New Grad burnout or Do I just need time to adjust?

by denicola.c (New) New

Hi guys,

I'm a licensed, working RN who graduated in May with my ASN. I recently accepted a job working with special needs kids. I'm also continuing for my bachelor degree which is another 2 years.

Right now my schedule is jam packed, and I feel like my manager is still trying to cram shifts in. I'm really scared of becoming burnt out. I LOVE my job, but with school and commuting it's really taking a toll on me- and it's only been two weeks.

I have a two hour commute (round trip) for school three times a week. Two of those days, right after my class, I run to work a short 3 hour shift. I'm usually home by 7pm, but at that point I'm starving, exhausted, and mentally fried. Two of the other remaining days of the week I'm working 8 hour shifts. I'm also going to be starting another 8 hour shift, leaving me with essentially half a day off (since I have clinicals that day). The remaining day I have to be on campus from 9 am to 7 pm because its the only way I could fit the class in.

It doesn't seem like a lot, its really only 25-30 hours a week, but combined with school I really don't know if I can handle it. I see friends during my classes, but my boyfriend goes to a different school and frankly I'm not sure how much I'm going to be able to see him with his schedule- I really don't want to jeopardize our relationship just because of my busy schedule. I'm very introverted so it takes a toll on me when I'm around people all day at school or work and don't have time to just sit with myself so to speak.

I'm torn because although I still live with my parents so I don't really have to work a lot, I still want to so I can gain experience. I have massive driving anxiety that developed due to a car accident after I had made the decision to work and commute to school, so that also really upsets me, specifically when I'm driving after dark. I don't know whether I should suck it up and try to adjust for a few more weeks, or talk to my manager, or drop a class or something. I don't want to fall behind with school work either. I'm just at a loss of what to do.

If I do talk to my manager, I'm very shy and a huge pushover so I have a really hard time saying no, like most grads. I just don't know what to say. I would feel really uncomfortable asking if I could drop a shift because they hired me to work, so... If anyone has any kind of advice I'd love to hear what you have to say! Thanks!


Specializes in Hospital medicine; NP precepting; staff education. Has 21 years experience. 1 Article; 2,077 Posts

You said that you have a hard time saying no, and I get it. I'm very much one who likes to please. But your well-being and success as a nurse and student must find a balance.

Cut back your hours, only pick up extra if you can (like you're on a break between semesters) and take care of YOURSELF. You won't be any good to anyone else if you don't participate in self-care.

(I should know, I worked myself into an ulcer and insomnia.)