Suddenly in a panic................

  1. Hi! I am 22 years old and I will graduate from an ADN program in December. When I first started school I looked forward to graduating. As I got further into the program I realized that I understood and was fascinated by all of the stuff we were learning. (in Med Surg) Then I got to OB Pedi, LOVED it, and had the highest grade in lecture and clinical. I worked so hard. I applied for a summer position at a really well known Children's hospital, because I loved my pedi rotations. It was full time, great pay for a student, and the recruiter said that I would have a job there when I graduated.
    So I started the job, and I was miserable. The kids were great, I loved taking care of them. The hospital hired 80 students, like me, for the summer. So there were several of us on that particular floor, plus the Aides, and the nurses. It turned out that there wasn't much to do, which I KNOW sounds ridiculous considering the shortage. But there really wasn't.......on top of that I followed a nurse around all day and watched her, which at school we do once at the beginning of every semester, its called "Shadow a Nurse." I talked to the nurse manager, very positively and politely, and she was very nonchalant about it. So I told myself I would stick it out. But I didnt. I cratered one day and stated, very firmly, that I was not going back.
    Obviously, this was blowing a huge opportunity.........or was it???? I have been guilt ridden every day since. And on top of that, I am scared to death that I will graduate and hate my job???????? I have loved "nursing" as I have known it as a student. I love the people that I've met and taken care of. So whats wrong with me? Will I be able to be professionally satisfied as a nurse? I know this is long and most have probably quit reading it by now, but please reply if you can.
    Thank you!:imbar
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   NICU_Nurse
    Don't worry about "blowing a huge opportunity"! This job wasn't for you and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Keep in mind that what you were doing there, whatever it was, obviously wasn't "nursing". When you are a nurse your job will be drastically different and there will certainly be no lack of things to do to occupy your day!

    When we were in our Psych rotation, I had a BLAST. We had lots of one-on-one interaction with patients, lots of discussions and leading groups and fostering creativity and alternative ways of letting out aggression, we helped tutor them and teach them and gave them someone to talk to and act as a sounding board for thoughts that other people had not been interested in hearing. I loved it with all of my heart, and thought I was destined for a Psych nursing career...until I realized that not once did I actually see the NURSES doing that. Just us students. Their job was different and full of other responsibilities and tasks, and it wasn't for me. Disappointing, in a way, but good because it led me to search harder for my niche.

    When I was hired at my current facility, I applied for an entirely different floor, but was hired to work in the NICU. I couldn't have known how I would fall in love with that work, you never know those things beforehand, not for sure. I surely did, though, and it's definitely my niche, and I love the work I do with a fierce passion. However, after working there for some time, I am ready to move to a different environment and explore other options within the field (hospitals with different philosophies, clinics, etc.). That's what life is for! Sorting out what you want to do and determining what you don't.

    Whatever brought you to nursing in the first place will help you find your place in the field, don't worry!!! Just because you didn't click right away with this job or that hospital doesn't mean there is something wrong with you or that you won't be able to be professionally satisfied!!! I don't ever want to hear those words from you again!

    Even within pediatrics there are tons of places to work- private clinics, community clinics, schools, summer camps, private duty, home health, case management, long term care, inpatient general peds floors, PICU, and that's not even going into children's hospitals, which have tons of specialty units (spinal, cardiac, renal, rehab, med-surg, pacu, OR, etc.) in one hospital devoted to children, children, children, and of course, neonatal nursing, or even Mother/Baby with adults AND babies at the same time. You'll find your place. Relax and enjoy the remainder of your education! You have plenty of time.

    Don't even make me start lecturing you about how you're ONLY 22 years old, okay? Chill! Good luck.
  4. by   dwoodruff
    I don't think that walking off a job is very professional. Next time, follow standard procedure of two weeks written notice, etc.

    However, are you lost forever? NO! Spend some time thinking about what things you like about nursing and be more careful about the next job your take. Don't make the same mistake twice! Make a committment to stay 1 year -- no matter what!

    There are plenty of opportunities in nursing. If you've liked what you've done so far, you can find someplace you'll be happy.

    Nursing opportunities are endless!
    Best wishes,

    David Woodruff, MSN, RN, CNS, CCRN
    Ed4Nurses, Inc.
    Nursing Continuing Education
  5. by   marilynmom
    I am not in nursing school yet, still doing my pre-reqs but I have heard a thousand times that what you see and do as a nursing student is *drastically* different then what "real" nurses do. I was talking to another girl and, not to scare you, but she loved nursing while in school but once she got her first job after graduating she said it was a total reality shock and nothing at all like what you experience while in school.

    When she first told me that, it did scare me and I thought maybe I was in the wrong career. But I think it is good that she told me that as well so I don't get in some fantasy land about what nursing really is and what they do.

    So no I dont think what you did was wrong or that you blew an opportunity. I didn't want anything I said to freak you out or anything, I hope it was actually an encouragement.

    M
  6. by   babynursewannab
    I entered nursing school on the knowledge it was to become an L&D nurse and work my way to midwifery.

    I finished a year of clinicals and this summer started a job as a tech in a busy L&D floor at a local hospital. Needless to say, I was giddy with the prospect of it.

    Day 1 came and I HATED IT!!! It wasn't just the tech thing. I was watching the nurses too (especially since that's where I'll be). I've been there a month-and-a-half. Still hate it. The main reason??? Politics. The staff is MEAN and cliquey (sp?). The other reason is I think the floor is not busy enough for my personality. Unfortunately, the great hospital to work at for that is way far away. Now I spend most of my day either trying to strike up a conversation with coworkers...often being shut out...or sitting on my butt waiting for something to happen. I get all of my work done, but none of the nurses want extra help from me as I am a "tech." HELLO, I'm a STUDENT NURSE. Take me in, I'll be useful to you in 1.5 years here.

    Whew. Didn't mean to vent so much but I wanted to let you know you are not alone in your fear. However, I have decided that, at 30, I ought to make a carreer decision and stick with it. So....I guess I'm stuck. :chuckle
  7. by   essarge
    I worked in the ER for over a year as a tech and learned many things by observing. It was a rarety that a nurse "took me in". The thing that I did NOT like about the ER was the catty-ness of some of the nursing staff. I decided that due to my school schedule/work schedule that it was time for a change so I put in for the med/surg floor and loved it. I worked the day shift and have recently switched to evening because of the upcoming school year. I love evenings...the nurses take time to show me things and explain them to me. They never give me the "that's a stupid question" look or tell me that I'm "only" an assistant.

    Keep looking....you will find a niche somewhere....just give it some time.

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