Do you ever regret becoming a nurse?

  1. I have been a nurse for 3 years. I worked in neuro ICU and then switched to PACU in hopes of being happier. I am also 1 year into NP school.

    I have good weeks and bad weeks but it seems like the bad weeks are getting harder and harder to get through. I feel like I am often yelled at, berated, harassed and abused by my patients. Belittled by doctors and torn down by my own colleagues. I understand that some of this may be the type of place that I work and who I work with but I feel like a big part of this is just nursing culture across the board. Nurses are treated as servants, nurse-to-nurse bullying is a huge problem, nurses are overworked and understaffed....I hate to regret becoming a nurse because I really do love taking care of people. This is definitely not what I thought nursing was going to be like and according to the older nurses the profession has changed for the worse.
    I do realize I am a little thin skinned but I don't want to change who I am in order to survive, that quality in me might make me a little sensitive but it also makes my empathetic and capable of emotional connection.
    I worked really hard in college to become the best nurse I could be and feel like, what was the point? I get treated like I am unintelligent, replaceable, and inhuman...
    I decided to go back to school in hopes of being a little more respected and to able to use my brain a bit more instead of feeling like a trained monkey...
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   CrunchRN
    It is tough, but hang in there and it will get better.
  4. by   prelift
    It taught myself some social skills back in the day otherwise yeah didn't like it at all. Being the only dude on a floor of middle aged females was not very pleasant. Especially when on the days you worked they all had back issues and could not lift anything more than their pen.
  5. by   Everline
    Straight answer? Yes. There have been times I deeply regretted becoming a nurse. I removed myself from the particular job that made me feel that way nearly every shift. Since then, I have times when I wonder what I was thinking when I decided to go to nursing school. But those times are not nearly as often and they don't last very long. Nursing is stressful, patients can be unreasonable, employers often expect too much from nurses and I agree there does seem to be something in the nursing "culture" that can be rather harsh at times. I feel lucky that I have met so many great, helpful and friendly nurses and not that many mean ones. But even with cool coworkers, the workload and demands can wear you down and make you feel like you don't even have time to be a nurse...at least not how you envisioned it or how it "should" be. I love my current job because I get to educate patients, which I like doing. But even having found my niche, it can still be stressful and there are times I think I will just say goodbye to nursing and go get a job at the mall, lol. Like I said, it doesn't last long and I think every profession/job has these moments. If they happen too often for you, there might be some changes you can make. I don't know if you'd be willing to leave your job or how much longer you have in school. But you sound really discouraged and unhappy and I don't think it should have to be that way. I hope you can find a solution!
  6. by   HeySis
    I'm sorry you feel this way. I work in PACU too and I love it. Sometimes we get overworked and stressed, but normally we rally together as a team and try to make the best of it. There are way more good days then bad, and my patients are rarely "awake enough" to truly be mean. My kids call me a ninja nurse, because most of my patients will never remember even seeing me or being in the PACU.

    It sounds like there is a huge culture problem at your place of employment. I've been in nursing for 25 years and have seen a few individuals who can make work miserable, I stand up for myself. At first it makes things worse, but in the long run, it works. But most of my experiences have been positive, with teams that work together. I have found that my direct supervisor makes a big impact on the culture of the unit and how pleasant/awful it is to work there.

    It would be ideal if you could find something different while you're going to school, if not, I hope you are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It would be horrible if everyone had to give up compassion to survive the workplace. I'm sorry this is happening to you and it's got you so down.
  7. by   Julius Seizure
    Yes, sometimes I do too. But not for the reasons that you talk about in your post. The tough part is that now that I've started down the nursing path, switching to another career feels like I'm throwing away years of work, and will be starting at square one all over again.

    Even though the reasons that you mentioned aren't why I sometimes regret going into nursing, they are similar to my reasons for going back to school to become a nurse practitioner (yes, going further down the nursing path). I wish you luck - I hope becoming an NP increases your job satisfaction (and mine)!
  8. by   connectchoicecareme
    I never regretted been a nurse.In order to be happy in nursing.You must love what you do.If you are in the profession just for money you will be miserable.You have to love the profession and money and happiness will become your reward.
    Think about it nursing gives you the connection to so many people nurses,doctors,dysfunctional families,happy families.Nursing give you the opportunity to have choices.Nursing give you the opportunity to care for me and to care for so many people that you have never met and that you wouldn't have met if you are not a nurse. How cool is that?
    Nursing is the way to go if you are caring,compassionate,organized,willing and ready to face challenges,make changes in other people lives and in your own life.
    Thanks,
    Philomena N Okeke,RN,BSN,MSN.
  9. by   Sour Lemon
    No. I've been a stressed out, "trained monkey" for a lot less in pay.
    I do worry that my body will wear out earlier than it would if I had a desk job, but I've already gotten a return on my educational investment, so I'm at peace.
    Everybody gets talked down to today because everybody is "equal" and entitled. I've heard a homeless, drug addict call a neurosurgeon "stupid" ...and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
  10. by   hppygr8ful
    Nope never

    Hppy
  11. by   oneof5
    I am regretting it right now, because I have been falsely accused of drug diversion while on a travel assignment. I am regretting every hour that I spent in this career because I am bitter and angry AND heartbroken that an organization that loves to throw around that phrase, "we have a huge nurse diversion problem here at this hospital" is falsely accusing people of drug diversion. I am angry that I may loose my license, I am angry that I missed many things that my kids did while growing up because I was giving my all to this profession. I am angry that I may have to start all over again doing something else because I am 52 years old and never once took or stole narcotics and NEVER EVER even thought of doing it. I should be putting my income into my retirement not trying to figure out how I am going to pay for another college degree. I regret the hell out of it!!!! If I am lucky enough to keep my license, I will never take care of another patient again. I will do something completely difference until I don't have to punch a time clock again. Hospitals are battling the nursing shortage, THEY are the cause of the nursing shortage!
  12. by   connectchoicecareme
    I love nursing and I have worked in acute care hospital for over twenty years.
    Having the opportunity to care for others is a privilege.
    You have like it to enjoy it.
    I like my crazy colleagues.They are funny and we support each other.
  13. by   connectchoicecareme
    Quote from connectchoicecareme
    I never regretted been a nurse.In order to be happy in nursing.You must love what you do.If you are in the profession just for money you will be miserable.You have to love the profession and money and happiness will become your reward.
    Think about it nursing gives you the connection to so many people nurses,doctors,dysfunctional families,happy families.Nursing give you the opportunity to have choices.Nursing give you the opportunity to care for me and to care for so many people that you have never met and that you wouldn't have met if you are not a nurse. How cool is that?
    Nursing is the way to go if you are caring,compassionate,organized,willing and ready to face challenges,make changes in other people lives and in your own life.
    Thanks,
    Philomena N Okeke,RN,BSN,MSN.
    Must love a profession to enjoy the profession.Must love nursing to enjoy been a nurse.In nursing I encourage nurses to find "their niche ".
  14. by   Fermin Hernandez
    No. If I did it would be a work culture issue and I would find a better fit. Love my job(s). Some days are harder than others, but that's with anything really.

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