To my dear fellow nurses
This article exemplifies what it means to search endlessly for a particular nursing niche and finally find the niche for which you are looking. It is a motivational piece for all nurses-especially new grads-who feel burnt out after only a short period of time in the nursing world. It is not uncommon these days to hear of nurses who quit after just a few months of working though they have worked so tirelessly to achieve the status of RN. This article serves as a pick-me-up for both old and new nurses that there is still hope out there. The state of nursing has drastically changed since Nightingale but we can perpetuate the positive aspects of nursing and work in a specialty/setting that befits our personalities and lives.
My nursing journey has been quite an interesting one; in a matter of 2 years post-graduation, I managed to work in a hospital, in a school, in home care and shortly I will be a travel nurse. How did I do it? Long story, but thanks be to God. What I will briefly share with you is how I came to love Home Care because of how much it blends with my personality and future endeavors as a nurse. From my little experience in Home Care, there is a greater level of flexibility and time to complete all nursing tasks efficiently. This is very different from the hospital setting where time management is key as the pressure is so high to complete all tasks within a limited time frame. Some days at the hospital were heaven; I dotted all my I's and crossed all my T's. Other days, I attempted to do the same and managed only to keep my patients medicated and alive.
To all you new nurses out there who can't stand being in the hospital sometimes, I have been there. Sometimes you feel that nobody cares. Sometimes you feel no one has your back. Sometimes you feel your supervisors are of no help, sometimes you feel time is given to trivial things while the more significant aspects of care are not addressed. Sometimes you want to quit. And some of us do. But I am here to tell you, hang in there. It will be okay.
Mariann Williamson once said "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that frightens us." This quotation could not be truer in our beautiful profession. In a profession where critical thinking is an essential survival skill, where young and old nurses work together, where some nurses are bullied, where each hospital has its own P & P, where we sometimes doubt how competent we are based on the judgments of others, where gossip is rampant, you have to know your fears and overcome them in order to be successful.
As nurses, we fear imperfection because imperfection translates to poor patient outcomes if that imperfection causes the patient to be directly affected. But we mustn't fear to be perfectly imperfect. In most cases, we tend to ignore our gut feelings in order to prove ourselves in some way or follow what everyone else is doing. My advice is: refer back to the above citation and remember never to be afraid of your light. Your light will shine brightly only if you let it. Be honest and forthright but never darken your light! Always make the best choices for your patient regardless of what others say whether in home care or the hospital or any other setting. Never quit before exhausting all of your major resources and making your voice heard about what caused you to decide that place was not a fit for you. Leave on a good note. Always have something better lined up before transition into another position.
Make the best choice of which nursing niche would fit your personality and your life. And love it.
Our profession is not an easy one; no one ever said it was. And nothing in life is. But it can always be an empowering and enjoyable one. As a new grad who was stunned at the difference between clinical rotations and being an actual floor nurse, I went through a phase where I hated being a nurse and thought: "This is not what I signed up for!" In retrospect, however, that uncomfortable period in the hospital is what makes me the nurse I am today only two years into nursing. And I could not be more proud of myself and all the other nurses that are hanging in there despite the multitudinous challenges. Back to home care, I see myself working in home care for years to come even if it is per diem or part-time. It helps me be the nurse I always wanted to be- a nurse who successfully blends the art and science of caring and being fully present. I love my job, my life and myself. And I believe these qualities are what make me a great nurse. And consequently, I have gained the confidence and self-assurance needed to forge ahead and explore the smorgasbord of specialties in nursing. I have never been more excited in my life and I hope my enthusiasm is contagious because I want the same and better for you.Last edit by Joe V on Feb 4, '14
Sabr has been a nurse for 2 years. She first obtained her degree in English and then completed an accelerated nursing program in 2 years. She has her BSN and aspires to attain a Master's degree within the next year. She loves writing, intellectual discussions, and spending time with close friends and family.
Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 77; Likes: 51Feb 5, '14Excellent, excellent, excellent personal testimony! This speaks directly to me and my husband, who is also a Registered Nurse. So important to hang in there even when it gets tough. I thank God for His grace and mercy that have kept us on our nursing journey!
Thank you for your encouraging words!!
God BlessFeb 6, '14Sabr: Good post, since you love to write, I know one day soon you will write a book, maybe about nursing. Best wishes to you!!Feb 8, '14Beautifully written! couldn't agree more as after 6 years of being a hospital nurse i too have finally found my niche in homecare.Feb 12, '14I totally could have written this. I spent two years as a floor nurse and many times wondered if nursing was just a big mistake. I started home health 5 months ago and really love it. The charting at home is no fun, but I really love being a nurse again. Love my patients and the autonomy.Feb 16, '14Sabr- Thank you for your enlightening post. I have a weird question regarding hospital nursing from a new grad perspective (I'm a new grad and debating my next move). Maybe it's just me, but I sense there is a belief that a new nurse needs to work in the hospital setting for 6-12 months to learn prioritization, exercise all the skills we learned in school, and generally earn our 'stripes' as a new nurse (and that provides a good launching pad for any/all other nursing fields). So I am applying to only hospital jobs. I know myself well, and I am terrified of the complexity of balancing a 5-6 pt workload! Accurately! Without killing anyone! I also know that my heart lies with therapeutic communication with my pts, be it in acute care, oncology, home health, or the hospice setting. So my question for you is, should I go with my heart and find a job that provides a more relaxed atmosphere, or do I go with what I've heard and get my first job in a hospital to 'earn my stripes' and help my resume (that would then provide the launching pad needed to get into acute care, oncology, home health, or the hospice setting...etc.)? Sorry if this seems convoluted! I'm a convoluted thinker!
Thanks for your (and anyone else') advice!
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