first RN job proving to be a disappointment, tips please...

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    I started my first RN job here in St. Louis through a SSN hospital in August. I work on a critical care floor and am having a very hard time with it. I often dread going in to work, and have even used the 'hate' work when people ask how I like it. I am really thinking I made a mistake in my choice and after my first year is over am seriously considering trying to find a job working in a physician office. How am I going to make it throught he next 6.5 months?!?! without going crazy...which I am been very close to already. HELP!!!!
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    I don't have any answers for you as I am still in school myself, but all I can say is, if you made it through 2 (or 4) years of nursing school, you most likely can make it through the next 6.5 months. If you really feel strongly like you can't finish up there, can you see if the hospital can find you another assignment? Or is it the hospital? If so, then perhaps find another facility to transfer to or just try to suck it up.

    Make sure you understand all the reasons why you "hate" it there -- the staff? Employer? Patients? Job duties? And then take it from there so you know where you DO want to end up...

    Best wishes!!
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    Get out, Get out, Get out. Not out of nursing, out of the Unit. Not everyone is suited for critical care. Not everyone is suited for homecare, not everyone likes OR, not everyone is suited for ER. Some excel at paperwork and some need fast paced thrills. Some bask in teaching. You simply haven't found your nitch. It may take several tries before you find the right place for you in nursing, the good news is there is plenty of room. So, get out the want ads and try, try again.
    Last edit by christinaquilter on Jan 17, '08 : Reason: spelling :}
    AvenueQT, netglow, and rkrs6673 like this.
  6. 1
    Quote from christinaquilter
    You simply haven't found your nitch. It may take several tries before you find the right place for you in nursing, the good news is there is plenty of room. So, get out the want ads and try, try again.
    Gosh, after a tough week back at school, it is SO nice to read something uplifting, positive, and encouraging on these boards!!
    :urck:
    Bless you :redpinkhe christinaquilter!! :wshgrt:
    netglow likes this.
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    Thanks for the words --- I am on a critial care floor in a bjc hospital and I feel the exact same way...
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    I'm going to stick out here and say that I think you should give it the additional 6.5 months and then see how you feel. Reason? The first year of nursing is hard on every single new nurse out there - particularly those who have decided to go into a high-stress specialty. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I wanted out of labor and delivery during my first year. I even contemplated taking my old banking job back (half-kidding, half-serious)!

    Bottom line is that you will most likely feel this way during your first year no matter where you go. There's a reason why most employers prefer 1 year of experience or don't want to take on new grads....sticking it out that first year will look a lot better on you to other employers. It proves you were able to work through that first year of non-stop stress, nausea before shifts, dreading going to work every day, crying before shifts, praying on the way to work, being a nervous wreck throughout your whole shift, etc. etc. (just a partial list of what I've went through, of course! )

    Take a peak at the "First Year In Nursing" boards. You'll find plenty of company - guaranteed.
    pitahanurse and rkrs6673 like this.
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    Thank you for posting this message- it really spoke to me! That is how I feel every day before my shift. I really think that first year of nursing is just so hard and nothing but experience is going to relieve the pain.
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    Quote from pitahanurse
    Thank you for posting this message- it really spoke to me! That is how I feel every day before my shift. I really think that first year of nursing is just so hard and nothing but experience is going to relieve the pain.

    Very well said! I had those same feelings and did in fact leave the NICU, at 8 months in. I was unhappy with the unit overall and thought that it meant I was not cut out for the NICU (my dream all through school). I left and went to a step down special care nursery job. Guess what, in 6 months there I was bored out of my mind. Found another nicu position and am now very very happy and content.

    Looking back, I think most of my problems were first year jitters. From someone who has been there, leaving worked out great for me, taught me alot. But staying may have been my best option. Go with your gut instinct. It could simply be the unit you are on that you are not fitting in well with or the icu is not for you at this time.


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    I agree. Just an update (since I last posted on this thread in January '08), I did end up leaving L&D for NICU. I decided at the end of my one year anniversary in L&D (not counting orientation/training time) that I had given it my best shot and it wasn't working for me. I was still feeling miserable before each shift, even though I felt like I had a good handle on my job. I had a heart-to-heart with my manager, and she helped me arrange a transfer to NICU. I am much happier in NICU, and I don't dread going in to work every day like I did in L&D.

    I still stand by my statement that new grads should consider giving it a full year to see if it's the job or if it's just the "first year in nursing." And as an added bonus, my training in NICU is going so much smoother because I have a year of experience as a RN. I think it's much harder to learn a specialty AND learn to be a RN at the same time.
    netglow likes this.
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    Quote from WDWpixieRN
    Make sure you understand all the reasons why you "hate" it there -- the staff? Employer? Patients? Job duties? And then take it from there so you know where you DO want to end up...

    Best wishes!!
    I strongly agree with the above sentiment. Too many people stop at "I hate it..." and don't go beyond that to analyze how/why they ended up with a job you don't like.

    1. Were your expectations unrealistic to begin with? Did you expect everything to be unrealistically perfect and now you are struggling with the fact that "all your problems in life didn't go away after you graduated." I know that sounds silly ... but I have known many nursing students who fantasize about how great it will be when school is over that they build up expectations that no employer could match.

    2. Is there something about the work itself you don't like -- the critical nature of the patients' needs ... the fast pace ... the technology ... the possibility of death ... dealing with stressed out family members ... etc.

    3. Is there something about your colleagues that is at the root of the problem?

    4. Are you uncomfortable because you are not yet feeling secure in your skills -- and that is unpleasant? If so, that may pass as you gain experience, knowledge, and skill.

    etc. etc. etc. Only after you have identified those things can you begin to make an informed decision about what to do next.

    Also ... I suggest that you literally take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. Identify all the good things about your job on one side of the paper ... and all the challenges/stresses on the other. Try to maintain and honest, balanced viewpoint. Then, begin to address the problem areas you listed one at a time. Develop strategies to deal with them. Talk to other people to identify strategies you can use, etc. In the meantime, remind yourself of the items on the positive side.

    If you can't think of any positives ... your judgment is probably being clouded by emotions and you are only seeing the negative. Even in a bad job situation, there are usually a few positives, if only the paycheck and the benefits. If you can't see a few benefits, use that as a clue that your thinking may be clouded and be careful about jumping to quick conclusions. Get the perspective of others, etc. to help you work through your emotions so that you can take an objective view of your situation.


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