This is kind of a rant, you’ve been warned.
I am 22 years old and the youngest nurse at work and one of the few Registered Nurses at the skilled nursing and acute rehab facility I work at. I love my job but I feel like I am constantly having to prove that I belong. It has gotten a lot better; my first week was absolute hell. I wanted to quit…but I gritted my teeth and pushed forward because no matter what the other nurses or employees thought about me I knew that I could handle this position caring for 32 residents, even as a “baby nurse”. The first few days were overwhelming. I would find myself constantly on the verge of tears because call lights were going off left and right, I could NEVER find my CNAs, the other nurses ate lunch together while I ate alone, I still felt like I needed more orientation but I was receiving comments like “Two weeks? Who gets orientation for two weeks?” (ummm lateral violence much?) I was also constantly mistaken for a medication aid and when people would realize that I was not only the nurse but an RN, not LVN, I would feel apologetic instead of proud and that I should play it down so as to not seem like I thought I was better than anyone else. (Which I don’t!) Combine that with no friendship support in Texas and I found myself feeling like I was treading water about to drown. I doubted my nursing skills, I doubted my decision to follow my passion to geriatrics straight out of school, and I doubted my decision to move to Texas…Ya’ll it was hard. I would sob driving home and lay awake every night second guessing all of my decisions.
But then things began to get better. It started with me holding my head up and continuing to show up for work each day and throwing myself into providing the best possible care that I could for my residents, because at the end of each day how they were cared for and how they felt, that was what mattered. I also talked to some of my girlfriends back in SC and that helped to. Who would have thought that after working my booty off in college for 4 years that I would need to be reminded that I am not only a Registered Nurse but one with a BSN from the College of Nursing from USC. My preceptors would have chewed me out had they known the doubtful thoughts I was having about my nursing abilitiesthey didn’t train no fool nurses! Also, some of the nursing staff left-apparently their bitterness was there before I ever was hired and the other staff began to come around as well when they saw how hard I worked and how much I truly loved my residents. Things are so so good now that some coworkers asked me the other day in the break room how I always managed to be so happy. I have another post to do about happiness, but here is the response I gave, “Happiness is a choice, and I will choose happy over any emotion any day” I still sometimes receive negative comments and vibes r/t my age AEB snide comments, dirty looks, and being flat out ignored but I have
discovered developed a confidence in myself that will not be shaken. I am a good nurse, I earned my degree and licence that qualifies me to work as a RN, and I am a kind person who given a chance will be hard to dislike. I hold no grudges or bad feelings about how my career in nursing got off to a rocky start because all of the challenges have provided my with perspective and growth.
I’ll leave ya’ll with this quote it’s one of my favorites and a great reminder to never let anyone hold you back.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
… We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
– Marrianne Williamson