I'm a third year nursing student and I don't think I want to be a nurse anymore.

  1. I have anxiety issues and am extremely hard on myself, so a stressful job like this will only add fuel to the fire. I hate reading all of the negative threads on this forum. It depresses me. I don' t want to go to work with a bundle of nerves everyday feeling incompetent every day. I'm not enjoying clinicals. I hate giving meds, figuring out the doses, and blanking out due to nerves. I'm not dumb and am top of my class, but the stress makes me doubt myself and blank out under pressure. I am stressed about school, so how will I be at work? I feel as though depression is caving in. This is a second career for me and I'm thinking about going back to my old one.

    With what all of you said about hating your jobs and feeling completely overwhelmed and sick going to work, I cannot live like that. I am in my 30s and do not need that in my life. Should I go back to my former career? I don't think I'll like nursing, and this board is a big part of it.

    Please tell me in reality if you think nursing just plain sucks. Be honest.
    Last edit by rainbowbright2 on Oct 19, '07
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  2. 45 Comments

  3. by   ChristineN
    Quote from rainbowbright2
    I have anxiety issues and am extremely hard on myself, so a stressful job like this will only had fuel to the fire. I hate reading all of the negative threads on this forum. It depresses me. I don' t want to go to work with a bundle of nerves everyday feeling incompetent every day. I'm not enjoying clinicals. I hate giveing meds, figuring out the doses, and blanking out due to nerves. I'm not dumb and am top of my class, but the stress makes me doubt myself and blank out under pressure. I am stressed about school, so how will I be at work? I feel as though depression is caving in. This is a second career for me and I'm thinking about going back to my old one.

    With what all of you said about hating your jobs and feeling completely overwhelmed and sick going to work, I cannot live like that. I am in my 30s and do not need that in my life. Should I go back to my former career. I don't think I'll like this nursing and this thread is a big part of it.

    Please tell me in reality if you think nursing just plain sucks. Be honest.
    I'm so sorry. I have no "real world" advice since I'm still in nursing school myself. My only thought was perhaps you could get into case management or some other such nursing position that wasn't bedside? Hopefully others have more input than me. Good luck
  4. by   JoMc
    I feel for you right now as I too am feeling the EXACT same way.

    Im a 3rd yr student doing my final 6 weeks preceptorship and I just hate working bedside - for a normally competent person I just seem to morph into this nervous fool as soon as I have to do anything technical! I hate the technical aspect of nursing and am looking forward to forging a career in a 'hands off' field of nursing but I have to go through a grad program for the next 12 months that is primarily hands on surgical and either ER/OT etc. Right now I'm not sure I am able to face this for the next 12 months.

    The advice that I have been given is to just know that you are not alone and the most important thing is that you look after yourself and don't be hard on yourself if you decide to call it a day. The knowledge that you have gained from the last 3 years of Uni you will always have, no one can take that away from you. You may feel angry at yourself for a while but it will fade and at some stage, you will look back and it won't matter that much in the grand scheme of your life.

    Good luck with your decision, whatever it may be.
  5. by   SuesquatchRN
    Well, I think nursing plain sucks.
  6. by   Rage
    I'm a senior, in my 50's and this is my third career. One of the most important things you can learn is to know your own limitations. Now that said, you never know your limitations until you push the limits.

    I have seen students come and go, our class started off with 45 people and now we are at 28, almost half of what we started with. Is it tough.........yup, does it require knowing yourself.........yup. And there are some students that aren't cut out for nursing, just like there are some that aren't cut out for business or music.

    Yes there are some people on here that don't like their jobs (like every job), but there are a whole lot more on here that do like it and wouldn't think of changing. Whether you can or ever will be like them is something only you can answer. But whatever decision you make, make it for what it is.......giving meds, dealing with patients, the responsibility.......maybe you need to re-evaluate why you decided you wanted to be nurse in the first place. Nursing isn't a job, it's a commitment.
  7. by   Achoo!
    Remember that there are many avenues you can go to with a nursing degree. You do not have to work in a fast paced area. You can do home health one on one, work for insurance companies, triage over the phone, etc. You don't have to work in the same capacity that you do in clinicals.
  8. by   shock-me-sane
    I don't exactly think that nursing sucks. I love medical things and understanding pathophysiology and such.

    I am graduating in June. I have done a double major in nursing and psychology. I am applying for PhD programs for psychology. Health slanted programs.

    So I like nursing a lot, it just isn't my passion...so I am going to try to use my knowledge in another area.

    Take care.
  9. by   GratefulHeart
    (Second career here/older student too.) Off and on I have similar thoughts and feelings to what you've expressed, especially after a stressful clinical day, but here are some thoughts that keep me going:

    Look around at clinical. Every one of those nurses had to start somewhere. They all had to go through the same painful learning curve you're now experiencing, and they made it. You can too! They're not any smarter or more capable of handling stress than you are.

