New Nurse Stressed & Need Advice

  1. Hello All,

    I am a new nurse, just graduated in May and got my license in July, 2011. I started my new job in August. I am having a tough time transitioning from student nurse to registered nurse. I have been working full time at the insistance of my company because management feels it is important for new nurses to gain as much experience as necessary. I do agree with their assessment. However, I am a mother of two young children and a wife whose husband misses her! It has been years (7) since I worked full time. I am on the 3-11 shift since this works best for our family right now.

    I can not help but feel extremely stressed, rushed, and tired ALL THE TIME! It's hard to get to sleep when I get home; sometimes I don't fall asleep until 4am and then I have to get up by 7:30am to get the kids off to school. I try to go back to sleep, but it's a fitful sleep, not really restful. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind! My husband said that I have been talking about work in my sleep!!

    I love being a mom and wife, but I also love being a nurse. This is a second career for me. I'm 43 and recently diagnosed with RA. My employer is constantly understaffing and creating unsafe working conditions. I do not even take dinner breaks because if I do, I'll end up being there until all hours trying to get my work finished. I'M NEW SO I'M STILL VERY SLOW. I've been working for just a month and a half.

    Does anyone have advice to help me cope? Thank you so much!
  2. Visit seashells2011 profile page

    About seashells2011

    Joined: Sep '11; Posts: 20; Likes: 22
    Registered Nurse Supervisor; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in med-surg, dementia


  3. by   birdie22
    time, time and time. I just started working this Spring and it wasnt until about 8-9 weeks into the job where it finally 'clicked'. While I'm still more task oriented than I'd like to be, everyday i can see the big picture more clear. Practice makes perfect. The more you practice and actually do all the said tasks for the shift the more efficient you will become at them.
  4. by   ktwlpn
    How many hours per week were you hired to work? Is it in writing? Nothing wrong with going to your powers that be and insisting that you be scheduled for those hours ONLY. Stand up for yourself or you'll be walked on.
  5. by   beast master RN
    time to prioritize, im not sure were you work but some times you gota cut the fat, what had to be done , what needs to be done , and whats left, delegate and stay focused
  6. by   JM Nelson
    I'm suggesting you will make a time schedule so u could have time for kids and for you husband while having a work. Stress is part of nurses. Always have time to eat and rest so u could balance it and u won't have any problems of your health too. And give time to enjoy yourself with the family on day offs.
  7. by   Been there,done that
    Your new employer is forcing you to work full time because they need the coverage.
    You are too new and in-experienced to realize they are abusing you. What hours did you SIGN for, in your employment contract ?
    What kind of facility is this? Hospital, LTC , etc.

    You are already exhibiting symptoms of stress. Weigh the pro and cons of the situation, do you need full time to cover the family for insurance... for example.

    You are a nurse, they should be appreciating you , instead of using you.

    Best of luck, keep us posted.
  8. by   Ahhphoey
    I can understand the hospital's view on working full time for the experience, but if you are really that stressed, you may need to really decide if this particular job is for you. I was diagnosed with RA last year and had been having a lot of pain prior to the diagnosis. Prior to my diagnosis I didn't know what was going on and I had to decrease my hours in the ICU where I was working because the pain was just to much ( I actually worked two part-time jobs, one in ICU and one as a supervisor). Work really exacerbated my symptoms; all I did was work and sleep and my days off were spent recovering in bed.

    In your situation it may just be a matter of developing a routine and really getting into your niche with nursing. You don't want to get burned out or worsen your RA in the process, but try working on your time management and prioritization both at work and at home. Its gonna be tough until you find your comfort zone, but hang in there and don't let your manager talk you into working any hours above what you were hired for.
  9. by   carolmaccas66
    Cut down ur hours. It's a myth that we can do everything. You can't and you are already stressed due to this situation.
    Sit down with hubby & really look @ ur family budget. Many people say we can't possibly do without the iPhones (or whatever), well if u want to keep a happy family & ur sanity, you may have to do without a few things.
    I'm a psych nurse student (2nd degree for me), & I have counselled so many families/individuals in ur situation. What is more important to you? Your family or your sanity? Spending time with ur family is THE most precious thing, but of course u have to pay ur bills. Look at cutting ur food and power bills. Go to 2nd hand shops for clothes - u can get nearly or new stuff usually - there are many ways to save money. Use more public transport.
    I also think u need to chat with ur employer re cutting down ur hours. I would do it without delay. If u can't, find another part-time job.
  10. by   seashells2011
    Thank you so much for all your great advice. I really appreciate all of your support. I work at a post acute/rehab nursing facility. We have four floors, 2 med-surg units, 1 cardiac care unit and 1 dementia unit which is a locked door floor. I am learning a lot but sooo completely overwhelmed with the paperwork. And yes, I miss my family terribly. I didn't sign any contracts. Originally, I wanted to start working part time and ease into full time as my body adjusted to the changes. The administration insisted that I start out full time because I am a new nurse and need the experience.

    They are understaffing and doing other things to cut back on spending (census has been low since July). They've also cut all overtime and are withholding employee raises for 3 months. I am afraid to ask them if I can cut my hours just a bit because I'm scared of losing my job as I am sure there are several hundred applicants just waiting to jump in my place! I have been an employee there for a little over a year. I started out as an aide.
  11. by   LovePeas
    Hi there. Came across your thread and although it has been over a year since this was posted, I am wondering how you are doing and how your situation turned out. You can PM me if you'd like. Hope all is well and you have enjoyed a great year with your family.