Maybe it was a big mistake to be a nurse :(


I just graduated in May and have been working Med-surg at a community hospital. I got my RN/BSN b/c I wanted to help people. I took a med-surg job b/c I was told that you need 1 year of med-surg.

It's a magnet hospital and the people are great, but I hated med-surg in school and I hate it again now.

I'm realizing that being a bedside hospital RN is not the place for me. I get so stressed out (even though I have lots of support on my orientation) and I cry every day and I have to force myself to get out the door in the morning b/c I'm just dreading another day of it.

I liked my Psych preceptorship in school, and the psychiatric hospital were I worked as a mental health worker has said they would like to have me there as an RN - but DH is worried I'll get attacked by my patients again like when I was a MHW there.

I love the elderly so I though maybe working in a nursing home instead? What does an RN do there?

Does anyone have any advice for me on what I could do that would utilize my education but doesn't involve crazy amounts of stress (emotional and physical)?

I'm so upset right now :sniff: Thanks for any advice you have for me.

BelleKat, BSN, RN

1 Article; 284 Posts

Specializes in CVICU, Burns, Trauma, BMT, Infection control. Has 36 years experience.

Oh NewYorkGirl,I'm sorry you're having a hard time.If you are having such a hard time in Med/Surg then it's obviously not the place for you and that's alright.There are many other areas in nursing that could use your training and expertise. A rehab facility would be a good place I think I'm actually thinking of making that change myself because I can't physically do the 12 hour shift in the acute care setting anymore and the stress is ridiculous.

There are many other places others who respond to this will bring up hopefully I just wanted to say please don't give up,M/S or even acute care isn't for everyone. Hang in there girl!:balloons:


44 Posts

Specializes in Home Health, Psyc, OR.

I think that if you are dreading going to work everyday it is time for a change! There are so many areas in nursing that you can go into, don't be discouraged. Everyone has their areas that they love and dislike. I suggest trying something different. I work at a psychiatric hospital, there have been times when we have been attacked at work but someone is always there asap to help. I don't think you should let that keep you from trying out psyc if that is what you want to do. There is nothing wrong with trying different things to see what you like. Good luck to you!

Specializes in OR Nursing Internship.

Hi there,

I don't know if this will help but I'm in the same boat as you. I just quit my job yestarday in the Operating Room because it was too stressfull for me. I had to know every area of the OR like cardiac, general, vascular, orthopedics and neuro. It was highly technical and I felt that if I got off orientation I would be unsafe. Rather than risk my license and be unhappy I decided to leave. I think if you do what makes you happy things will work out. I think that if you like mental health than what could it hurt?? If you really hate what you are doing how will you feel a year from now? I think many people will tell you to stick it out...but I'm in the boat that you only live once and make decisions based on yourself. I'm looking into a floor nursing position b/c I really missed having patient interaction.

casi, ASN, RN

2,063 Posts

Specializes in LTC. Has 3 years experience.

Go back to pysch if it makes you happy. No matter where you work you run the risk of working with violent patients. I've been hit, kicked, pinched, etc when working in med-surg and with the elderly.

Just keep yourself as safe as you can and make sure you have good co-workers to back you up.

RaspberryTX, RN

117 Posts

I would give psych a try. My mom loves being a psych nurse. And for the record, she too hates med/surg


59 Posts

I agree with the above post - don't be afraid to try psych if that's what you want to do. There are no guarantees anywhere in health care that someday you won't get into a situation where you can be hurt. You could be helping someone who is having a seizure and be accidently struck. Floor nursing is very stressful especilly for new nurses or nurses with only 1 or 2 years experience. You have many opportunities in nursing - you are not limited to something you dislike. Good luck.


28 Posts

Being a new nurse can be very scary. One transitions from the safety of guided classroom lessons and months of theory into the chaos of real life. You suddenly realize that what you do or say or forget to do or say could result in the death (worst case scenario) of a patient.

