Rough start to nursing...Please help


I resigned from my first position as an RN and am now looking for a better fit. I was doing Peds Hem/Oncology. I loved it but it was a difficult place for me to start. I'm frustated but don't want to give up on nursing. I like things where I can actually build relationships with patients. Maybe somthing less intense would lead to more suscess for me. Any personal stories of how you perservered from a not so good start to your nursing career? Any suguestions on a good postion for me?



541 Posts

How long were you at your position? I could offer you better advice if I knew this. The first year in nursing is very tough. It does get easier. It sounds like you really enjoy patient care, so I don't think you should give up on nursing yet.

The good news is that many employers are understanding that it is a difficult world in which to practice nursing today. I don't think you will have any trouble finding a new position. Just explain that it wasn't a good fit.


4 Posts

Thanks so much... I worked from august til the end of oct. I've been jobless since and I just don't know what direction to go in or where i would be suscessful I really did enjoy it there which makes it super hard when looking for other jobs any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks


allnurses Guide

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

Tell us a little about your likes and dislikes. What clinical experiences did you enjoy as a student? What went wrong in your first job? Did you still want to work with children? What type of feedback dd you get from your preceptors? etc.

Give us some information to work with and maybe we can give you some helpful suggestions.


4 Posts

Thanks for trying to help me out...they said that there were safety concerns and time management issues. I really had a tough time getting my assements in on time and I think that was partly due to the fact that everything was still done on paper and I think computerized charting would help... I had a really good preceptor who i liked a lot and she was very patient with me. I did have regular meeting with my unit educator and she never voiced any concerns to me about my progression through orientation. I felt like there were definately things that I needeed to work on and be able to get more efficient with my care. I guess i didn't know how I compared to other new grads. and I was thinking things would get better. Then one day i went in for a meeting with the educator which i thought was a regualar meeting and the mangager was also there (I didn't know her my hiring manager resigned and she was just an interim manager) she said that she didn't feel the floor was a good fit for me at this point and the I would need to resign or she would be forced to fire me! I was shocked and i wish i would have thought things through before i resigned but they were like if you resign you'll still have a good record here and they would rehire me if I wanted to come back in a year or two after I got my feet wet somewhere else. I'm trusting this is all part of God's plan for me but Just loooking for some advice on where might be a good. I really did enjoy the kids a whole lot but I feel I could be happy working with adults too. My favorite clinicals in school were the peds clincals. I didn't care of psych or telemetry that I did. i liked maternity okay. I enjoyed community health and health education alot I really would love to something were I actually get the know my patients and their families. Maybe something with a little slower pace. My dream would be to start a program to combat Childhood obesity and help manage diabetes in kida but i know that i need some experience first! Sorry this got so long

Thanks ! for reading it, I applied of an outpatient oncology (adults) I thought that might be a little less intense and enable me to see the same patients often what do you think about that?


541 Posts

I'm sorry that you are going through this. So you had no idea before that meeting that there were real performance concerns? You mentioned safety issues...did anything happen to jeopardize patient safety? Any medication errors? I'm not doubting your side of the story, I'm just wondering if there is more to it from the employer's perspective. In the future, I would not resign just because they threaten to fire you, if you truly believe you did nothing wrong. If the floor was a poor fit for you (which is not unusual with a first job), they should have assisted you in finding another position within the hospital system.

In terms of finding another position now, it should not be an issue. Just explain that the floor and hospital was a poor fit. I think that you may be looking in the wrong places though. Most outpatient settings, like an oncology clinic, will want an RN with acute care experience. In the outpatient setting, you may be responsible for administering chemo and you have to have the experience. As a new RN, the best place for you to start is in an acute care setting. Perhaps trying a general peds floor would be best. Good luck.


1,348 Posts

I hate to tell you this but I think you are a little idealistic about nursing today.

You say that you want a job that will allow you to build relationships with pts. Then you say that the manager and educator told you that you had time management issues. Not knowing the whole story, I would say that you are wanting that nice, caring relationship with pts, time to hold their hands, talk with them, spend a good deal of time with them. This is unrealistic in today's healthcare environment.

I applaud you for wanting to be that great nurse that wants to make a difference, however healthcare is all about money today and time is money. It sounds as if you are spending too much time with the patients trying to be that good nurse that your instructors told you that you should be. In reality, you must assess everyone to make sure they are alive and then plan the day accordingly. Unfortunately, many times the hand holding and emotional support must be put on hold or made very brief in order to get done all those things that nurses must do every shift. This is even more difficult for a new grad who often does not know which things must be abbreviated time-wise and what can be put off or ignored altogether. The pts don't help because they are scared, lonely, bored and they can pick out the person that doesn't know how to cut off the conversation so that they can get work done. Thus you get stuck in a room forever.

Also sounds like you are a victim of a problem environment - obvious by the fact that there is poor communication between you and your superiors with little warning of a termination meeting, as well as the fact that you have an interim manager.

Unfortunately, this is the way of healthcare today. All you can do is pick yourself up and get back out there if you want to continue in nursing. This time around, you should definitely be asking better questions about the state of staffing/politics in the hospital as well as the adequacy of orientation,remediation, and support for staff. Sorry you had to learn the hard way about how things work these days.


9 Posts

Specializes in Walk in Clinic, ER, OR, LTC, Management. Has 18 years experience.

I had a rough go the first year after graduation, too, and ended up working in an ambulatory clinic with a group of physicians. The pace was calmer, the physicians taught me a lot, and I was able to really connect with the patients on a long term level. The pay was not as good as hospital work and d/t family needs, I am now looking to go back to hospital work. With my experiences in the clinic, and the networking I did over the years, I feel that I can go back to hospital work with more confidence. Don't give up, just keep looking for what works for you at this time in your life. :-)

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