I think I really screwed up choosing nursing - page 2

Well, thinking about leaving my second job as a new grad since May. I can't believe I am right back where I was in July, but here I am. Is there shame in admitting a career choice just is not for... Read More

  1. by   KatieM123
    I understand how you feel, I'm just on an opposite end! I work in business I have a BS in management and an MBA. I make a good bit more than a nurse and I Hate my job. HATE IT. I hate going to work and getting the sh!t kicked out of me b/c finances aren't what they should be, meetings that last all day, people who thinking 13 hours days 6 days a week is healthy. UGH. HATE IT! I am hoping to go to nursing school starting in the fall for nursing. The 3 people I asked for letters of recommendation did everything but ask me why I'd want to take such a huge step "backwards" in careers. Because I will no longer be using my degrees. It's fine with me, get me OUT of my current business. It's no different than you really, I was good at teh bussiness school work, I'm good at the actual job too (3 promotions in 2 years) but I'd rather do anything than sit at my computer 10-12 hours a day slaving away for zero purpose. So do what is best for you, many of my coworkers LOVE their job and the industry they work hard and get satisfaction from it, I just don't so I need to get out!
  2. by   ERnewbieRN
    Wow, did you reach inside my brain, take my thoughts, and post them on this message board?! Lol, this is almost exactly how I feel... went into nursing for many of the same reasons you did vs. a "calling" or desire to go into nursing from a prior experience, etc etc. And now I'm pretty much regretting my decision, dread going into work days before I go in. I was even getting depressed, and I've only been working for 6 months. But the other day I had this revelation. I have my BSN and I've been planning to go back to school for anesthesia, but then I realized that the anticipation of that wasn't doing anything for me. And then I realized-- I just don't want to work in a hospital anymore! I changed my mind pretty much overnight and decided to look into nurse practitioner programs and I feel so much better. I feel like I actually have something to look forward to! So I guess what I'm saying is there might be something in nursing for you that isn't necessarily so traditional. Give it a try, and if you don't find something within nursing, go into another field. You only live once! Good luck!
  3. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Darlin' I'm from one of those families too. Ignore them.

    You love what you do, you are feeling frustrated and worried and concerned that you have made a grave error.

    I don't think you made a mistake. The first year (or two) can be very challenging as we attempt to adjust what our idealized image of nursing was, with the reality of what we find nursing to be.

    There are many areas where you can be a nurse. Hospital nursing can be tedious, frustrating, wearing.

    Home health nursing gets you out of the building and on the road. Hospice nursing is a part of home health nursing--it has its own joys and rewards (and frustrations).

    I think if you are getting feedback pretty much from everyone except your family that you are doing a good job, if you love patient contact and patient care, if you love nursing, then by golly, you need to stay in nursing.

    Learn to tell your family, "thank you for loving me enough to share your suggestions." Stop there. Don't finish with "but I am going to do..." whatever. That invites discussion.

    The other thing you may have discovered (I'm really guessing here, based on my own somewhat disappointing experience) is that you will not get the affirmations, praise and accolades for your accomplishments in nursing from your family. I'm going to go further and guess that no matter what you do, they will have an armchair opinion they will share, and share frequently, if you allow it.

    Just look at yourself. What are your needs? What makes you happy? What are the issues? Are they surmountable? Can you overcome them with time, or additional training, or practice, or more study? If you can, and you love nursing as you described, then that's where you need to be.

    Give your husband a hug. It is a wonderful thing to have one who is supportive--and who can tell you (in other words, maybe) that you need to just let go of what the family is telling you.

    I know I have only addressed a small part of what you wrote. I just really related to what you describe.

    My mother was a nurse for more than 50 years. From the time I was 5 I wanted to be one too. My parents would not allow it when I finished high school, and when I finally realized I could do what I wanted to do with my life, I was past 45. I got my RN when I was 50. My first couple of positions were challenging. I won't share more detail about them now, because I see now that although my issues were very reasonable and appropriate, the really challenge for me involved my family.

    My mother never had a supportive thing to say about my work. The closest she got was telling me I ought to leave every position I had when I would tell her about it. I foolishly hoped for encouragement, pointers, suggestions. I got exactly the wrong advice. I continue to excel in my profession. I am getting ready to start graduate school (in nursing) at a fairly prestigious university, one that everyone has heard of. I am no longer sad that my mother, who was in many ways my role model, not only cannot share in my joy, she actively tries to undermine every aspect of it.

