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6 Months into Position: Overworked, Burnt out, & Considering leaving Inpatient

by RNest2019 RNest2019 (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Neuro Med-Surg, Stroke-care certified.

Hello fellow nurses,

I am looking for some guidance and advice. I am a new RN (graduated in December, 2019). I got my first nursing job on a neuro med-surg floor that specializes in stroke care. For the first 3 months my unit was a full COVID unit. Since July my unit has transitioned back to their normal patient population (although we seem to be moving back to COVID as of now..) 

While I absolutely love the staff I work with, I find myself to be so unhappy on my unit. My long term goal is to work in the women's health sphere - specifically surrounding prenatal, & post-birth care/education. I am now about 6.5 months into my position and I am miserable. My unit has become consistently short the past month and I go into work expecting to be asked to stay late. I have a rotating day to evening schedule and my manager constantly gives me more evening shifts when compared to my coworkers. I feel that I am never able to have a good work-life balance and it is affecting my mental health. I also get calls on my off weekends to come in, and I have started to just ignore these calls for some peace of mind. I do good work on my unit, and have received recognitions, but I just do not feel happy here.

I knew that I would not want to stay on this neuro med-surg unit long term, but I am struggling with the idea of staying. I kept telling myself that I just needed to get over the hump of being a new RN and then I would be able to tough out a few years on my unit. I do recognize that I am learning so much on my unit and that I am lucky to have staff RN's that are so supportive of me, but I'm at the point where I force myself to go into work everyday.

I love the parts of my day that are spent educating my patients and speaking with them. Unfortunately, since my unit has been consistently short as of recently, I feel that I cannot spend a thorough amount of time educating or building relationships with my patients. It feels like I constantly moving from task to task.

I have begun to very strongly consider office nursing. The ability to have the time to focus on educating my patients and more consistent scheduling options is appealing to me. I am unsure of how to best go about that process as I moved to a new state where I do not readily have personal connections. If anyone has words of encouragement or advice, I would be grateful to hear it.


Specializes in Med-Surg/Tele. Has 2 years experience.

I felt exactly the same way as you 6 months into nursing and stuck it out for the whole year from advice that it would be hard to find a job otherwise.

Two things I learned from this was I’m so glad I stuck it out, because with all that stress and time I became more confident and increased critical thinking and time management skills. The second thing I learned was while gaining all that I had, was the stress worth it? I sometimes wish I had applied to other jobs to at least see what was out there instead of listening to people say you won’t find anything with only 6 months of experience. There’s no harm in applying and you don’t have to take the job, but who’s to say you won’t find your “dream job.” Teaching hospitals (at least near me) are notorious for hiring no matter your experience.

No job is worth your mental health.

10/10 recommend following wholelifenurse on insta. She just spoke to this topic today and always seems to be there with the right advice when it’s needed.

good luck!