Do you really hate your job?!?

  1. I am leaving an (unsuccessful) career in real estate to pursue my BN this fall. It has been an interest of mine since I had my kids, and I have had the idea in the back of my head that I would be very interested in becoming a L&D nurse. So the opportunity has presented itself. We have the money (rather, the credit! Thanks to the skyrocketing housing market and the resultant HELOC the bank was only too happy to offer us) for me to go at this time, and my kids are at an age where they're both in school and once I'm done in 4 years and finally working, they'll be old enough (11 and 16) to fend for themselves once in awhile if they need to.
    So anyway, today after I had gone into the office to give the news to my office manager, who turned out not to be there anyway, I was running out for some errands and just so happened to run into one of the other realtors in my office at the craft store. So of course I told her of my plans, and that I would be leaving the profession out of frustration and lack of aggressive personality on my part, I learned that she is also trained as a nurse.
    So basically, she tells me, very animatedly, not to do it! She said she hated nursing, and most people she knows who do/did it also hate the work. She said she would come home in tears at the end of her shifts and actually physically made herself sick from the sheer workload, and frustration of having too many patients and not enough time, all the gossipy cliquish nurses, etc. So she has paid her $40k and spent 4 years in school, only to leave that to come to the profession I am now planning on leaving!
    I am so frustrated and confused right now. It was almost strange (fate?) how I happened to run into her on the very day I was planning on quitting my job, just minutes after leaving the officein a failed attempt to give my notice, and then to find she is also a nurse (which I didn't know), but who hated the job so much and suggested I stick with real estate and just work more towards being successful, speaking with my managers, teaming up with another agent, etc. Aside from the fact that I will be making far less as a nurse than most people in real estate, and will be taking 4 yrs for school, and all the tuitition $.......

    I'm totally lost at the moment and my hubby won't be home for a few hours so I've got no one to chat with about this at the moment.
    Does everyone really feel undervalued and frustrated with their job?
    I need some insight or advice from anyone!
    Help a girl out!
    Last edit by jrsmrs on Jan 30, '07
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   rnin02
    Sorry to say, there are many days I hate my job. But some days I like it. I think if you find an area you like, you will probably be okay. If you are not satisfied in your current career, why not give nursing a try? Maybe see if there are any programs in your area where you can "shadow" a nurse for a day, although I think those are limited to student/graduate nurses looking for jobs. But its worth looking into. Nursing is hard work, frustrating at times, requires a broad knowledge base and constantly updating your knowledge base as well. Do you have to do a 4 year program? We have 2 year associate programs here, its much more affordable and then if you do not enjoy being a nurse, at least you have not invested as much time or money. Like I said, there are days I enjoy my job, but there are many days I would quit being a nurse if I could afford to!
  4. by   Jo Dirt
    Well, you will have people (newbies) who become miffed when anyone mentions any negatives about nursing and assumes burned out nurses don't realize there are negatives to any job, then you will have people who have been in the field awhile who can tell you the reality of nursing.
    Nursing is a very stressful, hard, thankless and filthy job. You likely won't be compensated for what you feel you're worth. It took me a few years to really get burned out.
    Of course, you may be some kind of masochist who loves spinning their wheels, never being able to plan on working a set amount of hours per day because you never know who will call in for the next shift and leave you stranded at work.
    Good things about nursing? Well, on rare occasions there is enough staff so you do not feel overwhelmed and defeated, you will have special patients who are a delight to be around.

    I say nursing is definitely for high energy people who feel comfortable with chaos. The best nurse I have ever seen was bipolar and stayed kind of in a manic state (though her financial life was a shambles because she would literally go spend and spend until she had no money left). People who like predictability and order would probably not enjoy nursing very much.

    I'm working on getting out of nursing simply because I'm tired of being overburdened and stressed out. I've seen so much backstabbing and pettiness in this business it has shaken my faith in humanity in general, I've had patients and coworkers turn on me for no reason, I'm tired of operating with the constant threat of a lawsuit. It just isn't worth it to me.
  5. by   RNsRWe
    Basically anyone who has left nursing because they were too unhappy or frustrated is NOT the one you want to talk to about venturing into nursing today. Talk to currently-working nurses, look around this website, and that might help you gain a different perspective.

