I accepted the fact nursing isn't for me, what do I do?

  1. I'm just an LPN but I'm starting my RN programs this fall. I've been a nurse a few months and I suck at everything. I have tremendous anxiety working as a nurse. Its starting to affect my home life. Here's some of the things I'm having issues with.

    * When to call the Dr and when not to call the Dr
    *What do I need an Dr's order for
    * Nursing interventions
    *Being confident
    *Paperwork

    I feel extremely not cut out for a nurse, I don't have those critical thinking skills.
    I feel the other nurses make fun of me and I hate relying on them for help.
    One told me, she's not babying me and I need to bring cheat sheets with me.
    I'm scared of making error.
    I had an resident fall over the weekend and had an skin tear on his arm.
    Well silly me, I put an ABD pad, kling and tape.
    The oncoming nurse ate me up about it. I had to stay over an hour doing paperwork and redo his dressing at 12 am.

    I'm now dreading starting RN school this fall.
    I'm thinking of withdrawing myself, I love helping people but hate feeling so knowledgeable.
  2. Visit 8Lovenursing8 profile page

    About 8Lovenursing8

    Joined: Aug '18; Posts: 44; Likes: 20

    17 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    If you've only been a nurse for a few months and only had one nursing job, it's too soon to tell. Confidence comes with experience.
    It doesn't sound like you're working with the most supportive group of people, either.
  4. by   8Lovenursing8
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    If you've only been a nurse for a few months and only had one nursing job, it's too soon to tell. Confidence comes with experience.
    It doesn't sound like you're working with the most supportive group of people, either.
    It has only been a few months but I feel like I was supposed to learn some of this stuff in school. Did I miss something? It's really tearing me down. I don't know if it's me but most nurses I work with hate for you to ask them for any help. I feel like a bother but at the same time it's peoples lives.
  5. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from 8Lovenursing8
    It has only been a few months but I feel like I was supposed to learn some of this stuff in school. Did I miss something? It's really tearing me down. I don't know if it's me but most nurses I work with hate for you to ask them for any help. I feel like a bother but at the same time it's peoples lives.
    Most nurses are pretty helpless as new graduates.
  6. by   nursel56
    There really is no way to know whether or not nursing is for you, as Sour Lemon mentioned, it is way too soon.

    Feeling anxiety and feeling you are deficient in critical thinking are very common in new nurses. You grow that over time. They used to call it "nursing judgement".

    It sounds like this job is just the one custom-made to cause a vicious circle of inadequate feelings. It's true that the "nurses eat their young" thing can be attributed to many things other than that experienced nurses are knowingly "out to get the new nurse", there are some who are, and toxic workplaces do exist.

    It's hard to say if your job situation has any chance of becoming a more supportive environment. Just understand it's a very small part of the nursing experience as a whole, and stop blaming yourself and internalizing every negative comment. Hoping it all works out for the best!
  7. by   Triddin
    I find you learn the foundations of nursing on school. It's very normal to feel the way you feel at this point on your career and i am sorry your coworkers aren't move supportive.

    If it makes you feel better, I was taught for a skin tear on the elderly, gauze and Kling were the way to go because you don't want tape on fragile skin.

    I still consult with my coworkers before calling the doc to make sure I haven't missed anything. Sometimes it depends on how you phrase things. There's nothing wrong with using a cheat sheet. I use mine religiously.

    And you will be slow as you are learning. You will become faster/ more confident as your practice more
  8. by   Davey Do
    Just to compare notes, 8Lovenursing, as a new LPN, I really really really really wanted to work in the techy-medical end of nursing and finally got to after working psych for 2 1/2 years when, in 1986, I bid on and got a position in surgery as a scrub nurse.

    For the first three months I was all thumbs. Surgeons yelled at me. The assistant supervisor said I should consider the fact that maybe I wasn't meant to work in OR.

    I cried.

    But I persevered. I ate, drank, and slept surgery.

