Should I quit during orientation?

  1. Hey everyone. I am in need of opinions! So I am a new RN grad. I graduated a couple of months ago and like my peers, started looking for jobs immediately. I live in a rural town with a small hospital that only hires if someone retires usually or they frequently have med/surg positions available. At this time, they were not hiring so I decided to apply to a larger hospital about an hour away from home. A lot of people make this long trip and I thought I could too. So I applied to about 10 different jobs and only 1 contacted me back and it was the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) I was so excited! I got the job and have been working there 12hr shifts for about a month. I am MISERABLE. Driving that extra 2 hours a day after working a 12hr shift is just not for me, it kind of makes me nervous driving so tired. On top of I am not cut out for ICU style nursing. NICU is so overwhelming with so much that was never taught in nursing school.. I do not feel like I am progressing like I'm supposed to. I am scared to death of ventilators and intubated babies! I'm fine with feeder-growers, even some on regular NIMV but beyond that scares the daylights out of me. My preceptor makes me feel like I am the dumbest person on earth. I feel like I have screwed myself by going into this specialty. Now I've been looking for job openings in my town because I don't want to leave until I have another job and I just feel TERRIBLE for feeling this way and getting myself into this situation. I always said I didn't want med/surg but now I kind of miss just talking with my patients. My question is, is it wrong for me to quit in orientation like this and how would I even go about doing so? Advice please!!
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    About littlemiss8

    Joined: Nov '18; Posts: 1

    11 Comments

  3. by   llg
    I think it is better to quit sooner rather than later. The longer you stay, the more of their resources you are wasting.

    However, I would recommend that you wait until you get another job before you quit. Get one of those med/surg jobs ASAP and then quit the NICU.
  4. by   not.done.yet
    Apply elsewhere, secure another job and when you interview, be honest that NICU wasn't well suited for you. I don't think anyone would blame you for that. However, don't quit until you have another written job offer in hand with a firm start date and negotiated salary in place.

    That or move out, closer to your job, and see if the lack of fatigue helps you adjust.
  5. by   cosmos2007
    I am an LPN and working 12 hours that turn into 14 or 16 if they decide to mandate is something no one understands unless you have done it. Its dangerous to drive any amount of time after 12 hours but two hours is just an accident waiting to happen. Find something else that makes you happy. I myself am ready to sling the fries for normal hours!!!Was just told under threat of losing my job that I had to work two holidays without time and a half due to the 90 day probationary period. I have been there for two days and was told maybe I wasnt a good fit for questioning why you would intentionally put someone on a holiday KNOWING they would not get time and a half which I think is just plain crummy and certainly not the way to treat a new employee you wish to retain. Look for some thing else my dear. Enjoy your life. Its only a job to pay the bills and there are others. Online and remote as well..look into coding with your experience....Good Luck!
  6. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from cosmos2007
    I am an LPN and working 12 hours that turn into 14 or 16 if they decide to mandate is something no one understands unless you have done it. Its dangerous to drive any amount of time after 12 hours but two hours is just an accident waiting to happen. Find something else that makes you happy. I myself am ready to sling the fries for normal hours!!!Was just told under threat of losing my job that I had to work two holidays without time and a half due to the 90 day probationary period. I have been there for two days and was told maybe I wasnt a good fit for questioning why you would intentionally put someone on a holiday KNOWING they would not get time and a half which I think is just plain crummy and certainly not the way to treat a new employee you wish to retain. Look for some thing else my dear. Enjoy your life. Its only a job to pay the bills and there are others. Online and remote as well..look into coding with your experience....Good Luck!
    Please check the labour laws in your state and make sure it's even legal for them to do this. Most places do not put orientees or probationers on a holiday schedule specifically because they don't want to pay the overtime. To schedule you and not pay you is dirty pool.

    To the OP: When you find another job, put in your notice in person. Tell your manager exactly what you told us. You thought this position was a golden opportunity but you are feeling out of your depth and worried about letting your patients and coworkers down. You are also finding the commute much more stressful than you anticipated and are not feeling that you are a good fit for this job. I'm betting she'll understand. Good luck.
    Last edit by TriciaJ on Nov 16 : Reason: Missed paragraph
  7. by   DowntheRiver
    Quote from TriciaJ
    Please check the labour laws in your state and make sure it's even legal for them to do this. Most places do not put orientees or probationers on a holiday schedule specifically because they don't want to pay the overtime. To schedule you and not pay you is dirty pool.

    To the OP: When you find another job, put in your notice in person. Tell your manager exactly what you told us. You thought this position was a golden opportunity but you are feeling out of your depth and worried about letting your patients and coworkers down. You are also finding the commute much more stressful than you anticipated and are not feeling that you are a good fit for this job. I'm betting she'll understand. Good luck.
    They are well within their rights to not pay time and a half for holidays. Nobody is mandated to pay overtime on holidays unless you are going into actual overtime.

    A lot of companies have the same/similar 90 policy where holidays are not given time and a half on orientation.

    ETA: I am not saying this is right but I have worked for a company that also had this practice.
    Last edit by DowntheRiver on Nov 16 : Reason: ETA
  8. by   cosmos2007
    Yes, it is dirty pool. They even had me orienting on Thanksgiving. Certainly as a nurse we all know that holidays and weekends are part of the job and I certainly don't have any problem working them. In fact, its quieter. I recieved a call from the Administrator of this facility last night stating that I need not report for duty today( which was to be computer training) and to give her a call today. So I guess having the audacity to question this has cost me employment it seems. I was told that no one ever disputed this practice before me....what has happened to common decency? What has become of Nursing?? Thank you for the replies. I just feel so bummed out but if thats how one is treated right off the bat, the future would not have been pretty. Oh well, ill keep plugging, you need fries with that?
  9. by   Persephone Paige
    I'll start out by saying I respect that NICU isn't for everyone.

