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  1. kp038

    How long did it take....

    I'm 14 months in minus a couple month break from the hospital and still feel rather hopeless. Everyone tells me I'm too hard on myself but it's really difficult not to be when there are such sick patients under my care. What I could also really use advice about is how to get over the sometimes paralyzing anxiety that grips me the day and night before a shift - I fear the unknown assignment that awaits me the next morning and, more often than not, barely sleep at all... no way to start a 12 hour day. It's been an exhausting journey.
  2. kp038

    From Tele to Med-Surg

    Bear in mind that on med-surg floors the patient ratios are generally higher than on specialty floors (6:1 or so) and the patients aren't necessarily any less needy. I'm curious about exactly what you didn't like about tele.
  3. kp038

    New nurse...not sure about nursing anymore

    I still feel like you after a year of nursing. Recently switched to a PCU floor thinking the smaller patient ratio would help but it hasn't. I'm constantly scared that I "dont know what I don't know." Not saying this to be discouraging, only that you're not alone. I used to think new nurses HAD to succeed in the hospital before branching out to something else, but I'm starting to accept that the hospital may just NOT be for me and that I'm just better off elsewhere. I HATE that I hate going to work
  4. kp038

    Struggling...please help

    Our stories are very similar. I've been a nurse for a little over a year and my first job was on a very busy inpatient surgical/trauma unit. I learned so much but rarely (if ever) left on time and rarely (if ever) had more than 10 minutes to eat lunch in a 12 hour shift. After 7 months of feeling exactly like you do, I left. I've read a few stories on this site of people who felt exactly like I did and you do after even a year and a half. I think your choice has to include certain factors such as whether you can afford to leave this job, do you rely on it for benefits, will you eat at night with a roof over your head, etc. If you can stick it out until the full year - that's obviously ideal... but I have found other work in nursing after leaving in under a year and you will too. There are so many options! I haven't worked in an office but have a close friend who does - she made about $10 less than me at the office. She's now a school nurse and makes about $6 less/hr. That'll vary by location of course, but it will likely be a pay cut. Best of luck. One other thing - I never was super close to my coworkers. We didn't really have a lot of time to talk for starters, and I also lived 30 minutes away and wasn't willing to really get together with them outside of work (plus didn't have the energy). There was a tight clique on the floor too which I was not part of - so always felt like an outsider. Not feeling like I had solid support also contributed to my decision to get out.
  5. kp038

    Am I supposed to hate my first nursing job??

    I felt EXACTLY the same way at my first job, hated every single day and left after 7 months. It's not worth killing yourself over. Unfortunately your contract makes things more complicated. I work in a different area of nursing now and things are better.
  6. kp038

    Is med surg easier than ltc

    old post but... the answer to your question is going to depend on the type of acute care floor. I have limited experience in both, but I can tell you that the med/surg floor I was on was absolutely insane, even with typically only 4-5 pts. The problem is you see a ratio of 5:1, except that doesn't account for the fact that you had 3 discharges and 2 admissions. My 7a-7:30p shift most often ended between 8 and 9. The load in acute care is also influenced a lot, I've found, by the support you get from your CNAs. On my floor, there was very very little - so you're being the CNA and nurse if you've got bedbound incontinent pts. LTC you've got the crazy medpass but no wiping butts. just my 2 cents.
  7. kp038

    ICU nurse not liking my job

    Fabulous post in it's entirety. Sometimes you just KNOW you're in the wrong spot. OP - I am a newer nurse who started on an ICU stepdown/post-op/trauma/everything floor and managed to stick it out 7 months before I decided I'd been miserable long enough. Sometimes I really wonder why some units (like mine, and like any ICU) hire brand new nurses... in the case of my floor at least, I think it's because they're always short-staffed due to very high turnover and new grads are the only ones desperate to take the spot. But that's neither here nor there. You have options. That's one of the positive things about the degree we both just earned. Listen to RegularNurse.
  8. kp038

    New Grad

    I live outside of Philadelphia, an area that is saturated with nursing schools. I, like you, graduated from an ADN program with a bachelor's in another field. I also was a nursing assistant in a hospital. The majority of my classmates, including me, found jobs within 6-9 months of graduation, many in area hospitals. I personally started my RN-BSN program right away, which I thought helped, but many of my classmates did not and they still got hired fairly easily. I think it depends on your area.
  9. kp038

    Not sure I am right for nursing.

