From an editorial in one of my nursing mags: “[this magazine] has always, and still does, emphasize that you need to work in a place right for you, where you fit into the culture, can use your best skills, and work with colleagues who energize you and your passion for what you do. What’s most important is that you stay in nursing.”
From my career and finance horoscope from last week (I swear I do not base my life on these things, I just happened to read it and it fit for that particular week): “Talk to your boss or investigate other ways to let your entrepreneurial spirit soar. Your spirits take a corresponding lift on Thursday when you pay attention to your ambitions. On Friday, a difficult situation can become a pathway for new potential. It’s time to heal old wounds. Too much work leads to burnout, which doesn’t do you any good.”
A week ago Tuesday I did talk to my quality boss about taking a full-time position in the department. I asked for a couple days to think about it. I didn’t want to take the job simply because I was panicked about money. When I returned to the office on Thursday, after talking to a friend and doing a lot of thinking, I decided to go ahead and take the offer. As it says in the first quote, I realized that this department is, in fact, a place where I fit into the culture, where I can use my skills, and my coworkers energize me and my passion. And as my horoscope said, I had to think about where I want to go with my career. I realized that the quality offer made more sense than holding out for another bedside job (which I’d be hard-pressed to find at the moment, anyway!) when I ultimately want to be in the quality business (I’d love to do it as a true clinical nurse leader on a unit level, but the idea hasn’t quite caught on yet).
So my difficult situation has, in fact, become a pathway for potential and I am healing my old wounds. I don’t think I realized exactly how much my clinical job had been sapping my energy. For months now I’ve really felt down in the dumps. Even my free time has been spent feeling as though I couldn’t do much more than nap on the couch. Last weekend (after I made my decision to join quality full-time) I felt so much energy and optimism. I felt as if I could finally get out of my own way. In retrospect, I really was feeling burnt-out… which is sad when you consider that I was only in that job for 8 months.
I wonder how many other new nurses are going through this. I ran into one of the other nurses from my orientation class at a skills fair this week and we were catching up. I could see the exhaustion in her eyes and the fact that she’s not having a good time. We didn’t get into too much detail, but I did get that she’s feeling like she needs more support in her work. We agreed that the best part of the new grad program was the opportunity to spend time with other people at the same experience level and share our challenges and we miss having that opportunity. At the end of the conversation we exchanged numbers. I’m thinking of starting a support group!