To the new grads.......


Hey new grads! I just want to give some encourgement from one new grad to another. Here's my story:

As most of you probably already know from my posts, I started off in the ICU right out of nursing school (bad mistake, but that's another topic). I had several preceptors, some good, some not so good. I was stressed to the max, vomiting before coming to work, crying at home. Then one day, the light bulb went off and I decided enough was enough, ICU was not for me.

So, I asked to be transferred to the ER. Granted, I never had an ER rotation while in nursing school, and never thought the ER would be someplace I would "fit" in. However, when I did my rotation in the ER while in my new grad residency program, I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT! But because I already had agreed to work in the ICU, I didnt want to "rock the boat" and ask for a transfer (mistake number two).

I go to my director in the ICU and asked to be transferred. I told her the ICU was not a place for me at this time in my career and it was a bad mistake going there right out of nursing school. I also explained to her I'm a hands on repitious learner, and I need to do things several times before I become confident. I also explained that I feel very overwhelmed and way over my head and I know what I don't know and I'm not gonna pretend I'm confident when I'm not, because I could potentially hurt someone and lose my license that I worked so hard for.

The director tells me she is "blown away" by my honesty, and she will allow me to transfer. She put a good word in with the ER director and I transfer. Not only did I transfer, I am also working the weekend alt program (Sat and Sun nights, get paid for 3), which is a total blessing.

Fastfoward to a month later, I get an email from the ICU director who wants to do my 6 month evaluation. I was NOT looking forward to this evaluation because I thought it would be "bad". I will have to sit and listen to her tell me how "bad of nurse" I am. To my surprise, I got a satisfactory evaluation, mainly because I was very honest about my orientation and my abilities. I also got high marks in my work ethic, time management, being a team player, and my willingness to learn. The ICU director also wants to hire me back in a year once I get some experience.

Well, I now have no desire to go back to the ICU because I have found my nitche in nursing. For the last 3 days, I have attended a SANE educational course, and I am FASCINATED by the foreniscs! I want to become a SANE nurse and I am putting those wheels in motion to get the ball rolling. I also want to become a certified Foreniscs nurse. I believe being a SANE nurse will allow me to show compassion to those victims and allow me to make a difference in their lives at such a vulnerable and traumatic time. Not only that, I will be helping the community by helping get a rapist off the streets.

Never would I have imagined I wanted to do this type of nursing. I would not have had the opportunity to even know what I wanted to do, had I not experienced what I've gone through. Hang in there new grads! It does get better! I used to want out of nursing, I used to think I made a mistake by going into nursing, but it was not the right type of nursing for me. Hang in there and find your nitche. Don't give up!

From one new grad to another........


18 Posts

Specializes in PACU.

thats awesome! glad your so comfy finally :0) unfortunately not all of us have even found a job yet either... haha thanks for encouragement i cant wait to be in the situation you are in!


209 Posts

Congrats afro! Hope I'm as lucky once I get in, get out, and find a job ;-)

Specializes in Near Future: ED, Future Future: ACNP!.

Your story is awesome! I'm glad you like SANE and forensics! Once I get my RN (just starting in July), I will be going that route as well. I have a Master's in Forensics and hope to tie it all together :)


43 Posts

I'm really glad I came upon your post, I've been an LVN for about 9 months now. I've decided I do not like Med/Surg. I gave it my best and came up short. I'm too stressed out everytime i'm there. What I did discover is that I like pediatric patients. Unfortunately, if there isn't enough patients I get bumped to M/S. The last two times this has happened, the shift was very overwhelming and I wanted to just run out of there and not come back! I had a patient die unexpectedly, it doesn't matter that he was a DNR. I'm still trying to get over it. To get to my point, I did call and talk to my boss about how I felt about M/S and about the passing of the patient which greatly distressed me. This was last week. I was honest. I asked her if there might be a permanent opening in peds, and if I was to get bumped, due to low patient census, could I go orient in post partum or nursery instead of working in M/S because my stress level was too high. She was pleasant and agreeable. My husband said I probably shouldn't have mentioned the part about how some of my team leaders were giving me attitude that night as well. I have never complained about anyone or anything in my 9 months there. I'm encouraged by your post because I was honest too, at least she knows how I really feel about M/S. If nothing changes at least i'll know my boss knows. Hopefully things will get better as time goes on. I suppose the team leaders were too stressed out and that's why the resistance was there. I do work in a small community hospital. Thanks.


7 Posts

thanks for your post! :) very encouraging! its funny how i suddenly stumbled onto this pg. just as i contemplate to myself whether or not i should continue w/ nursing.i hope i find my niche in nursing soon! :) i really liked my experience in peds.but sometimes God has a way of showing us something greater that we wouldn't have thought of in the first place.will just have to wait and see


1,216 Posts

thank you for sharing your new grad story..I went into a stepdown unit right out of school (well not exactly,six months later and I'm so overwhelmed with my orientation and I have developed daily migrane headaches and today I finally broke down and started to cry...I knew that transition would be hard but I never expected to be so overwhelming,stressful,dreadful........I dread going to work and I question myself everyday if I'm cut out for this.

RN <><

87 Posts

Thank you for sharing i am in the ER now and I want to keep this job so bad I've only been there 2 days and I feel like I know nothing. lol.....thanks for the encouragement.

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU. Has 19 years experience.

Wowie Kazowie!

You underestimated your confidence.

You are one gal with a whole lotta moxie.

shoegalRN, RN

1,338 Posts

Wowie Kazowie!

You underestimated your confidence.

You are one gal with a whole lotta moxie.

By staying where I was, I was doomed for failure. I am in a more supporting learning environment where I can grow, learn, and develop as the nurse I'm meant to be. ICU just wasnt the setting for that and instead of beating myself up over that decision and trying to "fight" every shift to prove it to the experienced nurses otherwise, I decided to transfer. And since I've transferred, I've been able to sleep better, no more crying after work, and I leave work at work now.

Things worked out the way there were supposed to.

I feel alot more confident and somewhat comfortable where I am now and I don't regret my decision one bit. I just want to encourge others to find their nitche before giving up completely.


57 Posts

Thanks Afro! It's great to find a POSITIVE thread in this forum every once in awhile. Some ppl make nursing seem like a horror 24-7 lol. Congrats to you!!