For all the nurses that want to quit... - page 2

We need to start a support group. I recently made a job change to a med-surg unit and it was a horrible decision. I feel stuck because this is my third job in a year and a half as a nurse. I feel... Read More

  1. by   nurse2b2010
    I'm sorry you are experiencing such disillusionment. It kind of scares me since I am planning on entering the Fall 08 nursing progam and am excited about becoming a nurse. With that said, however, I have read a lot of replies on here about how nurses are burned out and how soul draining it is. I still believe that nursing can be a good career though. I hope I am right as I pursue my career in nursing. As an older student returning to school, I hope that my second career is a good choice and rewarding at the same time. Good luck to you in your future endeavors!
  2. by   marie-francoise
    HealthyRN - You sound JUST like what I think I'll sound like in a couple years, if I ever do finish nursing school. Even as a nursing student, I'm completely skeptical of the nursing work environment that I hear about and that awaits me, should I choose to step into it.

    And I'm highly, highly skeptical of my own ability to be a nurse in this day and age of ludicrously high patient-nurse ratios, endless CYA charting, and demanding patients and families. Not that I'm a person without stamina or compassion. Even Florence Nightingale herself would likely have a breakdown in today's nursing environment! (if she didn't move into management)

    No wonder there is a nursing shortage. Seems as though no one wants to put up with what must be one of the toughest (and admirable) jobs in the developed world! Esp after managed care got to it and decided to cut costs by cutting nurses - yep, they succeeded alright!Succeeded in precipitating a nursing shortage that has spiraled into a vicious cycle of itself: burnt-out nurses continually leaving the field, for very good reasons - too many patients, too much CYA charting, etc. - only to be replaced by other nurses who shortly leave as well, for the very same good reasons.

    I know I'm only a nursing student; but it's hard not to tell that this is happening - that, in short, nursing as a career is becoming less and less tolerable. Every source I consult conveys this same message, even when not explicitly stated.

    For example - no wonder there are so many ads for nursing jobs in the papers!
  3. by   HealthyRN
    Quote from marie-francoise
    HealthyRN - You sound JUST like what I think I'll sound like in a couple years, if I ever do finish nursing school. Even as a nursing student, I'm completely skeptical of the nursing work environment that I hear about and that awaits me, should I choose to step into it.

    And I'm highly, highly skeptical of my own ability to be a nurse in this day and age of ludicrously high patient-nurse ratios, endless CYA charting, and demanding patients and families. Not that I'm a person without stamina or compassion. Even Florence Nightingale herself would likely have a breakdown in today's nursing environment! (if she didn't move into management)

    No wonder there is a nursing shortage. Seems as though no one wants to put up with what must be one of the toughest (and admirable) jobs in the developed world! Esp after managed care got to it and decided to cut costs by cutting nurses - yep, they succeeded alright!Succeeded in precipitating a nursing shortage that has spiraled into a vicious cycle of itself: burnt-out nurses continually leaving the field, for very good reasons - too many patients, too much CYA charting, etc. - only to be replaced by other nurses who shortly leave as well, for the very same good reasons.

    I know I'm only a nursing student; but it's hard not to tell that this is happening - that, in short, nursing as a career is becoming less and less tolerable. Every source I consult conveys this same message, even when not explicitly stated.

    For example - no wonder there are so many ads for nursing jobs in the papers!
    Marie,

    I felt the same way when I was in nursing school. All of my classmates managed to ignore it or were truly blissfully ignorant of it, but I payed attention to more than my patients when I was in clinical. I noticed how stressed-out, burnt-out, unhappy, and bitter the nurses working the floor were. I saw the high patient to nurse ratios, the lack of breaks, and the terrible working conditions. In my senior year, I struggled with the decision to change my major, but at that point I felt that it was too late.

    Do you have a clearly defined reason that you want to be a nurse? Do you see yourself being happy doing anything else? I have always been a very introspective person and I know what I like and dislike. With nursing, I was just too afraid to follow my instincts. I would hate for the same thing to happen to you. On the other hand, there are lots of opportunities away from the bedside and it seems like you are aware of that. Maybe I will feel differently once I have a position outside of acute care.
  4. by   ASSEDO
    Nurse2B210, Run, save yourself. Its hell being a nurse today. Its a Plague!
  5. by   marie-francoise
    Dear HealthyRN,

    I've wanted to be a nurse for about 15 years - wanted a career in which I could interact with people while also using health-related knowledge and skills. I also now want to augment my master's degree (which is in public health, but was quite theory-heavy) with more practical, clinical know-how. But I'm now wondering if the nursing field as it exists today - esp bedside nursing - really fits my personality.

