Hang in there. I graduated from nursing school in May 01, started on an IMU floor June, passed state boards July of 01 and have been going through the reality shock ever since. Our hospital provides a preceptor for the first 3 months... I had an experienced nurse to walk me through everything. We had 4 patients between us and as I gained experience, I went from 2 - 3, then all 4 of the IMU patients with her at my side, watching, helping, suggesting... It was very important for me to have this as a new nurse. I went "on my own" in September, and walked through many new situations on my own...but my manager told me, "You know where I am, and you can always get help from your charge nurse, or other experienced nurses near you, so ask". So, I have. Some of the charge nurses were not as supportive as I would think they should have been...but, as the months have passed, I've learned how to "push" for help...and who to ask it of.
And, I can report that I made a decision from the beginning not to quit until at least a year. I had to work late many an evening, catching up on charting, but my manager said they expected that from new grads, and not to worry. I was in tears many an evening the first 6 months! It was horrible! I didn't know so many things, how to prioritize, what to let 'ride' until I could find the time. But, with time, and experience, I've gradually begun to "accept" nursing...and have gotten a better handling on everything. Here are some questions that might spur an idea for help:
1. Physically - Are you in good health? Getting enough sleep, nutrition, stress relief in positive ways? Are you anemic? (I was anemic the whole last year of school and during my whole first year of nursing on the floor and was absolutely EXHAUSTED
:zzzzz ALL the time. I've got that problem resolved and am a new person!!!
2. Managers - are they aware of your distress? Tell them. If they do not offer help, you may need to change departments, but don't give up! You can do it! It just takes time! Be sure to tell them in a non-emotional way. Do it on a "good day"... write down your problems and ways you see they could be solved... and talk to them. They need you to stay with them and will do what they can to help. You may need a preceptor like I had. Like all new grads should have.
Hang in there! At the one year mark, I started noticing that I had a few glimpses of "hey, I like my work". None before that. Realize that it is common to feel overwhelmed. Get help. Get support. Get a wellness check-up. You sound like you are a great nurse...who cares about people... we need more nurses like you...and me... so don't give up.