New grad could use some advice.


Hey everyone,

I have been tossing around this idea in my head for the past 2 weeks and figure some input via this site couldn't hurt.

So heres the situation.

I am in my first year of being an RN. I currently work in CCU, did 4 months of orientation and have been on my own for 1 month. It's not terrible, the staff is really helpful, but I just feel so stressed and working 330a-4p is beginning to wear on me. I fear that one day I'm going to screw up or miss something and it's all going to go south. I love the learning and the challenge, but sometimes its too much and the stress just wears on me (even on my days off). I suppose I can sum it up as a love/hate relationship.

My wife is a nurse too (woot!), and she just got a job in Home healthcare with the organization we work for. During her interview they asked what I did, she told them I was a nurse, and they asked if I was interested in home healthcare too, as they have a few husband/wife couples. The HHC dept is expanding so they have available positions, and I'm sure I could get a job there if I applied. Thinking it over, I would love to do this for the following reasons.


-My wife and I would be on the same schedule, (Yay! We're still newlyweds and sometimes don't get to/barely see eachother for 2-3 days because of work)

-Work 1 weekend every six weeks.

-I would end up making more in that position.


-Wouldn't have to worry the day before about falling asleep on time, let alone the stress tomrrow brings.

-The agency is centered about 7 miles from my house.


-Wear and tear on car (which, my car is pretty reliable, so not a real issue)

-Driving alot

-Working 5 days a week (Though I enjoy the thought of starting later and having nights off, plus my current unit has scheduled overtime, making us come 4 days in a week, even if just for 4 hours)

I have only been on my unit for 5 months now and only 1 month off of orientation. I know it cost alot to train nurses and I dont want to just up and leave my unit after 6 months (since you need to be there for 6 months to transfer), but I just feel that doing HHC is a better fit for my life, wife, and lifestyle.

So, with that all in mind, do you think it would be bad to leave my unit after 6 months?

I imagined critical care to really be my thing, but as time goes by I just feel less and less dedicated to the area, and would much rather have more time to spend with my wife and volunteer with my church.

Plus in HHC it seems you get more time to spend with the patient, and that patient isn't on the brink of some life-changing medical event.

I guess this ended up being more of a vent/clearing of the head (I have more to type, but I suppose i'll leave the post where it is).

Thanks for reading, and any advice is welcomed.


10 Posts

its my first year too, but i am still searching for job even though i love cardiology and i have an interview on a cardio unit sometimes next week, i am beginning to feel the same way you feel, i am already thinking how overwhelming it will be for me but i am keeping my fingers crossed.Definitely i think and this is my opinion that home health care is better, less stress, less hours but more money and more time for yourself and family.


1 Post

maybe try and get at least your full year in acute care first. It seems that home health will always be an option. And I think every nurse feels overwhelmed their first year or two working. Ask around your unit...Also curious if your wife worked in a hospital first or went straight to hh? Being on your own as a home health nurse is a lot of responsibility in the fact that there are no other nurses around to help out and give advice as needed. Im a new grad, and have been told by nurses to hold off on home health until you have lots of experience bc they know of new nurses goin into HH field only to lose their licencse bc theres not a floor full of nuses to help out with things that they may not be familiar with. Just a thought. I am super nervous about working in acute care, so I can only imagine the stress..good luck:)

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Congratulations on your (obviously happy) new marriage! This should always be your very first priority in life - jobs will come and go.

Have you spoken to your current boss and expressed your concerns? You're right, it is expensive to train a new nurse - s/he may agree to a change of shift for you rather than lose you altogether.

Home care is often a refuge for critical care nurses. We tend to like the independence and are very comfortable managing communication with the physician. But, home care also has down sides.... tons of paperwork, travel, pay-per-visit rather than full time with benefits, etc. Make sure that they have a comprehensive training program - it is a very unique specialty with many differences from acute care. Don't let them hornswoggle you on reimbursement either.... see if you can get them to pay for your mileage. If not, track all of your care expenses to report as a tax deduction.


4 Posts

Thanks for the responses. My wife has been an extern on her floor for two years, and worked as an RN for almost 2 years now. As for me, I worked as an aid for a year, worked as an extern in the ED for a year, and now have my 5 months at the CCU.

The training for HHC is 6 weeks, and its full time, they reimburse you .50/mile, and its a pay per visit with full time benefits.

Anyways, this weekend I am trying out 2 4P-4A shifts and will see how that all works out.

What I imagine will probably happen is I will wait till my wife starts in HHC, get the inside scoop of how it is, and then make my decision from there. She doesn't start for another month, so if I try to transfer I'll have been on my unit for around 7-8 months, or I'll just stick it out for a whole year.

Thanks for the input!