I know it has been almost a year since you wrote this post. How are things for you now? I hope things are better for you. I have to say, your story could have been MY story, almost exactly. I went to nursing school with the intent of becoming a NICU or PICU nurse. I never really wanted to work with adults. I ended up getting a job as a tech in SICU because there were no NICU or PICU techs at the time. Although I didn't want to work with adults I LOVED working in SICU, and was always told what a great job I did. When I graduated there I wasn't able to get a job in the areas I wanted to I chose to stay in SICU. My supervisor and many of the nurses I worked with were excited and thought I was going to be awesome. Well, first off, I ended up with a preceptor that everybody warned me was not a "good" one. Seriously, I had at least seven people make comments to me, saying "I hope that works out for you", etc. I was so new that I wasn't able to see that she was doing anything wrong. Looking back now, I don't think she WAS doing anything. They just said her orientees came off not knowing how to do anything. This made me nervous, and I needed a schedule change, so I requested another preceptor. Before I sound like I am blaming my receptors, I need to say that it was a VERY high acuity unit to begin with, and then that summer we had a higher acuity level than usual. The patients they started to give me were train wrecks. The charge nurses were like "We normally don't give this kind of patient to a new person, but this is the best we can do". There were patients there that started out as 1:2, that turned into 1:1, and even 3:1 sometimes, trying to stabilize them. There's so much to learn about in that environment - all the numbers you have to memorize, all the equipment you have to learn how to use, all the things about nursing that they don't teach you. There honestly was just too much going on for me to learn. I made some mistakes, and then my preceptor became just awful. I know she had to watch out for me, but when you treat me like I'm stupid, that doesn't help me - it only makes me more stupid. There was less and less support. They would give me patients that had stuff going on that I didn't know how to deal with, but wouldn't tell me how to deal with it. They were just like, "Figure it out!" I was having nightmares all the time. Just about the time I started thinking that ICU wasn't for me, they let me go. They gave me the same spiel: It doesn't mean you're not a good nurse, this just isn't the place for you right now, etc. I had enough money saved up that I went two months without a job trying to get on where I wanted, and trying to figure out if I even wanted to be a nurse after all. I ended up applying for a med-surg job and got it. In fact, my ICU supervisor apparently put in a good word for me. So I did that and hated it for almost two years, but stuck it out so that I could at least build some skills and learn some prioritization and time management skills. I finally left that hospital last year for a PICU job. I'm doing a lot better, but I still sometimes have "flashbacks" to the ICU job, especially when dealing with the same equipment. Since I left that ICU, I have found out that they had a huge meeting with all of those nurses on that unit because they were so awful to the new people and to the nurses in the other ICU units that floated there. A bunch of people ended up leaving because they were told they were going to have to start acting decent or leave. I also found out that my second preceptor was KNOWN for being terrible to the new nurses (and she had only been one for two years herself). I sometimes think they were doing me a favor by letting me go. I had been told that maybe half of the new staff on that unit ever made it off orientation, so there had to be something to it. The place was just too much for me as a new grad. I still feel awful about it, and it was three years ago. I also hated how people there that had been my friends became very cold and aloof after I left. Oh well, I'm in a better place now!