Any nurses out there who have left nursing or are seriously planning on leaving?

  1. I'm curious to see if there are any nurses on this site that have successfully left the nursing profession. If so, what career do you now have and how difficult was it for you to switch careers? If you are seriously planning on leaving the profession, what do you want to do?

    After less than a year in nursing, I want out! I'm willing to do whatever it takes, but I am finding the process very difficult. First of all, I'm finding it hard to narrow it down to what I really want to do. I think this is because I was too reckless in my decision to pursue nursing and I want to get it right this time, to the point that I am being obsessive about it. There are many other careers that I am interested in, but I find myself picking them apart and comparing them to the things that I dislike about nursing. I am terrified of ending up in another career that I don't like. For example, I was interested in pharmacy for awhile, but then I thought about the hours. Many pharmacists work evenings, nights, weekends, holidays, etc. I'm sure that there are jobs out there where they don't, but like nursing, it may take years to get there.

    Another difficulty that I am running into is the fact that I have a BS degree that lacks the basic sciences required for most of the programs in which I am interested. I would have to go back to school for 2 years in order to complete the prereqs for many of the programs! One example is a nutrition program that I looked into. The admission counselor intially told me that my BS degree would be all that was required for the program. After checking out my transcript, she seemed shocked that I didn't have courses that are required for most life science-based BS degrees- calculus, organic chem, biochem, foreign language, physics, etc. It is very frustrating.

    I'm just looking for some support from fellow nurses who have been through this process. I guess I can see why so many nurses who are unhappy stay in nursing. It is difficult to get out!
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   jjjoy
    I've posted parts of my story here before. I realized clinical nursing wasn't my thing and so started looking for other kinds of jobs. I couldn't decide what to do, either and still haven't gone back to school because I don't feel strongly about one thing or another and fear ending up with another degree that I don't use. So I've decided for now to not go back to school. I looked for job openings in health related areas and had to be persistent. The jobs were fairly sparse but persistance finally paid off. It was tempting at times to apply for nursing jobs, there's such demand around here and the pay so much better than other entry level jobs, but when I seriously considered the day to day reality of such work I felt more confident about changing directions away from nursing. I'm very happy with my computer-oriented office job.

    I also kind of regret not taking the core science courses in college instead of the intro pre-nursing courses which don't usually count towards other science majors. But oh well. Gotta work from where I am. Anyway, I don't have answers for you but I can let you know that you're not alone in your feelings. Good luck with whatever direction you decide to take!
  4. by   Mulan
    I've left it as much as I can by cutting my hours down to bare bones. The problem is I am not qualified to do anything else. Don't know what else I would do if I wanted to start all over.

    I definitely understand where you are coming from.

    Good luck.
  5. by   Jo Dirt
    I've been an LPN for 5 yrs. and an RN for 7 months and I am so ready to get out of nursing altogether. To me, most nursing jobs are "dead end." For one thing, I love the patients, but on the other hand I am not a people person and it really stresses me out to do this (sure, I realized you had to work with people when I got into nursing and I thought I would learn to deal with it but I didn't). I don't like being expected to look a certain way and to know "everything" because I'm an RN. I really don't like how some patients (and especially families) believe they are your "boss" and you are their "servant" and attempt to lord this over you at all times with lawsuits and rumors of lawsuits (in fact, my boss and myself have been called into a meeting with an attorney next week. I don't like to be away from home and my children. Let me be like the old woman in a shoe!
    My husband doesn't like the idea of half our current income being lost but since I've learned I'm expecting and I know he really wants more children I'm going to use this as leverage on my behalf.
    Meanwhile, I really do need to find an alternative income. In the past, I have been into making the natural herbal soaps and candles and I know there are people who have made little businesses out of this. Of course, it wouldn't be much but with some frugality I might make it work. I also sew and have been told I'm very talented, to which my internal response was "yeah, sure" but this has put some dreams into my head about possible businesses like custom wedding dresses or something.
    At any rate, I've had it with nursing.
    Last edit by Jo Dirt on Nov 10, '06
  6. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    .... I also sew and have been told I'm very talented, to which my internal response was "yeah, sure" but this has put some dreams into my head about possible businesses like custom wedding dresses or something.
    At any rate, I've had it with nursing.
    I pay a taylor large amounts of money to custom-make all of my scrubs.

    I find fabrics that I like, and send them to her. (I met her on the internet, we've never met in person). She makes scrubs tops to my measurments with the features I like. She also makes a matching scrunchie and stethoscope cover to go with each top. Using my fabric, she charges me $12. per scrub/scrunchie/scope cover set. If she uses her fabrics, she charges $17. I buy gorgeous, unusual, high-quality fabrics. My pts always comment on my scrubs.

