Starting New Job- AWFUL!

Nurses New Nurse


Have any of you started your new jobs? I started mine on June 6, but this past week was my first on the floor. I'm hired for the ICU, but am required to have so many M/S days to get things checked off on my orietation skills list. But anyway. My first day on the floor was HORRIBLE! I was assigned to pass meds on all the patients that the new grads had, including PRNs and IVs, which I know I shouldn't complain about, but for someone who'd never worked at the facility, didn't know where anything was, was dealing with THREE MARs (in my clinicals, we only had one per side, not THREE), my preceptor not telling me who had what room or patient, a new PYXIS machine that I had NO clue how to run, and on top of all that, the preceptor from hell! I was behind all day, and then was told by a LPN that she was going to hand out "medication administration points" (a type of slap on the wrist) because this one patient's meds weren't all passed at the times they were scheduled (all IV antibiotics, all taking 30 mins to 2 hrs, all ordered at the same time :rolleyes: ). My second day on the floor wasn't much better- I had all patient care, which was GREAT, and I got to do discharge teaching and instructions, etc...but every time my preceptor is there with me (and she has to be during skills), I get told that I'm "cute" or "a sweetie" because I'm only 20, and it's definatly NOT the type of tone to have her acting like she likes me! GR! I always get SO nervous and then screw up right in front of her. I got to start an IV (have been all through nursing school, but the first three have to be done with preceptors), and she critcized me for my technique. Well, I tried her technique and infiltrated the first attempt. I then proceeded to ignore her and did it my own way, and lo and behold, go it in. (For all the things I learned in school, IV's were my THING.). Yesterday, I was assigned to observe in the ICU (where I'll be! YAY!) with a seasoned nurse (our preceptor was gone for the day) and functioned just fine. I passed meds on my three patients, started an IV, did an admission assessment, hung Sandostatin. I was so much more relaxed- even the other graduates said so. I guess maybe this isn't what I expected after graduation- they keep telling us to "act like nurses", but how can I do that when I've got a pseudo-clinical instructor constantly hovering over my shoulder? I thought at work I'd have just a little more linency!

THen on top of that, I take boards on Monday! UGH! Has anyone taken the ERI Review course/online tests and taken boards yet? It's got a 98% pass rate, and I've done VERY well on those tests, but took the Kaplin and didn't do so hot! Any input?

Sorry to vent guys. I was just wondering if anyone else has hit that REALITY SHOCK that hit me like a train!

grinnurse, RN

767 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge.


I can so relate to your predicament!! Just started 2 weeks ago on MS floor and found out thursday that instead of 6 weeks precep/orientation I will be getting only 3, so one more week :angryfire

The first day on the unit I too had what I would term as "grumpy" preceptor (not the original that I told I would have). Then got an LVN (not knocking the LVN's in any way, shape, or form) but everything that she told me/taught me is wrong as far as how to chart and then finally got my "real" preceptor at the end of last week who I love.

I feel they expect me to know everything and I don't!! Just now getting all the codes that I need to get into the pyxis, glucometer (have yet to get my own code), meditech etc.............I really feel like I am being thrown to the wolves!! And I am so mad I could spit!! My preceptor after next week will be gone on medical leave and I have already begun loosing sleep just from worrying about all this!!! And I am wondering is this standard practice?? I am not even really sure where to find 4x4s :rotfl: I too have a butt load of skills to be checked off and so far have only had 5 that I have done r/t lack of opportunity.

I feel your pain. I am so trying to not get frustrated and let my anger come out in the wrong places but truly feel like I am getting the short end of the stick and getting set up for failure!! Going to talk to supervisor on Monday morning first chance that I get to vent my frustrations and get all expectations of what I will be having when they throw me out to the wolves the next week. Not to mention the fact that they screwed up on my sign on bonus to boot!! Was supposed to be 5000k split up into 4 payments by quarter for 1st year ended up with 500$...............don't think so but I may be sending out resume's shortly if things don't shape up!!

Totally intend to invoke safe harbor if necessary and will let supervisor know that as well. I don't know if they are testing me to see if I am a fighter or just going to let them walk on news for them, I didn't go through 2 years of hell to loose my license the 4th week that I have had it!!

Sorry this turned into a rant for me too!! Sorry that you had a crappy preceptor. How many days do you have left of MS before you can go to your home unit? Good luck with the rest of your orientation!


75 Posts

Definatly seems as though we're in the same boat! I have two days of M/S a week until the end of AUGUST! (Dear Lord!) But hopefully as the weeks progress, I'll be given more an dmore responsibility and I won't be watched like a hawk anymore. :-/

Have you taken boards yet?!?!

Happy-ER-RN, RN

185 Posts

Specializes in Emergency.

Same thing happened to me!!! My preceptor called in sick so I was thrown with a nurse who thought I would be his little assistant for the day--on my fifth day in the ER. This means, he pawns all of his work off on me and I get thrown into horrible situations by myself with no one to ask questions. It was absolutely horrible and I left bawling my eyes out. I was sent to do procedures with doctors and I was just handed meds and told--go push these. I kept saying "I have never done that before, I don't know where that is, I don't know what I am doing" but since we were so short staffed i could never find anyone to help me when I needed it. I just told the doctor--I have never pushed these before so you'll have to tell me what to do or wait for me to look them up. I could go on for pages about all the horrible things that happened. My preceptor tried to make me go admit a chest pain and start running protocols by myself. I don't know where the chest pain paper work is, I have no access cards or password to the omnicell (medications), I don't know how to call for an EKG...I said NO, you need to come with me. To top the day off I successfully shoved an NG tube into someones lung and then watched her have laryngospasms and desparetely gasp for air for about a minute after I removed it.

I looked like an absolute fool so many times I couldn't count. I know that it's not my fault for not knowing everything on my 5th day, I am not psychic, I cannot do things I have not been taught how to do, but I still left feeling completely incompetent.

My first few days were wonderful though and my regular preceptor said I am coming along just fine, so I am really trying to not beat myself up.

Good Luck to you all.

May these horrible days make us better nurses some how in the end!


164 Posts

Specializes in Trauma, ER, ICU~CCRN,CNRN.


i'm not laughing...really!

this reminds me of my first days....oh so many years ago. just stumbled across these posts..i don't think there's a nurse alive that has not had a rough first day or days!

be patient, stay organized, and ask lotz of questions. don't feel bad about it, just ask everyone and anyone that's standing still. you may have to do some running, but you're license will be on the line and you can't afford to make any big mistakes. oh, you'll make mistakes..but hey! you're only human!

i first started on a medsurg floor, brand-spanky new grad! :rotfl: i lost 30 pounds in 3 months running around that floor. 11 patient load down 3 different hallways...but i sure learned alot.

get yourself a thick skin and plunge head first, and positively do not do anything that you're not sure of.....!! remember you made through school and your alot smarter than you think!!!!

good luck to you all.....

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