Post # 1
I’ve been a nurse for about 5 years now and I’m really starting to feel the burn out. I worked in ER and now I’m in the float pool at my hospital. A lot of my peers are going back for their nurse prac but honestly I feel inadequate and the thought simultaneously terrifies and intrigues me. Any other hospital nurses turned NP? How was the transition? Do you like it? Or any other career path after burning out on hospital nursing? Wound care? Clinical documentation specialist?
Post # 2
I’ve been a nurse for 6 years now and I’ve reached burnout several major aggression incidents and a major shakeup in ward design this year and I just can’t do it anymore I’m currently applying for a desk job away from patients. I never thought I’d move away form ward nursing and I’ll miss my patients and my team but I just need a break
Post # 3
I’m just about to start my career into nursing and I felt like this as my student placement ended on a acute medical unit, working with nurse practitioners every day, the job looked more intense but they love what they do. If the patient is at your forefront, go for it.
Where are you based? Do you have community nursing? Or even holding clinics? That seems a little less intense in another way, still having targets to meet?
Post # 4
I have been a nurse for 6 years working Med surg the first three and pacu the last 3. I am graduating from nurse practitioner school next week. It’s not nearly as intimidating as you might think. It just builds on the foundation of what you already know. I’m sure my first few months of work will be similar to the feeling I had as a new nurse…somewhat terrifying and lots of second guessing and asking questions. But the good thing is all of the physicians I’ve worked with during clinicals are happy to answer questions. I would highly recommend looking into programs if you are interested. It’s a high demand area right now.
Post # 5
almostmrsmj : I’ve heard of nurses working for insurance companies that evaluate disability claims. I’m pretty sure it’s a 9-5 office type setting.
Post # 6
I have been a nurse for a little over 5 years now, and definitely know what you mean. I worked ortho for a year, med/surg for 2 years, and now oncology for almost two years. I can’t imagine doing anything else, but at the same time I am definitely feeling the burnout with the challenging and tragic patients. I just finished my first year of NP school – part time, so 4 years to go (DNP).
What has helped me a bit is deleting my work email from my phone, and not picking up extra shifts. That way I only do my 3 shifts/week and am not constantly bombarded by work-related stuff. It also helps on my days off to make sure I do a workout and spend some time outside walking/rollerblading, etc.
Post # 7
OT but wanted to heap praise on all of you for doing difficult and sometimes unrewarding work.
I recently spent over two weeks in a highly specialized NICU and my family and I were persistently amazed and aware of the stellar contributions made by those men and women of the nursing profession who cared for our cherished grandchild.
Although some of you may choose to leave the field, please be sure that your time gave some or many pople in your care a chance that they might otherwise not have had.
MANY THANKS TO YOU ALL, whatever pofessional choices you make in the future.
Post # 8
I’ve been on my floor for 2 years now (oncology) and am feeling beyond burned out. The nurse eat nurse mentality is present on my floor and the lack of support is awful. I’ve been playing with the idea of switching to a office job but the pay cut will stink…the way our NPs act make me want to never go to NP school.
Post # 9
FutureMrsF23 : yeah I think I would enjoy a clinic setting vs a hospital setting but unfortunately here it seems they only hire LVNs and I have my RN so am overqualified. But if a clinic job for an RN came up that would be fabulous
rockchalk84 : congrats on graduating! Thanks for sharing. I think the thought of feeling brand new again is what terrifies me as right now I feel very comfortable and confident that I am doing my job well but also feel as if I don’t have the skills or knowledge to do anything else if that even makes sense 🙁 did you like PACU?
Cupcakenurse : congrats on finishing your first year! And on making a change for yourself 🙂 yeah, I used to work 4-5 days a week (looking back I don’t know how) but now I can barely stomach 3 and certainly can’t work them all in a row, what a baby! Exercise definitely helps me burn off the negative feelings I have after working too! Thanks for the advice!
snowysaku : that’s terrible. I would definitely encourage you to at least find a job in a different unit. Nursing is hard and you need the support of the other nurses you work with, especially in oncology where the work is more emotionally demanding. I was lucky enough to have really great support from the older nurses at my first job and feel that really helped me build a good foundation for nursing. Actually now that I float, I tend to choose to work on floors where I know there is friendly and supportive staff, and not necessarily where unknown the patient load is lower acuity. For me, having a good or bad group of coworkers really makes or breaks a shift.
ann.reid.9277 : thank you for your sweet comment! Hearing those types of things truly helps. It’s hard to do the things we do and honestly rarely hear comments like this thanking us. Not that I am doing it for a thank you, but at least for me, it’s hard to go on doing a job and encouraging myself to believe I’m making a difference without someone else confirming it. Self doubt and such starts to creep in. I really feel I get quite the opposite reaction from my patients for the most part and leave work feeling beat down, abused, berated. Anyway, congratulations on your grand baby and I hope he/she is doing well!
