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I feel like I will never be a nurse. Need some advice/motivation

Nurses   (1,170 Views | 16 Replies)

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Hi beautiful nurses!

I just wanted to come on here to vent a little and also would like some encouragement and motivation as I feel I'm running out of that. My story is super long, so I'll try to shorten it (I've written about parts of my struggles here before).

First, I got into nursing school for LVN/LPN in 2015 and graduated in 2016. When I graduated, I was ready and excited to start my nursing career and was ready to take the NCLEX. However, I waited a long time to get authorized to test, because I guess they lost my file or some other thing happen (I'm also in Cali). Anyway, I ended up being able to test until June 2017, at this point I was working as a CNA at a SNF while I was waiting to test. Ok, so I passed my NCLEX, first try in 2017 and was looking for a nursing job. Honestly, I've always been afraid to work in SNF because of the heavy responsibility and honestly at this point of having graduated a year ago, I felt like I wasn't smart enough. They had offered me a job there at SNF as an LVN but I had to think about it, since I felt I wasn't smart enough. Fast forward, in mid 2018 I briefly worked as an LVN in a school doing one on one with a little kid. I was there for about a month an a half, didn't really do much besides watching the kid. Then I get a call from a clinic I had applied to when I was working in SNF, to come in for an interview, and I decided to take that job and leave the school job. So I worked at this clinic for 9 months. And this is what happened:

I got fired the day after posting, in 2019. Been without a job since. Basically, since I graduated Nursing school in 2016, I feel like I haven't had a proper nursing job. I waited a whole year just to take the NCLEX, because Cali... So now I feel like I need to go to nursing school again, just to regain all the knowledge. I know of people who went to nursing school after me, and are now nurses, and I just look at myself and think it's been 4 years this year since I graduated. Haven't worked as a nurse (in terms of doing nursing skills I learned in school). I'm starting to doubt myself and think I shouldn't even be a nurse because I'm not smart, I'm not very ambitious at this point because it's been so long and I just feel like I'm never going to get there. I don't have any friends, and I don't have any family members that can give advice or motive me. I'm just on my own and it is a lot easier to get discouraged. I've been unemployed for 6 months now and I've been looking for jobs but they are all agency, so I'm not sure how that works or if that would be good, I also saw one for home health but since I haven't been on my own, I feel like I should work with other nurses and not just start off on my own.

I am now 30 years old, jobless, and afraid to be a nurse (I feel dumb, and like the responsibility will be too much for me). I am so disappointed in myself. I had this dream of being a nurse and it just doesn't seem like it'll happen. I should be working right now, move out, have some money saved up, start my own family, but my life hasn't turned out how I pictured it.

I need some serious motivation, and a hard push to just do things and not be afraid, but like I said, I don't have anyone, so it's easy for me to just feel like giving up.

Well, I guess I still ended up making this post long. Sorry. Any advice? Sometimes it helps to hear I am not the only one that has felt like this, and people went through the same thing and now are successful nurses. At least I hope that can happen. Help!!

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

4 Followers; 6,256 Posts; 69,940 Profile Views

Your clinic job should have told you what you were doing wrong and give you a plan to improve. did they do that?

You have a LPN license. That is priceless. 

 We were all scared and felt dumb in the beginning. The right agency job will help you keep your foot in the door. I started over in agency after three years of inactivity. You will at least still be learning. Take a part time job with an agency, it is a GREAT  networking opportunity.

Feel free to PM  with your offers.

Good luck... don't give up.

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scribblz has 13 years experience as a BSN, CNA, LPN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion.

63 Posts; 1,663 Profile Views

Hi pretty nerd,

First and foremost get on your own team! You got through nursing school, you passed the NCLEX and earned your nursing degree. You are not dumb. But you do sound discouraged and isolated, so kudos to you for reaching out here.

Prep work: You Tube effective interview strategies and practice your answers in front of the mirror. Smile with eye contact, firm brief handshake and take your cues on level of formality from your interviewer. Try to line up a letter of recommendation and a few professional references if possible. Update your resume, as an alum you can reach out to career services at your school for help with this. Sometimes librarians at your public library may as well.

