Newly Qualified RN - and already want out?

  1. So I have literally just graduated as a paediatric nurse, and have a job lined up on a neonatal ward. I went for 2 jobs and got both of them which i had to choose from.

    So to get down to my topic, I enjoyed being a student but always felt like the nursing profession wasn't for me. I am perfectly capable clinically and have always had good feedback from mentors and tutors, but I just don't feel like the profession is for me (baring in mind a lot of you will say "it's different when you're not a student") but during my last placement I basically was... I would always have 2 HDU patients of my own which no one would involve themselves in. The factors of not wanting to venture further into this career come down to a few issues - health wise (always find myself very run down, my anxiety has spun out of control, depression, deterioration in my asthma) and shift work (missing out on events, family gatherings and seeing my partner). This mind sound petty to others, but I hate the thought of missing out on the joys of life just for a job that I'm not that enthusiastic about.

    I'm constantly online reading articles of people in similar situations and I'm always thinking of other careers that will give me a more structured time table that I can plan things around, rather than never knowing exactly when I'm going to be working.

    I know a lot of my reasons are for selfish reasons - but as cliche as it sounds, you only live once and I want to enjoy the time I do have!

    What other careers have any of you ventured into after nursing if you have felt the same way? I'm very good with organisation and communicating with others - so even a admin/secretarial job would suffice.

    Thank you for ready
  2. Visit rose_11 profile page

    About rose_11

    Joined: Oct '13; Posts: 4


  3. by   JeniferK-AlterEgo

    Your post did not specifically mention how long you have been on the job, justthat you are relatively new to nursing, are feeling unsupported, stressed, andfrustrated. This phenomenon has been studied at length, at least in partto address nurse retention. I think you might be experiencing the samething. Novice nurses have to adjust to a lot of things. Youfind out that nursing is not quite what you imagined it would be. Youhave to fit into a new work culture that seems to love the "sink orswim" attitude toward new nurses. Management seems to throw you intothe deep end of the pool as soon as orientation is finished. Youworked hard in school, learned a lot, but now it feels like you barelyknow anything. Confidence crumbles, and around 6 months into the job youare wondering if it was all a big mistake. I experienced this as a newnurse, too. I bounced from job to job, looking for the right specialty,the right fit, the right hospital where I would feel at home. Ittook years for me to realize that the problem was just that I needed timeto adjust from novice to intermediate. If I could offer the followingsuggestions:
    1. Talk to your manager about how you are feeling. Use specificwords like overwhelmed and stressed. Tell him/her you think you wouldbenefit from having a mentor.
    2. Find your own mentor. Choose someone with at least 5years on the job that you feel comfortable talking to and asking forhelp. An older, seasoned nurse who helps others even when he/she is busywill be a good bet. Nurses can be vicious back-stabbing gossips, and somenursing units can make you feel like you are back in high school. So Isuggest you avoid asking the fake-friendly nurses to be your mentor. If you find a mentor, be sure to show respect. Listen, be polite,and work hard. (Generational differences can make communicationdifficult.)
    3. Do something about expanding your knowledge base in yourspecialty. Nursing school was just the beginning. The more youunderstand, the more confident you will feel in your decisions andabilities. Everyone makes mistakes and feels anxious from time totime. Recognize those times as opportunities to improve so it doesn'thappen again. Join a nursing website for your specialty. Subscribe to a magazine. Start studying for certification.
    4. Find a way to de-stress. You need to have at leastone nurse friend you can ***** to about work (privately). Youneed a physical outlet that makes you happy. Run or work out if that isyour thing. Plan fun things to do with family and friends on yourtime off. This should help you recharge your emotional batteries andfulfill your need for acceptance and connection. It doesn't matter if youdon't think you have time, do it anyway and you will be surprised. Flopping on the couch when you get home or grinding through themillion-things-to-get-done will just add to the feelings of guilt,pressure, loneliness, and failure.
    5. As far as choosing a new career... if you feel you don't enjoythe patient interaction, you might be right to make a change. Patientsare not always pleasant. Their prognosis is often sad. Familymembers can be difficult. But don't decide today. Give it two years- the time will pass quickly. If you still feel the same way you do now,then make the change. Just remember that you will probably haveto go through the same adjustment process and deal with the same feelingsduring your first year on the job.

    Good luck!

  4. by   rose_11
    @JeniferK-AlterEgo Thank you so much for your response, everything you said I totally agree with (if i was a nurse who actually wanted to do the job). I've done my 3 years of university which I was on a clinical placement a majority of the time where I didn't even have time to take holidays off.

    I might be sounding completely lazy, but I'm already burnt out on the long hours, nights and weekends when i could be spending those times with my friends, family and partner (who is very supportive).

    It's not really got anything to do with feeling anxious about the job in hand, and being in a clinical environment because I'm not afraid to ask for help ect I just don't really enjoy it anymore. I just feel like i'd much prefer a Mon-Fri 9-5 job, or working in a school environment which I've done previously.

    I'd love if someone who has moved from nursing to a "desk job" could give their opinons as well
    Last edit by rose_11 on Oct 10, '13 : Reason: I can't even bare the thoughts of being a nurse for another 2 years, that actually makes me feel physically ill
  5. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    You mention working in a school environment previously. What about work as a school nurse? I'm a new grad who never wanted to work in the hospital environment. I work 7:30-4:30 M-F 10 months a year. Summers are mine, weekends are mine, holidays are mine. I leave my job behind at 4:30. I love the kids. Money is not the same (at all), but the trade-off is worth it. I get to education my patients and truly get to know them, which it what I really enjoy.
  6. by   MommyandRN
    I've been there and have felt the same way. Multiple times over the years. But I say you don't have to leave nursing. Not every nursing job is 12 hour night shifts on holidays. Also, of those that are, some have 4 week staffing patterns so that you can predict your schedule for a year or more. There are also many per diem jobs (or pool or relief, same thing). You choose your own schedule and don't get benefits. There are so many options for 9-5 jobs in nursing... you don't have to switch careers. Look into case management, research, home care. Try substitute school nursing.
  7. by   rose_11
    Thank you both for your suggestions... I have thought of going into school nursing or health visiting (which means having to return to university to do a masters degree) as i'd like to get away from the clinical side of things and be more of a teacher/guidance than hands on health care. I like the thoughts of 9-5 mon-fri and summers off though as i can plan a lot easier for family and with my partner.
  8. by   Forest2
    Home Health care nurses still work weekends and holidays and are on call. When on call it is for 24 hours, so you may have a patient call you at 2 am to come and see them. That is why I am leaving home care, I am tired of the hours.
  9. by   HouTx
    Sounds as though OP is not in the US, right?

    But I have a question.... why did the OP pursue nursing if she only wants to work "office hours"? Healthcare is a 24X7X365 business. Nursing students in the US are informed from 'day one' about the work environment that they will be dealing with. It seems very odd that anyone would slog along for multiple years, putting in all that effort just to meet the requirements for a job that she did not want in the first place.
  10. by   rose_11
    Because people change and get older over 3 years, circumstances in life change? So not to be rude, but i don't feel you have a place to state that kind of opinion. Yes I worked hard for those years, but so do many people who work in 1 environment for long periods of time before they realize it just isn't for them?
  11. by   Caribbean_cruzin
    Perhaps you could stay within the nursing profession just not in the hospital setting. I'm sure you could work at a clinic. I did as a coordinator for a while after a neck injury prevented me from continuing in the hospital. Everyone does go through some period of adjustment and people respond differently to be sure. Hang in there! You did work very hard to get to where you are!