    I have a feeling we may have similar personalities - I'm also introspective and tend to listen to my gut rather than to starry-eyed nursing instructors who won't reveal a peep about the realities of nursing today (I guess they can't, or all nursing students would go running!); but despite this, I sometimes ignore my gut. Maybe I shouldn't!

    If you truly hate bedside nursing or direct patient care, you could always try becoming a Clinical Research Associate or Clinical Research Coordinator, where you help monitor or coordinate clinical trials. There are online courses and seminars that can bring you up to speed on CRA or CRC work (e.g., Good Clinical Practice as specified by the ICH, requirements for filing new drug applications with the FDA, monitoring and visiting clinical trial sites, etc.). Worth checking out at least...

    Just DON'T be miserable day in, day out in your job. NOT worth it, period. Esp working in a system that's broken in such a way that only large, systemic - perhaps federal - changes can start bringing about any improvement. (Maybe THAT'S where I'll start applying my MPH again!)

    And, yes, I also empathize with your nursing school experience of watching perky, idealistic classmates amid what is certainly not a perky, ideal situation!
  6. by   NurseCherlove
    Quote from HealthyRN
    We need to start a support group. I recently made a job change to a med-surg unit and it was a horrible decision. I feel stuck because this is my third job in a year and a half as a nurse. I feel like to quit this job would be professional suicide and I would never be able to get a job, even outside of nursing. At least I have made up my mind on the decision that has been plaquing me since senior year of nursing school: I am pursuing a degree outside of nursing. I won't say that I will never hold another job as a nurse, but it surely will not be in a clinical area after this job. The only thing that keeps me going is the fact that I have only 138 more shifts before I can give my resignation (that is with my vacation time and sick days factored in). Maybe less if I can drop down to part-time after 6 months. I never imagined that nursing could be such a soul-draining job. I hope that I'm still the same person after a year on this unit.
    What areas did you work in before? Some kind of acute care? I ask b/c maybe you could go to part-time sooner than 6 months. Usually places will allow employees to scale back when they are at least moderately experienced enough to work pretty efficiently and independently. As I'm sure you know, more than likely, this dread, this weight on your soul/mind/body will not go away, but get worse. That is why you should indeed scale back just as soon as possible.

    I'm kinda in the same boat. I finally have landed a job where I will be working in an area/gaining experience that will later help me as an APRN. Finally on the path to my dreams. But I honestly don't know if I can last another year "in the trenches" "on the floor". I started to post here the other day about this, wanting to inquire from others, how in the world do you overcome burn-out?!? I feel like I could do it on a part-time basis, but since I lack experience in this area, I will have to be FT for a minimum of 6 months. That is what is scaring me the most - going into a brand new area totally burned out with nursing.

    I have noticed a change in my attitude as a nurse, and I don't like it. I was just telling my fiancee the other day, that, about 6 or so months ago, nursing kept me very stressed out, but I still had the zeal, the passion, for it. But now....Now I just don't. That's the part I hate the most. Somehow the stress used to be worth it. But I feel angry a lot of the time now at work. I don't want to feel that way, but it isn't subsiding.

    Sorry. I'm not helping you very much. Look, I don't know what you are getting your next degree in, but if your future plans have nothing to do with needing acute care experience, save yourself a lot of heartache and get out!! Maybe you could somehow stay within the health system you work for, just doing UR or something if you are looking for a way to show consistency on your resume. I know there's usually the 6 month rule befure you can transfer out of your department. But believe me, if there is a big need and you are willing to fill it, exceptions can always be made. Or as one poster said, if you don't have a lot of time invested in this job, just make it disappear.

    Just think back to nursing school. I'm like the junior who has yet another year to go of the craziness. But I'll have a fine reward at the end of it all, so I'm gonna keep with it. You, on the other hand....Well, you've changed majors. So, put your time and energy towards your new goal - full speed ahead. Life is too short to waste it being miserable.

