First Year Help--PLEASE


I graduated from nursing school about 6 months ago and have worked on a med/surg floor since. I worked day shift on my 7 week orientation, a few weeks on days by myself, and have been on nights ever since. Don't get me is getting easier to survive the shift and sometimes (rarely) I get to leave on time...but I hate my job. I enjoy the patients, even the grumpier ones...but I hate everything else about my job.

I got into nursing because I wanted to work with kids, I saw a St. Jude commercial and knew right then that I wanted to work with kids who had cancer. I had no doubts in my mind and wouldn't entertain any other options. I wanted to make people happy when they were at there worst. I went to nursing school and studied hard. I graduated. I started work. Now I cry myself to sleep every night after work. I cry on my way to work.

I am absolutely terrified of doing anything wrong and causing somebody harm. The only way I can get anything done is to not talk to my patients, in and out. Make sure they are in no distress, breathing, and are feeling okay. That's not why I got into nursing. I wanted to help people. Not be slaved to a computer, worried about hurting someone so much it makes me sick, crying all the time, being the only one I graduated with who feels like this.

I enjoy the people I work with. I enjoy having a job. I enjoy the patients. Those are the only pros I find in this job. Currently, any job that could make these feelings go away would make me so happy. I don't care about anything else besides being happy. I don't care about the pay, I would be happy taking care of people with a lower pay check...I just want to be happy again and not depressed all the time.

Any tips on how to work through this? I can't take my mind off it, I've tried different things. I have applied at different jobs but the thought of going to work tomorrow makes me sick. The thought of not knowing if I could get another job for a month or more makes me sick to my stomach. If I could I would quit and not blink an eye. I just want to be happy again and this job is not cutting it, as much as I wish it was.

Help me please. Any other jobs that I could use a BSN in? Any tips on how to make my shifts better.

allnurses Guide

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

2 Articles; 6,840 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 12 years experience.

Well, the first thing I would advise is to not expect your job to be the source of personal fulfillment in your life. A career is a way to pay your bills. You are fortunate as a new grad to be employed.

Read here and you will find you are in good company re: your angst. Few get their dream job out of school and almost all new grads struggle with your same emotions and challenges the first year.

You ARE doing something good for society, possibly even more so than kids with cancer, as you are working with a less glamorized population. I would suggest you focus on learning time management, stress management and stop fantasizing about the job you don't have yet. There will likely be opportunities to change specialties as you get past a year or two of experience.

SoldierNurse22, BSN, RN

13 Articles; 2,058 Posts

If you're experiencing this kind of anxiety in your current job, imagine how much worse it will be if you DO land the "dream" and the lives of medically unstable children with cancer are in your hands.

Seriously. Med-surg sees everything, no doubt, but oncology patients, especially pediatric oncology patients, are one of the most fragile populations out there. Get a grip on your emotions, develop your sense of time management and your confidence, and nail down those basic skills before you move on to something even more intense.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Wonderful advice from PPs!

Based on my own experience, it is much harder to cope with the emotional turmoil of 'hurting' pedi patients. It's one thing to start an IV on a 'consenting' adult.... quite another thing to do so on tiny person who doesn't really understand what is going on and certainly did not consent to being poked. I could never maintain my emotional force field working with this patient population. Way too intense for me, and I have worked in all areas of Critical Care.