A less stressfull career choice

by jherd jherd Member

I am a new hire RN, that just started the nurse residency program in an ICU setting. It's day 8 and I sort of feel like I am a private in the Army again. No phones except on lunch, no drinks or outside of the kitchen or the manager will throw your drink away, miss more than 4 shifts in a year and get reprimanded, fight it out for vacations, you can't have a day off unless you get someone to work your shift and then you work theirs and you can't get overtime without prior approval, you can't clock in more than 7 minutes before your report time, clock in 1 minute late and it's counted against you.

I understand why those rules are in place, but I'm a grown adult. I've already retired from another career and I'm not looking forward to being treated like a child. I signed a three year contract but I seriously regret it, so far.

I was wondering if anyone could recommend any RN career paths that are less stressful and demanding and allow you to have a life outside of work.

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative. 6,923 Posts

How are the rules stressful and interfering with life outside of work? The rules you are describing are pretty standard.


Has 25 years experience. 12,646 Posts

You are 8 days in. Give it some time!

I've had to "clock in" for a few of my jobs, no coffee on the med cart makes sense, hospital nursing is 24/7, of course you have to get coverage. This is what the job is, for most of us.



22 Posts

Everything you just described is common at any job you're going to work at as a nurse. Just accept it and move on.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience. 6,824 Posts

Welcome to the (not so wonderful) world of nursing. This is the way it is.

Did ya read that 3 year contract.. before you signed it?


rearviewmirror, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. 231 Posts

I know many people are going to throw at you the cliché "there's no such things as 'less stressful' career in nursing", but I say some are harder than other (coming from my floor to ED experience, I don't know about others), and naturally some more stressful and rule-oriented than the other; take inpatient hospital setting to something more relaxed (I didn't say easier!) like case management, I've seen people use phones in the setting and that was not a problem in that setting. Yes, some are definitely more relaxed and easy going than other, go out and find it, I hated inpatient hospital, so I got out of it. Catch 22 is the experience though.


traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 30 years experience. 164 Articles; 21,143 Posts

Moved to First Year after nursing Licensure for more answers.

I think that you should hang in there if possible. Giving it a little more time will get you over the orientation period and thus give you a better idea of the actual job. For myself, I find orientation far more stressful than the actual job.

However, if you really feel you have given it your best shot, then start looking for something different.


Specializes in NICU. Has 7 years experience. 4,043 Posts

I would love to work at a hospital that allows me to carry my drinks and food around patient areas, clock in and out when it is convenient for me, don't feel like working tomorrow- no problem, want to work as much overtime as you want regardless of census- no problem.

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative. 6,923 Posts

You would be hard pressed to find a job without those rules.



Specializes in Critical Care, Med-Surg. Has 7 years experience. 228 Posts

These really sound like standard policies, at least based on the places I've worked. If you're working in an ICU, and its the basic rules that are stressing you, then I think you are missing out on the bigger picture.

imintrouble, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC Rehab Med/Surg. Has 16 years experience. 2,406 Posts

Standard rules where I work, as everybody else has posted.

I'm not sure why that's stressful.



983 Posts

Agreeing with everyone else. Those are like the most basic of basic rules and you'll find them everywhere.

I bet in three months, none of that bothers you at all.

Did you come from a field that was salaried? Maybe that makes these rules seem more crazy to you? Since we are all hourly employees for the most part, the clocking in and shift covering and vacations and overtime all make sense because the hospital is paying for that. Minute by minute.