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Eager to leave hospital nursing

First Year   (625 Views 5 Comments)
by RhodyBSN RhodyBSN (New Member) New Member

51 Visitors; 2 Posts

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Hello all!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate any and all feedback. I have been viewing this website for years and finally decided to get some opinions on my current struggle.

I am a new graduate nurse who (surprise) is having a difficult time adjusting to her new job. I have been a nurse at a local hospital for about 5 months now. I have incredible co workers and great respect for the management of my unit but I am very unhappy with hospital nursing in general.

I worked as a CNA during school for experience both at a nursing home and a different local hospital. I frustrated with myself that I didn't figure this out before as a CNA however I am finding that the acute environment at a hospital is too fast paced for me and I'm unable to find pleasure in my work.

I am also working 3rd shift and unable to meet the life demands outside of work. I have contemplated trying a different shift to see if that would work better for me but I simply do not feel I would be able to keep up as I am already struggling on 3rd shift.

I have always been interested in public health nursing. Lately I have been thinking of home health nursing as I feel I might have more time to provide education to my patients about their conditions and how to improve overall health based on their condition.

I also absolutely love the patient population at nursing homes or dementia units. However I find that the resources at nursing homes are desperately strained and that is why I avoided applying to a nursing home directly out of school.

My goal would be to stay at my current position for 1 year so that I am more marketable when looking for a public health RN position but I simply do not think I can make it that that long. Without listing all of the ways this job and its stressors have negatively effected me I will just say I am incredibly unhappy.

I know most people suggest toughing it out for the first year and then reevaulating but I feel the things I am not liking about the job (the overall environment, pace, acuity, etc. ) are not going to change.

My question to you all... is 5 months too soon to quit on hospital nursing? Will I regret quitting?

Thank you for your thoughts!!

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Professional Development Specialist.

298 Likes; 4 Followers; 42,893 Visitors; 5,171 Posts

You are unlikely to find a public health position without more experience; moreover, most positions away from the bedside are looking for around 2 years of acute care experience on average. You do not speak of what you would like to grow into, so you may wish to spend time contemplating that and then researching what kind of experience is required to secure the type of job you feel you would like to have. You can then tailor your actions regarding your current position to where you hope to eventually wind up. That would be the best way to avoid regret.

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laflaca has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Public High School Nurse.

63 Likes; 7,660 Visitors; 254 Posts

Hello all!

My question to you all... is 5 months too soon to quit on hospital nursing? Will I regret quitting?

Thank you for your thoughts!!

You won't regret quitting if you find a job that doesn't suck out your joy....so the real question is, can you find such a job? Only one way to find out! Research public health jobs in your area - the pay, the available roles, and the requirements (sometimes you need a PHN cert). The situation in PH varies a LOT by state and even by county/region. See if you can identify some possibilities, apply, and see if you get any interest.

Might not get anywhere until you have a year or two of nursing experience. But then again, you might. A lot of PH jobs are government, and their application process is slow, so you might as well have a look because the job won't happen tomorrow anyway. If you need to do some volunteer stuff, or take a class, or something else to beef up your resume - doing that stuff might be easier than you think, and it might give you hope for a better future while you're slogging through hospital shifts.

I hated night shifts, I felt the same way you do about hospital nursing generally. I've found public health staff to be delightful (think: slightly nerdy do-gooders). I got along with people on my hospital unit just fine, but when I started at my PH job I immediately thought, "My people! I found them!"

And if your first PH manager turns out to be a nutjob, or it's not quite the right fit, or you're bored, or you want better pay...you'll at least be sleeping like a normal person & more able to think straight while you regroup at some point in the future.

Eyes on the prize RhodyBSN, you can do it! (I started as a new grad in an ED and left after 8 months for a job in public health - that was four years ago. For the record, no regrets)

Edited by laflaca

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51 Visitors; 2 Posts

Thank you laflaca! I really appreciate your input!! I have been applying to jobs and will continue to do so. If I'm able to to get a job while still working at the hospital that would be great but if I just can't do it anymore and need to get out before I get a job I think I'm ok with that. That would allow me to spend more time figuring out exactly what I want to do and how to get there. Hopefully the break won't be too long but I could always volunteer in the mean time so it doesn't look terrible on a resume. Thank you again.

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laflaca has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Public High School Nurse.

63 Likes; 7,660 Visitors; 254 Posts

Tif I just can't do it anymore and need to get out before I get a job I think I'm ok with that. That would allow me to spend more time figuring out exactly what I want to do and how to get there. Hopefully the break won't be too long .

OK, I'm behind you all the way EXCEPT the part about maybe taking a break in between...because you're in an awkward spot right now. 6 months of nursing experience is "too old" to get another new grad position, but still short of the 1 year mark when you're generally considered truly NOT a new grad. It's a bad idea to make yourself unemployed between those two points - you will almost certainly have a rough time getting hired elsewhere.

If you can get a job offer elsewhere while you're at this hospital, by all means make the transition, trucking to the 1-year mark of nursing experience in your new job and cruising past. But I'd do everything possible to avoid a gap in employment before you hit the 1 year mark.

If it's any comfort, it really is true that things get better, even if acute care isn't your true love. You're at the worst part of it (when you no longer have a preceptor, but you're expected to be fully functional, but you still don't 100% know what you're doing). It's not going to get worse than it is now, I promise you. It will slowly get less bad the longer you stay there. You get better at managing, and even if you don't like the environment it becomes less overwhelming.

I sucked it up until I had another job offer I felt good about, and THEN quit. [full story is: 8 months in an ED, moved to another state and tried med-surg for 4 months, hated that even more, THEN public health. I had new jobs before I quit the old ones. Not exactly an ideal career path at the time, but four years later it has worked out well].

I'm sure you can do it!

Edited by laflaca

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