“New Nurse and I hate it”: Does this sound familiar?

Every nurse’s first year is very difficult and most of them hate it, as they inevitably have a lot of exhaustion because of the long hours or the daily dynamics make them doubt their knowledge. But as you gain knowledge, experience and critical thinking skills you will change your attitude about your job and the nursing profession will probably change.

In this article we’ll talk about why it’s so hard to be a nurse in the first year, what to do if you hate nursing, how to stop feeling incompetent as a new nurse and much more.

Is it bad to be a New Nurse?

It’s not uncommon to get nurses who hate their job, even though they love helping others. But why does this happen, what can you do without dying trying?

At the beginning of this profession nurses have to cope with many things, for example: controlling bosses, tired and agile co-workers, mountains of paperwork or (occasionally) rude patients. Not to mention, you have to live on the clock. And no doubt, more than one will want to scream, “I hate being a nurse!”.

However, every nurse must take action and find a way to get through those difficult years and change that “I hate it” to “I love it”. Because you probably don’t hate nursing but rather dislike the messy, even toxic environment, overwork, understaffing and/or constant pressure to meet quota.

Do you see what I’m getting at? Nurses really love their patients and love to make someone’s life better, they will simply have to figure out what made them lose interest in their job and then look for a solution, as it is never too late to love this profession again.

How to stop feeling incompetent as a new Nurse?    

Nurses live in a constant state of burnout due to overwork and this is not a surprise to anyone. Still, it is a situation that affects both the nurse and the patient; as it can jeopardize the health of patients.

Burnout has several negative consequences such as fatigue-related errors and among them are:

  • Loss of concentration.
  • Less energy.
  • Less attention to detail.
  • Less empathy.

The big question is: what to do when you are already on the verge of collapse? Primarily, you have to start setting boundaries and sticking to them.   And doing so does not make you a bad nurse – on the contrary – being aware of your limits will provide both the sick person and the patients with a better quality of service.

On the other hand, it is important to have vacation time. This undoubtedly generates well-being, increases happiness, improves sleep habits, improves cardiovascular health and reduces stress.  Additionally, resting at work is a necessity and not a luxury. A study conducted by the American Nurses Association found that 35% of nurses “rarely or never” took a lunch break.

It is very important to take breaks during your shift to either eat, rehydrate or recharge. By applying it you will see the changes during your shifts.

Is the best option to give up Nursing? Or not?

Not really, no. There is always a better choice if the desire is to seek a better benefit for your life. There are a lot of options for nurses who are not comfortable in a normal nursing situation. The following are some of them:

  • Private duty nurse.
  • Health coach.
  • Telehealth nurse.
  • School nurse.
  • Cruise nurse.
  • Occupational nurse.
  • Nurse educator.
  • Forensic nurse.
  • Itinerant nurse.
  • Special populations nurse.

These are some of the options for nurses looking for a change of pace. In other words, you don’t have to give up your career no matter how difficult it may be at times. You will simply have to look for the choice that best suits your needs.

Be careful, the choice is not always easy, so it is good to consult with friends, family and look internally.


Despite the difficult situations that a nurse may go through, there are always two paths: continue to exhaust herself until she collapses or look for a better option according to her needs.

It is not an easy task to change jobs or even professions. But it is important to ask yourself, do I really hate nursing or do I hate the stress at work? Knowing that answer will make the decision easier. Because, at the end of the day, you can’t compromise your own happiness on something that doesn’t make you happy, but if you otherwise know internally that nursing is your dream, keep going despite the daily fear and horror!

Marlene J. Shockley

My name is Marlene J. Shockley, and I am a Registered Nurse (RN). I have always been interested in helping people and Nursing seemed like the perfect career for me. After completing my Nursing Degree, I worked in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and home health care. I have also had the opportunity to work as a Travelling Nurse, which has allowed me to see different parts of the country and meet new people. No matter where I am working, I enjoy getting to know my patients and their families and helping them through whatever medical challenges they may be facing.