(Closed) Do you love your job? Unhappy in nursing career. Time for a change?

posted 7 years ago in Career
  • poll: Should I stick out my nursing career for a little longer?

    Yes, you're only new to nursing, stay on the new ward and give it a chance.

    Yes, you're only new to nursing, go back to your old ward until you figure out what else to try.

    Yes, you're only new to nursing. Try out a completely different field/workplace.

    No, you sound unhappy. Maybe try to find a job with normal business hours.

  • Post # 17
    Member
    24 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    @hidingpearl:  I am also a nurse and have been for 2.5 years and have stuck at the same job, and I definitely love my job. I work in a small town hospital in L&D/post-partum/nursery. Being a small town, we’re not very busy that often- we average about 25-30 deliveries/month. Therefore, it’s usually not crazy busy so I haven’t gotten burnt out yet, but I have gotten experience in 3 different areas and feel like I’m one of the lucky ones that got my dream job right out of school.

    What does suck is my schedule. Working 12 hour shifts is not easy. I hear ya when you say you have no time for a social life or working out. And I work nights, so I feel like all I do on my working days besides work is sleep. The girls on the night shift and I often experiment with our schedules to see if we can come up with something to make it easier on our personal lives. Right now I’m doing block schedules (3 on, 4 off, 4 on, 3 off) and next schedule I’m gonna try out 5 on, 5 off, 2 on, 2 off. So most of the time, it’s not horrible, although it’s definitely not my favorite work schedule ever. Working in a hospital sucks most during the holidays, when you’re away from your family Frown So that time of year can sometimes make me depressed.

    If I were you, I’d ask myself, why did I go into nursing in the first place? If it’s something you can still picture yourself being passionate about, I would hang on just a bit longer but start searching/applying for other types of nursing jobs. If you look at it as “just a job,” maybe it is time for you to move on (you don’t want your bitterness/exhaustion/stress to start impacting your patient care!). However, now that you’ve had some experience being on the floor, it may be easier to get on somewhere else. The possibilities are endless! If you’re looking for a 9-5/weekends off schedule, how about case management? Of if you’re looking for flexibility, how about home health? Something less stressful? Try a smaller hospital like the one I work at (plus smaller hospitals tend to pay their nurses more!)! Nursing is definitely a hard job and oftentimes we are not appreciated and definitely overworked, but I think once you find the position that suits you, you may find happiness- and work may not seem like work! I wouldn’t give it up after just 1.5 years- you gotta get some use out of your hard-earned nursing degree! Good luck- keep us updated! Smile

    Post # 18
    Member
    233 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2008

    I’m a ward nurse and I know exactly where you’re coming from! Maybe you’re just not a ‘ward’ nurse. I know I’m not, and I’m trying to find other areas to work in.

     

    Have you considered theatre, ICU, or other specialty?

     

    I’m currently looking into options like a renal unit, vaccinations, peri operative etc.

     

    In the mean time, probably go back to your old ward so you’re not miserable. 

     

    good luck

     

    Post # 19
    Member
    11736 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I work in health care consulting and there is definitely opportunity for RNs there. That way you can be in the corporate world with normal hours but still put your degree to good use. There are hospital admin jobs and health insurance jobs you could look into as an RN, too.

     

    good luck! Being at a job you hate is miserable. Find something you love, life’s too short and you spend way too much time a work to not love it!

    Post # 20
    Member
    454 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    What about switching back to the old ward for now, and training to be a NP in the long run? NPs work in the community, their jobs are very varied and interesting, and the hours are good. If the NP speciality existed in my country I’d sign up for it *tomorrow*! 🙂

    Post # 21
    Member
    4494 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I know very few people that love their job. I like mine and I get a lot of perks with it so that helps a lot, but I don’t love it. I could do it forever, but I don’t know if I will. Like PP have stated, I would look into switching your work environment before starting completely over.

