I am questioning on if I chose the right career

by sguiler14 sguiler14 (New) New Nurse

Has 4 years experience.

I have been a nurse for about 2.5 years now(I've been in healthcare since 2008). I feel like I cannot find my place where I am happy and just fit in. My background:

My first job as an RN was a new grad on a med surg unit in a critical access hospital working nights. We also got to float to the er if they needed help. Well it started getting to the point where I would start having upwards of 8-12 patients(half high acuity) sometimes I would have an aide all shift or I wouldn't at all and other times the second nurse would get called to the er. So I was left with that many patients by myself doing meds and such. Well I reached out to my boss letting her know hey I need help at 2 am. She didn't care and called me back in 5 minutes, after telling me she would reach out to day shift to see if I can get help. She responds with well they can't but if you still need help let me know. She also lied about day shift possibility and stated it was by seniority. Mind you night shift had almost all new grads on it with nobody we could really reach out to. Needless to say I touched it out for about a year when I got offered a position with a primary care clinic working day shift.

I was working with a provider and she just would continually complain even when I would try my hardest. So I transferred to a different Dr in the office and it was going well until they pulled me off of that Dr since he needed to start working faster. Well I got put on phone triaging which was not bad at all but got draining being on the phone all day, pulling about 100 messages off the phone a day, calling them all back, etc. I also wound up having to stay almost an hour every day with that amount of volume. It just got to the point where it was a drain on my mental health and I couldnt take it anymore. So I was offered a position in express care where I currently am.

In express care I was hired to be a resource and float to the different clinics to help if a clinic got slammed busy. I loved it and then covid happened and now I am pushed into a leadership role. No expectations were set or talked to me about it so I just trucked along like I thought I was doing okay. I am constantly bombarded with patient complaints, issues, and other stuff. I thought I was doing well but Friday my boss and another woman who is head of the providers pretty much ripped me up and down for 40 minutes. They told me staff and providers don't respect me, staff hate working with me, they don't feel supported at all by me, they think I am just sitting there doing nothing, I disappear, etc. They did not tell me what I am doing right just that I am messing up. They also said to reach out to the nurses and providers and ask what I'm doing wrong and provided no type of advice to go on just that I need to figure it out. They also threw out that maybe this isn't the right place for me. Every day I come in staff are standoffish towards me, won't talk to me, etc. I have been busting my *** trying to make sure we get supplies, helping as much as I can, and it still feels like it's not good enough. I have also reached out to a few nurses I trust to be honest but they won't tell me how I can improve. Since my boss won't tell me what people are complaining about.

I just feel like maybe nursing was a bad choice or I'm not cut out for nursing.


llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 45 years experience. 13,469 Posts

It sounds to me as if your career has consisted of "odd" jobs -- not "average" jobs. Not everyone is cut out for management (especially with no training for it or support from your boss). So the fact that you couldn't slip right into your current management job shouldn't make you think that all of nursing is not for you.

Did you like working in the med/surg unit before it got crazy busy? Could it be that you simply worked in a grossly understaffed, lousy hospital and would have been satisfied if you had worked for a better hospital? That's a key question to figure out. When you left that job, you ended up in an outpatient role that you might not have been ready for. You may have needed more experience in med/surg to handle the independence, politics, and now leadership expectations.

What type of nurse did you want to be when you first chose to become a nurse? Have you had the opportunity to try such a job to see if you would like it?


speedynurse, ADN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU. 542 Posts

In all honesty, I would think a critical access hospital would be tough for a new grad because often there are very few resources and when things happen....well.....it can be a lot to handle. I see how that could be a tough job.

Also - not everyone wants to be in management or a leadership role. That’s OK. I have met wonderful nurses that have no desire to be in any role but bedside nursing because that’s what they are happy in.

Do you want to do inpatient care or outpatient care? What are you interested in? There are plenty of nurses that have a hard time finding their niche then find the perfect job for them.