    I started buying custom scrubs because I'm hard to fit. I ended up buying more and more because my scrubs are so beautiful and high-quality.

    I pay my taylor/seamstress approx $500./year for new scrubs. She has many clients.

    Maybe you could do something like this?

    You could put up flyers on public boards at hospitals and such.
  7. by   Mulan
    I sew a little for myself, and I tell ya, I'd want more than $12 for sewing all that!
  8. by   fiveofpeep
    I am not a nurse yet but I am planning to be a nurse practitioner down the road after being an RN. My mom is an ER Nurse and works with a nurse practitioner who says her job is alot less stressful, alot less running around, and more mellow. Maybe that could be a resource for you? It would only be two more years of school hehe.

    I know that I would get burned out being an RN but getting a masters and being an NP would definately open up more doors to me. I guess it boils down to why you dont like nursing.
  9. by   mom23RN
    I left nursing after about 5 years. When I had our second child (our first child died when he was 10 weeks old) I just physically could not leave her to go back. I would get ill just thinking about it. They offered me more time off, then even more personal leave but even after 6 months I wasn't ready so we parted ways.

    I have been out of it for almost 6 years now. Last year I started doing medical transcription from home. It's great as I can do it part-time (while the kids are at school, napping, after they go to bed, etc.) and I make better money than I did as a nurse.

    Oh.... side note- No one throws up on you or pees on your shoes either. :spin:
  10. by   Mulan
    Quote from mom23RN
    I left nursing after about 5 years. When I had our second child (our first child died when he was 10 weeks old) I just physically could not leave her to go back. I would get ill just thinking about it. They offered me more time off, then even more personal leave but even after 6 months I wasn't ready so we parted ways.

    I have been out of it for almost 6 years now. Last year I started doing medical transcription from home. It's great as I can do it part-time (while the kids are at school, napping, after they go to bed, etc.) and I make better money than I did as a nurse.

    Oh.... side note- No one throws up on you or pees on your shoes either. :spin:
    So sorry to hear of your loss.

    Your job as medical transcriptionist sounds good, how does one get into that?
  11. by   pyrolady
    Mom23RN - how much does a medical transcriptionist make and how do you go about doing it??? Did you have to market yourself? How did you find doctors to transcribe? Charge by page or hour? Different formats for different docs? I have an acquaintance who knows someone in that field - said she even does transcription at the beach on her laptop!! I've thought of it before because you can do it from home and I love secretarial work but I'm afraid I won't make as much as I do now. Any advice is helpful.... Also, one might consider medical coding or billing as it can also be done from home... however, you need to market yourself because most docs who work in hospitals have a signed contract that they will use the hospital for stuff like that. Thanks in advance for the help with above...
  12. by   pyrolady
    One more suggestion - if you have a BSN you can test for being a Nursing Home Administrator or an Assisted Living Administrator. Good money, office work not floor, everyone in the bldg. is under you. I have an administrators license and did it in the state I used to live in. Nice - however, I don't like the accounting side of things (I leaned more towards spend spend spend because these people need and deserve the best care). Not too well liked by the corporate world
  13. by   CrunchBerries
    Kat...

    >>For example, I was interested in pharmacy for awhile, but then I thought about the hours. Many pharmacists work evenings, nights, weekends, holidays, etc. I'm sure that there are jobs out there where they don't, but like nursing, it may take years to get there.<<

    Keep in mind there are other alternatives within pharmacy. I did contract work for a pharmacy that did home IVs and injectables. My job was to teach the patient how to hang their IV, inject their Enbrel, etc. It was a home infusion pharmacy. I really did more work in the area of drugs than teaching.

    As for hours all the RPhs and PharmDs at that pharmacy worked hours between 7AM and 7PM. Those were the pharmacy hours. Some worked 7-3:30, some worked 12 hour shifts, the pharmacists really picked their own hours.

    There are soooo many places outside of retail to work in pharmacy and the hours are great.
  14. by   cinja
    I was originally in school for nursing, taking all of the pre-reqs but switched to BS degree in mortuary science when I was able to walk on the football team at the University of Minnesota. The funeral business is not a bad lifestyle but not much money unless you own the joint.(start in low 30's with little room for advancement) I left to have a career in Law enforcement in which I was injured and retired at 35 I am now currently halfway thru my accelerated BSN. Mort Sci's pre-reqs are the same as nursing and most states don't need a bachelors degree to be a Mortician/Funeral Director although state of MN did.

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