I graduated w/ my BSN last Spring and ended up on starting a tele-turned-COVID floor last fall. I felt very fortunate that I got a hospital job, but 2 months in, I was starting to realize how things weren't making any sense. It wasn't just me that noticed my lack of knowledge or piecing things together, but I could tell my preceptor was getting frustrated with me too. She said I had no sense of urgency for things; I struggled to think critically, I was always so task oriented (nursing is a second career for me). I didn't struggle with the hands on skills, I felt like that was my strength and I knew from my friends who are nurses that you can't be so hard on yourself so much. I took every little victory on the floor as a win for me (like putting in an IV on my own), and there were days I felt so stupid, I'd drive home after my shift crying.
I also thought my educator was there to support me, but I was belittled over things I didn't realize would be thrown in my face. During one meeting with her, she spoke negatively of the fact that I took multiple attempts to get an IV in on a mannequin arm and draw blood from a PICC line. This was during the first week of orientation, and I had never done either in nursing school. From the beginning, I didn't feel supported, but I pushed through. Fast forward weeks later, and she was belittling me again over the same thing. I don't know if the combo of my educator and preceptor together contributed to my lack of success on a 6:1 tele/covid floor, but I so badly wanted to succeed. At 10 weeks, I was told to go to nights, and I had to say no because I have epilepsy and bc of the nature of my condition, I couldn't put myself at risk.
I got transferred to an outpatient neuro clinic, and now I'm basically at a desk all day helping out the doctors, answering "triage" calls and doing med refills. I don't feel like a nurse anymore, I feel like a failure almost every day now, to the point where I cry about it. I don't feel like I know anything, and I didn't feel like I would be a safe nurse on the floor because I didn't know how to pick up on things on my own after 10 weeks. I didn't know how to critically think, I was still working on it.
Overall, I feel like a failure. I can't be the only one who has felt like this. I question myself constantly about that experience. I had so much faith in myself that I would succeed. I feel so stupid that I couldn't manage the chaos, the ratios, and learn how to do my job.