For Burned out nurses who are leaving the profession...

  1. 1 I just finished reading a thread about burned out nurses, many of whom talked about leaving the profession. Some of them had been nurses for years, some for only a very vshort while. For nurses who are thinking about leaving nursing entirely, why are you leaving the field rather than exploring other opportunities within it? Not judging or criticizing, just genuinely curious. I've met a lot of nurses and there seems to be so many options within the field. Why have you decided not to pursue other areas (ie change specialties/setting/place of employmt/level of pt interaction, etc)?
  2. Visit  GaMBA profile page

    About GaMBA

    From 'Austell,GA'; 34 Years Old; Joined Mar '08; Posts: 161; Likes: 79.

    36 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  ArwenEvenstar profile page
    14
    As a nurse for close to 20 yrs, I have already tried everything you mentioned - change specialties/setting/place of employment/level of pt interaction, etc. For about the first 10 yrs I liked nursing, but after that I slowly grew increasingly unhappy as a nurse. None of the changes I tried helped. I think I have "compassion fatigue"...I am just plain tired of dealing with people, no matter what the specialty or place! I am burned out. Period. Nursing is a demanding and draining profession. Every area of nursing has its own unique set of stressors. For example, private duty is often thought of as an easy, one-on-one type of nursing - yet you must often deal with complex and frustrating psycho-social issues with the families.

    I quit my nursing job in August (for a variety of reasons actually - partly an idiotic employer) and have no plans to pursue another nursing job. I feel so relieved and set free to no longer be a nurse! But here I am on allnurses posting! haha. After all these years nursing, it is hard to think of myself as anything but a nurse!
    Last edit by ArwenEvenstar on Dec 24, '09
    ebear, dragonfly55, pennyaline, and 11 others like this.
  4. Visit  skittlebear profile page
    3
    Great post ArwenEvenstar

    I haven't been a nurse as long as you. I am an LPN who has worked as an LPN for 5yrs. I will say, the REAL world of nursing is NOTHING like LPN school. I loved LPN school and even had taken all my prerequisite classes to persue RN school. I had every intention to go back and get my RN. Shew...I've had enough as an LPN, thank you. : ). You are correct, nursing is a draining and demanding profession. I love helping others. I hate all the other BS that goes along with it. I don't think I will leave nursing any time soon, but I do plan to go back to school and persue other options. I can see myself getting burned out later on down the road. Of course, I've never worked in a hospital setting...so I don't know what that is like (except for the small amount of clinical time I received in school). My experience has been LTC.
    lindarn, ellakate, and CaLLaCoDe like this.
  5. Visit  Zookeeper3 profile page
    25
    Nursing is no longer the art of nursing and collaborating with multiple disciplines to improve patient outcomes. I could write several books as to the multitude of things that interfere with our practice, but I live them every day and today I'm pretending they don't exist.

    Simply because her I am on Christmas eve, voluntered to come in an help as they were short... I was floated, threatened with insubordination with my insistance I stated I would come in if not floated.... then I was trippled in the SICU with an open admit bed, a patient that rolled in from the cath lab start of shift and a rapid response 15 minutes later. This is how I was treated for leaving my family and coming to help.

    Anyhow, it's not about tonight or this manager or this facility... it is every single straw that is placed on your back each day... and your load grows VERY HEAVY. No one is interested in removing a single straw so I can better care for my patients. I can only cary this on for so much longer, and I'm tired.

    Another area to work is a wolf in sheeps clothes.
    Nurse ABC, JacknSweetpea, dragonfly55, and 22 others like this.
  6. Visit  traumaRUs profile page
    1
    Been a nurse almost 18 years now and I can honestly say am much happier as an APN then as staff/charge/case manager.
    lindarn likes this.
  7. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    2
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Been a nurse almost 18 years now and I can honestly say am much happier as an APN then as staff/charge/case manager.

    *** I don't doubt it. It's shameful that those who are supposed to be nurse advocates are trying to put as many obstacles and high hurdles into the path of any nurse who might want to go the same rout (DNP).
    lindarn and Lacie like this.
  8. Visit  Lacie profile page
    13
    I've been an RN for over 28 years and yes I have had some major burnout periods. I took sabaticals from nursing here and there with the last one being the last 6 months. I'm going to a new job starting the first of year but to tell you the truth I wish I wasnt. I'm to the point now I am sick of dealing with the incompetent managers/admin who dont have a clue of what we as the "grunts" do. Nursing has change to the extreme in the last 10-15 years. We have gone from the "pt first" to a more bottom line and service oriented mentality. I'm a professional, not the waitress, not the maid, I am definitely not a pt or families punching bag and dont appreciate being the scapegoat for upper managements mistakes when they need someone lower on thier totem pole to throw under the bus. Yes I'm burn out on the profession as a whole. Maybe one day I can retire and just be done with it. I have like others here ran the gambit and done about everything you can think of at one time or the other. I'm a good nurse, I'm a good manager but I will not compromise my professional nor my personal ethics to save that bottom dollar.
  9. Visit  Simba&NalasMom profile page
    3
    Quote from skittlebear
    Great post ArwenEvenstar

