i think i hate being a nurse?

Nurses Career Support


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:

Specializes in Hospice, ONC, Tele, Med Surg, Endo/Output.

Consider outpatient surgery, pacu, or endoscopy--in these positions the nurse starts ivs, takes h & ps and gives conscious sedation, and does recovery. Try to get off large hospital floors with lots of employees and ancillaries.

Thank you all for your support, I am so grateful.

Specializes in Peds.

Hey everyone!

Thank you all so much for your constructive advice and encouragement! It is so very much appreciated ;) Currently I am seeking a unit position that looks promising so, hopefully things will look up. I haven't logged onto this thread in a while just from pure annoyance at the first response, but I'm glad I checked back now to read your replies. It is also good to see other new grads experiencing some of the same feelings. Thank you to all those that took time out of their day to help fellow nurses :)

I gotta say the first thing that stuck out to me is --a float position as a new grad! Wow-- I would not ever want to do that and I have been a nurse for 7 years! Granted only 2 years in the hospital on a medical floor and 2 in inpatient psych.....however I would never take that on! I think that was your first mistake. I would sit down and figure out if there is one of those floors that you enjoy more then the others--the patients, the staff, etc. and try to get a FT position on just that unit. If there are other areas you think you might be interested in the hospital I would ask the Nurse recruiter for the hospital if you could spend some time with each of the units you are interested in. Maybe a day in each to get a feel for the population, staff and routine of tasks on a regular day.

I would never have lasted as long as you have doing the float thing so kudos for staying..... but I also think that is nuts of the hospital to even allow an new grad to be a float nurse. Generally all of the float nurse I ever worked with had many years of experience and had worked in a few different area over the years.

Get yourself to one unit and give it a chance before you decide nursing is not for you.

And if you like peds--keep in mind that there is peds psych too.....less stressful.

Good luck to you.

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

amms --- I think you should re-read Elkpark's post 2 or 3 times. She says a lot of good stuff in there. What impressed me most about your OP was the inner conflict you seem to be having. You like working with the kids ... but maybe hate your job. You work nights and that interfers with your personal life (and any sources of support you might develop) ... but you like working nights. etc. I also thought that going to grad school might be premature at this point if you are still not sure of your career path.

It sounds to me as if you are simply so stressed out by so many things that you need to take a step back from all that stress and clear you mind so that you can think straight. Calm your life down a little and settle into your peds nursing career in a position that will allow you to have a personal life worth having. Be able to enjoy your life (and your paycheck) by giving yourself a chance to have a decent life. Then - and only then) -- will you be able to make a clear-headed decision about your career direction.

1. Get a job that will give you colleagues you can get to know. Find a mentor, etc. and settle in somewhere for a little while. That will reduce your stress, help you be happier in your work, and give you a chance to mature a little in your nursing skills, which will be a good thing.

2. If you can, find a job where your work hours will give you a decent personal life -- with friends, family, etc. who can add quality to your life. Not having that leads to burnout real fast.

3. If you can delay school a little (take a break or slow down), that would be great. Don't burn yourself out by taking on too much too soon. Also, don't invest time and money (and your sanity) on grad school until you are sure you want that graduate degree in nursing and are sure that you will be using that degree for a career you truly want.

Good luck to you.

Specializes in Telemetry.
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.

I've been a nurse for 2 and 1/2 years. I started on a cardiac step-down/telemetry unit. I HATED my first year of nursing. All I did was cry, go home very late, and have people point out every single thing I did wrong. And I believe that my coworkers were, for the most part, supportive (kind of an oximoron, no?). My second year of nursing I went to the night shift and the pace was better, but my social life and physical body suffered greatly. I hated nursing that year. My last half year I switched back to days and only worked 2 days a week, my life sucked less but my finacial life started to suffer. Then I took three months off to go and take care of my dad, having no money drove me bananas. So then I started travel nursing (always thought that would be fun) and got sent to Wisconsin in the middle of the winter. I'm from Texas so, to say the least, I'm not currently having the best time here because no one should live were the temp. goes this low. As far as work goes I thought I'd kind of like it. Eight hour shifts were something I've never gotten to try. It is a med-surg floor so I thought I'd like the fact that the patients are quite as critical. But alas, I'm still not all that in to it. People are nagging because I keep missing charting stuff (there charting system is a bit redundant so I don't always chart everything everywhere I'm suppose to). I've only been here 3 weeks and I have 5 weeks left.