    Post # 22
    Member
    5217 posts
    Bee Keeper

    @hidingpearl:  I’m a Registered Nurse. I was a CNA at 18 and a licensed nurse at 21. I was a medical nurse for most of my career, and got really burned out. With all the changes coming down the pike with healthcare, I think things are going to get worse, not better. Have you considered psych nursing? I work as a psych nurse now, and I love it! It is so different from being a medical nurse. Psych nursing always interested me, and I’m glad I made the move. Why don’t you ask to shadow in some different specialties? Nursing is so diversified. Don’t give up just yet.

    Post # 22
    Member
    262 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    bump?

    Post # 23
    Member
    262 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    I’m nursing in canada, worked for a little while in an acute care hospital, quickly switched to a rehabilitation hospital. orthopedic, abi, geriatrics, and lots of wound care and things that couldn’t be managed at home. it’s interesting enough. I have been working in this hospital for about 4 years. i’m currently ‘float’ and 12hr shifts. this job is temporary however and will be going back to part time in april. they are currently doing SO many changes to this hospital and have already started cutting nurses to hire health care aids, (psw?). I’m worried it will take me a very long time to get full time, or even keep my job if they keep cutting. I’ve worked in home care and long term care also prior to this.

    loved the advice from PPs, hopefully someone else can comment?

    Post # 24
    Member
    262 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

     

    View original reply
    nightowl:  what did you end up doing?

    Post # 25
    Member
    1552 posts
    Bumble bee

    View original reply
    nightowl:  I know this is an old thread, but…

    At the time you posted this, I’ve been a nurse for about the same amount of time that you have. For my first 6 months I worked OB, and ended up hating it. I switched to Med/Surg and have been there about a year now. I don’t love it, but I’m sticking it out until I have enough experience to land an office job. Normal weekday hours, no weekends or holidays, that’s what I’m aiming for. But right now, I’m working 12 hour nights, some weekends, Chistmas Eve and Christmas day this year. GAG. Some doctors are really pleasant, but the rest treat us like garbage. The “higher-up” nurses sit in their comfy offices and tell us floor nurses how to do our jobs. We’re on our feet for 12+ hours at a time. Some patients act like we’re their personal servants, while others are kind enough to actually say “Thank you.” It’s those kind patients who keep me there, for as long as I need to be. I know that with my current education, there is no other job that will support me financially the way this job supports me. I just have to stick it out until I have the experience to land myself a more comfortable job in this field. If I ever come across enough money, I will go back to school and pursue an entirely different occupation.

    Post # 26
    Member
    262 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    View original reply
    Willow90:  I completely agree. 12 hour nights for me over Christmas…  Thanks for posting. I at first was getting bored, thinking maybe I should specialize in something more interesting. Wounds, icu. But then thought maybe I just don’t want to be a nurse. But sadly, as much as I don’t feel compensated, I can’t think of anything else that does pay as well. I often think about day time jobs. My good friend snagged an educator job. Has his own office, mon- fri etc. so easy lol. And another staff from this hospital was asked to take on interim manager for a special ‘waiting for long term care unit’. I think I would be happier doing that. Back to the land of the living so to speak. Just not sure how to transition etc. 

    Post # 27
    Member
    1552 posts
    Bumble bee

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    Mrs-mcm-0507:  At this point I will just be rambling, but I feel like I want to say this.

    I find it wonderful that so many people who are going to nursing school are excited about it. Hopefully they will still be excited after working for a while, because we need nurses like that. In school, I was excited too.

    Now, I think I’m a very good nurse. I’m compassionate. I don’t ignore my patient’s needs. I will hold hands, answer questions, call a doctor in the middle of the night to obtain an order because it will make my patient feel better.

    But lets say I have 8 patients one night, with the help of a CNA, which is fairly common for me. The first few hours are always hectic. I’m passing around all the scheduled medications. At the same time, I get about 3 or 4 calls from people who also want their pain medications. Another person wants to be repositioned (after they had back surgery today) and one other needs help going to the bathroom. The aid I’m working with is giving someone a bath, and that’s ok. She’s doing as much as she can, and I’ll do as much as I can. We work as a team, after all. First, I help an elderly patient to the bathroom, because her bladder can’t hold it, and I don’t want her to try walking to the bathroom in urgency and risk falling down. On my way to reposition the post-op back surgery patient (who is in tears because he can’t move on his own and feels helpless), I call the charge nurse to see if she can pass a pain med to another patient while I’m working on other things. Charge nurse says she’s too busy because she’s getting an admission. By the time I get around to passing my first pain medication, another patient is calling me for the second time because they haven’t received their pain medication yet. I finally get around to passing my pain meds and also work on finishing up my scheduled meds. At this time, the CNA I’m working with is now free, but she doesn’t have the authority to pass medications, so I’m still playing catch-up.

