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Advice needed!

kjjonesRN kjjonesRN (New) New

Hi! I'm a new nurse who switched careers in my 30s while having a husband and two young kids. My dream was to work in OB. I finished my BSN in December 2014 and somehow landed my first job on a busy and diverse L&D unit. I've been on orientation since the end of March (3 months).

I feel like I'm going to love nursing when I find my groove, but the transition to professional nursing has been really challenging for me. I feel like I'm appropriately overwhelmed in L&D as a new grad. I was hired into a .8 straight nights position by my manager who thinks that the repetition of 8-hour .8N is essential in L&D. I can see her point, but I'm struggling with the frequency of these shifts that require intense focus and learning for me as a new nurse. I'd prefer to be a .6 nights to give me a little more time to lead a balanced life. There is a .6N position open on the unit, but my manager is not open to moving me to this FTE because of her philosophy regarding new nurses and repetition.

I'm starting to wonder if her philosophy and my need for work-life balance are going to jive. I'm also wondering if possibly starting in postpartum would have given me a more smooth transition to nursing. While my manager has told me that she thinks I'm doing well so far in orientation, she also mentioned that if I didn't feel it was a good fit, that she would help me pursue other opportunities in the hospital, and currently there is a .5N position open on postpartum.

So I'm looking for advice from experienced or other new L&D nurses. I'm terrified of confronting a case of the 'grass is greener'. I'm torn between toughing it out in the opportunity I have been given or taking the opportunity to try to find some balance as I transition to this career.

Sorry this got long. Thanks for reading if you've made it. : )


klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Do you think you like L&D? It's normal to feel overwhelmed, but are you having moments of "wow, this really is cool!"?

If so, I would say to tough it out for a year, then start looking for 0.9 FTE opportunities (three 12s). I would hate to do four 8s, particularly if it's on nights.

queenanneslace, ADN, MSN, APRN, CNM

Specializes in Nurse-Midwife.

If you're on a busy unit, you should be fine with a .6 FTE. Just my opinion.

But you know, you'll run into lots of people with lots of opinions about the One. Correct. Way. to do something: Welcome to nursing.


Postpartum RN

Specializes in Postpartum, Med Surg, Home Health. Has 7 years experience.

kjjonesRN hi, can you give us an update on how it's going and what you have decided?

Thanks for the advice everyone! I've been doing tons of thinking on this issue. My schedule is quickly sucking the life out of me. For example, of the last week I've worked 3 straight night shifts, had one off, worked 3 more, had one off, and am now working three more before my weekend off. Its horrible. The kicker is after my weekend off, I'm back to another similar grind. I've applied for a couple other positions on this unit, but I don't have any seniority and haven't had the time or energy to join committees and pick up shifts, which my manager values.

Anyway, for this reason I started putting out applications after only 6 months in L&D and got an interview in another L&D unit at a smaller hospital. Currently we do around 250 births/month and the new unit does about 100-115. The shift is a .75D/N rotation with 12-hour shifts (70% days, 30% nights). I haven't been offered the job yet, but the interview went really well. I've been doing a lot of thinking about leaving where I am and taking this more favorable shift. My husband says its a no-brainer compared to the .8N 8-hour shifts I'm currently working, and we both feel that the slower pace of a less busy (although still high acuity with a level III NICU, which my current hospital has a level II) may be a better fit. No final decisions have been made, obviously until I get an offer.

So thats where I'm at. I feel bad leaving a hospital that put me through orientation, especially when there are a few people leaving the night shift, but I'm also needing to do what is best for my family, and right now this schedule is really, really hard.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

I don't understand how a 12-hour shift schedule could be a .75 FTE. Unless you work 2 12s and one half shift (6 hours)?

The FTE is for a 2-week pay period, so 3 12's one week, two the next.