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I quit. Now what?

First Year   (166 Views | 1 Replies)
by K_RN18 K_RN18, ADN (New) New

364 Profile Views; 14 Posts

Hi everyone,

I am looking for advice that will hopefully shed some light on my situation...

I graduated with my ADN May of 2018, became licensed in July, and landed my first job about a year after. I officially started working Aug 2019. During my long and grueling search, I enrolled in my BSN and had only one class to complete it but I decided to put it on hold while I grasped my new role as an RN. Well, fast forward to January 2020 and I resigned from my job 😭.

The “new grad” program in which I was hired into was 8 weeks on a very busy and understaffed med surg/tele unit. The program basically consisted of attending lectures that discussed different topics such as patient satisfaction and nursing informatics. Not topics that necessarily would help us on the floor. For example, pathophysiology or clinical simulations etc. We also had to have a list of “skills” checked off. We didn’t necessarily have to perform or witness the skills to be checked off, we just needed to review it with our preceptor verbally. The rest of the time I was on the floor with a preceptor. I started on day shift and then I made the switch to night shift since I was hired for nocs. My day shift preceptor basically let me loose and offered little to no guidance..she would basically just answer questions when I needed something. I was up to two patients before I had to start night shift. Well, my first night my preceptor said I needed to take all four patients, handed me the phone, and proceeded to sit at the nurses station. She also offered little guidance and would simply answer questions as needed. Believe me, I would ask MANY questions because I wanted to make sure I was keeping my patients safe. During the entire time it felt like we were assigned difficult/heavy patients on purpose because their was two of us. Sometimes we would get two admissions at the same time and sometimes I would miss out on certain learning opportunities because we needed to split or “tag team” the patient care. I was obviously feeling very stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious but the feelings felt semi normal considering the situation and my new role. However, I started to notice that my preceptor would rush through certain things when I asked for guidance. It was like her main objective was to do things or explain things as fast as possible and move on. I ended up asking for more time on orientation because I felt like I needed more time to adjust and needed more guidance. They ended up just giving me a week (3 shifts) and it was basically the same. My preceptor sitting at the desk and answering questions. I obviously would advocate for my learning as much as possible but I would simply just get rushed. Before getting off orientation I learned that my preceptor was transferring to the ED because she felt that all she was doing was precepting. I actually overheard the charge nurse asking her to stay and my preceptor said “oh, for what? So I can keep precepting? Because that’s a lot of fun!” She was obviously being sarcastic. Not only did her comment make me feel like a nuisance but now it made sense why everything felt so rushed. She was just over it. Anyway, while I was going through orientation it felt like that’s just what I was given so I needed to make it work. NOW I know that it wasn’t what I needed..

Well, I started on my own and my stress level, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed heightened to a completely different level. I was basically drowning every single shift but I knew that my time management and prioritization would get better as time went by (or so I thought). *While on orientation it was something that I struggled with a lot* Once I was on my own I found myself asking a lot more questions and asking for a lot of help. I felt completely and utterly LOST, confused, and like I didn’t know what I was doing. My assignments progressively became more difficult, we were always understaffed, at times we wouldn’t have CNA’s and when we did have them, they would get pulled for sitting or we would just end up with one CNA for the biggest floor in the hospital. During this time our hospital also was changing a lot of equipment, adding and changing policies, and my list of learning modules just kept growing..I was constantly running behind and we hardly ever had a float nurse or break nurse. The charge would cover us during lunch. Sometimes we only had one charge versus the two that were needed. Again, we were the biggest floor in the hospital. I started to skip my lunches to try to catch up and I never took breaks. On top of it all, I was constantly leaving work late to catch up on charting. On my days off I would just dread going back to work, I couldn’t sleep, I wasn’t eating, I would cry ALOT and I just didn’t want to do anything but stay in bed. I was depressed, anxious, and hated work. I felt alone. 

 I finally cracked and I just wanted everything to stop so I quit🥺😭 I never ever thought I would be in this position. I worked incredibly hard to be a nurse and I wanted this job more than anything!! I tried to change my routine, use different work tools, I would go in an hour early to look up my patients, etc. It just felt like nothing that I was doing was helping my time management..I felt hopeless. I left my job feeling defeated and like maybe I’m not cut out for the hospital. Now I’m not sure what to do? I’m technically an old new grad and I’m afraid employers will not hire me because of it. I did take a two week break to get my mental health back on track (I started seeing a counselor) and now have pending applications for clinics. However, I’m having feelings of regret and I can’t help but think that I ruined my nursing career. I’m not sure if I should give hospital nursing another chance...maybe try day shift? A different hospital with a better new grad program? Or just change careers entirely 😞 

for reference I did work as a medical assistant in private practice for almost seven years and I didn’t have any problems in nursing school. Sure, clinicals made me nervous and the program was a CHALLENGE in every way imaginable but I didn’t face any moments where I questioned my career choice. I was motivated and excited to be a nurse and provide the best care possible! I graduated with A’s and B’s and was able to work part time while attending nursing school. Any input would be appreciated!! Thank you! 

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92 Posts; 1,257 Profile Views

I don't think you have ruined your nursing career! If you quit without notice you may have burned a bridge with that particular hospital or hospital system, but I'm sure you will be able in time find the right fit for you.

Lots of nurses get overwhelmed, and that first year is really hard without good support. Bedside nursing is hard, no matter how experienced you are. The expectations and patient loads are incredible.

Perhaps a smaller hospital, or something with a slower pace, less hours, a different shift, different acuity level will help you build confidence and your resume.

You will be okay! You can do this! Don't give up!

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