New RN Thinking About Quitting?

Nurses New Nurse


Hey guys!

I am desperately looking for help. I need some sort of opinion/advice on what to do. Sorry if this gets lengthy, but here we go:

I am a brand-new RN. I graduated in the middle of May and I began my current nursing job towards the end of June. I work at a very busy, very well respected level 1 trauma hospital in a large city. I work in a trauma/transplant PCU where we have 2-3 patient's per nurse. We do not have techs or aids on the floor, so we are responsible for the patient's total care. I had 10 weeks of orientation and have been on my own for about 10 shifts.

The truth of the matter is that everytime I'm at work, I'm continuously thinking about how long until my shift is over. It's like I have a mental countdown in my head. I dread having to go to the hospital and I have to force myself to get ready. I do work nights, but truthfully this isn't the problem. I don't mind nights, which shocks me.

I've been very homesick recently and thought a lot about moving back home, but I'm worried what everyone will think about me. Doesn't it look horrible to quit a job 3-4 months after you start it? I'm worried about being able to find another job, but the truth of the matter is that I don't think bedside nursing is for me. When my phone rings, I want to run and hide. I don't know if this is because I'm new and uncomfortable or if this is because I am not cut out for the hospital life.

It's gotten to the point that I'm constantly thinking about work when I'm not at work. I've been trying to find a solution to this problem, but I can't figure out what the right answer is. It's even been preventing me from sleeping because I can't turn my brain off. I called off a day last week because I just needed a break. I worked 56 hours the week previously and was physically and mentally exhausted.

My hometown is 3.5 hours away and I moved to my current city for this job. I miss my family a lot and my friends. I truthfully do not have many friends here and tend to spend my days off in solitude at my house. I'm bored, lonely, and unhappy.

Do I try to stick out the year? If I quit before the year is up, will future employers not want to hire me because of this?

Any and all advice is helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

Why did you work 56 hours in one week? Was that required? Or did you pick up those extra shifts voluntarily? That much works leads to exhaustion, depression and burnout. It may be one of the major reasons you are feeling so negatively about your job now. If at all possible, you need to stop working that many hours. Don't work more than 40 per week unless you absolutely have to in order not to be fired. If you are forced to work more than 40 in anything other than an unusual emergency, then you should be looking for a new job.

Yes, it would look bad for you to leave your job at this point ... and while you don't have to stick it out for a full year, you should stick it out for a while longer if you can. And from what you said about your excessive work hours, it sounds as if there are a few things you can do NOW to make things a little better for yourself. Try to improve your situation where you are first and see if that helps. Have you made any friends? Do you have any social life? Or at least activities that you enjoy outside of work?

Finally ... do not quit this job until you have another job all lined up and confirmed. Secure the other job before quitting so that you don't end up jobless with only a short-term "failure" on your record.

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology.

llg, there are a lot of workplaces where the "40 hour week" is an average, calculated over several weeks. For example, the collective agreement in place between employer and employee in Alberta says, "Regular hours of work for full-time employees, exclusive of meal periods are: (i)7.75 hours per day; and (ii)36.81 hours per week averaged over one (1) complete cycle of the shift schedule." Elsewhere the agreement spells out that a "complete cycle" shall not be longer than 12 weeks. Scheduling allows for "not more than six (6) consecutive scheduled days of work" in one spot and "not more than seven (7) consecutive scheduled days of work to occur not more than once in a four (4) week cycle." Schedules produced for Alberta Health Services via a third party are notoriously unbalanced, and are crafted to meet the letter of the law, without consideration for the frailties of humans. So it isn't necessarily in the nurse's control how many hours a week s/he works.

The reason i worked

so many hours last week was because I was time changed the previous week. My floor had low censuses and now because im new i am not eligible to float to the rest of the hospital just yet. So I worked 4 12 hour shifts, had a 4 hour class, a staff meeting and a meeting with my educator last week.

Truthfully, I have not made any friends yet and I don't have a social life here. Everyone on my floor is very nice and helpful, but I don't hang out with any of them outside of work.

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

You may have been forced to work an excessive number of hours last week -- but it's still not a good thing and is probably at least partly responsible for why you feel bad now. Hopefully, you will soon be off orientation and having fewer classes, educator meetings, etc. Try to avoid working so many hours in one week when you can. When that happens, you can start planning a few pleasant activities for your personal life that will help you feel better, too.

Try not to just quit your current job without having another job lined up. It's much easier to get a job when you already have one. If you quit your current job without having another one lined up, you could end up with a long period of unemployment that will only make it harder to get a good job while it cripples you financially.

Good luck with whatever you decide -- but if it were me, I would be trying to make my current situation a little better while starting to look for a new job to move into if things don't improve.

Specializes in NICU.

sorry you are lonely ,have no friends in new place.

Try to hang in there,focus on completion for your work than the exit time.I have worked with some that would count down the hours and it was more helpful for me to ignore that pressure and concentrate on other tasks.There is always something new to learn.

Specializes in Med-Surg., LTC,, OB/GYN, L& D,, Office.

Loneliness and homesickness are strong wedges to place between your physical and psychological well-being and your work ethic. The distraction is weighing on your level of concentration and after time will definitely erode your commitment to your position. Is there any family able to visit for brief blocks of time? Truthfully, it sounds to me as if you're going to have to gather your wits and pull out of your current doldrums. Better to allow some slack, and de-stress your living condition, so you can think more clearly about your next steps forward.

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired.

If you miss your family, then go back home. BUT, if you can get another position closer to home, do it before you quit this one. I'd also try to stick to this job for another couple of months. You might feel better about this job just knowing that you've made a decision to leave and this is only temporary. NEVER do a 56 hr week again. Nursing alone is stressful enough and then, put on top of that being a home-sick new grad. Gotta take better care of your physical and mental health if you are going to last the long haul.

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