losing to nursing


I'm still a pretty new nurse, in that I started my first hospital job a few months ago after working in a nursing home for about a year. I'm proud that I was able to get off orientation on a busy tele floor, but like every newish nurse I'm always feeling stupid and inadequate. The other night I got scolded by the supervisor for not transferring a patient off the floor fast enough. It was a terribly busy night and all the nurses had 6 pts. I felt like everything kept going wrong. I was in the middle of my med pass so I thought I'd finish before leaving the floor because I figured I would end up staying after change of shift to finish up everything if I just dropped everything and transferred the patient before anything else. I still ended up staying past shift another hour to finish up. I learned my lesson from the whole ordeal but it just felt crappy being scolded over the phone by the supervisor like that. I'm worried what's going to happen if/when she mentions it to my manager.

On top of that, I'm introverted and don't feel comfortable chit chatting and getting to know co workers when I'm at work. When I'm done I like to get out as fast as possible instead of lingering around making small talk/gossiping, etc. I've never been one to be loud and talk about myself or come up with funny interesting things to say that make people think I'm a likeable person. I'm generally awkward in my interactions with people. Im trying to engage with others and help out when I can to some extent so I avoid being alienated, but it's hard and i feel it adding to my stress. I feel fake? I find it hard enough trying to build rapport with my patients...

When I compare myself to other nurses, I feel like I do a crappy job. I know I'm new but there are things I don't do that I know I should but I just feel like I don't have the time sometimes so screw it. Trying to always do the right thing is starting to get tiring. And when I don't I feel even more like crap. Most of the time I feel I don't like nursing enough to do an amazing job. Always just 'good enough'.

I thought I liked the learning aspect of nursing, but when I go home I want to do everything else but study/improve my knowledge base. How can I make a career out of this the way I am now? I know I don't want to stay at the bedside forever, and am really staying for the experience, but I feel like I don't like nursing enough to pursue additional study/training/experience so I can do something else? I can't tell if this is just new nurse blues and I need to give it time or if I really don't like people enough to do this so I should just find some other field entirely to go into. I don't know. I'm lost.

not even sure what I expect by posting this here. Maybe just wanted to post my feelings that I haven't been able to express honestly to other nurses because I feel kind of ashamed? Ashamed im not like other shiny brimmering new nurses who are loving it. I suppose I should just be happy that I have a job and can support myself...

vanilla bean

861 Posts

I'm sorry that I don't have any sage words of wisdom for you. I'm new to nursing myself so I can understand where you're coming from. Hoping that just putting it out there and getting that off your chest will help somewhat. Wishing you the best and sending ((hugs))

Lev, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency - CEN. Has 7 years experience. 9 Articles; 2,802 Posts

Don't compare yourself to the other nurses because until you get the hang if it you will fall short. In general, if you have a sick patient, that patient is your priority and you should get them transferred to ICU/wherever ASAP. Don't worry about doing everything, just do the most important things. Your charge nurse can step in to help with med passes. The supervisor may not even mention it to your manager but if she does just accept responsibility and say you will make sure it never happens again. Be easier on yourself. You cant expect to be perfect..that goes for ever, but especially at the beginning. Also, not chit chatting with your coworkers can only be beneficial to you right now. Just smile and be friendly.


51 Posts

thanks for your responses...it's been such a mixed bag so far. Nights that really stress me out and i feel like crying, but then I learn something new and it gets better even if just a little bit. I used to be so anxious when I first started and I still do sometimes but it is getting less daunting as time passes. every experience I felt was awful and had thoughts of 'why me? why is this happening??' I learned something from and has made me stronger in a way? I guess I'm getting a better sense of what is a critical situation and what is not and what I have to do. So as terrible as I feel at the time I come in with a little less fear the next shift...

I'm getting more comfortable with not knowing everything while in the process of knowing more things...if that makes any sense.. And you're right i have to stop comparing myself. some nights just reaaaally make me feel like quitting, but I can't afford to do that. Staffing issues of course always makes things rougher on top of being new..but anyway, I have to make this work..and just learn to deal better.

Edited by tuxedopenguino


Has 2 years experience. 14 Posts

I just want to say I understand a lot of what you're feeling. I'm a newish nurse too, working at a hospital for the first time after being a nurse for 2 years. Sometimes I just feel very overwhelmed. But I hear it gets easier :) we'll just have to keep at it till it does.