Graduated in May 2016, struggled with the BRN and NCLEX for about a year. Started my first job at an acute care hospital in CA in September. Spent about 4 weeks in the ICU before being transferred to "med surg" (used to be a PCU, still has patients with drips, etc and some straight up ICU overflow), where I had 6 weeks before being told by my final preceptor that he was not going to recommend me to be on my own because I was still struggling too much. This is the end of the orientation, I'm out of time and have been given the option to resign rather than be terminated.
I'll minimize the details of the experience being understaffed, not giving me the promised full time hours for training, poor resources, and having 4 different preceptors over 10 weeks.
I tried to get my foot in the door in acute care by driving about 90 minutes each way to work 12 hour night shifts, and have come to the conclusion that this is not something I can manage safely.
I'm pretty sure its too late for me to get into any new grad programs (I've applied to many), but in spite of this setback, I feel I learned a lot in a very short period of time. I do not want to give up on acute care nursing, but need a less chaotic environment with a slower pace to learn in. My senior preceptorship in school was on med surg, and my preceptor told me he was confident I was prepared to work on a med surg floor, but the private hospital I precepted at seemed much better managed than this one. Unfortunately, I have been unable to even get an interview at such a hospital so far.
Are there any options anyone can suggest for learning at a slower pace? I wouldn't mind being paid less for a safer learning experience, I just want to build a strong foundation for my career at this time.
I've had long term acute care (LTAC) facilities suggested to me as a slower paced learning environment than normal acute care. Can anyone offer experience about the truth of this? Would it look good on a resume to a regular acute care hospital or would it be more like long term care? If long term care becomes my only option, any suggestions for how to maximize my learning experience to give med surg another try?
Thanks for reading!