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stress...Will it get better?


Has 2 years experience.

Hello fellow nurses,

just needing some advice/words of encouragement or someone to let me know it will get better!!

I am a new nurse (RN) as of July and I am currently working as a nurse in a 30 bed nursing home and half of the residents are skilled. I am the only RN on the floor in my unit and I feel like it is so much to handle. I feel like I'm constantly running around and feel like I'm messing everything up. I feel like I'm always missing important things due to how busy I am. Everyday I go in I hope it will be a smooth shift and it never happens. I get calls from my boss asking if I finished something or to correct my charting. (She's nice about it but it really discourages me) I guess I'm just getting down and frustrated because I'm still trying to figure this whole thing out. Just wanted to talk to people maybe having or who have had similar experiences.

On another note, I got a new job at a rehab hospital. I'll get 12 weeks of training and only 7-9 patient load which a huge difference and plus I'll be around many other nurses that I can always ask for help.

But I am just discouraged and worried about feeling this way because I worked really hard to become a nurse and I am hoping it will be better!

Thank you all! ☺️


Has 7 years experience.

Breathe...RELAX!!! It will get better! You are still a new nurse. Now I will tell you, in LTC settings it can be stressful all the time. You have to just tell yourself "I am in control!" You can do this :) I know that case load is a lot and you feel like you don't complete it all and I used to be the same way when I first became a nurse. It will take a while to get used to things. I will tell you that 30 patients is a lot especially for a new nurse. I know of some nursing homes that have 1 RN to 60-70 residents. I used to have a professor tell me that it takes you two years to actually know all the ins and outs of a job and to do everything correctly. Every nursing job is stressful but it is all what you make of it. This is the reason why some nurses never stay at a job more than 2-3 years. They get "Burned out" and really what that means is that they can't take the stress anymore so they need a change of scenery. You will be just fine. Once you find your kniche/specialty in nursing that you love then you will not feel this way :) Do not be discouraged!!! We all started from the beginning and we all have gone through what you are going through. You will get it! I promise. You have only been at this job for 3 months. It will take a lot longer to get used to the work, get settled in, and feel comfortable completing all of the tasks that they are asking of you. Congratulations on your new job :) Just remember, every nursing job has stress. It will take you a while to get used to your job role and your job duties. Some people it takes 1-2 years to get settled in and feel comfortable completing all the assigned tasks properly. You will do great :) Welcome to Nursing!!!

Wave Watcher

Specializes in Community Health/School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

2 rules in nursing:

Rule #1 Protect your license

Rule #2 Protect your sanity/health

People handle stress differently. When either one of the two rules are at risk....it's time to move on. You can not be a nurse if you don't have your license or sanity/health. Stress is part of nursing but know your limits. :-) You will do great!


Has 2 years experience.

Thank you! This is what I needed to hear. I thought after school it would get better! Not so true! :-) but it's good to know it still takes time and much more learning. thank you!

Emmie, I am a new nurse as well, and the first things I learned was that it is stressful, scary, and we ALL feel under-prepared! The next thing I learned was that experienced nurses who are available and willing to train, answer questions, and guide us are the most valuable tools we have, and having that resource makes all the difference between success and failure in our chosen career.

Nursing schools just are not able to teach us what we need to know to be qualified, safe nurses. All the clinicals in the world don't give us enough patient care as students to successfully transition to being a good nurse!

Next thing I learned is that I do not know ANYTHING about anything! Thinking that I do can hurt patients. I am one of the fortunate ones who has the best preceptor that God ever blessed a new nurse with. Without her, I think I would have quit my first month.

All that said, being responsible for 30 patients is not a good fit for a new grad! Neither is being the only RN on the floor. You cannot protect your license in that environment and I would imagine that all the new nurse angst and fear that is normal is quadrupled for you. So, as another poster said, relax and breathe! Your new job sounds so much better with a lower patient load and other nurses on the floor to guide you. Use that resource! They won't mind questions and they should understand you are going to need a bit of patience and training. Even with all they have to offer, it is still scary and stressful and to counter that, I started a new grad support group with others in my facility and that helps ALOT. If there are no other new grads in your new facility, contact some of your classmates and put something together. It is really a Godsend to know that no matter how bad a day is, you can call someone in the group and find out that they had a day that was just the same. It makes you feel so much less alone!

I'm sorry your first experience was a bad one, but you sound like you are on the right track now, and I wish you the best!


Has 2 years experience.

thank you for that post. I really like reading from other nurses and knowing that it will get better. I'm hoping this new job will be better compared to my old one. I just want to be a good nurse and I'm still learning how to do just that. Thanks again for your kind words. I appreciate it.

Edited by EmRN14
Wrong person

firstinfamily, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Emmie, the above posts pretty much say all that needs to be said. Make sure you are keeping pts safe, concentrate on what you need to do, focus, and try to do a little kindness every day to a few of your patients, that will make you feel better about what you are doing. Little things like taking the time to comb a patient's hair, help them with some task etc will take the "robot" sensation out of what you are doing. Conquering a floor of 30 patients is quite a feat and you should be patting yourself on the back every day. If you are the only RN make sure you delegate what tasks you can to those under you. They will try to test your authority etc. Just keep your stand and if you need to counsel them make sure you have a written record of that meeting so you have some back up if things go south later. Part of nursing is learning how to prioritize and suck up. That means you should focus on what is important on any particular day, shift and don't let the petty stuff get you down. There is always room for improvement no matter where you work. Good luck with your first job, LTC can be very rewarding. Keep a positive attitude and know that you make a difference every day.

Wow......I just recently resigned from a SNF because of the patient load. I had 15-20 med surg patients with no support. My orientation was 3 weeks; I had to push for the 3 weeks. They wanted me on the floor in 1 week! My orientation was very choppy and I was so stressed out. The nurses I worked with had accents and got irritated when I couldn't understand them. I felt like I had to beg for help. It was horrible. I felt so helpless and I was so stressed out. I was miserable and started getting short with people. I realized this and decided to resign. I wish I had a mentor to help me. I want to be a successful nurse so bad. I'm not in nursing for the money. I truly love the science and compassion behind it. I can only dream of getting into a teaching hospital and finding a preceptor who has a passion for teaching new grads. I'm really not a new grad because I graduated in 2011, but finally found an RN position on a med surg floor in 2014.


Has 2 years experience.


nursing is definitely tough. I'm not in it for the money either. But sometimes I dread coming to this job. I'm hoping and praying my new job will be better. Also I hope everything will get better for you! Congrats on the new job! And thank you for your response.