i think i hate being a nurse?

Nurses Career Support


Specializes in Peds.

Ok, so I've been an RN for one year now, working as a float nurse in a busy urban pediatric hospital. At first, being a new grad, I was scared (poop)*less not only because I was new (and felt clueless), but also because I work the entire hospital and each floor is so very different as you all know (nevermind the social aspect of being new and not being part of any unit). Then, after a few months, I got the hang of things and it wasn't so bad. By NO MEANS do I think I know everything, but I know my resources and when and who to call for help (which is as important as knowledge IMHO). Except now I think I hate being a nurse :uhoh3: I don't really know what I'm doing anymore, I feel very lost. My manager is pathetic to say the least and the job market is very tough so I haven't been able to relocate either (I'm still in the early stages of looking though) However, now I'm thinking this just may not be for me. Not to mention I'm 1/3 of the way through grad school. I love the kids (most of the time haha) so it really has nothing to do with patient population. I work nights also, but I like it. My life is a mess because I work nights, but I'm ok when I'm at work. I don't even know where to begin breaking down my issue or even what my issue is. What can I do beside bedside or home nursing? Any thoughts, comments, or experiences will be greatly appreciated...seriously, I need help :crying2:

Do you hate not having a job too? If I were you, I'd just suck it all up and continue to make your good wages.

Specializes in Peds.

Are you even a nurse? Because if you are, a response as such is alarming. Have you ever been a patient? Do you want your nurse or your child's nurse to just be "sucking it up"? I didn't become a nurse for the money and I, personally, will never be a nurse just for the money. I'm politely asking for constructive advice and your response is flat out rude and insincere.

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

Perhaps a change of scenery would be helpful. Maybe you could do pediatric home health or pediatric private duty, where you could provide care for one child inside the home setting. Maybe caring for one child would be less stressful than juggling multiple pediatric patients. Good luck to you!

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

Hi amms! My first job was at an urban pediatric hospital too so I instantly relate to your job experience (even though years prior). It is hard to advise you as (as you said) aren't really sure what is causing the discontent. For you to have started out as a float nurse as a new grad in pediatrics and succeeded is awesome!!! Seriously, you must really have the stuff! Take a moment to pat yourself on the back.

In my experience, I had a long orientation and worked on the same unit for around a year then went part time, when they started to float me almost every shift (not my choice though) and I worked on every unit. One big part of job satisfaction is the feeling of camaraderie and sense of purpose working with children presents. It sounds like you were never able to develop that even if you wanted to due to not growing roots in one unit before branching out.

Have you considered asking for a permanent placement in a unit that you do feel interested in above the others? If you specialize in one area of pediatrics you can get advance certifications or maybe eventually go for your NP as you mentioned grad school but not what you are studying in grad school.

As I said it's hard to point a direction out but it sounds like you just haven't connected with your work/coworkers and the good people that are there because you were new, you floated, and you work night shift. Anyway, if there is something more specific you can identify I'm sure many of the nurses here can relate to it-- best wishes to you.

I don't know but I am wondering if I chose the right profession. I love the nurturing aspect of being a nurse but I hate the responsibility. And even though I have now been a nurse for a year, when I start getting stressed or feel the pressure, then I make mistakes, even stupid mistakes. And many nights, I stay up all night wondering if I missed anything or did everything right. And then I pray that God watches out for all my patients in case I did miss anything and I pray that God watches out for me and my family. And there's advice I can give new people, like "not to be too hard on yourself," but I can't seem to tell myself that.

I work full-time at the hospital and I just got a PRN job working at a nursing home. This was my first weekend at the NH. The nursing supervisor called me at 1030-1100 pm to ask if we had been able to get a urine dipstick on this one patient and I replied, "No," and was asking the aides if they had taken her to the bathroom and if she had voided...and they were saying she hadn't voided that shift yet and the supervisor was freaking out that maybe this person hadn't voided all shift...and in the back of my mind, I'm wondering why he is freaking out b/c this is a dialysis patient and truthfully, I really expected that she was probably anuric baseline although I really didn't know, so I didn't get worked up that we hadn't got the dipstick yet and I also wasn't aware that the dipstick had to be finished by my shift...and he says, "Were you even aware that she needed one?" And I stated, "Yes, I was aware." But in the back of my mind, all this stuff is going through my head and meanwhile he is freaking out and saying call the doctor if she hasn't voided and acting like I'm an idiot. Well, the lady ended up voiding a good amount right after that, but still...things like this really drop my confidence level, every time I think maybe I know something, something happens and then my confidence level goes down. And it's like if anything messes up my routine or train of thought, then I have to backtrack or I miss things or make mistakes. Add to that the fact that now I am the breadwinner for the family and I have a lot of student loans to pay, so I just feel trapped in this profession. And I don't want to be in nursing just because it is a good job like many people seem to be...although I do want the job security....but I just can't handle going home and worrying all the time. I just don't know what to do. I just don't know how much longer I can handle this. Any advice?

Advice from the other side.

