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 Pain, critical care, administration, med.
I am a new RN just about to be off my 10 week orientation in a few days and I am really regretting going into nursing. I was a great student I worked my butt off, I really had an interest in it, and I still do, I like reading nursing journals, I like reviewing my nursing notes. I moved from CT to Florida to get a job because the job outlook in CT was bleak. I moved to Florida and 1 week after getting my license endorsed I got a job. I was at this one hospital for 8 weeks and was bullied, I felt like my preceptor and some of the nurse aides were purposely bringing up small "problems"(which were not even issues, really, saying I wasnt "nice"-I am the nicest person I know) to management to get me fired, and would never help me no matter how many times I asked. I also felt like I didn't fit in, so I found another job and quit. So now I am at this new hospital and I like most of my co-workers, everything is electronic so no verbal, no phone orders, I feel like my job is streamlined. The aides are very helpful and professional. There is a lot of teamwork, and ,my pt load is 4-5 pts, but it is a high accuity med-surg floor. For some reason, I am just not liking it. I dread going to work everyday. Looking back, I have enjoyed every job I have had before this, even minimum wage jobs, and I would work 60 hours a week to make extra money. I dont think I will be volunteering for more hours than my minimum required to make more money though I could because I just dont want to go. I feel that me volunteering to work an extra shift would break me- I feel like some incident or accident would occur and it would change my life for the worse, I would be liable for something, sued for something and I would get my license taken away. I just dont like being so responsible for the lives of every pt. I get blamed for things that I had no hand in doing, simply because I am that pt's nurse. For example, I tried to draw blood on a pt, was unable to. I asked a fellow nurse, he tried, could only get a little, needed a new tube, the charge nurse handed us a new one from stock room. He got the blood and sent it down, I labelled it and initialed it. I get a call from lab that 2 different pt labels are on it! I felt so twilight zoned, I didnt put another pts label on a new tube, and I didnt see another one on a brand new tube from stock room. So I got a talking to from the manager about patient safety. They somewhat resolved it, not really knowing how the label got on it, just said something like oh well maybe a sticker from another tube in the lab got stuck to it. I just dont like that everything falls on our shoulders even if we had no knowledge of it, had no hand in it. I feel that others would throw you under the bus in a heart beat to save themselves. I also feel that many other professionals in the hospital that are not nurses yet work with pts will slack off with some aspects of their job because they have a RN that will finish things up for them, ie PT has just worked with pt, put them in chair, "Oh, they had a BM, you will have to get them cleaned up, byebye". Some will leave the pt to sit in their own filth for others to clean up when they are the ones that discovered it, and others are good about it and will clean up the pt. They are busy but I am busy too! I also dread walking in not knowing what kind of assignment I am going to get for the day, what kinds of new problems I will face, what problems I will have to solve, what I wont know how to handle, what the night RN left for me to do that really shouldve gotten done 2 days ago,ie rotating IVs. Sometimes I feel that some night RNs barely look at the pt, they can barely recall certain things in report etc. Skin? IV? Dsg? I know certain things cant get dealt with at night, but I feel like a lot of things are left for me that couldve gotten taken care of as well. Also, I hate that I know I am getting an admission at 2 or 3 pm but here they come at 6:30 pm , 30 min before shift change. If you are an ER RN please, stop doing that! I feel trapped and on top of it all, I just found out that I am pregnant, so I wont be leaving anytime soon. Just venting....[/quote']

You seem to have a lot of issues about a lot of things. Nursing is not perfect although it is the most rewarding profession there is. I have been a nurse for 30 yrs and see lots. Nursing school does not prepare students for the real world. Yes we are responsible for a lot but that is our role and our patients count on us. Yes the day is long and busy but ensuring patients needs are met again is our role. We can't spend the shift worrying about what isn't right, what others do but worry about ourselves. Be open to feedback and listen to what others observe,its all about perception. I am always a believer that someone can make a good nurse. If you are not happy then maybe you need to find something else. It doesn't sound like you are and the patient always suffers.