    I love my job, I really like the flexibility of hours (I work three nights a week and make more than most people I know working five days). I like that I can work more if I want (or not). I like that I really AM helping people, and making a difference in their lives. I like that I can teach them things that will improve their lives, and that I have been remembered long after they have left my care. I like being a role model for my children. I like using my brain every single day, in fact, every single hour of each day I am working (lol, I use it when I'm not working, but you know what I mean!).

    There's lots I don't like, but when I'm totally frustrated with staffing or stupid administrative nonsense, I remember WHY I am there in the first place. I make alot of money doing what I like to do and that's the bottom line. Any job will have you screaming at the wall sometimes, and anyone who tells you they don't have times when they want to kill a supervisor is lying. That goes for any occupation!

    It's easy to see why the burnout factor is high. It's a very stressful, physically taxing job, moreso than most. The appreciation runs the gamut from nil to major. Don't do it for that, you'll be disappointed. Expect scheduling disasters and so on, that's part of nursing, too.

    But in the end, at the end of the day (or, being fair, at the end of a week) I know I am doing the right thing for my life and my family at this time. Perhaps one day I will feel differently, perhaps I will tire of it all and move on. But I am thoroughly enjoying being "Your RN until 7am"
  6. by   anne74
    I hated my first job in nursing, which was on a specialty med/surg unit with a 4:1 patient ratio. In the first six months, I cried every day, other nurses were very rude to me, had trouble sleeping, woke up in the middle of the night thinking, "Oh my God - did I forget to do x or y?". My back hurt, which kept me up too, and I lost 17 lbs in the first six months, due to stress and never having time to eat lunch or even pee.

    Nursing was my second career also, and every day I wanted to run back to my desk job. When you make a mistake there, no one dies, you know?

    But, I didn't want to give up on nursing so early in my career, so I transferred to a different unit (Recovery Room) and I"m much better now.

    With my experience and the experiences of others, the high turn-over is on med/surg floor nursing units. There you have a lot of patients and you're basically a waitress who's expected to know everything, put up with demanding patients and rude families who question your competency and threaten to sue. You never feel like you're adequate because you can't possbily get everything done. I quit that job within 7 months, and many of my friends have left other similar units. I don't know many L & D nurses, so I can't really comment on that experience. But I imagine it can be similiar to med/surg nursing.

    I left the corporate world and went to nursing because I was going to make a difference, help people, blah, blah, etc. But I really didn't think about - or even know - how hard nursing is. It's been quite a shock to me.

    But, I have to remind myself that I am doing important work, and there are patients who really do appreciate your help. Every day is different and exciting (and scary many times.) There are constantly new challenges, and you are constantly going to classes and learning new things. You come home with some great stories, for sure. You'll have a patient die, and then five minutes later someone yells at you, then a family brings in cookies to thank you. It's a rollercoaster. It's nice to have the flexible schedule. The money can eventually be good. (But right now I'm broke from student loans.)

    The one comfort I had about going into nursing is that if you hate one area, there are multiple other places you can go. My new job is totally different than my old one. Even if you hate the hospital setting, you can go to a clinic, doctor's office, or back in the corporate world with med equipment sales, pharmaceuticals, etc. You will always have a job in nursing. Many times people go into nursing school thinking they'll do a certain type of nursing, and then end up being something totally different.

    My advice is to shadow at a hospital - in an L & D unit, or really anywhere. Call the unit manager and ask if you can come in and follow another nurse. (You usually have to sign a privacy agreement or something.) I wouldn't talk to their HR dept or anything, because you'll never get anywhere with them. Talk to other nurses. Volunteer at a hospital - just being in the environment you learn a lot. And, read this web site, although keep in mind it's pretty skewed toward the negative stuff because naturally people want to vent more than talk about the good parts of their job.

    Really do some research about nursing - don't just think about the fantasy of being Florence Nightengale and saving lives, and patients looking up to you with admiration and appreciation. That's not reality!
  7. by   weirdRN
    Sometimes. Sometimes, I love it. All of the previous posters have valid points in their posts. There will always be days that are just awful and there will always be days that are just great.

    There are a great deal of things that are beyond my control day to day. I try to remember the only thing I can control is me, and my attitude.

    As some wise Nurse once said," Somedays you are the pidgeon, some days you are the statue."

