Quote from KWRN29
I graduated in May passed boards in June and started in working in ICU. I made great grades through school, and I looked forward to clinicals. However, ever since I started work I am a nervous wreck, I cry before and after work and on my off days, I dread going back. This is my second ICU job since June because at first, I attributed my misery to a long commute and I moved to a closer hospital. I feel like bedside nursing is not for me, but I do not know where to turn. I dislike the 12-hour shifts, the death of patients, and the stress of it all. I feel ashamed, embarrassed and miserable. I have thought about home health but I know they prefer at least a year of bedside experience. I just don't know what to do.
For your consideration:
Overall, what you describe is not that rare an experience. It's actually quite common. For a lot of people nursing school was a great deal of stress, pressure, hoop-jumping and just general working toward this goal of graduating and becoming licensed and securing a job. Then there's the promise/excitement of orientation (kind of a "honeymoon" period).
But then a few months in....it's time for a major let-down. That feeling of "this is it?" or "Is this really what I worked so hard for?" The excitement is kind of over and you have the opportunity to really feel some things that previous excitement masked - - such as the heavy responsibility that being on duty as an RN is. Or the fact that it's not "exciting" to deal with the difficulties, illness, suffering, and death of others. It's meaningful work, for sure, but it doesn't feel the same as the excitement of working to become an RN did. We get an idea in our heads about what our future is going to look like, and reality often isn't as pleasant or straightforward.
It may eventually become very clear to you that what you're doing now is not going to work for you in the future. Or it might be that you need a little time to let things settle. Maybe think some of these things ^ through while you're thinking about your overall situation. And know that lots of new nurses have felt this way and come out okay!
The best to you as you adjust to your new identity as a nurse and make decisions about your future ~