Scared and Terrified to Start Hospital Job......


I need some encouragement and advice.... I graduated Dec.2011 and started out in school nursing because no other hospital would hire me.

My friend has convinced me to apply with her at a hospital doing Peds. I am terrified. I have become so comfortable in my school nurse position that I'm deathly afraid to work in the hospital now, especially after hearing my friend's horror stories. Not only am I comfortable, but I have forgotten almost everything I've learned bc you don't really use skills or critical thinking in school nursing, so I'm scared I'm going to make med errors and kill a patient, lose my license, ext. why do I feel this way??? I need to work in the hospital to build my skills, but I am so afraid. I was Magna Cum Laude, great with grades but I lacked in clinical, I was clumsy and made mistakes a lot.....

My other options are OBGYN floor, or an OB clinic (OB was always my passion).

Any advice? I think I have paranoia and extreme anxiety about this....


106 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

I also forgot to mention I'd like to try something new, in regards to getting up at 5:45 five days a week. I know 12-15 hr shifts three days a week seems better, but I always hear from my new nurse friends that it takes them their next few off days to feel rested, and then once they finally feel refreshsed, they have to start their next 3 days. Is giving up my summers off, holidays, spring breaks, M-F 8-4 worth it to receive a 12-15hr shift 3 days a week in return? ??

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.

Most people go the other direction. I gave up hospital nursing- the nights, the weekends, the days on end of not seeing the light of day and doing nothing but work and sleep- for a normal schedule. You couldn't pay me all the money in the world to go back.

It doesn't sound like you want to work in a hospital at all... what are your ultimate goals?


13 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

If your passion is OB, I would go that route. There is not any amount of money that can replace happiness. That being said, if you are happy where you are... you could always stay. Don't feel like you have to do what your friends do. Only you know what your goals and dreams are.... Good luck with your decision.


106 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

My biggest concern is losing all of my skills, all of the knowledge I worked my butt off to learn in those 4 years. I would love to go to NP school one day, but as a school nurse with no clinical skill experience, the odd's are really slim


989 Posts

Starting a cath, an IV, giving a's like riding a bike - nothing really changes about it. Drug calculations are something you can brush up on if needed. If you are happy where you are - stay. LOTS of nurses would love a school position. If you want to test the waters in the hospital and like OB you could always try for a PRN position..or you could look to an OB office. Hospital shifts are 12 hrs which really means 13-14 with report and if all is going well. You would most likely end up working weekends and holidays which I would think in a school position you would not.

The hospital is not the be all end all of nursing..we are led to believe that but many, many nurses never work in a hospital and do just fine. As far as NP school..someone I worked with a few years back just finished NP school and he never worked in a hospital other than clinicals in school - he went to a well known NP program and did very well. I don't know specifics but I'd think different schools would require different things.

As far as being scared..I understand that. I worked in the hospital setting for 20 yrs, left in 2009 and am returning in March (barring anything else I've applied for that is not hospital based). I'm going back PRN - and I feel anxiety too.

You are in a good position in that you have a job so any change for you is optional at this point..take your time and if now isn't the time to change - so be it. Good luck.


25 Posts

Know what you really REALLY want to do and start from there. :)

Sounds like youre not fond of doing the med-surg stuff- the hands on clinical/medical (invasive) procedures. There are a lot of options for you and you said yourself- the OB clinic. You can still retain some of the important skills there including critical thinking. Or probably consider a career in an acute hospital unit such as psych or behavioral health where you use less of those procedure skills and more on the therapeutic communication you probably already used as a school nurse. :) You can also pursue an NP career specializing in PMH if you think it is REALLY what you want. If you decide to pursue the hospital peds, you will most likely get adequate orientation and training to regain your skills. :) Good Luck~


1,194 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Care.

Depends on how you feel about your current job? Are you fullfilled and happy? Does it pay your bills? Working in acute care is not the be all end all of care. You do not have to work in a hospital or at the bedside, if you do not really want to, to be considered a nurse and it does not always limit what you can do.

I'll tell you that the skills you thought you lost come back pretty quick, and I am sure you use your critical thinking skills every day but you don't realize it because you are experienced in your position now and things come easier with experience.

I have LPN experience and recently have obtained my RN. I work a few different types of positions and am constantly looking to see if the grass is greener somewhere. What I found is that I do NOT want to work harder, have less job satisfaction, for less money and more stress... ie... no interest in Hospital bedside med/surg type nursing. So I chose visiting nursing for adults, Peds Home Care, and teaching CNA classes. (All while getting my BSN/MSN and a PeriOp Cert)

I have perfected assessments on adults and peds and been able to spot acute changes and adapt to them. I have also worked with vents, trachs, central lines of all types, TPN, feeding pumps, IV antibiotics, CPT (manual and vests), numerous medications, NG tubes, PEG tubes, JG Tubes,straight caths, foley's, complex wound dressings, not to mention numerous braces for one limb or the other. I have even had to draw labs. The kicker... I have 1 patient at a time and get to spend a lot of time with them. All of these things that you get in the hospital... 1/2 the stress :-)

You get my point right? If you want NP there are more than just hospital positions that give you experience. But hey it may just be your fear of the unknown... don't let it stop you from reaching for your dreams!