Sunday, March 01, 2009

Dark Days

Life is not so good right now. School seems harder than ever. I am exhausted. When I look in the mirror I see a haggard woman that I hardly recognize. The problem is that all of a sudden, nursing jobs for new grads have dried up. I am hearing about hospitals that have initiated hiring freezes, something that was unthinkable just six months ago. Charlottesville has only two hospitals and I interviewed at one of them and have not yet heard back. I didn't really want to work at the other hospital in town, but looked at it as my back-up hospital, but now they aren't hiring anyway. Two of my other back-up hospitals are not hiring--both of these hospitals are an hour away from me. There are other hospitals, all at least an hour away, but I have put off applying because I really don't have time for job interviews right now.

Q. But Patience, what about the nursing shortage?
A. With the economy in the crapper, retired nurses are returning to the workforce, part-time nurses are switching to full time, and hospitals don't have the money to invest in training new grads.

So I am doing all this work, getting up at 4:30am on clinical days, spending 8-10 hours writing care plans, taking exams, freaking out with anxiety about not performing well in clinicals (and pediatric clinicals are terrifying for me), for nothing. In previous semesters, the thing that kept me going was the knowlege that I'd have a good job that I enjoy at the end of it all and now I don't have that motivator.

Add to that chronic sleep deprivation and the stresses of home life, such as my kids being endlessly sick this winter, and I am a wreck. I can't carry on a decent social conversation, I've headache every single day for the past three weeks, my husband is frustrated with me, my kids are miserable, I can't find any enjoyment in life other than tea and books, and even the tea doesn't taste good anymore.

I'm thinking that if all else fails I could join the navy. Or work in a nursing home, but even the navy is more appealing to me than a nursing home.


  1. What about working for a medical practice? Or, as you mentioned, in a nursing home or a retirement community? It might not be ideal, but it would be employment and you could get experience until your eventual transfer to a hospital.

  2. I'm going to be the optimist here, because that's just how I roll, and say things are going to perk up at least enough for one new nursing grad to get a job (that's you).

  3. Grrrl! Stop freakin' the f*rt out!! You are a WINNER. YOU are ARE a WINNER! YOU ARE A WINNER!! Stick to the plan and you will be rewarded. This too shall pass.

  4. Oh honey, I am keeping you in my prayers. You WILL be fine. Your hard work WILL pay off. You WILL get enough sleep.

  5. Oy, I'm sorry. :( I hope things are looking better soon.

  6. I'm sorry. I have complete confidence in your success. I wish there was a way to skip the dark, sucky part. Why does there always have to be so much dark, sucky part?

    Good luck with the pediatric clinicals.

  7. My sister is an RN. When her kids were school she had her name on all the school's lists as a substitute school nurse. She has also done work for Hospice.
    She has supervised 27 new graduate nurses in the past 2 years.

    I will say some prayers that you'll be okay with the stress.