jobs. Mostly nursing homes and I never make it past orientation. I always panic and quit! I feel totally inadequate as a nurse. I am terrified of being a nurse. I did very well in school and clinicals, but didn't really care for the hospital setting. I really enjoyed Psych and planned to pursue that, but I haven't been able to find a position in Psych. Now, its almost a year after graduation and I have less then three weeks total nursing experience. Should I just hang it up and forget about being a nurse?? Has anyone else felt this way??
    •  
  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   babs_rn
    It's a different world than school is, isn't it? I know it's tough and scary, but it's time to sit down and weigh your options.

    I don't know where you live or what kind of work is available within a commuting distance from where you are, but the longer you are out of work the harder it is going to be to get back into it.

    You say you like psych. Other areas include a good bit of psych nursing. Correctional nursing and ED nursing are good examples of that. Then you could work and use that angle on a resume for when a psych position does become available. You really really need to be building up your strengths and not just run scared whenever you get overwhelmed...I'm here to tell ya...we all get overwhelmed from time to time. You don't like hospital nursing...is it just med-surg (I hate that too) or have you explored other areas within a hospital? Ambulatory care maybe? Unless you just luck up and find what you're looking for right off the bat, you're going to have to work at something that maybe you don't like for awhile. And if you've been job-hopping like crazy over tha past few months, that doesn't look good to potential employers and that is an obstacle you are going to HAVE to overcome by getting somewhere and staying at least a year, having a good attitude and a good attendance record. You have the best shot at getting a good thorough orientation and preceptorship within a hospital. Most other non-acute-care settings require at least a year's worth experience SOMEWHERE. So if it's psych you want, do like the rest of us and "pay your dues" by doing what you have to do and then move on to what you want to do.

    Best of luck to ya.

    Babs
  4. by   kewlnurse
    Sounds like a bit on an anxiety disorder. Ask your PMD to give yoiu a referal to a counsler, not a psychiatrist, somtimes it just helps to talk it out wiht some one who can give you some techniques to deal with it.
  5. by   lever5
    Find a preceptor program that is willing to take you on. Some programs last for longer periods that others. Have you ever done nursing assistant work? Maybe if you gain experience with this aspect of nursing, you will be more confident. Nursing homes can be scary. They are much more strict that hospitals, and that is the voice of experience. I believe that my nursing home experience was the best base for my hospital practice I could have found. Giving meds to 40 people is an experience. You say that you have less that 3 weeks experience as a nurse, does that mean your orientations were that short? Orientation for new nurses should be at least 6 weeks and probably longer. We should be building the confidence of our new nurses, does not sound like you had much in the line of a preceptor.
  6. by   P_RN
    Kewl took my answer!

    Is it the job or the feeling that you might make a mistake? A feeling that some may disapprove?

    Panic disorders and anxiety can ground just about anyone. Try talking with a counselor or trusted advisor. Do you indeed fear you have made a mistake going into nursing? If so perhaps another job entirely such as sales or office might help make the correct decision. NO education is ever lost. It is always useful in some way.

    The preceptorship sounds good. We also had a residency program of 6 months of classes with exposure to many different units. Then after the 6 months you were placed with a preceptor on your chosen unit.