Since you feel insecure about your clinical skills look for a place that will help foster the fundamentals. I would recommend looking up the survey scores and reviews for long term care facilities in your area. They often really need staff and are nowhere near as picky about lack of experience as more acute facilities. If possible pick a small family owned place if there are any near you.

The patients in those facilities will all need their HTN, DM, CHF, CKD etc. managed and will teach you time management to get your med pass and treatments done. But you'll have time to learn your people and tasks because of the repetitive nature of LTC. 

After a year or 2 of that you're good to go, SNF/rehab or home care whatever you want to do.

When I'm in a negative mental space I often look up TED talks relevant to my current issues, and I find them to be very comforting. Also cheaper than a therapist. Highly recommend walks in scenic outdoor spaces as another good way to get in a positive head space. You are enough. 

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ArmaniX has 7 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Critical Care.

321 Posts; 6,746 Profile Views

You need to quit with the pity party and stop placing blame on external problems (Cali’s fault, you have no friends/family). Continue that path and you’ll get no where in life. 
 

If you want to be a nurse, then go out and do it. For the majority of us, no one held our hand throughout life. Stop making excuses. 
 

I have been on my own since I was a teenager and had no one for support. Yet here I am after putting myself through an ASN/BSN/MSN and I’m doing it. No one is going to care about you more than you will. 

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nursex23 has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN.

111 Posts; 1,500 Profile Views

I don't think your future is as bleak as you think it is. You just have to picture yourself in 5 years and what does that look like. If I were in your shoes, I would take a job at a SNF. I know it's not what you want to do but you need some experience. If you really like working with kids, you could try a school again but you need something to beef up your resume. Just know that it is 100% normal to feel incompetent when you are first starting out as a nurse. I thought it was such a unique feeling and I cried almost all the time. I couldn't sleep the night before I had work, I felt nauseous all the time. And then overtime those feelings went away. I would ask questions from the beginning at your new job. Anything you're unsure of, ask, learn and grow. This forum is a great resource for questions and support. 

 It sounds like that other LPN that liked to badmouth people may have been talking to management about you. Next time you are ever in a situation like that, anytime you hear someone badmouth someone else, don't participate and report it. Talk to management and stick to facts, quote the person as much as possible, and refrain from drawing conclusions about the person or badmouthing them back. What that does is it shows management that you are professional and able to view the situation objectively. It also paints a picture for management in the form of documentation to draw their own conclusions. That may have lead to a different outcome or it may not have. I wouldn't dwell on that but I would learn for the future. 

When you think about your 5 year plan, you may also want to think about if it includes getting your RN and your BSN. It opens up so many more doors so that you can find something that you really enjoy. Picture yourself at 35 with a BSN working at a clinic or at a school or whatever else you wish. You have a solid 3-5 years of valuable experience as a SNF nurse. You no longer feel incompetent or scared of being a nurse. You know that if you don't like something about a job, you have the experience and the education to find something that makes you happy. 

Keep your chin up PrettyNerd! You can definitely turn this around but it's 100% up to you. 

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On 1/25/2020 at 11:45 AM, Been there,done that said:

Your clinic job should have told you what you were doing wrong and give you a plan to improve. did they do that?

You have a LPN license. That is priceless. 

 We were all scared and felt dumb in the beginning. The right agency job will help you keep your foot in the door. I started over in agency after three years of inactivity. You will at least still be learning. Take a part time job with an agency, it is a GREAT  networking opportunity.

Feel free to PM  with your offers.

Good luck... don't give up.

Hi! Thank you so much for your reply. I feel relieved to hear that it is ok to feel scared and dumb at the beginning, it makes me feel like I am not really dumb, and it is just part of the beginning of this whole nursing journey, I will have feelings, and they are ok.