My now "X" experienced some of the issues you describe about worrying and making mistakes. I strongly suggest you reach out to your significant other and hopefully partner first. Discuss all the issues all of them with him/her. Then I would go to a very trusted friend and confidant to make sure all the isssues are true and real. Then absolutely I would seek out your floor/unit director and again in confidence desribe your issues and of course offer some of your own solutions. I hope nursing is for you after all the hard work you put into it. I know there are many options for you as a RN. You may just need to find your niche. My "X" (Hate to keep saying X) experienced many things you described but I always tried to be there for her (and was as that was the only thing I did right lol) We were together "through" the whole school process and career choice thing. WE went from psyche to PACU in just a few years. I say we because I always supported. She made mistakes even was written up once even made huge mistake once that could have been career ending but she was and is determined. I know you have a very dificult job all you nurses do. If you are truly not happy where you are and focused you need to re-direct for your well being and your patients.

Future nurse.. "Ray"

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

I have been a nurse for 17 years and I am still not sure it was the right choice for me.

However, I went off the beaten path and so it has been fine.

Try some different settings. If you still do not like it then you can change careers. It is perfectly ok not to like nursing, but you need to try it in some different settings and places before you can know for sure whether it is or isn't for you.

Hi, amms -- I agree strongly with the suggestion that you see if you can get a permanent position on a single unit in your current facility. Floating is always demanding and draining -- esp. for a new grad (ditto the kudos for your having made a go of that -- lots of new grads wouldn't be able to!)

I also wonder if maybe it wouldn't be a good idea to withdraw from school for the time being. If you're not sure, at this time, that you even want to be a nurse at all, I can't see putting more time, effort, and $$$ into getting more education in nursing until you feel better and more sure about continuing in nursing. Also, not going to school (in addition to working) would give you more free time, might reduce some of the stress you're feeling, and give you more of an opportunity to make sure you're taking care of and enjoying yourself in your time away from work.

A lot of us "old-timers" here strongly discourage new grads from going to grad school right away (the first couple years or so), and one of the (several) reasons why is that just making the transition from nursing student to practicing nurse is plenty difficult and stressful enough, all by itself, without piling school on, also.

It sounds like you have a lot to offer, and are at the start of a promising future in nursing -- it would be a shame to throw all that away because you get seriously burned out this early in your career. It is soooooo important in nursing, esp. early on, when it is soooo stressful, to take good care of yourself, but that seems to be one of the easiest things for newer nurses to discount and lose sight of. Best wishes! :balloons:

You aren't alone, I feel the same as you do and I am also a pediatric nurse as well. Yeah I enjoy kids and its rewarding to help patients and families. But when its all said it done, the pay just is not enough for the type of BS that nurses have to deal with on a daily basis. Its just not worth the stress and mental anguish. Its a tough job and I wouldn't advise anybody to go into nursing.

Dear Amms,

I feel your pain! I haven't been to this site in ages but am struggling also and your thread immediately caught my eye!

I have only been a nurse for 8 months. I'm on a Med/Surg floor and often have drug addicts, homeless pt's that were found down, and very confused elderly pts. Of course there have been great pt's too, who show their appreciation, but the others who have tried to hit, scratch, fallen, watch the clock for when their next pain med is due, refuse to pee in the urinal and pee in bed or against the wall, call me names, throw things at me, etc. has really brought me down.

I started on nights for 2 months then was offered days and I have really struggled to keep up with all that is happening on days. I think what is so dissappointing for me is that I don't feel like a nurse... it's all about hurry and get assessments done, hurry and pass meds, hurry and chart, hurry, hurry, hurry. There is no time to talk to pt's, hold their hand, wipe a tear (or if there is time it's for about 1 second!).

I am really struggling with what to do to... life is too short to be so stressed and not enjoy one's work. My last month of school I was in an out pt surgery center. Okay, so you don't really learn much about real nursing, but I loved it. You have healthy pt's checking in, start their IV, get them changed, some paperwork done, and then someone from OR comes and takes them away. Then after surgery they are in PACU for an hour, come back to us for another hour, and we send them home. I loved it even though I felt like I wasn't learning very much. I think for me I need to find something less stressful and want to work in a place like that, I have also thought about the blood bank.

Private duty sounds interesting. How do you go about finding a job like that? It might be too boring too though.

I agree with what the other say about kudos for what you managed this past year, and that you're doing too much right now. I also noticed when working nights I started feeling depressed, just from being so thrown off sleep wise I think.

We should all pat ourselves on the back because let's face it, I'm convinced that being a nurse is the hardest job in the world! And, I think Florence would be sad to she what nursing is today, so hurried, stressful, and many times impersonal.

To jayeldee- it sounds to me like the NH supervisor has been out of direct patient care so long he forgot to use common sense about a diaysis patient. You did nothing wrong, and your judgement on urine output was correct. Maybe it was insecurity on his part because he feels inadequate. I worked in a nursing home before getting a hospital job and always felt inferior to hospital nurses-in part because as far as experience and assessment skills I was. I bet this is why he came down on you. Don't let other people's personal hang ups get you down!

As to the poster of this thread- sounds like floating has you in a limbo state where you just can't settle in and get comfortable. Maybe see if you can get assigned to one unit and try that out for a while? By not wanting to "suck it up" while caring for other people's kids shows you have the compassion and professionalism it takes to be a great nurse. I hope things get better for you!

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