Discouraged after first day training on new job :(


  • Specializes in med-surg. Has 2 years experience.

I've had an extremely hard time finding a job as a new grad LPN. I sent out applications and resumes to all of the nursing homes, hospitals, group homes, doctor's offices, homecare agencies and staffing companies in my area, despite that most of them said that a year of working experience was required.

I was so grateful to finally be called for an interview, especially because this long-term care facility was one I had had experience in during my clinical training and it was one that I had favored. During orientation, I was told that I would be given three training shifts, and then be put on the floor on our own. The DON said five days of training was ideal but cannot always be fit into the budget. Then I had my first day of training on the floor. I followed an LPN around all day and assisted with the med-pass. There were about 40 patients on the floor, with 1 LPN passing meds and 1 LPN charge nurse working at the desk.

I was pretty overwhelmed when I realized that my entire shift basically consisted of passing meds. They don't tell you that in school....... we learned care plans and nursing diagnoses and a whole lot of things that it doesn't seem like I'll be using much.

The nurse who was training me advised me to speak to the DON if I felt like I needed some more time training. However, when I went to speak to the DON, I found out that she had actually cut a day of my training and scheduled me on the floor on my own after just two days of orientation. I told her that I had come to talk to her about possibly getting an extra training shift after my three days of training, and that I really didn't feel like I was ready to go on my own. I mean I received training in school but I am still a brand new nurse!

She asked how I would feel if she moved me to a slower unit that day (which was originally supposed to be my third training day), with only 30 patients as opposed to 40, and with a charge nurse on during most of my shift if I needed help. I really didn't know what to say but I got really upset by the fact that they seem to want to just throw me out on the floor by myself when I'm still brand new, and didn't even receive the full amount of training I was promised. I agreed to meet with her again after my next training shift and see if I felt any more comfortable. She said she wanted me to feel comfortable, and that if after my next day of training I still didn't feel confident about going on my own, she would try to get someone to come in and train me, but it seemed like she wasn't sure if that would even be possible. I guess that they are really just under-staffed and she was very nice about everything, but I couldn't help but feel like I am being pressured to jump into something I don't think I'm ready for. I know that if I mess up, it's my ass on the line.

I just needed to vent a little and I'm hoping to hear from some of you with experience if or not this is common or if I should just take off running. The thing is I really like this nursing home and the staff and I've wanted to work here for quite some time now, but now I am just unsure about everything and I'm hoping theres some reasoning behind this :(


664 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

two days for a new grad????? It's a job and I'd stick with it..but be careful, they may try to screw you over.

And yeah, honey, unfortunately that's mostly what LPNs do anymore is push pills..and chart...and do some treatments here and there.


13 Posts

Only 3 days to train?! I'm a brand new LPN as well and I've been training at my job for 3 weeks now and I'm still not completely comfortable being on my own! You definitely need to let someone know that you need more orientation time, you need to feel comfortable before you're alone. My first week of training was the worst, I was frustrated and discouraged and I can only imagine how you feel after three days. You need to speak with the DON or the unit manager. Good luck!


76 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Trauma and Psychiatry.

You sound pretty overwhelmed . . . I feel your pain. The fact that you are a new grad makes it worse because you have very little "real life" experience to draw from. It seem most hospitals and health care facilities seems to be shoirtening their orientation time more and more.

If I were in your position I would do the same thing you have done - tell the person responsible for your orientation that you don't feel comfortable going on your own after three days! While you may be familiar with the medications you are administering , the effects and side effects, you need to learn more about the facilitiy's policies, protocols and proceedures. You need to understand how they handle specific emergency and non-emergency situation. Tell her that while you love the facility and the staff you work with, at the end of the day you are responsible for your own action or lack of action. Maybe you should start on the unit that has less patients and ask that in the event you are on your own you have a "resource" person you can call on to help you problem solve.

Initially it will feel overwhelming but as you get use to the routine and the clients it will feel more natural. Try to stick with it as long as you are not in a position where you might be putting clients at risk or jepordizing your liscence. Stay alert and focus and ask questions to clarify "shady areas,"

Good luck. Keep us updated. Yiggs


1,194 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Care.

I think the going rate for training for LPN in a LTC setting is between 2 shifts and 5. I had 2 myself way back when.

I think the 40 patients is out of control though and unsafe.

And yeah LTC is pretty much about being a pill pusher. Although you'll be surprised because the more you do them you learn them, even memorize them all and get a routine going.


425 Posts

Specializes in RN. Has 3 years experience.

I am new and was given 9 shifts to orient with another Nurse...and even then the other Nurses said that 9 days for someone is not enough...good luck


33 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics, dementia and like, insurance. Has 22 years experience.

From my experience, as a newbie and then later as an experienced nurse, orientation/training days are few and far between. I've had some jobs where the training was a couple of days and then I was on my own to having some where the training consisted of a nurse showing me where the med room was, handing over the keys and leaving me on my own. Long term care is tough because you have a big caseload (usually skilled with g-tubes, etc) and you have to figure it out as you go while still making med passes on time, overseeing CNA's, and getting your paperwork done within your shift.

If you don't feel comfortable, it's alright. Be honest, but calm, with your DON and ask if you can shadow a nurse on the following shift or on your day off to help increase your confidence. Unfortunately, the best way to get more comfortable is just to do it. But be safe and speak up when you need help or have concerns/questions. Good luck!

FYI - there are always good facilities and bad facilities and many in between. Try to stick with yours as long as you can and keep looking for something better.


52 Posts

I understand how you feel!!! I am a brand new lpn. I worked as an side at a facility for 3 years, and now am moving to a nursing position. I was absolutely shocked when. I was told I would have 4 days of training. Since I was also working as an aide and attending school, my training was spread out over a few weeks. At the time there were very few nursing hours open, and I wasnt able to pick up any. Tonight, is my first official day as a nurse by myself. My stomach is in knots and I had an awful nights sleep anticipating this! My shift is 4 hrs and I have 19 pts. I will be responsible for the accuchecks and 4p meds, and the evening med pass and tx. I have been questioning the nurses constantly in preparation for this . Some advice I recieved:

Ask questions. No question is a dumb question, but it is dumb not to ask a question and then make a mistake.

Take your time. Don't rush.

Breathe. It will be hectic, but you'll get through.

I was also told I will want to cry and throw up....great :/

Good luck, you are not alone!!! Let us know how you turn out!!


1,194 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Care.

God bless you 4 hour shift for all that? Do you mean 4pm meds and 8pm meds and accuchecks and treatments? That is a whole shifts worth of work not 4 hours!


52 Posts

Yes...4 hours...and I wanted to cry right there at the med cart :(


1 Post

Today was my first day as a new nurse in a LTC facility. Oh my did I want to cry. Basically med passes and treatments. I ran behind all day, I know I would probably have to stay past my shift to chart, which I was fine with. What I wasnt fine with (and still not) is that I found it nearly impossible to get everyone their meds during my shift, let alone on time!! I felt so overwhelmed and I cant stop crying now that Im home. How do other nurses get it all done? I truly feel like a failure, like no one else could be as bad as me. I will go back tmw, but I REALLY dont want to.

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

we gave all felt insecure, inadequate, and completely overwhelmed in the first days of our profession-- and sometimes later, lol. hang in. it gets better. really.