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Self doubt

I recently became an LPN. Against my better Judgement , I took a job at a hospital on the med surg floor. Long story short, they expected me to do things that I wasn’t supposed to do as an LPN. On top of that, there was very little training going on, and what was going on was met with what I felt like was hostility. They were all very knowledgeable nurses, I just feel like they had absolutely no time to teach a brand new nurse, despite what their managers told me. So, I quit. I’ve never in my life left a job under those circumstances, but between the questionable things they expected me to do, and the lack of training, and the amount of anxiety I was experiencing, I knew I was going to hurt someone. The manager had told me they leaned on their LPNs as hard as their RNs, but I didn’t realize they meant to the point that they meant. Now, I’ve obtained a job at a nursing home. While it’s not as bad as the first job, I feel so utterly stressed out because I’m meant to be the only nurse on duty at night from 9-5, with 3 different units and 77 residents. I know as a new nurse there are lots of things to be stressed out about, and this feeling is completely normal, and it will get better with time and experience. But it’s currently 5:30 In the morning and I’m Online trying to ask strangers for advice and help. How do I keep my anxiety to the point I can function? Is this career really worth the stress? Have I wasted time, money, and energy on something I’m not capable of? 

JabuJabule, LPN

Specializes in LTC.

Hi Kassandra, welcome to the nursing world. I am also a newer LPN, started back in October. 

When you say "they expected me to do things that I wasn’t supposed to do as an LPN" what did you exactly do/mean? As LPNs, we can do a lot more than we're "told", especially concerning IVs and such. (At least in Massachusetts). However, either way it was smart of you to leave because you didn't feel safe. You did the right thing!

I was my LTC's overnight nurse for a few months before getting sucked into RN school, and I still pick up a few times a week during school vacation. I understand the stress, I've had up to 55 patients to watch over as the only nurse on the unit (But at least 2 other nurses in the building).

What are you exactly anxious about during the overnight shift? DO you feel you were trained enough? Is it the paperwork? Passing out meds during the night/early morning? New situations you're not ready to deal with? I've had anxiety a lot during my overnights, and I'm slowly moving on from it (Even though certain situations can cause anxiety of course).

Please let me know so I can assist you further! Either way, you got this. You sound like a very caring nurse and overall person, which is definitely what we need in the field. 😉❤️

-Jared

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty.

Hi Kassandra! Glad you decided to post here!

Jared wrote a great post.  I just want to add that from what you are saying, both of the jobs you've accepted as a new nurse are extremely challenging, and jobs in which you have every right to expect as thorough an orientation as any new nurse, LPN or RN.

I do understand that in today's job market we don't always get the support, the preceptors, the classroom orientation and other factors that create the foundation for success in your first nursing job.

Nevertheless, I would strongly encourage you to take control in your own mind what you absolutely require before you switch jobs again, and realize that in the two instances you mention self-blame is certainly the wrong mindset. 

It might be very helpful for you to look over our forums for new grads, as well as the First Year After Licensure Forum here:

https://allnurses.com/first-year-after-licensure-c141/

I'm sure you'll come across many posts expressing concerns similar to yours.  You are definitely not alone in your doubts.

All the best to you!

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