    I will make a few suggestions until such time as you have secured another job, closer to home that is more to your liking. I come from an area that is rural, many nurses sought positions in the city with the big hospital. Some of them 'car pooled' so that it would rotate the driver and they snoozed on the way to and from work. Also, some would share the costs of a hotel room, ask a fellow coworker if they could pay $15-$20/night to sleep over, raid the refrigerator and shower. Some of these nurses lived 2+ hours away and had no one to car pool with, so they worked out a deal with a hotel. Hotels will often work with non-vacationing patrons and cut a break for a 3 night stay for work. The cities in bigger hospitals are quite used to this, actually. Good luck!
  10. by   Accolay
    A general question: Why is the solution to these many posts always the path of least resistance? The Problem X is hard! so I should do Easiest Y...

    Is this what you wanted? You were excited to get a job in the NICU? Or were you excited to get any job at all? This is important. What were your expectations of this job? Did you think this was going to be a piece of cake or what?

    Here's another scenario: What if you stick it out and give the orientation your all, study on your days off, work hard and if they don't let you go at the end, would you stay?

    Of course you're going to feel like you don't know anything. You just started- you don't know anything! If you're a new grad and you didn't have a little anxiety about going to work every day in the NICU, I wouldn't trust you. If you think that nursing school will have prepared you for working anywhere else either you are in for a big surprise.

    So, say you make it through the orientation alive and you have a job... relocate?
  11. by   Swellz
    I wonder how much of this is normal struggling that's made way worse by your commute. I don't know anyone who didn't feel in over their head for a lot of their orientation. I started in oncology, and there was a lot of information that just wasn't covered in nursing school that I had to learn. But I did. You already feel somewhat comfortable with the less critical babies. Maybe you need to sit with your preceptor or nurse educator or manager and get their opinion on where you are and if you're progressing like they expect. Maybe you feel you're doing poorly but they feel you're doing ok. Maybe it really isn't the job for you and you should in fact quit. But I would never just put in notice without talking to them about your progression first.

    If you really want this job, then I would try and move closer. Or, if your schedule is blocked, rent a room for a couple nights. Where I'm working now, nurses drive 1.5 hours or more to get here, so they will talk to coworkers and split a motel room if they are too tired to drive. No job is worth your safety, but if you want this job, you can do other things to make it safe for you.
    Last edit by Swellz on Nov 17
  12. by   amzyRN
    I had a job that was 1.5 hours away, sometimes more and I rented a room and would work several shifts in a row then drive back home. It worked out well. I wouldn't have driven each day working 12s. It's just not something I would do. If I were in your shoes as a new grad, that's what I would do. It's normal to have a rough ride when you start as a new grad, my first 6 months were terrifying and my critical thinking skills were just developing, thank goodness I had good mentors to guide me.
  13. by   HomeBound
    Well, it seems that the Director didn't care for your comments or how they were presented. I sincerely hope you don't get a pinkslip this week.

    That said. New Grad positions are pretty intense for anyone, and what I am hearing you say is that you are terrified of seriously ill neo-nates. This may be because of inexperience, but if you feel that you simply do not want the responsibility at this level of care, THAT IS AN HONEST ASSESSMENT OF YOURSELF. NICU is not for everyone. Just as I saw RNs leave the ED over the idea of having to split second save someone's life. You don't know your capacities or limitations until you push the envelope.

    The drive you have is troubling. I know. I did it my first year of nursing and what sucks rotten eggs is that you have zero control over your schedule, as you are tagged with a preceptor. Their schedule may suck for your needs. I cannot do five days in a row. Some can. If you are tagged with someone like this....and you need something like 2 on, 1 off, 1 on, three off....then NEGOTIATE THAT and negotiate for a different preceptor if it is still an option.

    You feel beleagured on too many fronts. Long drive, preceptor may not be a good fit, new grad in a highly acute setting (neonate nursing is NEVER taught in nursing school. Which is why, in my very humble opinion, NICU nurses should have a strong base in either chrildren's ED, or some other type of specialty that deals exclusively with little people. They are not small adults. It is a very specialized practice and it also takes a particular kind of nurse to thrive there.)

    This doesn't even account for any other stressors in your life outside of work.

    I would speak to your Director. Apologize or clarify about the comments you may have made that make it feel to her that you, out of the gate, want easy and big money. Neither of which you will find in ANY floor nursing position for a very long time.

    Tell her your concerns and come in with A PLAN, workable solutions, to keep your job there. If, of course, this isn't simply aboutnot wanting this level of responsibility, and there is no shame there. If it is just this....then you need to find something less acute. See if there is another unit you could transfer onto at this larger hospital...and do what others have said...find a carpool, do three in a row and stay overnight, etc.

    But until you are off of precepting, you are tethered to that person's schedule. And i can tell ya....my original preceptor's schedule sucked badly for me. I loathe dayshift. Absolutely non functional after a few shifts. I hate traffic. I cannot tolerate certain attitudes on dayshift. I like autonomy, no traffic, and having my days to do tuings without fighting everyone on the planet to do them. The personnel is different, more team oriented in my experience, on nights or evenings.

    You are not going to orient on a schedule tailored for you. Period. If the facility is one you wish to stay at....find a workable solution with your director so if you do leave, you are not burning bridges or leaving with a bad taste for nursing in general.

    The distance is problematic, but i sincerely doubt that this is the root of your difficulty. NICU may simply not be for you. There are plenty of units that have the opportunity to work with highly acute patients, if this is what you want, and maybe adult populations are better suited for you.

    Best of luck.

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