    Best of Luck no matter what you decide.
  8. by   doobiedo
    Do yourself a favor and don't go into nursing blind. If you have not had any personal experience as a CNA or something equivalent you may set yourself up for more than you bargained for. Too many people I know went to nursing school with no clue what ito expect and what it involved and found they were not cut out for it and for some reason had no clue the schedule they would have to work (weekends, holidays, swing shifts, etc). I am sure some local hospitals would accomodate an occasional shadow of a nurse for a day or even a few hours. I would not go for the 4 year program...start out in 2 year and as another poster stated...you won't have wasted too much time and money if it ends up that it is not for you.

    In the early years of my career I loved it but after 18 years I won't go back the bedside. I moved out of the hospital and into pharmaceutical with normal life, normal hours, better pay and better benefits.
    Maybe you will be lucky to get a day shift position right away but most likely you will have to "serve your time" on off shifts for awhile.

    One of the benefits of nursing is that it is flexible and there are many opportunities to branch out. If I had to do it all over again ??don't know if I would...(But I am jaded after too many years in clinical..I will admit....)
    Good luck whateve you decide>
  9. by   oramar
    Gee I don't know what to tell you. I have known people that made the career change to nursing and were happy with their decision. But I can't help thinking about a good friend of mine that left a good job making good money. Did nursing for 6 months then walked away from it. You know what her complaint was, MANAGMENT! This person was 49 when she got her RN. Had over 30 years experience in the business world. Said she never dreamed that a nurse would experience such abuse and degradation at the hands of managment. She said that was never her experience in the business world. Good luck with what ever you decide. Hope things work out for you, it is different for everyone.
  10. by   lllliv
    yes!!

    you are given too much to do with not enough help and/or supplies.

    the patients depend on the nurses yet we are the ones given less staff.

    management treats you like crap, most of the time. they always talk about the budget of the hospital--but it's ok to have assistants for management, paper pushers with no real purpose than to tell the nurses what they should be doing, etc...
    heck, we know what we should be doing and if we could just get a nursing assistant to help cover the needs of the patients maybe all that paper work would be complete.

    they talk about a nursing shortage and how my hospital has programs implemented to retain nurses--bull! i've seen alot of nurses leave(either quit or retire) that would have remained working if they had not been treated so poorly. i myself am leaving soon---never want to work as a nurse again!
    i have been a nurse since 1985 and a nursing assistant prior to that. it's really gone downhill....
  11. by   futurecnm
    I am a student so I can't answer your questions, but I wanted to urge you to look into associates programs. They are MUCH cheaper and that way you won't be in a ton of debt after you graduate. I also am going into nursing as a 2nd career and hope it is a good fit for me. Some of the posts on here scare me though!!! I know many nurses who love their job, so that keeps me going. And working conditions in my area do not seem as bad as some people on here have.
  12. by   NicoleRN07
    I say that I hate my job on a daily basis.....but the truth is, I absolutely love it!!! There is nothing else I could even imagine myself doing. Sure, it's a crazy job, but that's what makes it so great!! Sometimes staffing sucks, and there's a lot of politics involved, but it's a great profession, and I am proud to call myself a nurse.
  13. by   HealthyRN
    Do not quit your job until you have at least shadowed a nurse (preferably in a few different specialities) for a few 12-hour shifts. I went into nursing without any healthcare experience and without having any clue as to what nurses actually do. The common perception of the nursing profession is quite different from the reality.

    I believe that there are nurses who truly love their jobs and can't imagine doing anything else. Unfortunately, I have met many more nurses who feel just the opposite. It is usually not the actual work of nursing that is unbearable, but it is the work environment. I find much of my work as an ER nurse to be very rewarding, such as the satisfaction of providing support to patients and families at a very scary point in their life. As rewarding as some of my moments on the job are, the negatives are overwhelming. I have been in nursing less than a year and I have struggled with the decision of getting out altogether. There have been times that I have seriously considered quitting and getting a job for minimum wage at a clothing store in the mall. I have decided to stay for now, but I am starting an FNP program in the fall. I just do not enjoy bedside nursing and I am hoping that the nurse practitioner field will be more of what I am looking for in a career.

    That is the one really positive thing about nursing. There are many, many different career directions. Good luck in your decision.
    Last edit by HealthyRN on Jan 30, '07

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