Corporate America vs. Nursing- culture shock! Any others out there? - page 2

:behindpc: Hi all, I was just reading some more posts and noticed that there are a lot of 2nd career nurses out there. Was wondering if you could share some motivational stories or experiences with... Read More

  1. by   anne74
    I definitely experienced back-stabbing, people taking credit for your ideas, etc. in the corporate world. But you got to go to the bathroom, eat lunch, and if you made a mistake, not one got hurt. I also got paid a lot more!

    I've been pretty disappointed with nursing. I've been treated much worse by other nurses- constantly judged, constant scrutiny, and that started even in nursing school. Nurses really do eat their young. Sometimes I feel like I'm back in Jr. High School. I also have nurses tattling on me, and often get called to the "principal's office" for very petty things - like not swiping my badge properly. Also, I work med/surg, so I feel like a waitress with more liability. I often can't spend quality time with patients, and instead of doing critical thinking - which I like the most - I'm killing myself to carry out the constantly changing orders.

    I don't mean to sound negative, but I do miss my old desk job. (I would have stayed in it, but I got laid off which is very common for my old field (marketing/PR). I now have terrible student loans, I'm miserable in my job, I'm physically killing myself and I'm making less money. But I've only been doing it for 7 months, so I'm trying not to give up yet. Next week I'm tranferring to a new unit (PACU) so I hope I'll like it better there. If it doesn't work out, I might eventually combine my degrees and do healthcare marketing or consulting.

    But, as you can see from other postings, some people have really good experiences with it and are happy with their change. Good luck!
  2. by   promises
    I also worked in IT for 5 years and I am now a nurse for 1 year. Just like the corporate world, nursing have some negative issues but I know that I'm more at peace in nursing than the business world. I can't stand the politics in the corporate world. Although these things also happen in nursing, I look at the the positive effects that I can bring to the patients. For me it's about making a difference in someones life and this is what keeps me going. Hope everything goes well with you.....
  3. by   Sheri257
    I hear what everybody is saying. I researched all of this in detail before I switched careers. There's a reason 500,000 licensed RN's aren't working right now.

    But, the reason I decided to go into nursing is because I live in California. That was key in my decision. Quite frankly, if I didn't live in California, I would not have done it.

    We have a ratio law and unions that have gotten pretty good wage increases that have only gotten better since I've been in nursing school. Wages in my area alone have gone up 30 percent just since I've been in school.

    And the job opportunities are phenomenal and getting better all the time. If I eventually want a desk job ... that's readily available. And, if I hate one job, there's ten other jobs I can try. There's so much you can do with nursing, the opportunities are endless. And, if I'm willing to drive, there are some jobs that pay $80 to $90K to start ... even as a new grad.

    Let's just say I don't miss the corporate world all that much. I certainly don't miss the layoffs and tons of uncompensated overtime. And, I definitely don't miss the prospect of my job being exported to India or my job taken by some 20 year old kid who will work for peanuts.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Sep 22, '06
  4. by   HARRN2b
    This is a good conversation. Lizz, I always enjoy your posts

    I, too, am a corporate marketing refugee!
  5. by   HARRN2b
    Lizz,

    I am hoping that the rest of the country follows California. I think with the aging of the baby boomers and republicans leaving office soon, the tide will start to turn and hopefully other states will follow.
  6. by   augigi
    I went the other way - bedside nursing to a medical device company. Like having to learn a whole new language! Sure it's nice to work in a pretty office, get to travel, have work reimburse you for things, get paid about twice my nursing salary, and influence the success of a medical device.

    But I find I preferred wearing scrubs to wearing suits, the bedside to the boardroom, and a feeling of satisfaction after a shift. Not to mention, having complete job security in nursing.. let's face it, they'll never not need me.

    My company now has a new CEO, negative environment, countless pointless meetings, and some staff being retrenched due to "changing direction" of the company.

    I think I will head back to nursing soon - I've learned a lot in my 3 corporate years that is invaluable, but it's just not my passion, and it's a lot harder to get excited about going to work.
  7. by   socishan
    Wow, that's very enlightening Lizz. Definitely gives me hope and things to look forward to. One of the reasons I decided to get into nursing was because of the many opportunities available.

    I, too, have noticed some of the petty tattling and such things going on in healthcare... but I think that it goes on in corporate America also, but it's much more discrete. People in my old fortune 500 company were more quiet about things, but there was definitely backstabbing and tattling going on. And certainly others who took credit for work which was not theirs. And, I myself worked TONS of overtime with no compensation other than I made management happy enough to keep my job : ) In nursing, people just seem to be more open and loud about their complaints/tattling. They say it to your face or within earshot instead of behind your back (which is worse, I don't know! I'd almost rather have something negative said to my face where I can defend myself instead of said behind my back). Maybe this is a conclusion I've jumped to unfairly. But, my experiences with nurses on this website have been great. So many helpful, experienced, and caring people seem to flock to this place.