    I haven't been a nurse as long as you. I am an LPN who has worked as an LPN for 5yrs. I will say, the REAL world of nursing is NOTHING like LPN school. I loved LPN school and even had taken all my prerequisite classes to persue RN school. I had every intention to go back and get my RN. Shew...I've had enough as an LPN, thank you. : ). You are correct, nursing is a draining and demanding profession. I love helping others. I hate all the other BS that goes along with it. I don't think I will leave nursing any time soon, but I do plan to go back to school and persue other options. I can see myself getting burned out later on down the road. Of course, I've never worked in a hospital setting...so I don't know what that is like (except for the small amount of clinical time I received in school). My experience has been LTC.
    WOW Skittle you took the words out of my mouth. Like you, I've also been an LPN for five years; I've done LTC, home health, and foot care. Of the three foot care is the only area where I didn't feel like I had to have eyes in the back of my head to protect myself from psycho bosses and impatient and mean co-workers. If I can't get back into foot care, I'm thinking Starbucks is looking pretty stinking good!

    Merry Christmas, all! I hope that nobody else on this board has had his/her holiday dampened by being fired a week before the holiday (another topic, lol).
    JacknSweetpea, skittlebear, and lindarn like this.
  10. Visit  ellakate profile page
    13
    Quote from GaMBA
    Why have you decided not to pursue other areas (ie change specialties/setting/place of employmt/level of pt interaction, etc)?
    The best way to describe the way I feel is betrayed. I have loved nursing and given years of my life to nursing. I gave nursing my youth, my energy, my optimism. And steadily through the years, nursing has been like a bad husband. Only taking.

    One day it has to stop. That is when we say we are burned out. It is more like used up. We have to take care of ourselves, because nursing has not been there for us. Just like a marriage, by the time it is over, we have tried so many ways to make it work. And, like a marriage, we have invested decades of our lives.

    So, I am pursuing other areas, but they all sound suspiciously like what I have had before.

    I am happy to be here today to tell AN:

    Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2010!
    Last edit by ellakate on Dec 25, '09 : Reason: content
    dragonfly55, Zookeeper3, skittlebear, and 10 others like this.
  11. Visit  tencat profile page
    5
    Hmmmm....until nurses are treated like valued employees, they will keep leaving the profession in droves. I like my current job, but I know that my employer doesn't care about any of us, doesn't care if we are burning out or unhappy, all they care about is the money. I'm still irritated with my bosses because I was unhappy, told them, and the boss said "That's insubordination, and you can resign tomorrow if you don't like it..." instead of trying to find out why a good employee was unhappy, and listening to suggestions to make things better. And unless you are an advanced practice nurse, I am sure that every job is probably the same way in nursing. I am becoming burned out myself, and I am trying to think of ways to keep going a bit longer as I truly love the work I am doing. But if I can afford it, I am going to get an FNP.
  12. Visit  GaMBA profile page
    2
    I applaud you all for hanging in there as long as you have. I am very new to the healthcare field and have only worked as a tech for a year but that's been more than enough time to see what you guys are talking about. I see how the techs and nurses are treated by a variety of people and what they have to do on a daily basis and at times it can be disheartening if not downright astonishing. It certainly takes a very special kind of person to deal with all that healthcare workers deal with and keep coming back to do it every day.

    Nevertheless, call me naive, but I am still very excited about the possibilities in nursing. I come from a different career (corporate world which has its own set of unpleasantries) and am drawn to the flexibility in nursing. I think the great thing about nursing is that if you get burned out in one part of it there are so many other parts to explore that are all quite different from one another. It may take more training or education and maybe give you less pay but the option is there. It's a very fascinating, wide open field and I hope I'm able to find niches that fit what I'm looking for in life.

    To those who are burned out, ****** off and leaving the profession and have shared their experiences here, thank you for being open and honest and I wish you the best of luck in whatever awaits you!
    skittlebear and lindarn like this.
  13. Visit  JenPen2332 profile page
    3
    Being a new nurse, I have not gotten to the point yet of being burned out by nursing. But I definitely see that a large portion of the nurses (more experienced and not) feel the same way as what I am reading here.
    My question, is there anything I can do to prevent getting burned out? Is there something you wished you had done differently?
    After 6 months of job searching and taking a job across the county and leaving my family, I would hate to soon loathe my job on top of this relocating mess.

    Any helpful suggestions?
  14. Visit  caitiecait profile page
    8
    I have been a nurse now with my BSN, for a year and a half. This time has been spent in the ICU. The words baptized by fire come to mind.:angryfire While I have a great staff, manager, and mentors to back me up, the work is very demanding. The patient load is also very demanding. And then mid year $2.50 an hour for critical care gets cut. I make $21 an hour, working weekends, holidays, getting exposed to many germs, and diseases. Yelled at by family b/c I did not bring their comfort measures only mom her vitamin?? All the while I have a critically ill pt next door. All I can say is I can't wait to get my MSN and teach nursing. I have no clue how you other nurses spent 20 + years at the bedside, Id rather gouge my eyes out, oh and then for those who feel a real nurse has med surge experience... I think I'd leave the profession completely if forced to work med surge. Nursing school was great, but they forgot to tell you what nursing is really like in the real world. My goal as a nursing professor is to teach my students real world nursing and cut the stupid crap of case studies and nursing diagnosises out, b/c that stuff doesnt exist in the real world of things.
    VidaUrbana, skittlebear, SandraCVRN, and 5 others like this.

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