Should I continue this??

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I have not even completed first semester quite yet and already I have a case of the "Back to school blues". I am not looking forward to starting up again next semester. This is really sad, as I have an "A" average. My question is this. I did not enjoy clinical in the hospital and I know that I would not be happy working in the hospital. Should I stop now or is it possible to immediately get an office type job as a new graduate (associate degree RN). I do have years of experience in the medical field clerically and I also was a licensed worker's compensation adjuster at one point (although I did not like that really). I think I would enjoy something like counseling, education, or even working in a plastic surgeon's office working with my hands, doing procedures and such. What do you think?

pagandeva2000, LPN

7,984 Posts

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

I think that you should complete your program and see what happens. There is not always a guarentee that there will be office openings for new grad RNs because for one, those are the 'choice hours' and also, many still want experience. You may actually luck out, though, so, don't give up hope, but this is what I have been seeing here in New York.

In addition, you are saying this was your first semester, so, give it a chance. You will be exposed to different clinical areas and you may find an area that interests you. I can say, however, that most people do not enjoy clinicals, anyhow. They do not show a realistic view of your actual responsibilities because you are under the umbrella of your clinical instructor, usually limited to the number of patients you'd be responsible for, and most students are a bit uneasy with dealing with situations for the first time.

Good luck!

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I had the exact same thoughts on my 3rd day at LPN school, complete with nearly hysterical crying. :uhoh21: Fortunately my most wonderful Mom, who is in the biz, talked me in off the ledge. We spent so much time in LTC and then med-surge/tele etc. I was miserable but I just did what I had to excell in both lectures and clinicals while counting the days. There are definitely opportunities that don't involve hospital floor nursing. I've even considered trying research or telephonic nursing at some point. The opportunities for new grads will vary depending on your location. I am very fortunate to be in an area where the nursing shortage is going strong so I didn't have to do the med-surge thing. (Not that there is anything wrong with that, it just would not have worked for me) Please let us know what you decide.

Virgo_RN, BSN, RN

3,543 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED.

The thing about ANY career is that often, you have to get your foot in the door by taking an entry level job in your field, then work your way into the position that you really want. Nursing is no different. So, to get to that dream job you want, you might have to bite the bullet and do something that isn't what you want long term. I consider it part of being a grownup to accept the fact that sometimes you have to work toward a goal, that opportunities aren't always readily available simpy because you want them to be. I really don't mean to sound harsh.

I have no desire to do med/surge either, especially anything having to do with abdominal surgery. The abdomen is way too fussy. Fortunately, there are other entry level staff nurse positions available, maybe in an area that you can stomach for long enough to get some experience and maneuver yourself into the kind of job you really want. The experience you gain on an acute care unit is invaluable. You can sharpen your assessment skils, your time management skills, and of course, your knowledge of pharmacology and pathophysiology.

It is also possible that with your background, you could find work in a different environment. I'd say just keep going, if nursing is what you want, but be open to the idea that you might need some bedside experience in order to get that job you really want later on.

Specializes in ICU. Has 5 years experience.

I think you should quit while you still can. Don't quit school, just change your major. You did your clinicals, you hated them. You will hate nursing even more, believe me, but you will be stuck. If you liked clerical work, what about Law or paralegal, or accounting, or insurance, etc. If you have the patience to be around kids, then go the education route.

If you have an A average in nursing school, you can do anything in school you want. But you already know you don't like nursing. If you know that, why not chart a new course now before you've completely committed yourself to this?

Virgo_RN, BSN, RN

3,543 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED.

Flightline makes a good point. You will be investing the next couple of years of your blood, sweat and tears, and if it's something you end up hating, then it seems a waste to invest all of that time and energy. Definitely some food for thought.

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.
Flightline makes a good point. You will be investing the next couple of years of your blood, sweat and tears, and if it's something you end up hating, then it seems a waste to invest all of that time and energy. Definitely some food for thought.

Not if she is in an ADN program which would be my guess since she is doing clinicals in her first semester. The pre-reqs are a big chunk and now it might be only 3 more semesters which probably includes a summer break. After every single day of nursing school hell I was even more determined to leave with my degree not because I enjoyed one second of it but because I knew I would find my niche. Imo to be a RN is a huge ace in the hole no matter what she might decide to do in the future.

What are you thinking, Jillpaige?

