I really have no idea what to do with myself, in regard to my nursing career. I graduated from school last May. The whole reason I even went to nursing school was to work in NICU (my kids are NICU grads). I was a student extern in the unit where I want to work, which is also where my kids were patients. I never had a chance to work there as a tech during school because at the time, they were not hiring in that unit, so I went to work in our SICU. Upon graduation, there were not any NICU jobs, and I did not get a PICU job I applied for, so I went to work in SICU, as I was offered a job there by my boss. To try to make a long story short, I did not do well in SICU. They even extended my orientation, but it was just too overwhelming for me. To give myself a little credit, we were VERY high acuity last summer (we are the regional trauma center, so we get the worst of everything) and they told me that some of the patients were not ones that they would usually give a new grad, but that they had no choice. In the end, they decided that it was not the area for me for the time being, and I agreed with them. I honestly felt relieved.
Of course, now that I was unemployed, there were still not any available NICU jobs. I even tried for newborn nursery, but didn't get in there, either. I ended up with a med surg position - not really where I wanted to be, but I decided to go there and learn as much as I could, and just get some experience. I have been there for almost six months (here in another week). At first, I really thought med surg wasn't so bad. It took me awhile to get used to patient care and getting all my charting done on time. My supervisor was getting unhappy with me because I was late most days getting out. Then one week, it all came together and I was getting out on time, but still taking care of patients. As far as patient care goes, I believe I really do a good job. Just slow getting charting done. It doesn't help that we have NO help on nights - no tech, and no unit secretary, either. Our charge nurse is usually doing the secretarial work. So, we are doing all of the turning of patients, vitals every four hours on 4-6 patients, etc. Some weeks it's okay. Some weeks, I have two or three (or more) total care patients, a bunch of patients who need help getting up to the bathroom, etc. Just a lot of stuff going on. I know this is probably the case in most hospitals, so I'm not trying to sound like I have it so rough - just trying to explain my job situation.
Recently, our hospital told us that they are losing millions of dollars each year, but instead of firing employees, they are cutting our staffing grids. So now, instead of four patients and no help being the norm, we will be getting five or six most of the time, but still without any help. As you would expect, this is hard on me because I am still not efficient at getting charting done, but all of the nurses are having a hard time with this - even the ones that have been there for years. I am now getting to the point where I hate my job. It's not the population I want to work with anyway (lots of stroke patients and dementia, which I really hate working with), and with them expecting us to do more and more, but still expecting us to clock out EXACTLY on time, I am really unhappy. There are now several NICU positions open, and I have considered applying, but at the same time, I don't know if I am just a crappy nurse, and this is why I can't get my work done, or if I have a legitimate reason. I am trying to figure out if I am better off staying in my current position and trying to improve, or if I need to go somewhere else. I know that not every nurse is suited for every nursing job, but I don't want to be running to another nursing job if I am just a bad nurse. I especially don't want to go to NICU if I am a bad nurse. I have looked at other nursing jobs
, just to see if there is another environment I may like better but there are no office jobs available at this time, and I am afraid to go into home health because I don't want to be on my own (obviously, my self-confidence is not very high).
I know NICU is not an easy place to work, but I have spent time there as a parent and as an extern and student, and I have seen that it is not the same level of chaos as what I am experiencing in med surg. I am very much "at home" in NICU, and feel very comfortable with the patients there. I worry, though, because I am only out of school for a year and already on my second nursing job, and not sure I am doing all that great. I sometimes think about not even being a nurse at all, but don't want to give up after working so hard to get through school. Plus, I REALLY want to give NICU a shot before I give up entirely.
So, do I stay in a job I hate and where I worry about my license just to get more experience, or do I at least try to get in an area I really believe is where I need to be? Am I just destined to not be a good nurse because I'm not excelling in med surg?