Quote from cjj0603
I came to nursing as a second career. Nursing school in middle age was not easy, but I graduated 4th in my class. I was hired as a NICU nurse but was told that while I did everything correctly, my pace was too slow. Now I am orienting in a different hospital in Med-Surg, and while I feel it is going much better than the NICU, I'm starting to sense that my preceptor and manager are still concerned about my progress, mostly in time management. Do I need to get out of the hospital environment? Is there a less acute setting that a new grad can be employed at? Has anyone else out there entered nursing in middle age and also struggled?
It's hard for everybody! I graduated at 48, and at various times have wondered whether I could do this. 15 mos. later, many nights go fairly smoothly, but there are plenty of times when it's hard to keep up. For me, I don't think age is much of an issue, except that I've had more sick days in the last year than I had in the previous seven, as an unlicensed healthcare worker. Nightshift and stress do put a strain on the immune system, but I think I'm starting to adapt.
I really think a year in med-surg is the best way to develop your skills before entering a specialty or going to home health, etc. Two years is probably even better. For me, at least, the times I've had to fight to keep my head above water have been the times I've learned most--not that I'm not grateful for the nights that go smoothly.
Your comment about getting a "sense" of your preceptor's and manager's concerns disturbs me. You may need to confront them for more feedback. If they're willing to do their jobs, they'll tell you what they think and may even be able to help you improve. It would be great if you could sit down with either to discuss what you think your problems are and learn what they think. They may think you are doing fine, which can be unsettling, until you recognize that expectations aren't as high for a newbie as they will be when you are more experienced.