NursKris82

278 Posts

I agree with most of the others. Nursing school is hard even when you do well. Clinicals are stressful and can be very hard or very boring. It's only first semester, which in my ADN program was one of the hardest semesters. Unless you think you're gonna hate nursing, not just the hospitals, give it some time.:nurse:

Mesomorph

62 Posts

Flightline makes a good point. You will be investing the next couple of years of your blood, sweat and tears, and if it's something you end up hating, then it seems a waste to invest all of that time and energy. Definitely some food for thought.

Virgo, I think everyone in nursing goes through the 'OH MY GOSH I CAN'T DO THIS!!!" phase. When someone like yourself expresses doubts about nursing the typical response is "Keep going! It'll get better!!!" At least, that's what my instructors and other nurses told me.

Personally, I think that 1) That is a falsely-reassuring statement. Better is very subjective. If by "better" you mean becoming more proficient skills and somewhat more confident in general, then sure, but if you mean the work situation itself, then no, it doesn't get better. You will always be stressed, overworked, underpaid, and in a disgusting, germ-ridden environment (if you're a floor nurse anyway) and it only gets more stressful when you're let off your leash as a student and expected to be competent on your own. 2) It can lead people who aren't right for nursing to stick with it anyway.

Case in point. Me. You're reading the words of a guy with a BSN who just passed the NCLEX last week. I have absolutely no intention of working as a nurse EVER even if photography (my chosen profession) doesn't work out somehow. I am so averse to nursing that I don't even want to think about it as a backup. I'd honestly rather work in another job with half the pay just to avoid it.

My story is this: After 4 or 5 other, totally-unrelated majors didn't feel right I considered medicine. Nursing seemed good so I set my mind on that. I've got a lot of interests and have been gifted with the intellectual ability to succeed scholastically in whatever I set my mind to. But, therein lies part of the problem. Just because you're intelligent enough to succeed in nursing doesn't mean you should stay in it. I bet you're smart enough to finish school and go on and become a nurse, but you're unhappy! I HATED nursing school. Every minute of it. Every clinical. Every half-baked crappy test question rationale that apparently makes sense in an alternate reality. Every day waking up on 4 hours of sleep. It was the most unhappy time I've ever been through. When I was halfway through I was seriously considering quitting, but I only had one year of school left, and everyone around me told me to keep going.

In my specific situation, I do think it was wise to finish. What would I get for quitting? 3/4ths of a degree and a lifetime worth of regret. However, finishing didn't change anything, nor did passing the NCLEX. I don't like nursing and I never will. That last year was the hardest year of my life... Spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially... It destroyed my confidence and ruined me as a person for many months afterward. For the first time in a couple of years I actually feel smart again. It doesn't matter how smart you are, nursing will make you feel downright retarded. Heck, I'm in Mensa and I felt like an invalid 24/7.

So, if you aren't the drama-inclined compassionate brainiac that gets a rush from helping 300-pound gorillas to the crapper, then I would advise you to run far far away and choose a different career!

Most people will probably read this and see a lot of bitterness, and yeah, there is some, but I really felt like I was misled and lied to in nursing school. The idea of "it gets better" is a falsehood. My friends who stuck with nursing don't feel that way. One hates it and wishes she could do wedding planning. Another (she is VERY intelligent) is questioning if she should just quit and find whatever other career she can. Another two are just very unhappy in general and wish they could wake up and actually not dread going to work for once. Only one of my friends actually loves it, and there was no question in my mind that he was built for nursing.

I'm not trying to get you out of it, but I'm not going to spread fairy dust and unicorns like most people did for me, so think long and hard and don't let people make you feel bad for opting out if it's not right for you.

ijuanabhappy, ASN, RN

1 Article; 381 Posts

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

I appreciate all of the replies. It is not that I "hate" nursing, I just felt so out of my skin at the clinicals. Believe me, I do care about people and whenever I do something, I give 100%. When I gave bed baths, I made sure to get my patient as clean and comfortable as I could. Nothing so far really grossed me out. Even though I have a 95 average, clinicals have made me feel so incompetent. I thought maybe I am not "smart" enough to be an RN if that makes sense. There is so much responsibility. I felt let loose at clinical with no idea of what the heck I was supposed to be doing. For some students, it just came natural for them. They went in, did their assessment, skills, etc. They knew exactly what they needed to do. I get overwhelmed easily with anxiety and did not even know where to begin or really what I was supposed to be doing with my patient. The instruction was vague. It got to where I dreaded going to clinical. I am the type of person who needs a lot of instruction and watching before I can learn something. But once I learn then I am really good at it. I am not good at "winging" things I have never done. Maybe it is my OCD flaring up! I don't know.

