Experiencing the Good and Bad of Nursing

I am a new graduate RN, formally an LPN (for 1 yr-got it while in nursing school). I have discovered there are many aspects of nursng both good & bad. I love helping people, have real compassion for the ill & injured and have strong faith (really helps in the profession). I currently work in corporate nursing prn & at a temporary staffing agency. Watch out for staffing agencies, once I got my LPN way back when, the first assignment they gave me was taking care of 16 patients in a nursing home. I was told I would have 4 blood sugars, one tube feeding and just one round of general meds-all this on the night shift. Here’s what actually happened, I got there & the charge nurse said she was glad I was here (she was outside smoking a cigarette) and was leaving, she never went back in.

Anyway, I didn’t have a clue about what to do. There was no count off of meds, no nurse & only one CNA & myself to 44 patients. I had 16 (was told 8 max) blood sugars, one TPN, one tube feeding, 3 colostomies and two wounds to tend too. Then add 5 med passes all in a 12 hour shift. I had no idea the rules & regulations of medicaid/medicare & what that meant in terms of charting (it was extensive). I called the charge nurse-she had walked off the floor & left the building. I called the agency after I called the Director of Nursing (she didn’t answer her home phone, cell phone or beeper) & I asked the agency for assistance. I was left hanging, nobody showed up to help…not agency, the nursing home, the D.O.N., or even another CNA. The CNA I did have I caught sleeping twice, it was awful. Now that was the bad side of nursing.

The good side: I absolutely love corporate nursing but it’s so hard to break into. I hate renal but love my patients. I find the patients make the ugliness of nursing worthwhile. It’s the staffing shortages & superior attitudes of some of the nurses & physicians that make the work ugly. I still wouldn’t give up nursing for anything-the rewards way outweigh the pitfalls. I have had the cream of the crop for bosses at some of my temporary jobs and the biggest asses I ever met too. In 5 years, maybe transplant team or strictly corporate nursing I don’t know yet. I have to get through the next couple of years to figure out what my next step is. I do know that I am looking into RN to MSN programs. 30 years retired or administration. I work in Greenville, SC, Atlanta, Ga, & Durham, NC