new grad is discouraged

Nurses General Nursing


I am a new grad and have recently begun working on a very overwhelming and "scarry" floor. I an discouraged because I interviewed at multiple hospitals and believed I had chosen the one that was right for me. This particular floor is a "total patient care" floor, where we usually only have one "tech" who is only able to get my vitals for me, if I'm lucky. We, the nurses, are responsible for doing most of the baths and other basic tech jobs. Management justifies this by only giving us 4-5 patients to start with in the morning. Unfortunately the administration of the hospital could care less that we are a total patient care floor and throughout the day they continuously send more patients to our floor. As a new grad I am on the verge of tears everyday that I work. I graduated at the top of my class and I did not work as hard as I did in school just to put my liscence in jepeordy everyday that I work. I am also very concerned about the care my patients receive because I feel like I am on the phone all day to doctors who expect me to be their personal secretary and to read the scribble they write for orders. They actually get offended when you call them to clarify an order, that without clarification may kill a patient. I often cry all the way home in my car, and it takes everything I have just to go back the next day. No wonder there is a nursing shortage, why would anyone want to work under these conditions?

Hi 5scaw. I agree with the previous posters. Some of the posters have written very eloquent comments. I think that if you want to stay in nursing, you feel nursing's for you, you are for nursing, you should find an objective mentor. I agree that you perhaps should consider looking for another job or perhaps work another shift that won't be as trying. Is there someone at work you can discuss your feelings with? If you decide to get out of bedside practice into a nontraditional area of nursing, most employers, at least in my area, want you to have around 2-3 years of clinical practice depending on what you apply for.

I'm curious, though. Did you work as an aide before or during your training? It seems as though that those who have posted that they were aides prior to becoming a nurse record the highest rate of adaptability to the realities of nursing. I stand corrected if I'm wrong. I applaud you for being at the top of your class in nursing school. I think that academic achievement is vitally important, because it can set the foundation for lifelong learning. But, I also think that it is important to have a realistic feel for what you're going to embark on. There should be a connection between learning and application. Many schools don't give you that, because they have graduation and state board passing rate quotas to meet.


This is my first time to post, but when I read your post I thought "That sounds exactly like me!" I was a new grad last year, moved 150 miles from home with two children (single parent) to take a job at a major hospital on a telemetry unit. I was so excited. Little did I know what the REAL world was like. We also practiced total patient care with no aides and were responsible for baths, toileting, as well as IVs, p.o. meds, and monitoring cardiac rhythms along with documentation, pulling arterial lines, you name it. Talk about being overwhelmed! I had never had a job where I absolutely dreaded going to work everyday. I was so scared for my patients and my license. We had anywhere from 5-6 patients each with always new admits and transfers so by the end of the day you may have a few more than you started out with. Well, I only lasted 4 months. I decided that if I dreaded it that much, it was time to get another job and get out. So that's what I did. I now work for a county health dept and love my job. I actually get to educate my patients and think of them as a whole person instead of as a condition/disease.

So my advice, is that if you absolutely dread going to work everyday so much that you get that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, start looking for another job. There are so many opportunities available right now esp willing to train new grads. Good luck in whatever you decide.


Greatness is not discovered in possessions, power, positin or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service and character.--William Arthur Ward

Beware the new grad trap! For the longest time when I first began working, I thought I was the problem. I think we were intimidated into not making waves because we were new grads and we didn't know anything anyway. There is a huge credibility gap between the ideals you learn in school and the reality of the hospitals. However, you come out of school knowing what is right and what is good for the patient. Unfortunately, you just can't apply it.

1.find yourself a mentor. 2.continue to put one foot in front of the other. 3. don't waste time complaining - you don't have any time to spare.4. prioritize. the bath is NOT your priority. 5. when you release your epinephrine and norepinephrine (fear, anger, and frustration will do that) you will then run faster but you will stop thinking all together. so stay calm. you always do the best you can do. beyond that, give it up.6. choose your attitude everyday cannot change anyone else's behavior.

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