I am a NURSE.
Did I make a mistake? Am I going to regret this for the rest of my life?
These thoughts keep running through my head. I roll around in bed, eating pizza and feeling sorry for myself. Nursing school was so hard. It took up a lot of my time, energy, money...and let's not forget the mental stress. When I first started telling people I am a nursing major is when I realized how negative people can be and how they crush your soul a little without even realizing it. Strangers, family, and friends.
I rarely heard words of encouragement "You know it is really hard to get into nursing school, you will be waiting forever."
Fast forward. I applied to an associate degree program in my area. Got in. "So isn't a Bachelor degree what you need?"
Fast forward. Graduation. "You know, it is nearly impossible to find a nursing job." "So you're going to be wiping people's butts for a living?"
I just wanted to shake these ignorant people. I did not shed blood, sweat, and tears for someone to think that my only task would be cleaning feces. I could write a book on all the things I have heard about my choice in profession.
The NCLEX was a traumatic experience. I told myself that if I failed it, that is it. I could not go through that type of exam again. I passed. I then started applying to what felt like a million nursing positions in hospitals. Not one call. Rejection emails flooded my inbox. I was tired of my job in sales so I decided to go ahead and apply to skilled nursing facilities. You know, what people look down on. Got an interview... got hired. I wasn't thrilled but I was happy to be using my license that I worked so hard for.
Met with a group of friends from nursing school for dinner. One of us in the group of 6 landed a hospital job. That was no surprise since she had worked there 10 plus years as a Unit Secretary/Nurse Assistant. First thing out of her mouth "How much are they paying you?" I reluctantly told her, in front of everyone. "You should really get a hospital job." Insinuating how much more money she makes. I wanted to scream. Everyone congratulated her, but not me. My job wasn't exciting and I didn't make $50+ an hour.
When will the negativity end? Why are nursing politics so prevalent? Who works where. Who makes what. New nurse versus seasoned nurse. Bachelor degree or Associate? Shouldn't we be united? Did we not all work hard for our license? Aren't we all smart?
I was no longer excited to go shop for scrubs. I sat through orientation at work with a headache and just wanted to cry. Truth is, I am scared. I am a new nurse. I don't know a lot, I have a lot to learn. However, how can I feel okay when I don't think I will get the support I need to thrive as a nurse? Did everyone at some point feel this way? I wanted to help people. I am caring and compassionate. I genuinely want to heal and make a difference.
I know it is not glamorous. I know it won't make me rich. Don't look down on me because I am a new graduate. Teach me. Guide me. Let me be great. It is not something you might have wanted to hear and I'm sure it didn't leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling. But this is what I am going through. It is the truth and it is my experience.