Does it get any better...I HOPE SO


So I just finished my 5th month as a new grad nurse on a busy progressive care/tele floor. Things have gone VERY fast. I graduated the end of april '10 took boards at the end of may and started orientation the first week in June. Needless to say I didn't even have much of a chance to stop and even realize what was happening in my life. While I am very grateful for the opportunity I have in the job, MAN, is it stressful and scary! I've been on my own since the middle of august so I had a pretty long orientation, but there really is nothing to prepare you for the real thing.

Going to work each night scares me so much. I'm getting anxious just thinking about going to bed this morning and having to wake up this afternoon for it. We start with 5-6 pts/ RN on nights and go up to 7. I had 7 last week and I NEVER want to do it again. It is TOO MUCH for a tele floor. Forget about a lunch break, they never happen. I resorted to buying protein bars to eat while I chart because I lost so much weight before I even got off orientation.

When I sleep at night I dream about work all night and passing meds, and have even had nightmares about forgetting things. I'll even wake up in the middle of sleeping and have no idea where I am or what day/time it is (I'm assuming this is from night shift). Every time my phone rings when I'm off, I freak out and think that it's my nurse manager or a charge calling about something forgot to do or did wrong. I recently also went off the bcp because I think is was also playing into some of my depression and moodiness. That combo with work was NOT working. I feel a little better, but this anxiety with work is eating away at me, literally.

I absolutely love my co-workers and my NM is amazing. I am learning a lot too, more than I think I would on a regular med-surg floor. I just want to know that all this anxiety and nervousness goes away. How long do people normally stay on the first unit they work on? Maybe it's my floor? I know my NM is extremely demanding, based on what float RN's say. She has very high expectations of everyone who works there. I feel like I'm being pulled in a hundred different directions at work, from customer service surveys, pt education, pain management, charting, etc., it's so much. I feel like all of it just makes you forget why you liked nursing in the first place. Forget actually getting to talk to your pts and properly assess them. It's as if the dang computer is more important. Are other units like this? Does anyone else feel like this?


159 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Pediatrics, Renal Med/Surg.

It sounds overwhelming like my floor. I had a six wk orientation. We are not a monitor floor but its extremely busy because its renal medical. Patients are frequently going and coming to and from procedures, surgery, dialysis etc. I don 't have another floor to compare it to other than floors I did clinicals on. Its busier than those. We are short often so I have to have 7 patients on DAYS frequently. I rarely if ever get a lunch break.

All I can tell you to do is hang in there or find another floor to transfer to. I'm leaving and going back to my peds clinic job. Currently in my second week of three week notice. I don't want the anxiety that I have anymore on this job. There is no time to think about what you're doing. The acuities of the patients are too high to have that many patients. I'm afraid my heart isn't in it anymore because I don't feel like I can deliver the best care in this position.

I hope it gets better for you.


76 Posts

I feel the same way. I work med/surg but we have very acute patients and bad ratios. I too feel like I'm learning a lot, but being pulled in too many directions. Most of the time I don't even feel like a nurse.

I care about my patients and I'm trying my best.. but I don't think it's normal to dread going to work this much...

I'm going to probably stick with this job for a couple months and then apply for other specialties. The only thing that gets me through work is knowing that I won't be there for that much longer (which isn't normal either)...

anyway you're not alone

Editorial Team / Moderator

Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,748 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.

It gets better! Hang in there, and remember: you are never alone. Never! Foster those good working relationships, help others when they need it and when you can, and they'll have your back, always. :)


54 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

I'm in the same boat. I'm orienting in a med-surg float pool. I get 2 weeks orientation on each floor. I never feel comfortable or confident on any floor within that period. I've learned that nurses certainly work for every penny we make. In fact--at times I feel that I'd be happier working a job with half the pay twice as many hours a week if it meant not feeling constant dread of "what might happen at work tonight". I miss the comfort of a "routine" of previous jobs I've had.


26 Posts

yup Im feeling the same things...just got off orientation 3 weeks ago. I trained on a med surg unit with more abdominal stuff, but a good mix of surg and medical and what happens my SECOND week on my own...I get put on our "sister" unit but its not considered floating because its our "sister" unit...what a load of crap..this other floor is more thoracic, back pts, more acute pts, AND it's tele (and Im not tele because my unit that I was hired for isnt)...and I only had one day of my 10 week orientation (extended from 6 weeks thank God) on our "sister" unit and I was thrown there my second week going solo which I think is ridiculous..was there tonight..left an hour late, cried the whole way home.

I really do hate M/S..and I agree with the above that I don't feel like a nurse, I feel stressed all the time and burned out already..I even asked my manager today if I could go down to 32 hrs a week because I need the extra day off to collect myself and because I feel like I have absolutely no life. and I totally feel the same way EDnursetobe, the only thing getting me through this is when I have the weekend or a day off (which I do this weekend yay) and that I wont be doing this for long. ultimately would want to stay a year but that is sounding longer and longer each day...Ill be happy with 8 months (counting orientation) at this point.