1. I have been a nurse for 8 months. It feels like forever. I work nights on a tele unit and I feel like I'm trapped. I don't think I've ever felt so defeated in my life, even when I was in nursing school I always felt some sort of excitement to learn something new. I'm thinking about quitting. I have money saved up for that rainy day, that I guess it inevitably coming. My goal is to take some time to de-stress. I want to go to work and not feel like a mistake will hurt someone. I want to not feel so individually responsible for 5-7 pts. I feel burned out and beat up. The thought of going back to work at a grocery store gives me some relief.

    I don't want any nay-sayers. I just wanted to let it out, and if people have felt like this to share. I know this isn't a solitary experience.

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    About FreckledCoffeeRN, BSN

    Joined: Sep '11; Posts: 53; Likes: 53
    from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience


  3. by   DSkelton711
    I always wondered if I'd made a mistake by going to nursing school. The stress of the job just didn't seem worth it. So yes, I have felt like quitting. I've taken a few breaks in my career and I don't regret it (except for having no money). If you are so unhappy and miserable that you feel you need to take a break, then you probably should. The only two things I would say though are: can you hold on to complete at least one year of employment first? That way you will always have that in case you change your mind. The other is: maybe you should look for a different position in nursing. I've done office nursing and clinic nursing which can be busy and have some stressful moments, but overall very satisfying, with better hours and still make a decent living. Good luck to you.
  4. by   Nrsasrus
    I'm sorry you're going through this after you worked so hard to become a nurse. I'm going to be finishing school in May and I often worry about the level of stress I will have to endure. I hope you find an answer weather it's another unit or a different profession all together.

    Good Luck!
  5. by   Claraflora
    I have been a nurse for about 2 years now, but just started working at a hospital 5 months ago. Before my job at the hospital I worked with severely disabled children with complex medical needs in a residential setting. While I had anxiety and doubts during that job, it was NOTHING compared to the feeling that I have working in the hospital. In addition, I felt such a sense of positivity about what I was doing at my old job. I loved the mission of the facility, and the teamwork provided by my co-workers. I loved the long term relationships that I had there.

    I have an evening float position which makes matters worse. I worry before my shift about what floor I will go to, and what my patient load will be like. I sometimes pray that they will call me out. I worry about making mistakes. I too have wondered if I should quit this position. I can totally relate to fantasizing about a mindless job. However, by the end of each night, my anxiety has decreased, and I realize that I am not half as incompetent as I make myself out to be. In fact, I have been told that I am a great nurse. If only I could remember that feeling of confidence before the beginning of my next shift.

    Everyone says that it is normal to feel this way at first. I believe them, but I also wonder if the hospital just isn't for everyone. I love being a nurse, teaching my patients, making decisions with positive outcomes, and learning. I consider myself to be intelligent, hardworking, and compassionate. Still, something about the hospital environment does not promote those qualities in me. I have promised myself to give it a full year before I make the decision that it is not right for me. That way, I figure that I won't feel as if I have "given up" or "failed" but rather that I made a career choice. I plan to go to graduate school to become an NP. This experience is valuable to me and my path. I just keep reminding myself of that!

    Do you have future plans or goals? Maybe you can keep those in mind. Also remember that you ARE capable, and even if you do make a mistake...so does everyone else at some point or the other.

    I have realized that the field of nursing has incredibly high expectations of what nurses, especially new nurses are capable of. We all feel this pressure to be perfect, and that is an unattainable goal. I feel that we mentally set ourselves up for failure. Unlike Dr's who have years of residency to "practice" we get a 6 week orientation and are thrown to the wolves. Not safe, and not supportive.

    Chin up
  6. by   gloryfied
    im a young girl, having a midlife crisis when im not even near midlife, because of nursing. Ive been working 9 months in now, and let me tell you, the way I watch that clock when it's almost time to go back to work, "omg, omgggg-___-" wow. Unbelievable.
    It may not be nursing honey, it may be working nights as I work as well, and you feel dull and tired and like you are missing out on life alot because of us needing to sleep during the day if we get any. I have done extra day shifts once in a while to help and the way I leave there feeling, despite the ton load of work, I feel great, simply because its normal work time, and im actually doing alot. I went to school for 4 years, to answer lights about getting sips of water. Nights is dreadful, and slow, and clock ticks slow.