Thank you for your suggestion on agency. How different is it than working for the SNF itself? Are they flexible with scheduling? Would like to know a little more. Thanks again! 🙂

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382 Posts; 9,191 Profile Views

Ookay...PrettyNerd, your story could've been written by me. Got my LVN license in May, 2017. Was fired TWICE, am currently on my 4th nursing job. Yep, it happens. Intellectually one of the top students, NCLEX-PN in 85 questions, yadda yadda yadda. Then...reality. I won't bother with the gory details, suffice to say that a co-worker described nursing as being in a parallel universe. They're absolutely right - check your preconceived notions at the door. In my case, after 5 months of feeling sorry for myself & wondering if I'd ever get this figured out - started applying and had a job in just under a month working in a group home with developmentally disabled kids/young adults. Then, got a call from a former co-worker from the second place I got fired from - they needed a nurse, bad. $6/hour salary increase with full bennies, much more forgiving management, and a goodly portion of the staff are from that other place (sounds like there was a real bloodbath over there).

So...it happens. I worked in IT for just under 25 years, so I've earned my chops in the employment world. In nursing, the rules are just different. Don't assume you're unhireable - you've got, what, 10 months on your resume? That'll work - just get out there and apply. A family owned SNF may be what you need, or hospice, or home health, or...mostly, just get out there and apply. Guaranteed, two months after you start the new job, the headhunters will be after you.

You got this.

----- Dave

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On 1/25/2020 at 1:29 PM, scribblz said:

Hi pretty nerd,

First and foremost get on your own team! You got through nursing school, you passed the NCLEX and earned your nursing degree. You are not dumb. But you do sound discouraged and isolated, so kudos to you for reaching out here.

Prep work: You Tube effective interview strategies and practice your answers in front of the mirror. Smile with eye contact, firm brief handshake and take your cues on level of formality from your interviewer. Try to line up a letter of recommendation and a few professional references if possible. Update your resume, as an alum you can reach out to career services at your school for help with this. Sometimes librarians at your public library may as well.

Since you feel insecure about your clinical skills look for a place that will help foster the fundamentals. I would recommend looking up the survey scores and reviews for long term care facilities in your area. They often really need staff and are nowhere near as picky about lack of experience as more acute facilities. If possible pick a small family owned place if there are any near you.

The patients in those facilities will all need their HTN, DM, CHF, CKD etc. managed and will teach you time management to get your med pass and treatments done. But you'll have time to learn your people and tasks because of the repetitive nature of LTC. 

After a year or 2 of that you're good to go, SNF/rehab or home care whatever you want to do.

When I'm in a negative mental space I often look up TED talks relevant to my current issues, and I find them to be very comforting. Also cheaper than a therapist. Highly recommend walks in scenic outdoor spaces as another good way to get in a positive head space. You are enough. 

Hi Scribblz, I really appreciate your reply. Your words do give me encouragement. Thank you! You are completely right in that I do feel discouraged and isolated, like I said, I don't know anyone that I can reach out to for advice regarding nursing. So I find myself dealing with all this on my own, which is so hard. I appreciate this.

I think I will go back to SNF, this time work as a nurse. I was terrified when I got offered the job when I was a CNA at the SNF. But if I want to gain experience, i believe this is the best way to start. Thank you for the TED advice, I will definitely start watching some videos. Again, thank you for giving me the encouragement I needed 🙂

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On 1/26/2020 at 12:17 PM, ArmaniX said:

You need to quit with the pity party and stop placing blame on external problems (Cali’s fault, you have no friends/family). Continue that path and you’ll get no where in life. 
 

If you want to be a nurse, then go out and do it. For the majority of us, no one held our hand throughout life. Stop making excuses. 
 

I have been on my own since I was a teenager and had no one for support. Yet here I am after putting myself through an ASN/BSN/MSN and I’m doing it. No one is going to care about you more than you will. 

Hi. I'm sorry but I am not by any means throwing  myself a pity party. I don't want/don't need anyone to feel sorry for me. You said "for the majority of us, no one held our hand throughout life" but isn't it what these platforms are for? to ask for advice, give someone a "helping hand"? You said you've been on your own since you were a teenager, good on you, also sounds more like you are bragging. That's fine and all, but when someone is down and wants some type of encouragement, that kinda makes them feel worse. Instead, you could have explained WHAT you did to get yourself through hard times (if you had any). Just FYI, for any future post out there asking for advice, this was not the best answer.