    Hey Squirrel, I don't care how far out you are from nursing school - nursing on the floor is a HUGE shock to the system. It seems the vast majority of nursing schools don't prepare you at ALL for nursing in the real world. First thing... stop beating yourself up. Seriously. You made it through nursing school and a BSN program. You are smart! I started on an insane med/surg floor and it put me through the same thing you're going through - every day I felt all the same emotions (scared, anxious, self-doubt). Sometimes I'd go 10 hours without eating because it was that chaotic and while mostly everyone was very nice and willing to help, no one had the time. It sent my anxiety through the roof. I lasted 6 months. There comes a point where you have to decide your health is more important... why was I killing myself for everyone else's health while I couldn't eat or pee or breathe? Hospital nursing is not for everyone... however, I also think it really depends on the floor you get hired on. New grads need extra help. Doesn't sound like yours or mine is/was big on that. 5 weeks orientation is laughable - no one is ready in that amount of time. Anyway, I tried to hang in as long as I could. All I wanted was more "tolerable" days than "I feel like dying every second" days... that never happened. Remember how big of a field this is. There are options outside of bedside nursing. Ultimately it's up to you and your circumstances. Start looking for other jobs asap. Psych, LTC, home health, whatever. I'm doing the same. In the mean time, hang in there and don't give up unless you're really sure. It has only been a few weeks. I'm rooting for you.
  10. kp038

    New nurse feeling discouraged

    I'd rather not share too many details, only because I don't know who reads these and am now on the job hunt again.... but in response to your other question, it wasn't really anything to do with the hospital. In fact, I loved the hospital and am pretty crushed to be leaving. Part of the problem was that it was pretty far from where I live. Working 14 (crazy busy) hours and then adding another hour drive (round trip) onto it was too much. I probably could have stuck it out at least a little easier if not for the drive, or I would've at least looked to move to a different unit at the same hospital. At this point I'm ready to just put it behind me and explore my options outside of the hospital setting anyway. My advice to you for your first job, especially if it ends up being in a hospital working 12 (really 13-14) hour shifts, try to stick as close to home as possible... unless you're willing and able to move.
  11. kp038

    New nurse feeling discouraged

    Ah yes, the almighty contract... it's so funny, both my cousin and best friend ended up getting jobs with contracts (2 years and 1 year respectively) and straight out of school my first thought was "oh that's awesome, you're guaranteed a job for 1-2 years"... Ha! Now I know the real reason those contracts are in place. Anyway, I really wish I'd done my homework too. It was a small miracle I'd even been called from this hospital (large reputable teaching level II trauma center). This is my 2nd career, and at the moment, I'm having some serious trouble remembering why I found the first so bad.
  12. kp038

    New nurse feeling discouraged

    You are not alone and I applaud you for hanging in there... I could not. I landed my dream job 3 months after NCLEX, but hated it from day 2 (I knew day 1 would be rough so no surprise there). The hospital offered 6 weeks orientation (which is ridiculous) - management had no problem letting me do 9 though. The floor was crazy - short-staffed, the aides took offense at being expected to do their jobs, 5-6 patients, high acuity (we got everything except vent patients), nonstop admissions and discharges... the other nurses were mostly VERY kind and willing to help, except that when you were running around like crazy so was everyone else, so no one had the time. I spoke to my manager multiple times about how I felt, nothing ever changed. My anxiety spiraled out of control... losing sleep, dreading work multiple days in advance of the shift. I'm left feeling like an epic failure, quitting 6 months in as a new grad -- i have NO idea what I'm going to do now -- but as others have said on other threads - no one will take care of you but you. Don't kill yourself over it. If you can hang in there - excellent!! People told me "it gets better" a million times (but that's hard to believe when some of the most experienced nurses also leave 1-2 hours late from a 12 hour shift). However, my health is more important to me than trying to keep dealing with the insanity until maybe one day I wouldn't feel like dying before, during, and after every shift. I am convinced there is an area of nursing out there that is right for me, I just hope I can find it...
  13. kp038

    Villanova BSN Express 2013

    Hi Juliemo - Montgomery County Community College in PA offers Comparative Religions (PHI215) as on online course. I also believe Villanova will accept courses like one on death & dying and even marriage/family if you can find them, though I'd double check with VU just to be safe. Hope that helps!
  14. kp038

    Villanova BSN Express 2013

    Hi all, for anyone still looking for a patho course (current or future students) the University of Northern Colorado offers Pathophysiology through their extended studies program. It's self-paced independent study so you're able to register at any time and just need to complete the course within one year. I've confirmed that it is transferrable to Villanova. Here is the website for more information: Extended Studies at the University of Northern Colorado. The cost is roughly half of that at VU.
  15. kp038

    Villanova BSNExpress, Drexel ACE, or Jeff APW? Help!

    True enough -- people like that will be anywhere. Which did you end up choosing?
  16. kp038

    Villanova BSNExpress, Drexel ACE, or Jeff APW? Help!

    I know, I was too! Especially after reading such positive things about the program. Maybe I just visited on a bad day or something Congratulations on your acceptance and making a decision, I wish I could feel as confident about mine!