    And BTW, I really don't think there is anything wrong with telling a future employer that, hey, you tried nursing, in fact you even tried it in 3 different venues, but it just wasn't for you. So you had to cut your losses and move on to get to this opportunity. I understand your fear of looking like a job-hopper. But it all depends on how you spin it. I see, not a job-hopper, but someone who didn't try just once, but 3 times to fit a square peg into a round hole. That demonstrates perseverence, not job-hopping.

    Good luck in whatever you decide!
  7. by   kcalohagirl
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    Well, we could all move to Hawaii, build a straw hut on the beach and each work 2-4 hour shifts a day to keep us in coconuts and poi.



    Or.



    We could all enter a lotto pool, then use our millions to buy a secluded enclave in Montana, and shoot anyone that comes within 1000 yards of the place.



    Either way works for me.


    Having lived in BOTH Hawaii and Montana, I have to vote for the tropics. No need to spend all that money on cold weather gear.

    How 'bout a secluded enclave on top of a mountain in Hawaii? That'd be a compromise!

    Lately, I've had some good days and some not so good. Not quite ready to pack it in and quit, but definitely time to take a few days in a row completely off, jump on a plane and head somewhere for a break.

    And now I'll open a new window so I can start checking flights to Hawaii. . . . .
  8. by   Shantas
    I have been a nurse on a med/surg floor since 2003. I am afraid to go to work... Every time I have to respond to a code brown, I tell myself its for my mortgage payment, then when get yelled at either by a pt or a family member I tell myself its for my children.....so I basically keep my self motivated by reminding myself the commitment I have.....Cant wait to win that Mega Million.....lol
  9. by   Diary/Dairy
    When do we leave for Hawaii??
  10. by   elizabells
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    Anyone who can cook has an automatic in with me
    You are gonna looooove having me around, emma. I'm even more addicted to cooking now that I can't eat half of what I make. And I won't mind being stuck in the kitchen all day, as all that Hawaiian sun will burn my Irishness to a crisp!

    I'm ready to quit after 16 months, but I think it's the current primarying situation I'm in at work. After this little one goes, either to LTC or heaven, I'll be able to think straight about the next step. Right now the OR, with its lack of deep, wrenching emotional involvement with patients and families is looking pretty good.
  11. by   husker_rn
    Why stay where you're miserable. I did that once and will never do it again. Worried about a job ? Have you thought about trying a local agency and work a day here and there in other institutions ? Then you know if it's a place you would consider...and if you are fulfilling your job requirements they might beg you to come to work for them. I know nurses who have found jobs they love doing just that.
  12. by   tatarn2b2007
    Hi. I am sorry you are feeling this way. I don't want to quit nursing, but certainly my place of employment. I am looking for a new job after only 4 months in my current one. I can't even believe I made it 4 months there! I tell my stories to my family and friends about what has happened to me at this "world class" facility and they can't imagine how I have lasted this long either. I know the grass isn't greener at other places as a few of my coworkers have said, but I am going to keep looking until I find something I want. I see how completely miserable these young nurses are and I wonder why they don't do something different or try to find a new job. I know not everyone has it bad. I know there are nurses who really do enjoy their jobs and I also know nursing isn't easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Every job has their ups and downs, but this floor has drained me and it's time to move on. I am hoping you can find something you love. Keep looking and don't give up.
  13. by   nurse2b2010
    Quote from Smithbc1
    Nurse2B210, Run, save yourself. Its hell being a nurse today. Its a Plague!

    Smithbcl, I guess I am a glutton for punishment then because I am running right up to the hospital doors! LOL. I certainly don't ever want to go back to the legal profession, as I have never experienced such maltreatment from others as I did in the legal profession here on the East Coast! The attys and staff out here in my area are cannibals, and if I am to stay in this area since my husband and I dairy farm out here, then I have to change my profession. I have no desire (zilch) to go back into office admin type work. Did the 20+ yrs of corporate and soooooooo tired of the office politics and backstabbing that went on. I want to help people. That's my goal. I want to have a career where I feel I make a difference in people's lives, and I do believe I can do that in nursing. So, as I said before, I hope and pray that I am not disillusioned, and my prayer is that I will be the best nurse that I can possibly be and enjoy each and every day that God allows me to wake up and see the sunshine and smell the coffee! Thanks for the care and warning!

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