    I am trying to keep all things in perspective as I continue with my switch... it is great to hear your stories.
  8. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from HARRN2b
    I am hoping that the rest of the country follows California. I think with the aging of the baby boomers and republicans leaving office soon, the tide will start to turn and hopefully other states will follow.
    California, a blue state, tends to be more liberal than the rest of the nation. The majority of the states are hardcore red conservative and would never dream of following California's good lead on protecting their worker's interests. It's unfortunate, but true.
  9. by   socishan
    LOL, Augigi- that's a good one. How could I forget about all the silly production/process improvement meetings?
  10. by   WickedRedRN
    Quote from lizz
    I. And, I definitely don't miss the prospect of my job being exported to India or my job taken by some 20 year old kid who will work for peanuts.

    :typing
    Amen sister! Corporate survivor here too...years in the "big blue phone company" and what did I get for it? Chased into the bathroom anytime I dared have to go pee, constant sniping, backbiting, finger pointing, headaches, stress, and micromanagment. Oh yeah, and laid off too after years of being threatened with office closure, they finally (blessedly) went and did it. Now when you call the phone company, instead of getting my friendly midwestern voice, you get...India.

    Granted, nursing may not be the best environment in the world, but it is where I belong. I have known since I was 18 that I always wanted to finish my nursing degree. Corporate politics have given me the opportunity to do so (by lay offs) Since my first clinical day and working as a CNA, there is nothing else that fits me like medical work does. And I have job security, no one is standing over me threatening me that if we dont sell X amount, corporate will close us....there is always a place for me, anywhere in the country we decide to go. :wink2:
  11. by   piper_for_hire
    I've been a nurse for just over a year now and I worked behind a desk for about 12 years before that. There certainly are vast differences between corporate america and nursing/hospitals. Here's a differences that I always think about:

    * there are tons of jobs, but no retention strategies. In other words, they treat you like crap even though they desperately want you to stay. When I was a evil pointy haired boss, I spent most of my time working on "team building" Hospitals seem unaware of the idea of team building.

    * in corporate land, the higher you went up the ladder, the more people there were gunning for your job. You weren't paranoid, people were out to get rid of you and move into your office. In nursing, people attack you for the pure pleasure of it. Nobody wants my job and I can always get another one with a fat sign-on bonus.

    * As others pointed out, far too many people are unprofessional. It's completely tolerated and almost normal behavior. I'll never get used to this.

    * You don't read about hospitals going under, loosing their funding and you don't get laid off every six months. There is a lot to be said about job security.

    * There are many more options in nursing than in the corporate job world - and, if you specialize, you can make big bucks doing really interesting work - if that's your thing. I start grad school next year and I can't wait.

    * nursing sucks less that corporations

    All in all, the transition from corporate land to wearing pj's to work has been a rocky one, but totally worth it. It give me the feeling that anything is possible. Really felt "trapped" in my corporate job and now I don't have that feeling anymore.

    -S
  12. by   NRSKarenRN
  13. by   rach_nc_03
    Quote from anne74
    I definitely experienced back-stabbing, people taking credit for your ideas, etc. in the corporate world. But you got to go to the bathroom, eat lunch, and if you made a mistake, not one got hurt. I also got paid a lot more!

    I've been pretty disappointed with nursing. I've been treated much worse by other nurses- constantly judged, constant scrutiny, and that started even in nursing school. Nurses really do eat their young. Sometimes I feel like I'm back in Jr. High School. I also have nurses tattling on me, and often get called to the "principal's office" for very petty things - like not swiping my badge properly. Also, I work med/surg, so I feel like a waitress with more liability. I often can't spend quality time with patients, and instead of doing critical thinking - which I like the most - I'm killing myself to carry out the constantly changing orders.

    I don't mean to sound negative, but I do miss my old desk job. (I would have stayed in it, but I got laid off which is very common for my old field (marketing/PR). I now have terrible student loans, I'm miserable in my job, I'm physically killing myself and I'm making less money. But I've only been doing it for 7 months, so I'm trying not to give up yet. Next week I'm tranferring to a new unit (PACU) so I hope I'll like it better there. If it doesn't work out, I might eventually combine my degrees and do healthcare marketing or consulting.

    But, as you can see from other postings, some people have really good experiences with it and are happy with their change. Good luck!
    anne,

    i felt the same way about hospital nursing. I was astonished at how many people acted- literally- like twelve year olds. and i had a manager YELL at me because I needed to have surgery to correct a problem that was making me fall on my a** on the floor. I was working peds, and my leg would just give out, and BOOM! I said it wasn't safe for me to take care of patients like that, and she screamed at me because i was 'inconveniencing' her.

    also had a supervisor follow me in the bathroom to yell at me, which she continued doing while I sat on the toilet. I was embarassed by the behaviour of people like that, and I wish they were the exception to the rule. sadly, there were plenty of them.

    i hated the fact that any physical injury immediately made you a liability and target for the wrath of management. I hated the fact that docs, patients, etc. seemed surprised that I was intelligent, as if they thought a monkey could do my job. But the thing that got me the most was the culture of martyrdom- not only was I expected to go without urinating for 13 hours, I was supposed to be PROUD I worked so hard that day! UGH.

    Now I'm back in the corporate world (ok, it's a nonprofit, but similar culture) as a nurse consultant for a health insurance group. I make twice what I was making as a staff nurse, and I'm combining my former career experience in marketing and corporate strategy with my nursing training. It's interesting to come back to that world- it's hard to get caught up in the frenzy of some big project planning session when you've taken part in actual life-or-death situations, you know?

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