Options aside from bedside nursing?



I began my first nursing position in November 2015 working full-time on an ortho/neuro/oncology floor. I did a lot of classroom-type training and general orientation for the first month and have actually worked on the floor for about the last two months now. I was paired with a great preceptor, but I am feeling absolutely miserable in my new role. I know everyone likes to talk about how you need at least a year to get your bearings and gain some confidence, but I am constantly anxious and stressed out. I walk around my unit on the verge of tears all the time, spend most drives home in tears, feel sick on my days off and spend them worrying about what I did or did not do on my last shift, and letting the anxiety build about the next shift to come. I have a small child at home that I am solely responsible for on my days off and I hate being around him with this dark cloud over my head all the time. It's impacting my relationship with my spouse and other relationships as well. I never wanted this area of nursing, and have always longed to be in women's health (antepartum, L&D, postpartum, etc), but figured it was a good starting point as a new grad. I was hoping to get a year under my belt, but I can barely stand the thought of making it through the week, let alone a year. Even if I did, the hospitals in my area where women's health jobs are more plentiful require a BSN and I am ADN prepared. I am concerned about continuing education to pursue a different area, when I'm not feeling committed to nursing period at this point. Do I have other options aside from bedside with my education level? I'd greatly appreciate any insight!

Sorry to hear of your distress, but nursing is not an easy profession and really does take time to learn and adjust to. Most people are anxious and stressed out their first year, regardless of the unit. I work in postpartum and believe me, you will still be stressed out, have times of tears, question your confidence and feel anxious (whether it's your first year or not, because nursing is, well, stressful). And yes, moving away from bedside "typically" requires bedside experience. A solid foundation is what is wanted and this is gained through the caring of patients. Hugs, my fellow nurse friend, for time and experience is that hurdle that one must get over for things to seem a little bit brighter.

Specializes in Utilization Management. Has 12 years experience.

Did I read that correctly? You work on an Ortho/Neuro/Oncology floor? Is it a floor focused on musculoskeletal and neurological cancers...or is it like what I am imagining, hip fx/knee replacement pts, next to stroke pts, next to cancer pts? If it's like what I am imagining, I do not blame you one bit for feeling the way you do. Each one of those is a specialty in its own right and I can't say I've ever seen them all on one unit. I don't really have any advice, unfortunately, I have an ADN, working on my BSN, but where I live could be more ADN friendly than where you are located.


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It's what you're imagining! Usually it's a great big mix of ortho pre-ops, fresh post-ops, and post-ops that came back later with complications, strokes, epileptics, dementia and Alzheimer's patients, and oncology patients. It's also not at all uncommon to get comfort care patients who are transferred to our unit from ICUs to pass away, which is of course emotionally troubling, as well as very time consuming. I want to give their families appropriate attention and some are requiring morphine as frequently as q15 mins near the end....very difficult to keep up with when you have 4 and 5 other patients to manage too. We also get a touch of psych and other oddball diagnoses when there is no space in their designated unit. I've not updated my profile since graduation, I'm currently in Nashville, but coincidentally will be moving back to FL (space coast area) later this year. I see you are in central Florida. I've been aiming research for women's health positions at Winnie Palmer/Orlando health as those fields (as well as most others) are very hard to come by in Brevard where I'll be. Every position I've reviewed requests a minimum BSN and usually at least a year's worth of experience in the particular field. I'm very torn about working toward a higher degree. I know I'll enjoy that type of nursing much more, but it's still a stressful career no matter where you end up. í ½í¸”