So I have been an RN for 2 1/4 years now. In nursing school
I worked on a Stepdown Unit - first as a unit clerk (one year), and then as a nursing assistant (about a year and a half). I started my first nursing job on the same Stepdown unit and worked as a nurse for 9 months before starting a position as a NICU nurse on a level III NICU. In nursing school, my goal was to always work with babies and to go into critical care. I thought the NICU was going to be my dream job. When I got the job, I was so excited. I prepared so well for the interview and was so proud to call myself a NICU nurse. Orientation was extremely tough, I cried all the time and really had to prove myself. My confidence took a huge hit. Especially since I had to change my habits from working on an adult Stepdown unit for three years. Now, here I am, one year and 7 months later still working in the NICU and I am still unsure. I can't say I am happy with my
job. I knew from the beginning that I had a lot to learn and that I still do, but I thought by now that I would have gained more passion for this specialty. I haven't. It's hard to tell the reason why I am not enjoying it because I am absolutely hating the night shift schedule, that sometimes I wonder if it affects the way I feel about my job as a whole. The night shift schedule has been affecting my personal life in so many ways that I feel like I can't function optimally anymore. Also, the nurses on the unit are extremely cliquey. Many of these cliquey nurses are hard to get to know and they are also in managerial positions, which makes it extremely difficult to to communicate my issues to someone without putting a "target" on my back. Once you get on someone's bad side, it seems like they turn all of their friends on the unit against you and you feel isolated and alone. I've seen it happen to other nurses (especially new nurses) on my unit. And lately, I have been just feeling less compassionate, which I really don't like. I have always prided myself in my desire to help my patients, to be thorough in the quality of care I give, and in how detailed I assess them. So now I am asking myself, should I stay in the NICU or should I go back to adults? Another thing I've noticed is that I am not getting the critical care aspect that I wanted when I applied to this job. The unit is capable of managing 23 weekers on oscillators, term babies being cooled after resuscitation, and other kinds of very critical babies; however, we don't frequently have an abundance of them, so I've seldomly had nights where I really enjoyed the critical care aspects (which is what I have yearned for), steady work, and monitoring of neonate on multiple gtts with multiple central lines. More than likely, I'll receive infants on CPAP or high flow nasal cannula that are stable micro preemies who need to just grow, regularly episode (as preemies do), and stay stable. A reason i also consider going back to adults is that I miss being able to connect with my patients and talk with them. Thinking back, I feel like I did more for them. I feel like I felt more reward when I would see them smile after something I did for them. I'm not saying the NICU isn't rewarding, it is, but I just felt it more in the adult world.
Sorry for the long post, but I feel my situation is very complex and I am so confused. I felt the need to explain exactly how I feel. Any advice is welcomed! please please please HELP