I am new to nursing but I don't want to do this anymore

  1. Hi, I have been an RN for about 6 months now. I am in a residency program and have been on my own for a month now. I am having a really rough time and have been thinking of quitting. I can't eat, I can't sleep. I have been wondering what other career options I have since I have only been out of school for a couple of months. I really need some advice.
  2. Visit katr27 profile page

    About katr27

    Joined: Dec '18; Posts: 3; Likes: 7

    36 Comments

  3. by   missmollie
    It would help if you could describe what kind of issues are keeping you up at night, what bothers you at work, and how your working conditions are. Hang in there, give us more information and we'll provide you with the best advice we can. Remember that most feel this way during their first year, but you will learn so much and will feel differently at that one year mark.
  4. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from katr27
    Hi, I have been an RN for about 6 months now. I am in a residency program and have been on my own for a month now. I am having a really rough time and have been thinking of quitting. I can't eat, I can't sleep. I have been wondering what other career options I have since I have only been out of school for a couple of months. I really need some advice.
    What exactly do you mean by "other career options?"
  5. by   AnnieNP
    What is it you don't like? What type of nursing job do you have now?
  6. by   katr27
    I'm working on a tele/med surg floor. I just feel like I get overwhelmed by the workload, even though the most Ive had is 5 patients, since most of my patients have a high acuity. Some days I have left work feeling satisfied with my self and some I feel like I didn't do my best job because of how busy I am. When I get home I over think everything and I'm not able to sleep. I really do hope I'm just feeling this way because I'm new and not because this isn't for me.
  7. by   katr27
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    What exactly do you mean by "other career options?"

    Like other than bedside nursing what other type of job would I be able to get with only 6 months of a bedside nurse experience
  8. by   KalipsoRed21
    The way you are feeling is not abnormal for the amount of experience you had. I cried in the shower before going to work for 2 years. If you feel like there is more to do than you can handle, well there is. Hardest thing to learn in nursing is triaging. You are not going to get everything done. You need to prioritize. Stat orders first, visualizing all of your patients every 2-3 hours so you know they aren't in trouble or in unbearable pain. If you have to leave a patient in their own feces for an hour because your aids are busy and you are in the process of administering all your insulins before lunch. Well that is what you have to do. You aren't going to feel good about that, none of us do. All you can do is keep eyeing your aides to see if they can get in there and putting that as your next task after safely doing your insulin. And if you are in cleaning that patient and only half way done when the secretary buzzes in the room or calls you on your phone to tell you that your other patient down the hall was just found unresponsive, you may have to take a pillow case throw it over the poop, lay the patient back in it, put the bed down, this their covers over them and make sure they have their call light and leave. It really, really, really sucks to have to disappoint patients, because you care. You don't really ever get over this, you just kind of come to a realization that you are doing the best you can to keep everyone safe, out of pain, and clean and comfortable. I would suggest you hang in there for another 6 months or a year before you decide to get out of nursing, it does get easier once you get your time management down. But I would also tell you to go ahead and put out your resume on zip recruiter. Like don't write it as a nurse, list all your skills that you have to do as a nurse : good with time management, work independently as part of a team, good phone etiquette, etc. but don't make nursing your only marketable quality. Because it is easy to get cornered in nursing so getting out early on is a good idea. Also realize that you will be, most likely, taking a pay cut initially to get out of nursing. But yes, it is worth it to not feel sick all the time. Also nursing pay stagnates and so in 10 years you will be making pretty much the same amount of money that you did when you started unless you go into management. I would also suggest home care and doctor's offices, less stressful but the pay is again crappy. You will not find help on this website about non nursing jobs with nursing degrees because we are all employed as nurses here. We don't know what else to do or we would have gotten out a long time ago too...well about half of us anyway.
  9. by   nursel56
    Hi katr27! I don't think 4 weeks on your own is long enough to know if things will start to fall into place, but I'd suggest you try for 6 months or so before you decide. You're starting in a challenging area. If you leave now you'll never know the feeling of confidence that comes when you start to hit your stride.

    If it doesn't get any better in a few months you won't ever feel that you might've bailed out too soon.

    I think it's good that you have those days you feel satisfied with the care you provided for your patients. I've never really shaken the feeling that I wish I could give every patient the same care I would if I had 2 or 3 patients, but reality is we can't be everywhere, do everything and spend the time we'd like to with each patient.

    I hope you've maintained dialogue with a former preceptor, educator or nurse you admire to work out strategies that can alleviate the persistent but very normal anxiety you're feeling right now.

    Best wishes!
  10. by   Been there,done that
    Please see the many threads here about the first year of nursing. Many other nurses feel the same way. I know I did., then went on to 35 years of nursing.

    You would need to get one year of experience to move on, you are half way there.

    If you can't sleep and you can't eat, you need to talk to your physician.


    Best wishes... you CAN do this.
  11. by   amzyRN
    Stick it out for a year or two and see how you feel. You've got to give things a chance. Plus your resume will look bad if you leave now. Things will get better.
  12. by   UC nurse
    Katr27, Have you considered outpatient nursing? I went to nursing school specifically to work outpatient. Most outpatient RN jobs are phone triage, but Urgent care is the the exception. We get the lower level ED patients (URIs, coughs, UTIs, STDs, fractures, lacerations, asthma exacerbations, abdominal pain, chest pain, dehydration,etc) without the trauma. The $ is not as good, but the hours are better. There are so many opportunities out there. Can you make it to your one year anniversary? After that, you will be able to transfer.
  13. by   chacha82
    Nursing is a difficult high stakes/low control job. It is promising that you leave work feeling good some days. After several years of inpatient nursing I still have VERY frustrating, sometimes downright scary days. So do other experienced nurses I work with. That said, inpatient is not for everyone. However, you need to finish up your residency and get at least a year of bedside before you will be a competent nurse for another job. I say competent because I am sure you could get hired in another position but you need developed assessment skills. It is knowing the difference between agreeing to the provider's orders for the home health patient or knowing enough to say "Absolutely not, he has to go to the ER NOW." I myself would like to move into a different type of nursing but I know I am learning valuable stuff the longer I work inpatient. I graduated with a gentleman who did a 1 or 2 years of hospital nursing, now he works in a clinic and loves it, so it worked out for him.
  14. by   missmollie
    Thank you for clarifying where your difficulties lie. You are one person with five patients, a new nurse, and you feel overwhelmed. First, this will pass usually after a year. Every single day you are going to improve in prioritizing, recognizing a decline, calling and speaking with doctors to get what you need, and providing great care.

    If you want to learn how to play a sport or an instrument, are you good the first six months during the sport? Are you good the first year? No! It takes practice and time to become proficient at anything, including nursing.

    Talk to your PCP about your stress and inability to fall asleep. Otherwise, give it time. You will be a completely different nurse in 12 months than you are now. Hang in there!

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