Ok, so I've been an RN for one year now, working as a float nurse in a busy urban pediatric hospital. At first, being a new grad, I was scared (poop)*less not only because I was new (and felt clueless), but also because I work the entire hospital and each floor is so very different as you all know (nevermind the social aspect of being new and not being part of any unit). Then, after a few months, I got the hang of things and it wasn't so bad. By NO MEANS do I think I know everything, but I know my resources and when and who to call for help (which is as important as knowledge IMHO). Except now I think I hate being a nurse I don't really know what I'm doing anymore, I feel very lost. My manager is pathetic to say the least and the job market is very tough so I haven't been able to relocate either (I'm still in the early stages of looking though) However, now I'm thinking this just may not be for me. Not to mention I'm 1/3 of the way through grad school. I love the kids (most of the time haha) so it really has nothing to do with patient population. I work nights also, but I like it. My life is a mess because I work nights, but I'm ok when I'm at work. I don't even know where to begin breaking down my issue or even what my issue is. What can I do beside bedside or home nursing? Any thoughts, comments, or experiences will be greatly appreciated...seriously, I need help
Your feelings of being a new nurse is very common. I see first, you have to adapt to just being a nurse. Its a lot of responsibility, ...overwhelming to most new nurses. The fact you have to work nights, literally turns your life upside down. Your whole circadian rhythm is thrown off. You are also floating, which is a lot to ask for a new nurse, too. You have to learn the to adapt very quickly to other floors and their idiosyncrasies. Congratulations for sticking with it so far! These are common feelings for new nurses. In some new nurses minds, they envision their job like a Johnson & Johnson commercial .. "you're a nurse , you make a difference." Which is warm and fuzzy, but the reality of what we actually do in, in-the-trenches-nursing, is nothing like a new nurse ideally sees their first nursing job.
Give yourself some time to adapt. Surround yourself with caring, supportive individuals, and talk about your experiences. Do something that you really like to do every day for yourself... bubble bath, going out to eat, seeing friends. Try not to be too hard on yourself, you're still learning. See yourself five years from now, ten years from now and what you would like to be doing, and work toward that goal. Keep a positive attitude, ...that is one thing you have control over.
Shadow someone for an hour in a different sector of nursing or a another career you were thinking would be right for you, ..to see if you would prefer it than what you are doing now. If you really feel that nursing is a wrong career move, then recognize it, accept it, and find out what you would enjoy doing besides nursing. Life is too short to be miserable in a career you are unhappy about. Strive for happiness. Best of luck to you!
Last edit by sandyteele on Sep 13, '10