I have been an RN for about 9 months now, working in a LTC/SNF. I am burnt out! Any area or specialty of nursing is sure to bring stress, especially as a new nurse, but it's to the point where I get extreme anxiety about going into work. I don't like the hours, management is extremely unhelpful, staffing is an issue, and the nurse:patient ratio is just too much. As much as I hate my current job, looking back to September, I see progress in myself. I still have a lot to learn, but time management, especially in LTC, is something that I greatly improved on. What I'm worried about, especially in the setting I am in, is my critical thinking skills, and my basic nursing skills. I am sometimes SO overwhelmed in my patient load that I just feel as though all I'm there for is popping pills, and that important things such as a change in a resident's status is easily overlooked because I am so caught up in everything else. I can't spend any more than a few minutes with my patients, I get no help, guidance/assistance from my supervisors/managers, and it's weighing on me heavily. I do not know if I'm doing a good job, or bad job, I've been given no feedback by my employer and, and I feel as though I am just a body that fills their schedule. I feel like I am a "fake" nurse, who is just there to get the job done. I am a perfectionist, and that's also part of the problem. I know I need to leave, I have been looking elsewhere for employment, but due to COVID-19 it's been a bit difficult.
I have some friends who work in hospital settings, and all I hear are horror stories, the stress, the hours, and especially with this virus, it's only gotten worse. I have been considering the hospital setting, but I am very nervous. I know deep down I am capable (I graduated nursing school, passed NCLEX, so I think I am pretty capable), but I struggle with anxiety and fear of doing something wrong, or looking stupid when speaking with a physician, another nurse, patient's family, etc. I know that time will only boost my confidence, as I grow more comfortable in the job, but I am also hesitant about going into the hospital because I already know I will not like night shift, and that's most likely what I'll be given. Many hospitals in my area also require BSN to even be considered, which I am currently in school for. I just recently started a per diem job at another LTC facility, which I can already tell is MUCH better than my current one, and I am hoping maybe a full-time position opens there. But the whole "get the hospital experience" is weighing heavily on me. Even the nurse educator told me I should go into the hospital to get some experience. I just feel like I am being pressured, and that only "real" nurses work in the hospital, which is why I should do it. At the end of the day, I don't know if my hesitancy is caused by me just having no desire to work in a hospital, or because I'm genuinely scared. I did do a preceptorship in the hospital before I graduated nursing school, and I didn't have many feelings about it, because at the end of the day, I had someone to fall back on, and it wasn't all my responsibility.
I'm just looking for some advice! I do plan on graduating with my BSN by the end of next year. I honestly don't know what to do. I get paid great at my two current jobs (more than what the hospitals around me are paying), but there are many cons (work hours, poor management, poor guidance/assistance). I am currently looking for another job in LTC, and/or maybe sub-acute, with better hours, where I can use and develop my nursing skills without being in a hospital. Does anyone have any opinions? I am just in fear that if I don't get hospital experience now, I'll never get it, and it will be a missed opportunity.