Stressed Out

  1. I am only 6yrs into my nursing career as a RN with a assoc degree, and already I have serious doubts about nursing. My first 5years were spent in a nursing home as a night shift charge with 28 skilled beds. Sadly the 28 residents were seldom my top priorty. I spent most of my nights from about 0430 to 0600 taking sick calls from day shift staff and trying like mad to contact preconfirmed outside agencys to obtain replacment staff for day shift. All the while I had countless glucs and morning meds to pass. And if I didnt get a replacment I had to either mandate myself or another night shift nurse to stay for the morning med pass, and we already had worked 12hrs. And you could imagine what its like to the 9am med pass in a nursing home. I finally got my fill and left to a skilled unit in a local major hospital. I will say its somewhat better as I have only been mandated once in 8 months, but still the same problems are there. These include a terrible flip schedule where I work both day and night shift,working holidays that some how seems to bother me more now than it used too,your average extreme stress nursing job stuff like falls, admits, short staff,angry family and pts that think they are in the Waldorf Astoria instead of a hospital,legality and backbiting co-workers that all seem to choose nursing as a profession. My dilema is like most in that nursing has traped me with its moderate payscale and benifits. What makes it worse is I live in West Virginia where jobs are almost non-exsistant. My guess is its worse here than most places, but its only a guess. I just tried looking for jobs in two of the major local papers on-line with some of the best listed as follows, ( Come start your future at Telacom making as much as 7.50 an hour.) I could not make a car and house payment with that, let alone live. Having said all that I am gratefull to have a job, but would not recommend nursing to anyone. Can someone give me advice. Should I look into another career at 31,and married with no children. If so what? And before you say it I know the grass isnt any greener on the other side, but there has to be an alternative. My first post and sorry about the length.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   chelli73
    Welcome to allnurses.com! Sounds to me like you have been struggling with your career choice!!! That is too bad, but I wish you the best of luck with that dilemma! I recently graduated so I have not had the opportunity to begin my illustrious career myself, but one of the good things I came to realize about nursing in general is that it offers a vast amount of career settings. If you go to the main forum page here, you will see all types of nursing from home health to hyperbaric (?) nursing!! It seems like you are into acute or long term care though, and while I am sure they are neccessary for good experience, they do tend to be some of the most stressful at times. Perhaps you are due for a change of avenue in nursing, something behind a desk, maybe? Make a list of all the skills that you know you master, all the things you want in a job, and anything that just would not be acceptable under any circumstances, period. Surely there must be a nursing career path related to that set of lists!!! I just hope that you find your niche!! Take care 4 now, M.
  4. by   jojotoo
    OK, this is my opinion: Nursing mostly sucks for the reasons that you mentioned in your post. BUT, I am very fortunate and grateful to have a job that finances my real life (when I'm not at work). Then there are the occasional times that I actually make a difference - some specific patient care/ teaching, mentoring a new nurse, catching stupid/ dangerous MD orders before they are implemented.

    I know that there are plenty of nurses that enjoy their jobs, but I bet that there at least as many that don't. So what are you going to do? With your education, there is not going to be another job for you that pays as much or leaves you as marketable as you are. But you have a lot of years left to work in your life. If you decide to stay in nursing, I think you should at least try to find a position that's a little more satisfying.
  5. by   llg
    My advice is to take a little time and assess ALL your options within nursing before you leave it. It's understandable that you might be in need of a change or a break right now ... but don't let that fact lead you into throwing away everything you have learned to start at the bottom of an entirely differnt field (which you might want to leave in a few years after you have had your fill of that other career.) That might be the right choice for some people, but it is the wrong choice for a lot people.

    Look at your nursing education and considerable experience as something you can build upon. Use it as a foundation to grow into some other job that emphasizes other aspects of nursing. That way, your career will move upward and outward and give you a broader range of possible jobs to choose from that might appeal to you. If you switch every few years from entry-level job to entry-level job, you'll always be at the bottom of the career ladder with the fewest options and benefits.