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7 hours ago, nursex23 said:

I don't think your future is as bleak as you think it is. You just have to picture yourself in 5 years and what does that look like. If I were in your shoes, I would take a job at a SNF. I know it's not what you want to do but you need some experience. If you really like working with kids, you could try a school again but you need something to beef up your resume. Just know that it is 100% normal to feel incompetent when you are first starting out as a nurse. I thought it was such a unique feeling and I cried almost all the time. I couldn't sleep the night before I had work, I felt nauseous all the time. And then overtime those feelings went away. I would ask questions from the beginning at your new job. Anything you're unsure of, ask, learn and grow. This forum is a great resource for questions and support. 

 It sounds like that other LPN that liked to badmouth people may have been talking to management about you. Next time you are ever in a situation like that, anytime you hear someone badmouth someone else, don't participate and report it. Talk to management and stick to facts, quote the person as much as possible, and refrain from drawing conclusions about the person or badmouthing them back. What that does is it shows management that you are professional and able to view the situation objectively. It also paints a picture for management in the form of documentation to draw their own conclusions. That may have lead to a different outcome or it may not have. I wouldn't dwell on that but I would learn for the future. 

When you think about your 5 year plan, you may also want to think about if it includes getting your RN and your BSN. It opens up so many more doors so that you can find something that you really enjoy. Picture yourself at 35 with a BSN working at a clinic or at a school or whatever else you wish. You have a solid 3-5 years of valuable experience as a SNF nurse. You no longer feel incompetent or scared of being a nurse. You know that if you don't like something about a job, you have the experience and the education to find something that makes you happy. 

Keep your chin up PrettyNerd! You can definitely turn this around but it's 100% up to you. 

Hi Nursex23. Thank you so much for your reply. You gave me awesome advice, I think I should write myself a 5 year plan, and have it as motivation to keep going. I think I will take on a job at SNF. It seems like that is the best path to take just to get started. I do feel incompetent at times, especially since getting fired. I do want to eventually go back to school to get my RN, but I do want to gain some experience. Thank you again, for your encouraging words, this really does help 🙂

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1 hour ago, IEDave said:

Ookay...PrettyNerd, your story could've been written by me. Got my LVN license in May, 2017. Was fired TWICE, am currently on my 4th nursing job. Yep, it happens. Intellectually one of the top students, NCLEX-PN in 85 questions, yadda yadda yadda. Then...reality. I won't bother with the gory details, suffice to say that a co-worker described nursing as being in a parallel universe. They're absolutely right - check your preconceived notions at the door. In my case, after 5 months of feeling sorry for myself & wondering if I'd ever get this figured out - started applying and had a job in just under a month working in a group home with developmentally disabled kids/young adults. Then, got a call from a former co-worker from the second place I got fired from - they needed a nurse, bad. $6/hour salary increase with full bennies, much more forgiving management, and a goodly portion of the staff are from that other place (sounds like there was a real bloodbath over there).

So...it happens. I worked in IT for just under 25 years, so I've earned my chops in the employment world. In nursing, the rules are just different. Don't assume you're unhireable - you've got, what, 10 months on your resume? That'll work - just get out there and apply. A family owned SNF may be what you need, or hospice, or home health, or...mostly, just get out there and apply. Guaranteed, two months after you start the new job, the headhunters will be after you.

You got this.

----- Dave

Hi Dave. Wow, I am glad to hear I am not the only one with a similar journey. Thank you so much for sharing. This is really comforting to hear, I mean, it sucks that it happened to you and I, but I'm so happy to hear that things turn out and get better, this is not permanent. I will definitely get there and start applying anywhere I can. Thank you for the encouraging words 🙂

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428 Posts; 7,629 Profile Views

Since you’re in California, I am too- consider going to work at Satellite Healthcare as a PCT. You will learn SOOO much, make more than an LVN in most settings and get some confidence. Then, if you want, get your RN. Satellite gives $5,000.00 a year for education  to all employees, up to $20,0000.00

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