That said, it does not necessarily mean you were not meant to be a nurse. Analogize this transition with that of becoming a parent. Being in nursing school is similar to nine months of dreaming and idealizing baby and parenthood. The birth itself is an individual experience that is what it is despite the preparation. But no matter the pain of the birth, it is the people around you, assisting the birth process every minute of the way, that ease you and baby into the next stage of your lives together. Parenting begins and you will always have discovery moments along the way that you never knew could be as awesome or as tiring or as (blank) as it is at that moment. You grow as a human being. You grow as a parent. Your infant grows toward adulthood. Your family grows into a community.

And so on...

Before you throw out the baby with the bathwater...sorry, couldn't help myself :rolleyes: ... why did you decide to become a nurse? What were your life experiences that made you decide nursing would be your path to help people? What specifically had your past experiences been that made you see yourself doing something other than what you are doing now? That said, it is important that you discuss your concerns with your supervisor. You stated the people you work with are great, so hopefully you can find someone to discuss this with and find other options.

Right now you are like Dorothy in the land of Oz wearing the ruby slippers. 1. You are the envy of many with your BSN. 2. You live in New York. 3. (Guessing) You are young with lots of room to grow!

Yes, there are many other options to pursue as an RN. I also know that only you can determine what will work for you and be compatible with your true interests and dreams. Other people are not mind readers and cannot give you answers until you know what direction you want to pursue. Don't panic. Don't dread the day. Try to listen through the fears.

Nursing homes are hard work, too. Less supplies, less staff, more on you. Tons of paperwork, less computer friendly than hospitals.

Perhaps you could do some research online and interview nurses who are doing work in a field that holds interest for you. Try to define specifically what you like and don't like about nursing, focus on the like part, and go for what you want. "Everyone sez" only holds water when everyone has a paddle on the same boat. Only you hold the key to knowing what skills you want to use and grow and that, NewYorkGirl, is called power.



89 Posts

Specializes in neurology.

I don't think that I ever expected med-surg to be different, I just somehow thought that I wouldn't hate it like I did in school. Dumb, I know.

The situation feels hopeless right now. I'm dreading going to work tomorrow.

I got my weekly evaluation today and my supervisor said "Your assessment skills and charting are great, and you're really good with interacting with the patients. But hospital nursing isn't for everyone. I can see how stressed you are. I'd hate to lose you, but if you did decide to resign then you should know I'd give you a glowing recommendation".

Sounds like they're asking me to quit, right? Well, I'm ready. :banghead:

Specializes in LTC.

I'm an aide in LTC, just my :twocents:...I got my CNA certification because it was a required pre-req for the nursing program...I worked at fast food and then Wal-Mart...Wal-Mart was ONLY part time and I really NEEDED full time work in order to live comfortably...So a friend offered me a job in a nursing home as an aide...I figured eh what do I have to lose?? So I took the job...AND hated it. Seriously...I'd dread going into work every day, I'd dread the call lights, I was scared they'd want something that was hard for me to do...I really couldn't leave, or I felt I couldn't. So I stuck it out. 3 years later and I'm still there. I do enjoy my job now. I took some time off from school (I had a baby)...I am going to continue working there as I start another year of pre-reqs. Maybe give it a little while longer and if you continue to dislike it then go elsewhere.

Specializes in ED, ICU, Heme/Onc.

What about combining your two interests and finding a geri-psych unit? I imagine that there would be more hands on/ADL type care with this population, but it just might be where you belong.

Good luck with whatever you decide. For your husband's peace of mind, at least in a psych unit there are procedures in place for staff protection. In a med/surg setting, a violent patient attacking staff would be way more unexpected.


FlyingScot, RN

2,016 Posts

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.
I got my weekly evaluation today and my supervisor said "Your assessment skills and charting are great, and you're really good with interacting with the patients. But hospital nursing isn't for everyone. I can see how stressed you are. I'd hate to lose you, but if you did decide to resign then you should know I'd give you a glowing recommendation".

Sounds like they're asking me to quit, right? Well, I'm ready. :banghead:

No. It sounds like you have a great manager who cares a lot about you and wants you to be happy and successful in your nursing career. It also sounds like she is paying attention to you as a person and is worried that your stress level is too high. She is giving you the "out" some people need to make a smart decision and not stay in a place that makes them unhappy. She clearly thinks that you, as a person, are far more important than the money invested in your orientation and the problem of having to replace you. Be glad that you have had the experience of working under such a person. They are few and far between.

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