    LTC is indeed much stricter in rules and regs. as well as being more stressful with the number of patients.
  7. by   Shevalove
    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for the posts. All of you are right. I do need to stay somewhere and stick it out. But it is easier said then done, I am terrified of making a mistake. And the longer I am out of work the scarier nursing seems. The hospital orientations in my area are 10-12 weeks, nursing homes are about a week even for new grads. I just think I am not confident or competent enough for nursing.
  8. by   butch22
    Your feelings are completely normal. It's funny, it seems that we don't really know how much we DON'T know until we get on the job for real. Personally, I walked around for about a year feeling scared as heck. Even now, six years later, I still get a little overwhelmed at times. I have the feeling, though, that you're much better and more competent than you THINK that you are. Just hang in there, and give it a chance. You'll be glad that you did!
  9. by   Huganurse
    Usually when someone asks if they should find a new job my response is "If you are asking then the answer is probably yes". However, you are not asking to find a new job, you are asking if you should give up your career which is quite another story.
    Last edit by Huganurse on Jun 30, '02
  10. by   Shevalove
    Wow Huganurse!!!
    Will you orient me??? LOL. You made me feel really good! I do think I need to stick out a job before I say that nursing isn't for me. I haven't even given it a fair shot. Thank you all for your advice!
  11. by   VickyRN
    Nursing homes can be absolutely horrid places to work, mainly because of very dangerous nurse/patient ratios (one nurse for 25-50 patients--one CNA for 18 total care patients). Makes it an IMPOSSIBILITY to deliver safe, effective patient care. Everyday you come to work, you are putting your license on the line. Besides the fact that pts in nursing homes are becoming sicker and sicker and sicker.... (even see some on IV meds). Occasionally we'll see patients from nursing homes admitted into the unit or stepdown--often these patients will be dehydrated, emaciated, bed sores, etc. It's not a reflection on the nurses, it's a reflection on the administration that runs these places.... sacrificing the safety of these wonderful seniors for the sake of the "bottom line."
    So my advice to you is---you started out in a place where it is not humanly possible to do a decent job. So give yourself a break. Try HOSPITAL nursing in a SANE unit that offers a decent orientation. This should give you a more realistic idea of nursing practice. (Also, can try community health nursing in the health department or correctional nursing in an area prison.)With the nursing shortage as bad as it is, you shouldn't have any trouble landing a hospital job.
  12. by   catlady
    Originally posted by Healingtouch
    Nursing homes can be absolutely horrid places to work, mainly because of very dangerous nurse/patient ratios (one nurse for 25-50 patients--one CNA for 18 total care patients). Makes it an IMPOSSIBILITY to deliver safe, effective patient care. Everyday you come to work, you are putting your license on the line. Besides the fact that pts in nursing homes are becoming sicker and sicker and sicker.... (even see some on IV meds). Occasionally we'll see patients from nursing homes admitted into the unit or stepdown--often these patients will be dehydrated, emaciated, bed sores, etc. It's not a reflection on the nurses, it's a reflection on the administration that runs these places.... sacrificing the safety of these wonderful seniors for the sake of the "bottom line." :( :( :(
    I work in a nursing home, and I have to protest what you are saying. Residents who go to the hospital for dehydration or weight loss are usually because they've come to the end of the line and have chosen to stop eating, drinking, etc., or are physically unable to take po any more, but the family wants "everything done for Grandma." We are not in a position to force feed or ram in a nasogastric tube, and my particular facility does not do IVs. We get many more decubitus ulcers *from* the hospital than we ever send out. We sent a resident to the hospital with one stage II to his ankle, and four days later he came back with *fifteen* bedsores, most of them black and foul-smelling stage IVs. We got another new admission from the hospital where the referral stated she had one abrasion on her face from a fall--she showed up with sixteen wounds and a temperature of 101! The residents *are* sicker and sicker--people who used to come to a SNF now are cherry-picked. The easiest ones go home with home health or to assisted living or an ICF. The rest come to us.

    As far as staffing ratios, they could be better (couldn't they be better everywhere?!?), but don't confuse someone who hasn't worked in a nursing home by comparing nurse:patient ratios of the hospital to the LTC. Having 25 LTC residents isn't like having 25 med/surg patients, even though the acuity is higher than it used to be. Just like the nursing home staff can't believe I could ever be busy with *two* patients when I worked in ICU.
  13. by   Huganurse
    Healing touch and catlady: You are both right. It all just depends on the facility and I have seen both kinds. So depending on where you are drawing your info/experience from would reflect your observations and opinions.
  14. by   sharann
    Huganurse,

    If there were more preceptors like you, I bet we'd keep most of the newbies who give up nursing within the first year. I'm sending you a big HUG for nurturing rather than eating your young! Please keep up the fantastic work.

close