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Stressed out new nurse

I am having a hard time adjusting to the transition from school to work.

I have had an orientation that was promised to last 12 weeks but because we are so short staffed, it is being cut short. I am terrified to be by myself, the honeymoon is over and there are more threats of being written up for things that I was NEVER taught. I don't want to go to work everyday thinking I am going to be reprimanded for things I didn't even know were rules! This job is stressful enough without the constant fear of getting in trouble for things you were never taught, I am already afraid that I am going to miss some small change in a patient that may mean the difference between life and death. Most of the nurses are really nice, there are some with a bit of an attitude but I just brush them off. I just don't like being promised the world in the interview and then finding out that the reality of the floor is total hell! I have been off for 4 days and still I don't want to go back, I have only been there for 2 months! I don't even have a license yet!!!! (next week is the test) If it is true that the horror lasts a year I do not think I can take it! I know there are more of you out there that feel like me, I just need to know that it is going to get better. Should I get a different job when I get a license? What does it say about a floor that can't keep nurses because of low staff?


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5 Responses to “Stressed out new nurse”

  1. Cindy Says:

    Well, it gets better….you’re feeling overwhelm because you are in an unfamiliar territory…..Take it one day at a time….If you quit every time you feel like this, then you will never know what you are missing out on….You are new to this field, I’ve been a nurse for 11 years and I still remember the first time when they threw me out there on my own, but I got through it, one day at a time…But trust me, I wanted to quit so many times….I remember going home crying every night for two months, but it got better…..Hang in there….Just don’t forget to chart, chart, chart, chart, coz if it wasn’t charted, then it was never done….Know your patient rights, hospital policy and procedures, and try to get along with everybody, especially the seasoned nurses, because it’s true when they say that they eat their youngs…..Good luck and God bless!!!!

  2. Clark Says:

    lol. It gets no better. I went through exactly what you did. I left and went to home care. I vowed never to go back to the clinical setting again. At this rate, lousy pay, inadequate orientation, and lack of staff and managerial support, there will continue to be a nursing shortage.

  3. Jason R. Thrift, RN, BSN Says:

    As the previous two said, Ellie, it will get better. Small moves. I’m actually writing a paper now in grad school about the benefits of a mentorship program for people like yourself that really need the support. Believe me, I will never forget my first day, week, month, or year as a nurse (and unfortunately yes, it does take a year to adjust-but take a deep breath, ok?). The research I’ve seen has new graduate nurses, like you, saying the exact same things you’ve said. Nursing is tough getting started, but as Cindy suggested if you give up you’ll miss out on a whole lot more later.

    I’ve been a nurse now for 9 years and I wouldn’t trade the experiences I have had for the world. It’s made me a better man for it, and hopefully a better father too. And yes, I cried as well over some of the overly strenuous days, nights, weekends, because it truly is hard.

    But it will get better! You’ll grow in confidence, you’ll believe in yourself, and you’ll understand better. The people around you do forget sometimes, but you have to remind them that you are there and that you do need help. They didn’t do it on their own and neither can you.

    Although a mentorship program won’t help you in your current situation, I would strongly advise you become an advocate for something like that in your organization for the future. Never forget how you began, because there will always be someone following you doing the same. That’s what got me through and it made me want to help the new ones out that followed me too. That and God, because I prayed A LOT! Still do.

    But don’t worry about everything or else you will mess up on everything, that is a fact. Just do what you know you can do and when you meet something you can’t, ask for help. Patients lives are at stake and if a licensed nurse won’t help you, they put their own license in jeopardy. Plus the fact you don’t have one yet, so they HAVE to help you.

    But as far as the job, well, what I’ve experienced myself, it takes a year to adjust to any new job in nursing, meaning if you started in med surg and moved to critical care, it would take you ANOTHER year to adjust to that. Better to just stay put where you are for this year, then maybe after you have some experience as a nurse think about moving somewhere else if you don’t like it where you are anymore. My feelings were, nothing was going to conquer me. I will make myself do this, even if it kills me because if I left then I would be running. And no matter where you run, it’s always the same.

    So breathe deep, pray for strength, wisdom, patience, and guidance, then go out there and just do it! That’s all you can do, Ellie. And feel free to vent here any time.

  4. Zula Says:

    It does get better after 2 years. Every single time I have moved to a different hospital ( and that is quite a few) it is the same everywhere so don’t bother changing hospitals because it will be the same there also. You really do get used to it. Just ask a lot of questions….and know your basic nursing knowlege really well and us “old” nurses will respect you for it. Don’t act as if you know everything or be judgemental re: other “experienced” nurses. At this point you don’t know whether the “methodology” of other RNs is good or bad. I have been at it for 30 years and never had a “real” orientation ever. But there are Rns that will take you under their wing…so cultivate those relationships…and Good Luck! 🙂 Personally, I like new nurses…someone has to take over when I keel over!

  5. vanessa Says:

    Yes, i am here,two months on the floor and I feel exactly the same way..Let’s just hang in there okay.Thank you to all the seasoned nurses for your support…it is very appreciated!

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