    Flawed system, anyone??? Some nights are certainly easier than others, but this scenario is not uncommon. This doesn’t even take into consideration the average 2-3 codes a year for each nurse at my hospital. CPR can be a wonderful thing, but to be honest, it usually doesn’t work. So, take a hectic night as described above and top it off with watching someone die.

    And that’s why I can’t wait to get an office job.

    Post # 28
    Member
    262 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    View original reply
    Willow90:  I feel ya sister! my faaaaavorite (can you see my eyes rolling through the screen) thing about nursing is when EVERYONE else’s job still some how ends up being my responsibility. Pharmacy techs call in sick.. And I have to package up LOA meds or write out pages and pages or mars.. No dietary aid today? And we have to pass out everyone’s trays and clean them up? No rec aid? That’s ok.. The nurses have time to put the patients in the wheel chairs and drive them over to the other side of the hospital to drop them off in the gym and bring them back. Plus bitter family members. And yes.. I was a kid dreaming of being a nurse. Loved school, found it extremely interesting. But I sure do wish in first year they would have shown us what it’s really like. Flawed system. Apathetic interdisciplinary team. And it seems weekly they add more and more to my to do list.. 4 points of hand washing?! Ya ok… No pre pouring meds. ‘med rec’ (have you heard of this BULL! Takes hours to complete.. Have to find HOME MEDICATIONS, enter them (not by typing) but by finding in a list of names, doses, schedule etcetc.. Compare that to in hospital. Print it out. Have a doctor sign it ( but they don’t care.. Cause they want the pt to be on the hospital medications antways?.. then fill out computer and paper charting to say it’s done. On admission, transfer, discharge. OMG. And then why not add nutritional assessments (we have dieticians because ??) just grrr… The list goes on and on. And how many minutes to do actually get to spend with my patien.  Doing assessments, giving treatment. It’s bologna. Oh and pff the newest thing now is safety at work. Ya get 14 people total care washed and up for therapy between two people, but don’t do anything unsafe! Always have two for transfers and turning.  Use this sling to help you turn the patient that takes 5 minutes to set up and roll them. Sorry.. No. 

    Post # 29
    Member
    1552 posts
    Bumble bee

    And doctors. I get along with most, if not all of them. But when I call them in the middle of the night to report important and very relavent information to them, and the first thing I hear is an audible sigh? Um, sorry to disturb you, but you know very well what you signed up for when you went to medical school. So sorry to disrupt 3 minutes of sleep when I’m up all night waiting hand-and-foot on people (some who could care less about their own health). These are the same doctors whom some patients rave about, by the way. Bahhh. I could go on and on, but I’ll just work myself up!

    Glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    Post # 30
    Member
    21 posts
    Newbee

    AHH glad to see I’m not the only one who is feeling this way! I have been working on my unit for a year now. I worked as a nursing assistant at the same hospital for 3 years, hated it, but I always saw the light at the end of the tunnel knowing I was eventually going to be a nurse. I now work as an RN on a med surg unit. I have a love hate relationship with it. Some nights I love my job, but most nights I am sick of it. I’m so sick of coming home every morning feeling like I am 80 years old with a sore back. I’m sick of dementia patients. The majority of our patients are senior citizens and many of them have some sort of dementia. Add some heavy, agressive, agitated, incontinent patients to that list. I’m just not happy there. It blows my mind when I hear that some nurses on my unit have been working here for 10-15 years. HOW?! Recently I was talking to my fiance about how I want to look for a new job after the wedding. I dont know what I want to do, but I am ready to get out of here. Fiance is actually a nurse too,but he works at a childrens hospital and he LOVES his job. I wish I felt the same way about mine

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