    Then, it all came together: I was a Wiz Kid. I could tell the circulating nurses where needed items were located. Some surgeons even requested that I scrub on cases with them!

    But all good things come to an end. There were two big layoffs at Weed Rover Township Hospital in 1987. Being the only LPN in OR, I got the ax in the second one. It was then that I decide to become an RN. I signed up for pre-reqs and two weeks later was called back to work in chemical dependency treatment in a new program just opening up.

    So, for the next three plus years, I worked CD tx in a job that I ended up loving and got my RN. The rest is history.

    Look at me: I'm rambling.

    But I want my story to show you that if you, 8Lovenursing8, persevere you too can have successes and failures just like me.

    And, oh, I could tell you stories!


    Good luck to you, 8Lovenursing8!
    Last edit by Davey Do on Aug 14 : Reason: typo(s)
  9. by   T-Bird78
    It's too soon to tell. My first job as an LPN I had an RN who told me, to my face, that she hated anyone asking her questions and preferred to sit alone so she wouldn't have to help me. I'd had my license 2 weeks when I started that job and the nursing supervisor was shifted to a differnet position, so I had no clinical supervisor besides her. She wound up getting me fired by complaining about me "bugging her" too much when I was on the job for 4 weeks. Anyway, you'll have more job opportunities as an RN than as LPN so you should find your comfort zone.

    By the way, we're not "just" LPNs. We are still nurses, so don't sell yourself short.
  10. by   RNperdiem
    Think of your first year of nursing as your last year of all-clinical school. Most new grads have had a mostly theoretical classroom education and graduate weak on the skills and qualities you list.
    All the things you list like knowing when to call the doctor etc, are all things we learn along the way. Gaining confidence takes time and experience. Give it a chance before you totally rule out nursing.
  11. by   cleback
    ABD, kling, and tape (if it wasn't on the skin) isn't necessarily wrong, just not the best/typical (ABDs are usually for wounds with heavy amounts of drainage because of their absorbancy... I usually put nonstick gauze and kling or mepilex with border, although the latter is more expensive). I feel your coworker was being a jerk with making a big deal out of it and having you redress it.
  12. by   kbrn2002
    Quote from 8Lovenursing8
    It has only been a few months but I feel like I was supposed to learn some of this stuff in school. Did I miss something? It's really tearing me down. I don't know if it's me but most nurses I work with hate for you to ask them for any help. I feel like a bother but at the same time it's peoples lives.
    Most nurses are pretty clueless at the beginning of their career. Sadly enough, no you really aren't expected to learn everything you need to know to be a nurse in school. Nursing school prepares you to take and pass the NCLEX. Much of what you'll learn as far as the procedures of nursing you will learn while working.

    If you think about that, it makes sense. There are so many nursing tasks that are specific to the area of nursing you are working in that it's impossible for a nursing school to teach them all even if they wanted to.

    Even within the same area of nursing procedures can be very facility specific. Take for example the dressing change you got chewed out for, there are so many available dressing options that one employer will want you to use one type of dressing for skin tears while another employer will expect something totally different.

    You most likely really know as much as you are expected to know as a new nurse. It's a shame you aren't working in a more supportive environment. Before you give up on nursing maybe look for a different job first. In the right place you can thrive.
  13. by   Alex_RN
    I went to a terrible school and had to learn all the practical things in my first job. My first job had no training, mean coworkers, and no support. It was terrible but I knew if I stuck it out for a year, everything would be better. Think of this job as a terrible second school where you also get a pay check. Try to stay calm and do not be hard on yourself. It is hard to learn and think clearly when you are afraid. 90% of nursing is the same stuff over and over, so you will learn these new skills.
    Also, I use ABDO pads for all kinds of things. You do not need to apologize for learning. The best thing you can do is be kind to yourself.
  14. by   dumbnurse
    "What were you feeling before the patient fell", the psych nurse in me asks? Maybe that incident is the straw that broke the camel's back and now you are unloading all this pent up fear? Take a long weekend if possible and think about your options. And you are never "just an LPN"!!!

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