    As a student, you don't have enough experience yet to relax and enjoy the ride. After you begin working as a nurse and have the chance to do nurse-y things day in and day out, most of the skills that take a piece out of you now (requiring great care and concentration), you will be able to do more or less on auto-pilot. Until you get to that point of automaticity with some of your skills and the critical thinking behind patient care, it will continue to be stressful. Expect it! That's part of the learning curve. No one gets to take a short cut in that regard, so give yourself grace and time to mature as a nurse. You probably learned how to drive a car once; you can do this too.

    I also try to *lock on* to and celebrate the small gains I make in the clinical setting as they happen. The first time I hung a piggyback and figured out that dang pump by myself was reason to rejoice. I try to be my own cheerleader and notice how far I've already come.

    On the drive home from clinical, I think back through my day and call to mind the ways I made a difference in patients' lives, instead of concentrating on all of my failures. I feel so privileged to have had that opportunity, and just think, one day I'll actually be paid for doing that!

    Also regarding what you read on these boards, something to keep in mind: Students/nurses turn to these boards most often when they're feeling down or in need of moral support. When things are going well, relatively few take the time to post about it. Guard your emotions by being selective about what you read.

    Blessings.
  10. by   JoMc
    Just wanted to say to Gratefull Heart thanks for the really good advice. Struggling, stressed out students just need a place to vent - I can vent to my family but they can't understand the uniqueness of this situation. Discussing your feelings on this forum is a really good way to deal with stress and get things in perspective and know that your not alone.
    Cheers
  11. by   TexasPediRN
    I Love Nursing.

    Does it Suck at Times? Yes. But then again, doesnt every other job?

    Remember, a lot of us come on here to vent about a bad day, bad manager, bad situation, etc. I think (I hope) you would find that most nurses arent in it for the great hours, or the great money - we're in it b/c we love what we do and helping others.

    Sure, the politics of it sucks, you may get a bad assignment, have a family member whom you swear is the spawn of satan, or any other bad combination of things that can cause the shift to be horrible. But in the end, it all boils down to helping someone overcome an illness.

    Am I stressed at work? You betcha! However, nursing school has prepared me for checking med dosages(and many others things), and also realizing that someone else is always there to help me, even if it takes a few minutes and it means an antibiotic is hung late. Its not the end of the world. There are drug guides and references everywhere. I have to look up half of the drugs that I give.

    I think that until you find your niche in nursing, you wont be truely happy. I think that after 2 years, I've found it. I've gone to a pedi step down unit, and am on week 4 of orientation. (its inbetween PICU and floor nursing). I love learning, and there is so much here for me to learn and do.

    When I first graduated, I had no clue how to do things. It all comes in due time. You dont come out of nursing school knowing everything, and contrary to popular belief, you dont come out not knowing anything. You do know things, and it will take a while for that confidence to show.

    You've already put 3 years into it, why quit now? If your anxiety is really bad, I suggest a visit to your doctor to discuss your options.

    I think that I slightly rambled in this post, but I hope you found some part of it helpful..


    -Meghan
    Last edit by TexasPediRN on Oct 19, '07
  12. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from Achoo!
    You can do home health one on one, work for insurance companies, triage over the phone, etc. You don't have to work in the same capacity that you do in clinicals.
    The nursing positions that you have mentioned typically require 1 to 2 years of bedside nursing experience. There's plenty of competition involved in obtaining a nursing job away from the bedside, so the OP's chances of landing a non-bedside position as a new grad are slim and unrealistic.

    All of us must do our time in the trenches before the light emerges.
  13. by   Soup Turtle
    I'm just a student too, but I have relatives who are happy nurses and like their jobs. That doesn't mean you will. (or that you won't!)

    If I didn't enjoy nursing school, especially clinicals, I would QUIT.
  14. by   ginger58
    Rainbowbright. Even though I recently retired I really liked nursing but a lot of my dissatisfaction was with lack of management, all the paperwork that doesn't go away. And let's face it...nursing is just plain hard work. I have to say that nursing has changed since the 70s. Sicker folks, a lot more meds, more demands from everyone. I think a lot of dissatisfaction being voiced on this website is real and I'm sorry that it is discouraging you and others.

    On the whole, I think nursing is a great profession. But what is happening is increased acuity, longer lifespans with more meds, more and more work demanded from administration but demanding there be no overtime, people aren't getting their breaks, meals breaks, and unless you live in CA nurses have an unsafe number of patients. I really don't know how med-surg folks have up to 10 patients. More nurses are being physically abused by patients and have little backing from management. I think nurses are venting here because they really do love nursing but the conditions under which they work are wearing them down.

    Any new area is stressful and I always feel stupid until I feel I know what I'm doing. I really understand how you are feeling. I would go home and worry myself sick about it. It can takes months to a year before you feel settled in. There's a lot to remember, think about and act on.
    Maybe take a semester off or stay in school and take some courses that interest you, or if you decide to go back to your other career that's fine too. But don't beat yourself up for your choice. Life is short. I hope it becomes clear to you soon what you need to do.

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