Specializes in Pain, critical care, administration, med.
I just want to say thank you to everyone who posted here. I am feeling downhearted as it seems most of you have (or are). After 10 months at my first nursing job in LTC I am finally starting on a Med/Surg unit. I'm very excited most of the time but I also go through periods of apprehension. I started my current job feeling confident intelligent, and hopeful and am now insecure and hopeless. To say my job was disappointing would be an understatement. I tell my husband all the time I just want to be good enough. I have become hypercritical of myself and feel like a failure. I feel I will never be able to relearn all the knowledge that has escaped me. The past year has been an emotional roller. I don't know that my psyche can ever be repaired, but knowing I am not alone means so much.[/quote']

You can do it. Stop feeling for yourself and put a plan of success in place. Read your professional journals and go to some med/surf conferences. Take a diagnosis of a patient you are caring for and read about it...just the basics. You can do it. I was in management for the last 10yrs and list my job. I took on a job as a early response team leader. That was scary not touching a patient for 10 yrs. I think I am doing a great job and what I don't know I ask about and research. The staff and residents look to me for the answer. You don't have to be cocky but be confident and ask questions. Hang in there you will get it! Stop beating yourself up.

Specializes in Critical Care.

Wow, I'm sorry! I can't say my introduction to nursing was rosy either and I won't lie and tell you how rewarding it is now. Many things you mention are common, more so in certain hospitals/regions. ER will never ever ever stop giving you the 630 admit, so just expect and prepare for that every day so you get out on time. If you go work ER, you will understand why.

You don't even know how to be a nurse yet, much less decide you hate it. You won't feel lost, dreadful, and frustrated every day forever. Your job is streamlined and task oriented. Nursing is 100% responsibility, 0% authority. You are smart for worrying about being sued, and you should already have and keep it for a few years after you quit/retire. There are tips, classes and seminars about how to write your notes to protect yourself as well.

GL and Congrats! :)

Sounds like you're one of those people who would rather hate their job and make the patient suffer because of it - you suck in my opinion and I hope youre never my nurse!!!!

That was in response to the person that said suck it up because the wage is most important.

I, like MommaRN86, have a passion for geriatrics. As far as the theory that being a CNA first may change the choice of career........No. I was a CNA for a few years before the journey to RN. Matter of fact, that is the reason I decided to become a nurse. I have been through the whirlwind of "I hate it"..."It's not that bad"...."I want to change careers"........But then I would come across patients (usually geriatric) that express great appreciation for us nurses. I always tell these patients, "Patients like you remind me of why I became a nurse." At 40 years old, I have worn many "nursing hats." Med/Surg (was even a charge nurse), Tele, ICU, Home Health, Travel Nursing, Agency, LTC, and LNC. After spending 4 years in a Nursing Home (first as the Wound Care Nurse, Medicare Nurse, then ADON), I returned to the Home Health world and realized that the on-call & mileage was why I left that field before, but I tried it again because of my love for geriatrics (Geri-Psych certified). At that point, I decided to go a whole other route.......LNC at a LARGE malpractice law firm. Day after day, I felt as though the 4 walls were my only friends and my butt was becoming chair disgruntled. Not to mention, I soon realized, Doctors and Attorneys had a lot in common. (I'll leave it at that :whistling:). On the few occasions that I got to go out the Nursing Homes to interview staff about a case, I would interact with the patients. I began to realize, again, why I went into nursing. I am currently pursing my NP with a certification in Geriatrics and have recently been hired on at the VA Community Living Center (aka Nursing Home). When I worked Home Health, I really enjoyed visits with our Veterans in their homes. I enjoyed listening to their stories and experiences and always made it a point to express my gratitude for their service to our country. I have prayed A LOT about my career and decided to let "Jesus take the wheel" (as the song says). I began pursuing my NP and returned to agency work. I really had not thought much about the VA, as it had been a while since I applied for the position. Then, out of the blue, I received a call for an interview. Three months of rigorous paperwork, reference checking, physical, vetpro, etc............I begin a new journey. The opportunity with the VA will allow me to move up once I complete my NP, while continuing to receive great benefits and moving towards a decent retirement, one day. Not to mention, I have the opportunity to care for Veterans who have shown great loyalty to our country and deserve to know how grateful we are. So, before anyone decides to throw away a hard earned nursing degree, just think of the MANY career choices nurses have. Nursing is one of the only professions that has such flexibility. There are so many opportunities in and out of patient care available to us, and we have worked so hard to get to where we are!!!

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