You poor thing! I cried reading this, because I know what you mean. I am a new grad, but I have been a CNA for 10 years. I have worked so hard, harder than the other CNA's and nurses I worked with, to be the best. I couldn't leave the floor in the kind of mess you described, because my conscience would bother me. I finally made it through nursing school because I figured it was the only way I could make things change in the hospitals I worked in. I figured if I were in charge, everything would be done right, and the patients would get the best care possible. (I'm sure that's not going to be the case, but I'll still try!)
I am sickened by most of the new nurses I have met over the past few years. The big draw for the nursing field right now is money. Thats all most of these people are in it for, and let me tell you (those of you who are in it for the money) it will not take you far. You are right, most only care about looking good and having fun, but when it comes down to it, this isn't Gray's Anatomy!! I am tired of those who are in nursing for the wrong reasons (i.e. my sister-in-law want's to be a perioperative nurse because she saw it on Gray's anatomy and thought (insert valley girl accent here) "it like, looks neat!").
I honestly think they should give every potential nursing student an intense psychological evaluation before they are allowed to enter the nursing program. This job is one of the most emotional, high stress, high responsibility jobs out there, and they are taking teenagers fresh out of high school, with no coping skills, or work ethic. I have witnessed (and reported) numerous cases of abuse and negligence from nurses who obviously couldn't handle the job.
The hospital isn't the food court at the mall, it isn't Macy's, it's not the 7-11. You don't come to work to hang out! I want to work with professionals who show up on time, don't screw off while on the floor, can maintain a good bedside manner, provide excelent patient care, and can be pleasant with other staff.
I am really understanding why they say "nurses eat their young". I think there have been too many experienced nurses treated poorly by new nurses, that they have to stick up for themselves somehow... Not that I agree with that or would be mean to a new nurse...
Don't give up, the world needs more nurses with a great work ethic like yours!! I wish we could all get together and work at the same hospital. I saw a comment about home health, you might give that a try, I like it.
One option for your student loans is the Indian Health Service. They repay your student loans (up to 20000.00 a year I think) for signing a contract with them. It means relocating to an indian reservation, but for some people it's worth it. I lived on the Navajo reservation with my mom while she worked for IHS, and it was one of the best times of my life.
Just my .