Post # 10
almostmrsmj : I feel your pain!! I worked for 8 years as a nurse (med/surg neuro, public health clinic, hospice) before becoming a nurse practitioner. I realized about a year into NP school that it probably wasn’t a good fit for me but family and friends encouraged me and told me it was probably related to the stress of working as a hospice nurse and being in NP school. I’m going into my second year as a nurse practitioner and find the level of responsibility, liability, endless charting, and serious lack of work life balance to be exhausting. This is job #3 for me (unsafe patient numbers and toxic environments have kept me moving) and I have experienced more disrespect as a NP from MD’s than I ever did from fellow nurses while working on the floor. My current boss is an incredibilty toxic and egotistical MD who spends her days cussing out and belittling her staff often times in front of patients. I realize there are NP’s out there that don’t feel this way….but I say at least shadow a NP before you consider applying to a program. I’m working with a professional/life coach to figure out next steps because I certainly do not see myself working as a traditional NP forever. I think investing in a few visits with a professional coach to really do some soul searching on what you’re looking for in a career would be well worth it!!! As for me, I’m finding I enjoy the human connection more than the techinical aspect of nursing/NP. I think I’ve felt embarassed to admit that until recently when I realized that’s where my natural talent lies. I don’t know what that means in terms of my career path but I’m working on figuring it out 😉 Hope this helps!
Post # 11
Hi fellow nurse bees! :). I’ve been a nurse 7 years– and def get the burnout. I recently transitioned from the ER to an outpatient clinic. It is a whole different world!!! Even just the schedule is life changing. Hope you find what you want! Nursing is a wonderful career- you can change so much!
Post # 12
mrsabdglow : thank you for taking the time to reply. I think part of what makes me so apprehensive about NP is the thought of having MDs (or anyone really) belittling me while I’m trying to learn a new trade. That would be so nerve wracking (and I’m traumatized by a very egotistical and disrespectful..to patients and nurses alike…ER doc my first year of nursing). I hope you find a good fit for you. I feel very frustrated as I was sure nursing was my calling and am feeling very disenchanted with it at this point. It’s a struggle for me to think about doing anything else because I’m still holding out hope that I’ll find my niche and really loved it like in my beginning-of-college dreams lol. actually, I think I feel the opposite as you–I’m finding I like the technical aspect more than the human interaction sadly. I have a lot of social anxiety and while nursing has helped that a lot, it still fills me with panic sometimes going to work just because of the thought of dealing with so many people. Talk about a misguided career choice 🙁 (even though the idea of being a healing helping hand to ailing people is of course what drew me to nursing in the first place). Anyway, good luck and I truly hope you find some place in your career that fulfills you and makes you happy, even if it’s outside of any kind of nursing!
mjunior : I think a schedule change would help a lot, I work nights and that alone is exhausting physically and mentally, not to mention 12 hour shifts can be brutal (but also awesome because 4 days off every week!) I’m glad you found some relief!
Post # 13
I know someone else mentioned this, but insurance companies sometimes hire on nurses as case managers or investigators. My mom worked as a nurse for 15 years (the practice she work for closed), switched to insurance in 1999, and has been there ever since.
Her nursing background was critical for audit investigating since she had the medical knowledge to determine when procedures were being billed correctly versus when someone was billing a higher cost procedure. She’s pretty introverted, so apart from site visits, it’s really just her and her department every day. She works 7-4 and has the ability to work from home when she needs to.
Maybe that’s an option for you?
Post # 14
I’ve been an RN for about 2 years. I started on a very demanding renal med surg unit and was burned out after 18 months. I moved into hospice as an RN case manager. I still work in the hospital (which I love), but I don’t provide direct patient care. I conduct hospice informational visits with patients and families, facilitate hospice admissions (whether they are general inpatient, or discharge home with sign on), manage discharges for those being discharged home with hospice, and act as a liaison between the hospital staff, the physicians, and our hospice agency. So far I am really enjoying my new position and I can see myself doing this for quite some time.
There are so many different settings to be a nurse, if a few aren’t for you, keep searching!