I did it… I graduated, passed my boards, and landed my dream job as an ER nurse. So, what is life like as a new grad RN? I think my friend said it best with this meme.
Every. Single. Day.
And honestly, the feelings of being overwhelmed continue to get worse as you progress through orientaton.
Now part of this is me. It’s not that I have never been challenged before, but overall, I am decently intelligent and a very hard worker, which means I tend to get things pretty quickly.
I am not getting nursing. I’m just not.
And it’s serious business. If you miss something, someone could literally die.
Now in an ideal nursing world, you have a preceptor there to guide your steps and keep you from killing someone. I have been blessed to have some wonderful preceptors,
but we are grossly understaffed. So, with four weeks left in orientation, I already was left with my own team.
Now the silver lining of all this is we all feel this way. Every single RN who graduated with me feels this all encompassing, overwhelming sense of failure. A google search will tell you this is how being a new RN is. It’s terrifying. And hard. Every single shift will feel like varying shades of failure. That’s probably why 20% of new RNs leave in the first year and then another 1 in 3 will leave in the next three years.
Before this blog gets so dark, that you wonder why anyone wants to be an RN, I will say that when I have a terrible day, my wonderful husband always takes time to remind me that the people I care for deserve good nursing care and my hospital already struggles against socio-economic biases in the community. And there are moments that are wonderful, if they are far and few between.
So, I don’t regret this, but I want to be real. This is hard and scary. And I don’t know if there is an end in sight. But only one way to find out.