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Stress, and a new grad.


First, I should not be complaining. I will be the first to admit it. I was able to land an amazing job across the country from where I graduated. I make a livable wage, and received a 17% bump in pay. I am an operating room nurse in a renowned hospital. I circulate Hearts and endovascular cases, and yet I feel like I'm not getting it!

I graduated in May, started my internship in June and bought a house in August. I started out making 24.00 dollars an hour and now I make 28.39 an hour due to a system wide bump in OR nurse pay. I am preceptoring until the first of the year and man is it stressful. I feel like I'm not catching on as fast as I should.

Aside from working as a CNA off and on through school, this is my first nursing position. I have held many other jobs over the years (am 27 now) and have excelled at them all, but this one. I feel behind.

I am am chalking it up to inexperience, but at what point should I catch on? In addition to this, I am currently in talks with the Indian health services for a pacu/or position in the middle of nowhere to help pay off my student loans. Should I pursue this opportunity as green as I am? What if I accept? I will have to move my family across the country again, to the middle of nowhere. We will be isolated, but would be debt free in 2 years.

I don't know if I should stay at my current position and train longer until I break out of the novice stage or move to pay off debt. But if I move will I be able to keep up with the new positions demand?

First, congratulations on graduating from nursing school and passing NCLEX. I have OR experience so I know that it is it's own world entirely. I was a surgical tech for 14 years before graduating in May and becoming an OR nurse. I relocated to another city for nursing school, the culture of that OR was different from what I was use to and it took some time to adjust, even with prior OR experience. Now, I am facing my biggest culture difference of them all, I accepted a job in another state after nursing school. So, it seems like everything I've known and watched nurses do for the past 14 years is almost completely wrong here. Some days I just don't know what to do, when I'm in a crunch, since they released me early from orientation, I can't help but think back to how I would do things like positioning the past and it just be wrong now. My point is, don't beat yourself up about it. The OR is different and not for everybody. You have only been there a few months and you don't have a OR background. I have a OR background and I'm still struggling at times. If you want to stay, do so. If you want to do something else, do that too. I always wanted to be an OR nurse, changing states is the first time I've ever questioned that decision. May I ask what do you feel like your jot getting?

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

General consensus is that it takes about a year to feel comfortable in the OR, so you've only had 1/3 of that so far. What kind of feedback have you been getting from your preceptor and coworkers? What about the unit educator? Even with many years of OR experience, when I transitioned into the cardiac world, I too felt lost again. New procedures, new equipment, new surgeons to learn. It takes time, and a lot of it.

As for the other opportunity, only you can make that decision. Personally, with a specialty like OR nursing, I'd stick it out for at least a year in one OR to get the crucial first year and comfort before having to go elsewhere and learn a whole new facility, group of surgeons, and incorporate a new specialty. But, it does provide benefits as well. It may help to have your family discuss the options with you as well.

I'm getting good feedback. Management and preceptor say I'm doing great. But I feel as if I'm underperforming. Thank you guys for the reply.