I know my title is cliche, but I need help. I am a fairly new nurse with one year of experience. I wanted to get a variety of experience after nursing school, so I was applied for and was offered a residency position on a med-surg unit. It is wearing me down mentally and physically. I feel like the job is so much harder than it has to be. We're constantly understaffed, so that doesn't help either. Another area of concern is that I don't feel like I'm learning as much as I should. I rarely get to perform technical skills such as inserting foleys and inserting iv's as our patients usually already have them when I get them. I have tried to address the learning/skills issue with my superiors, and they usually just say, "You're still a new nurse." I planned to work the two years of my contract, so I could build a solid foundation. Then I planned to do travel nursing. I don't feel like I will be prepared to do travel nursing with two years of experience at the rate I'm going. I'm pretty miserable, but I'm only halfway through my contract. If I leave, I will have to pay my employer back. Any suggestions?
Sep 2, '16
Have you thought about working per diem? When I was fresh out of school I worked private duty which wasn't to my advantage but I needed income. However, I worked per diem doing skilled home visits and then landed a full-time salary position. I would seriously suggest working per diem to build your skill set. When your two years is up then you can just hop right on to the next step of your career. Just an FYI though. Many experienced nurses do not use all of their skills on a daily basis, so I wouldn't worry too much. Be honest and about your skills and just always be willing to learn.
Last edit by carym209LPN on Sep 2, '16
: Reason: Spelling
Sep 2, '16
I have looked for per diem or prn jobs, but I haven't found anything yet. I was actually hired by a staffing agency, but nothing has come out of that either. My contract is for full-time and we're so short-staffed, I don't think they would even let me go down to part-time. I do like your suggestion as far as the per-diem work. I think it would be great to learn new skills in a different setting. Thanks for your post.
Sep 2, '16
I feel your pain but as carym pointed out.....well, I worked ICU five years, I don't think I ever put in a foley, and very few IV's since patients had central lines.
When I changed jobs where foleys were more frequent I was able to remember the basics, and you tube has great educational videos for most all nursing procedures. IV's are more difficult for some people, like me, but I eventually became proficient.
Sep 3, '16
The skills thing is hard. You learn so many skills in nursing school but they are trying to prepare you for wherever you may end up. As long as you are learning the skills that are regularly used on your unit, then you're doing well. If you know of something "different" going on in your unit ask if you can perform that skill or watch to learn. Take assignments that you're unfamiliar with and use that to learn about a disease or condition. One thing to keep in mind about nursing is you can only learn what you run across. Travel nursing is an awesome idea and you may never feel ready but you'll learn a lot along the way. I work in a pediatric dialysis unit and I've asked to shadow in the ER to learn skills or work on the 7th floor for short shifts to broaden my pediatric knowledge. My manager lets me when we ok staffing wise. If you can change areas in the hospital and satisfy your contract I would. Don't stay if you hate your job. You will end up hating nursing.
Sep 3, '16
I've already asked and I have to do two years on my current unit before I can transfer. I'm just stuck. I'm trying to hang in this last year, but I don't know if I can make it. Thank you for your response.
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