    Ive had days where I thought, what if I just...left.. you know JUST PACK MY SH** AND LEFT. it's risky, but..but.this could be the breakthrough for me,things can get better maybe if I just leave"..

    Advice: Get your one year in and look into other positions honey, for that is best. other units. We are exhausted but things will look up soon.
    Sureee, ive thought about the days in retail that I did hate , but dreamt about, or working work study at school. At the end of the day, we have been blessed well among others still looking for a job. So treat your self well and make sure you understand that you DESERVE IT! or treat your family, something to make you feel entitiled to this job. I have to spoil my family to feel great enough to come to this job alot, because I just get tired, treating myself.
  7. by   itsmejuli
    Working nights is probably what's doing you in. Have you tried applying to day positions?
  8. by   cn2007rn
    I have been a nurse for 5 years and my stresses levels have increased a lot since I have graduated. I suffered from panic attacks the first 2 years of nursing, to this day I actually see a therapist for this problem, even though I have not had a panic attack in a few years. You post makes me realize I am not alone, nursing is the hardest job I have ever had. At my first job, I used to be jealous of the cleaning staff, they did not have to worry about killing someone or someone falling out of bed. I am still on anxiety meds, I have been through a few jobs but I think I have found my niche in home dialysis, nice hours and good relationships w/ chronic patients. My weight has gone up and down, and I was definitely guilty of emotional eating after long 12 hours shifts in the hospital. Anyway, good luck w/ your decisions but it does get easier and there are so many choices in nursing. Remember to get enough sun while working nights, I ended up w/ a vitamin D deficiency while on nights, which can trigger depression among other issues.
  9. by   beachfashionnursing
    I have been a nurse for 5 years now. I enjoyed all my jobs except for my current one. Good news is: I only have a week left in this job. I am starting my new job in 2 weeks, different department and different hospital.

    I understand the feeling of being drained and burned out.. which is why I looked into other jobs. Also, I am leaving the night shift. I want a more normal sleeping cycle.

    I know the job I am leaving is not the one for me because I dreaded going to work. I had anxiety issues since I worked for this unit. Before this job, I was perfectly fine. I also was sick to my stomach a lot of times which is because of my stress and anxiety.

    I hope you find that one job for you!
  10. by   newlaRN
    Glad to see someone feels like I do! I'm almost a year in and feeling exactly the same. Thanks, everyone, for the advice!!!
  11. by   martymoose
    no- you are not alone. I say this was one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. Thing is I can't change it now.Sometimes it does help to use up some vacation days so that you have a few days off in a row- you forget what reality is really like- esp. if you are on nights.
    Maybe you could do that. Or try another area on a different shift.Someday when I get the gumption, I will do that too. I look, but the uncertainty of the market is so scary, and the fact that I am the main provider of income and insurance in my family puts that much more stress on it.
    Good luck!
  12. by   Savvy20RN
    You are definitely not alone. I've thought about quitting my job almost every day since starting. I switched to the night shift on my unit thinking that it would help and now I just feel drained and miserable on my days off. My heart rate is sky high and I'm sure my blood pressure is elevated too. I also have stomach issues. I get really sick to my stomach and feel like I want to throw up. Just thinking about going in makes me feel nauseated.

    I watch the clock an hour before I have to get ready for work and dread every second. I've thought about calling out most days, but go in with the mind set that tonight won't be so bad. Some nights it's not, but for the most part I really hate working on the floor I'm on. After every shift I go home and search for another job. Clearly I'm not the only person on my floor who doesn't want to be there. Approximately 10 people have left since I started a year ago if that tells you anything.

    I wouldn't go as far as to say this was the biggest mistake I every made, but it's in the top ten. I'm thinking about going back to school for a degree in something unrelated to nursing. We'll see.