I have been a nurse about a year and a half..graduated with an ADN in 12/2011 and returned to school in 8/2012 for an RN-BSN online program. I just finished my BSN this month but have found that in my time working in the "real world" as a nurse, I am disappointed in my career choice so far. I started off in oncology on a bone marrow transplant unit..3:1 ratio..progressive care..a great group of coworkers but I was mostly depressed. Patients were very sick, many would die..I couldn't grasp my passion, my manager sucked, and decided to transfer. I got a job at the same hospital in a Level III NICU..I was so excited..I did a 10-week externship in school in a Level II NICU and really enjoyed it and felt very passionate. But I am almost done with orientation in this Level III NICU and I feel I am back at square one.
I dread going to work..not because I am lazy but because I feel unprepared and I don't feel passionate about my job. I am constantly stressed and exhausted and am terrified of making a vital mistake. I feel like nursing is sucking the life out of me sometimes and I am hoping it is just a phase but I see many nurses griping and complaining about the field and nursing in general (seasoned nurses mostly) and many girls my age going on for advanced degrees to get out of bedside nursing altogether. I am bombarded with information and feel like a fish out of water.
I cry when I leave work because I want
to love this job and this career choice..but sadly, the honeymoon is over and I feel like I am "stuck" in nursing. I love helping people and occasionally have a few good shifts here and there..but overall nursing is not what I expected or dreamed of when I started school. And no, I did not paint a pretty picture..my mom has been a nurse for 20+ years as well as my aunt. I have heard the good, bad, and ugly. I am drawn to nursing..but feel now, maybe I enjoy it from an outside perspective rather than doing it myself. I thought the patient population was the problem but now I am worried that it is just me.
I commend all the nurses out there who bust their butt every day without complaint..I don't think I have it in me to keep going. I feel like I have lost myself and constantly think I would do things differently if I had the chance. I dream of going to a job that I enjoy..I realize every job sucks sometimes but I see people who say they love what they do and I had high hopes that nursing was the career that would make me feel this way but it hasn't. I am young enough, without children and I am unmarried and have a supportive boyfriend..my family is mostly supportive in anything I do..but I feel embarrassed to admit that I might have made a poor career choice when I started college. I feel like maybe I chose my career for my mom and not for me..or that I was not sure and picked something that I liked but wasn't sold on.
I want to stick it out in hopes my opinion will change with time and experience but I am afraid that will never happen and years of my life will be wasted being unhappy. I am also afraid of simply giving up when I have invested years and thousands of dollars into this education and field. I am just wanting to vent but also looking for guidance. Has anyone else felt this way? Did it get better? Did you leave nursing? Do you still want to? Is it worth sticking things out to see if have a change of heart or should I stop wallowing and simply take a leap of faith at something else?? I am so confused and frustrated with myself...and I know I could be a great nurse..but if I am not passionate, why do it? I am not trying to sound ungrateful..I am thankful I have this job and education and I was able to make this choice..but I want to be happy! Any advice??