    I know she does not realize what she is doing. I know she loves me the best way she can, even if she is woefully incapable of doing that. And mostly I know that anything she cares to share with me about nursing or decisions I make, needs to be acknowledged and ignored.

    I have developed a nice little network of people I trust who are the ones to whom I turn when I need feedback and the like.

    One of the most important things I have been told (and I have to remind myself to do) is, "stop listening to your mother."

    Good advice....
  4. by   kwase78
    I am a new nurse, barely 4 months of nursing experience on a telemetry flow and most days i feel the same way you do. i can empathize with you. For me, i knew what i was getting myself into; i knew it was going to be hectic, i knew i didn't like bedside nursing and i knew i was going to get out of the hospital in a year or less after getting some experience.
    It is ok to feel the way you do but you should not be ashamed, its your life and you do whatever is comfortable for you. Don't worry about what others may think, their opinion about you will never change anyway, so why bother? Good thing is that nursing is diverse and you don't have to be at the bedside. Goodluck!
  5. by   Virgo_RN
    There are plenty of opportunities in nursing besides bedside nursing or floor nursing. Check out your options. Maybe there is something available that you'd like better. I certainly don't want to be a floor nurse for the rest of my life, but I am one of those people that feels compelled to master a thing before moving on to the next. Not that anyone ever masters floor nursing, but when I get to a certain comfort level with it, where I feel like they can throw anything at me and I can handle it, then it will be time to move on.

    Have you considered OR nursing? You have one patient at a time, they are unconscious a good amount of the time, your job (if a circulator) involves a lot of paperwork, and you get your breaks. It's not for me because I enjoy interacting with the patients and I don't want to lose my skills before I've even developed them fully, but some day when I'm ready for a change, I might pursue it.
    Last edit by Virgo_RN on Dec 8, '07
  6. by   caliotter3
    You posted that you were having trouble dealing with the hectic pace of hospital nursing. You should at least try some of the nursing options where you only work with one or two patients at a time. Home health is one. As long as you do patient care, you are only responsible for the paperwork dealing with your one patient. And like the previous poster said, you might like working in the OR, or ICU. Try any area where your patient load is limited. Explore the other avenues also. Maybe you can find some area that suits you better and allows you to use your talents without making you feel so unhappy. Everybody on this site stands behind whatever decision you make to make your life the way you want it to be.
  7. by   GadgetRN71
    Thrashej, you don't have to do the 1 year of med/surg thing. Many specialties will hire a new grad. Maybe you could shadow nurses in different specialties to get a feeling of what interests you? I know if I had started in med/surg I'd be frustrated too..what with the ridiculous patient loads etc.

    That being said, you have to follow your gut. Many people are frustrated and feel scared the first year or two as a nurse, but deep down I still knew that this is a career I feel at home in.(God help me!) It's your life and you have to make decisions for it regardless of what anyone else thinks. I wish you all the best...stop beating up on yourself.:icon_hug:
  8. by   llg
    If you truly feel that there is no specialty or nursing role that would be satisfactory to you, by all means leave nursing. However, you might want to try to find something very part time to "keep your hand in" while you search for another career. You may find that you need the money someday or that you might change your mind and you don't want to burn your bridges behind you.

    How much experience do you have in the workworld outside of nursing? Were you happy with any of those experiences? Try a few other types of jobs and work in those fields a little before you invest again in an expensive education for another career that you might hate as much as nursing. For example, you say you would rather push paper all day -- but have you ever held a job for awhile where all you did was push paper? Do you know for a fact that you would enjoy that more... or does it just seem appealing as an escape from where you are now? Before you close the door for good on nursing, make sure you actually LIKE the new career you choose and are not just thinking that you'll like it because it sounds good. That type of action is what got you into this whole mess to begin with.

    Good luck to you -- wherever you end up.
  9. by   GadgetRN71
    Quote from NancyNurse08
    There are plenty of opportunities in nursing besides bedside nursing or floor nursing. Check out your options. Maybe there is something available that you'd like better. I certainly don't want to be a floor nurse for the rest of my life, but I am one of those people that feels compelled to master a thing before moving on to the next. Not that anyone ever masters floor nursing, but when I get to a certain comfort level with it, where I feel like they can throw anything at me and I can handle it, then it will be time to move on.

