Published Dec 7, 2023
How long to stick out a new job?
I just started working a NICU 3 months ago. My Orientation is ending soon.
I did 2 years of adult oncology prior to this. On dayshift which I prefer. I was confident and good at my job. However I was burned out and tired of the same old thing at work. I wanted change and was interested in critical care.
I figured the babies would be a plus. I had high hopes for this job and that I would love it! I was so happy to accept it.
My new NICU position (has level 2 and level 3) is eventually going to put me to night shift.. and it's hard to get to day shift on the unit apparently.
During my time in orientation, I had a rude preceptor that basically took my light away and made me feel dumb and incompetent. I was told that I am forgetful and I have been spoken to like a child in front of families and other nurses. This preceptor is actually resigning soon.
Because of that I have come to doubt myself a lot and whether I can be a good NICU RN.
I have been having alot of second thoughts and I feel very very unsure about sticking it out here. I don't know if I truly love the NICU or if this career aligns with my long term goals.
I feel my whole attitude has changed since I started and I feel sad coming to work and like a failure.
I do not want to head to night shift and I almost regret accepting the job bc of it. I feel like the NICU (as beautiful as the babies are and the cute parts) is a limited specialty and I'm scared it's not something I want to do forever...
I honestly ended up here also because I was rejected by adult ICU's during my interviews and figured NICU would be the closest thing I could do in terms of true critical care (once I get to level 3)
I had thoughts of CRNA or acute care NP school and don't think NICU would help me towards those goals.
I need advice on what to do honestly. To quit? To stick it out? To go back to oncology? I don't know. I'm still young enough to figure myself out but I'm feeling pretty crappy.
First, do not let one nasty person color your whole view of yourself - especially a virtually stranger that at the end of your life you won't remember their name (I know, easier said than done).
You have what sounds like two things going on here in addition to believing the bs the preceptor said..one is working nights vs days and the other is the flavor of nursing you are wanting.
If nights doesn't work for you then actively seek a position working days, even if it may not be exactly the type of nursing you are wanting. The longer you stay in a position that doesn't work for you the worse you will feel and you are also staying in a position that may be someone else's dream job.
If you want to move back into adult care, I am sure w/your experience you could get into home health, hospice, med/surg/GI etc. It may not be the ICU but its a step toward that and away from what you know you don't want.
I recently left an Occupational Health position that I absolutely loathed. Not the people but the job itself was extremely boring and tedious. I currently work on call for a small hospice agency. It is not my ultimate goal nor where I want to remain but it's a step away from the job that didn't fit for sure and towards what I am wanting which is to move back into a hospital setting.
Nurses have a ton of options now so being stuck - unless you live in a really remote area - is not a long term problem.
You've got this!
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