I am a fairly new grad RN with a year and a half of experience on a medical unit. In my first year, I focused on shaping my critical thinking skills and communication skills with patients, families, and the interdisciplinary team. I would say I am fairly comfortable working as an RN now. For the past half year, I find myself less concerned about my skills set (still embracing learning opportunities though) and more anxious about shift work itself. I find myself less and less able to recover on my days off in between sets of shifts (tired even after I sleep for eight hours). I was able to schedule in some exercise time during my vacation but has stopped since work resumed. I have friends and coworkers who work overtime lots. I don't understand how they do it. I have thought about cutting back on the hours but I do need the full-time hours. But for my health (physically and mentally), I think it's best if I leave shift work latest by beginning of next year. While I am interested in specializing in critical care/icu, I understand that it will still be shift work. The other option (or rather, the only option) is dialysis. I know there is the option of ambulatory care/MI but I don't feel that I qualify for those positions based on the job description/qualifications and maybe it a bit to do with personality as well.
As an experienced nurse, what are your recommendations/advice for me? Should I stay another year on my unit to gain more experience? I find myself shying away from hanging out with my friends too just so I can have more time to myself. I am aware of signs of depression and will talk to my gp about it. Thanks for your comments!