A part of me wants to quit school and start writing a novel! Sip on my coffee every morning as I sit at the computer and write. But is that realistic? Not really. What did I used to be good at a long time ago? Writing, photography, talking to people. I like helping others with their problems. I like making other people feel good about themselves. I enjoy finding resources for people to help them better their lives. I don't know if any of this has anything to do with nursing, I am just thinking out loud here. It is just that I have come so far and I am already almost 40. My thinking was that I would find my niche somewhere in nursing, but I know it is not in the hospital. I really think I would enjoy working in some capacity in an office setting like a physician's office, but I hear that is hard to do right out of school. I guess I could give it more time.

Mesomorph

62 Posts

I appreciate all of the replies. It is not that I "hate" nursing, I just felt so out of my skin at the clinicals. Believe me, I do care about people and whenever I do something, I give 100%. When I gave bed baths, I made sure to get my patient as clean and comfortable as I could. Nothing so far really grossed me out. Even though I have a 95 average, clinicals have made me feel so incompetent. I thought maybe I am not "smart" enough to be an RN if that makes sense. There is so much responsibility. I felt let loose at clinical with no idea of what the heck I was supposed to be doing. For some students, it just came natural for them. They went in, did their assessment, skills, etc. They knew exactly what they needed to do. I get overwhelmed easily with anxiety and did not even know where to begin or really what I was supposed to be doing with my patient. The instruction was vague. It got to where I dreaded going to clinical. =I am the type of person who needs a lot of instruction and watching before I can learn something. But once I learn then I am really good at it. I am not good at "winging" things I have never done. Maybe it is my OCD flaring up! I don't know.

A part of me wants to quit school and start writing a novel! Sip on my coffee every morning as I sit at the computer and write. But is that realistic? Not really. What did I used to be good at a long time ago? Writing, photography, talking to people. I like helping others with their problems. I like making other people feel good about themselves. I enjoy finding resources for people to help them better their lives. I don't know if any of this has anything to do with nursing, I am just thinking out loud here. It is just that I have come so far and I am already almost 40. My thinking was that I would find my niche somewhere in nursing, but I know it is not in the hospital. I really think I would enjoy working in some capacity in an office setting like a physician's office, but I hear that is hard to do right out of school. I guess I could give it more time.

No prob. And yeah. Nothing has every grossed me out in nursing. I could deal with the poop, blood, sputum, etc. I also gave the most excellent care I could and feigned compassion if only to help the patients, because whether or not I liked my job and regardless of what I thought about how their foolish lifestyle got them in their poor condition, I still wanted to give them excellent care.

What you said about finding your niche is actually the exact statement that kept me going. But, when push came to shove, I didn't like any of it, not ER, Med-Surg, ICU, Pediatrics, Management, nothing. Granted, I haven't tried everything, but anything that's great to get into is probably going to require at least couple of years of scooping poop.

I also needed repetition and instruction when it came to clinicals, something I didn't get much. Whatever you do, try not to let nursing make you feel stupid by knowing the fact that it makes everyone feel stupid. I know I'm not stupid, but man did I feel dumb during nursing school.

ijuanabhappy, ASN, RN

1 Article; 381 Posts

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 10 years experience.
No prob. And yeah. Nothing has every grossed me out in nursing. I could deal with the poop, blood, sputum, etc. I also gave the most excellent care I could and feigned compassion if only to help the patients, because whether or not I liked my job and regardless of what I thought about how their foolish lifestyle got them in their poor condition, I still wanted to give them excellent care.

What you said about finding your niche is actually the exact statement that kept me going. But, when push came to shove, I didn't like any of it, not ER, Med-Surg, ICU, Pediatrics, Management, nothing. Granted, I haven't tried everything, but anything that's great to get into is probably going to require at least couple of years of scooping poop.

I also needed repetition and instruction when it came to clinicals, something I didn't get much. Whatever you do, try not to let nursing make you feel stupid by knowing the fact that it makes everyone feel stupid. I know I'm not stupid, but man did I feel dumb during nursing school.

Thanks for telling me this. It is good to know that I am not the only one who has felt this way. I feel like others view me now at clinical as this thin-skinned, needy, high-maintenance, anxiety-ridden freak! I seriously felt so stupid... a combination of one of the three Stooges and Bozo the clown! I have kind of been in this funk or depressive state since clinicals have started. It has really done a number on my self-esteem. I have not even studied yet for my last test next week or my comprehensive final. :uhoh21: But like you, I know I am not stupid. I don't feel like I got much instruction out of clinical and that is why I am dreading next semester. The soul-searching never ends!

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