    Have you considered OR nursing? You have one patient at a time, they are unconscious a good amount of the time, your job (if a circulator) involves a lot of paperwork, and you get your breaks. It's not for me because I enjoy interacting with the patients and I don't want to lose my skills before I've even developed them fully, but some day when I'm ready for a change, I might pursue it.
    Just an FYI, the OR has its own set of challenges. We do interact with patients and you actually have to be fairly skilled at assesment because you have a very brief period of time in which to do them. Many people are petrified about going in for surgery and if they have mental health issues, these can be exacerbated by the stress. You have to be willing to advocate for your patient which can involve butting heads with the surgeon or anesthesia if protocols aren't being followed. There is paperwork, but it's by no means the bulk of your job.

    As far as "losing your skills", yes, the OR is different from the floors in many ways, but we still put in foleys, maintain skin integrity, assess, give meds and blood, and even put in the odd IV here and there. I can read EKG's. We get regular codes, and plenty of Code Browns. And then there are all the OR specific skills you have to learn. I'm sure I sound defensive but I kind of get tired of people assuming that the OR is a cakewalk or is somehow "easier' than floor nursing. Yes, we only have 1 patient at a time but as a circulator, you will get blamed for everything that goes wrong in that room, even if it's not your fault(saw a nurse get in trouble once because the doc was swearing-she was told she was running the room so she was responsible for keeping him in line!). We tend to get our breaks, but when you have a patient on the table, this can mean 6,7,8 hours in a room and you can't leave without someone coming in to relieve you. In short, the OR is a specialty where you have to truly love it to thrive..if the OP goes into it as a "second choice" or because she's been told it's somehow easier, she will be shocked.


    Didn't mean to rant, LOL. But this week at work, i was talking to an ex-classmate and she said she might want to try the OR because it "won't be as difficult as floor nursing". I have great respect for the OR nurses who trained me so I'm a little protective and sensitive!:spin:
  10. by   jjjoy
    My experience has been similar as well. Your description is painfully familiar. Though it is reassuring to know that others have had a similar experience. You can look up my previous posts for more background.

    The juggling act that is bedside nursing just doesn't suit me. And the hands-on clinical tasks don't interest me in the long run, either, so I haven't pursued other options like home health. What I did was apply for administrative-type entry-level jobs at a local hospital and eventually one opened up that interested me and that someone was willing to hire me for (being "overqualified" as I was often considered to be). I've been at an office job for the last few years and that suits me well. I like sitting down at my computer and organizing my day. I'm working with information, not patients, but I still get to learn the interesting medical stuff. And I don't hate going to work each day. I'm not counting the minutes til I can leave. I don't get sick thinking of work. And I even am working in a field that relates to my education (nursing/health care). No one expects someone who majored in economics to be an economist - so I try to look at my nursing degree as more of a general health science degree - at least in regard to job qualifications. I do keep my license active since I'm still in health care.

    Listen to YOUR gut. It's your life. Good luck!!
    Last edit by jjjoy on Dec 8, '07
  11. by   Curious1alwys
    I really appreciate all the feedback. And really appreciate no one slamming me for how I feel.

    I know there is some kind of administrative side of nursing that may interest me, I am just not sure I can get there without clinical experience. I did "push paper" in a previous job as a medical claims auditor. I actually liked the job, just wanted to learn more. I would really like something in research I think, but back office. I don't think the hands on patient care is for me, really. I am pretty sure I am not going to stay with my current job, even if I just take time off and work outside of nursing for a while to contemplate my plan for the future.

    I really thank you all again!
  12. by   leaflet
    is there another area of nursing you could do that you would like better? out of the hospital, and maybe out of bedside nursing? Just a thought
  13. by   Little Panda RN
    I just wanted to wish you the best of luck with your decision. It is not an easy one to make. I have left nursing and there are days I regret my decision and days I don't. It is difficult to get used to the pay cut, but I am surviving. There are things about nursing I miss and things I don't, but that goes with any job. I like what I do now because there is no life and death stress, no patients yelling at me, no doctors acting like and a--. I dont go home thinking "oh crap" I forgot to do this or do that. But on the flip side, I miss the challenge of nursing, of putting the pieces of the puzzle together. But with that challenge comes the stress and I just don't think the stress is worth it, not now anyways. I used to strive on the stress, but not anymore. I admire the nurses who make it look easy. Maybe some day I will return to nursing, but the job has to feel right.

    Thrashej, take your time in making this decision and if you do leave nursing for awhile, nothing says that you can never go back.

    One door closes another one opens.

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