*Sigh* I guess what I'm trying to say is that I haven't found my nitch either. And that I find nursing to be a rather disappointing career. I like helping people, but we are streached to thin, we are expected to do to much at one time, and are made to feel like crap because we are human and can't do it all. The person I quoted I very much agree with. This is not something I would encourage others to get into and it is a career that I'm activley trying to find a way out of. I still want to care for people, but being this stressed and having all these crazy work schedules is stupid and counter productive to living. Not to mention the fact that in an average day I might get to pee once and grab a bite to eat (which is not saying that I got to have a lunch). Then I don't even get to clock out no lunch because 'it looks bad' and if I do it to often the manager b**ches that I'm the one with a time management issue and need to fix it.

For all of you girls/guys in your first or second semester CHANGE YOUR DEGREE NOW!!!!!!

There are jobs out there for nurses outside the bedside. Look into that if the floor is stressful for you.

I think I felt the same way after I'd finished Uni. You've gone through a massive change in the last year. Can you go on a holiday? Preferably a european one? lol

I never had any idea what I wanted to do, so that's why I work in ED where there is a little bit of everything.

I think in the last 7 years I've gone through that phase of (really) hating my job maybe 3 times. If I give it time, something sparks my love for it again. It's similar to the relationship I have with my husband (just joking) lol.

I totally feel your pain! I thought that after the first year of nursing, the feeling of carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders would end. But for me it didn't. I finally realized that I needed to try something new. To remember why I became a nurse to begin with. Would it be possible for you to go into home health working with peds? or some other non traditional peds setting? I worked med/surg-Onc. for a year, but always LOVED geriatrics. Just took a job in a memory care unit and am loving it. Thinking about grad school to become NP(in geriatrics). Good luck to you!

Specializes in telemetry/cardiac surgery.

I know how you are feeling! And I think it sounds like you are doing great; actually, all the nurses who have voiced concerns and frustrating experiences on here sound like the nurses I know: caring people who are asked to do TOO much! I have been a nurse for about two and a half years, and honestly, I have been frantically trying to figure out some other way to pay the bills, because I just don't think I can do this anymore. With this economy and job market though, I feel pretty trapped.

I want to say though, that I am so thankful for all of your posts though, because a little support of knowing I am not alone makes all the difference. Nursing is SUCH a difficult job! Not only do we have the great burden of caring for a number of critically ill patients with many co-morbidities, but we have to chart to the ninth detail on everything for legal purposes (because our country is so trigger happy when it comes to suing). We have to deal with MD's who are also stretched so thin with patient loads that they don't have time to actually come and talk to you, but just whiz in for five minutes, write pages of new orders, then leave without telling you they were ever there, we have to be a therapist and teacher to our patients and their families, a skilled technician, an athlete (all the lifting, rushing, squatting, bending), we have to be knowledgeable and experienced, we have to be waitresses, maids, multitaskers (of ten life saving things at once!), secretaries, organizers, planners, listeners... the list just goes on and on! And of course, all the while, smiling, being sweet and patient, showing empathy to our patients, because it would be oh so selfish to think of ourselves, because after all, look at the poor patient here who is ACTUALLY suffering...right? And I REALLY do care about my patients. They ARE suffering. And they deserve the time it takes me to sit down and hold their hand for a moment, (even though my own blood pressure is about to go through the roof because as I am looking calm and telling them I have the time to listen to them, I am thinking about the 500 other things I really have to do RIGHT now too). I think that is the hardest thing for me. I feel like I try to give sooo much, and really want to do a great job and be a perfect nurse, but I just can't, and so, at the end of the day, even though I gave my heart and worked (and ran) my butt off for hours on end, I always feel like it wasn't good enough, because there was the one thing I didn't get done. And I tell myself it is not my fault because they are asking more than anyone can do in one shift, but I still feel like scum. And I feel like I can't even complain about it to ANYONE else, because they will just think that if I don't like being a nurse (a profession where you are supposed to help people), then I must be a selfish, terrible person.

I would do anything to get a job, but can't seem to! I am an international educated nurse, soon to take my NCLEX, and have 2 years of experience as an RN intern. Nobody wants me :crying2:

Specializes in medical surgical, homecare hospice.

I feel the same exact way. I work at a hospital in a not so great environment in a urban city (NY). Management along with the staffing they provide suck. I have been in nursing for almost 10 years and I absolutey hate it. I can not believe I worked so hard to get here-just to say I HATE NURSING.

At times Ive asked myself if it is the facility where I work.

I've decided to start looking for a job and it iis more difficult than ever...that's another topic. I am going to just wish the both of us luck!

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