Hi, I am an RN who will have 1 year of experience come August in the ICU. I was an LPN for 3 years before working as an RN. I did my clinicals in ICU and thought it was going to be the place for me. My clinicals and practicum were in a smaller medical ICU, which now looking back is much different than where I work now. I work in a mixed Trauma, medical/surgical, and Neuro ICU with 40 beds. We also had a COVID ICU which I worked as well.
I don’t hate the ICU, I love the learning and providing care to the ICU patient. I hate the stress, the anxiety, and the drama. My stress and anxiety is getting to the point where I dread going to work. I am constantly second guessing myself and my judgement. I hate when a patient has poor outcomes after my three days and constantly wondering if it’s something I did or didn’t do.
My prior experience was working in a rehab for a year and a half and home health for a year and a half as an LPN. I really didn’t enjoy rehab, I didn’t mind home health and now looking back - I miss it. I miss being able to educate patients who were responsive and relationships I had with patients and families.
I’ve been looking at other positions now that I’m coming to my 1 year mark- such as utilization review, case management for home health/hospice.
I’m scared to quit and move on. ICU was my dream and I thought it was going to be my dream job. There are still parts of it that I really love and I feel like I am going to throw the opportunity away. Everyone says 1 year - it will be easier. But here I am at 1 year and I feel dumber than ever. it’s like the more I work and the more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know and it terrifies me. It stresses me out and makes my anxiety worse. I am in a two year new grad contract as well, so I will be breaking my contract and not sure if this hospital system would ever hire me back. I talked to my managers about going PRN and they said absolutely not, said I need to work on my mental health. I also worry that they wouldn’t give me a good reference either if I quit. We are always so short staffed and people are constantly coming and going on the unit.
I also feel like I’ve jumped around a lot since becoming a nurse and I don’t want to look like a job hopper. Sometimes I wonder if nursing is even for me and I should do something else.
The anxiety is driving me through the roof. I don’t know whether to stick it out longer or to jump ship. I just hope whatever I do, I really love and can stay for years.
Any advice would be helpful.. thanks