    If you are considering a whole new career, then you must be amenable to getting new training ... because let's face it, switching careers would require you to learn the new profession. So, if you are willing to invest in more education, why not do it in nursing? If you don't like any of the BSN completion programs (or RN-MSN programs) near you, then consider some of the online options. There are several that you can do part time while you continue to earn a decent income as a nurse.

    What about switching specialties? Have you ever considered OB or Peds or Psych or Communty Health ... or any other of the numerous options out there? What about getting certified in your current specialty? Do you regularly attend conferences that relate to your specialty? Such conference can provide a real boost to your morale and help you assess your career options within that field.

    Are there specialized nursing roles that might interest you? With a little more education along with your years of experience, you might be a good candidate for jobs in infection control, patient education, staff development, etc. A lot of hospitals don't require MSN's for all such positions. There may be a few positions in your hospital that don't require a BSN either (though a BSN is often required).

    In summary, don't throw your nursing career away without giving at least a couple of these options serious consideration. There are dozens of options out there for careers that build upon your previous investment and that would offer you a refreshing change of pace and focus. All you have to do is pick the career path that appeals to you most and be willing to invest a little in yourself to prepare yourself for it.

    Good luck,
    llg
  6. by   Mulan
    Does your husband have health insurance that would cover you? If so, try working prn, then you could work as much or as little as you could stand.
  7. by   gr8rnpjt
    [QUOTE=DISCONTENTNURSE]

    I am not sure how close you are to the western PA border, but if you are close, check out the Pittsburgh want ads, there are lots of opportunities. I know of a few nurses who commute from WVa but they are just over the border (wheeling)
  8. by   teeituptom
    Sorry to hear about your rough time.
    Have you tried something other than nursing homes.
    What do you do to relax when off, Golf chills me out
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from llg
    My advice is to take a little time and assess ALL your options within nursing before you leave it. It's understandable that you might be in need of a change or a break right now ... but don't let that fact lead you into throwing away everything you have learned to start at the bottom of an entirely differnt field (which you might want to leave in a few years after you have had your fill of that other career.) That might be the right choice for some people, but it is the wrong choice for a lot people.

    Look at your nursing education and considerable experience as something you can build upon. Use it as a foundation to grow into some other job that emphasizes other aspects of nursing. That way, your career will move upward and outward and give you a broader range of possible jobs to choose from that might appeal to you. If you switch every few years from entry-level job to entry-level job, you'll always be at the bottom of the career ladder with the fewest options and benefits.

    If you are considering a whole new career, then you must be amenable to getting new training ... because let's face it, switching careers would require you to learn the new profession. So, if you are willing to invest in more education, why not do it in nursing? If you don't like any of the BSN completion programs (or RN-MSN programs) near you, then consider some of the online options. There are several that you can do part time while you continue to earn a decent income as a nurse.

    What about switching specialties? Have you ever considered OB or Peds or Psych or Communty Health ... or any other of the numerous options out there? What about getting certified in your current specialty? Do you regularly attend conferences that relate to your specialty? Such conference can provide a real boost to your morale and help you assess your career options within that field.

    Are there specialized nursing roles that might interest you? With a little more education along with your years of experience, you might be a good candidate for jobs in infection control, patient education, staff development, etc. A lot of hospitals don't require MSN's for all such positions. There may be a few positions in your hospital that don't require a BSN either (though a BSN is often required).

    In summary, don't throw your nursing career away without giving at least a couple of these options serious consideration. There are dozens of options out there for careers that build upon your previous investment and that would offer you a refreshing change of pace and focus. All you have to do is pick the career path that appeals to you most and be willing to invest a little in yourself to prepare yourself for it.

    Good luck,
    llg
    well-said.I won't even try to top this.

    Do what is said here, take your time; assess your options and be good to yourself. I wish you all the best.
  10. by   cinderella6251
    Dear Stressed-out,
    I am stunned at all the blunted and mundane replies to this one! (Not that it's anyone's fault) Perhaps your colleagues here could use some of this advise:
    You know, hospitals and SNF's aren't the only places nurses work. How about a doctor's office? Or school nursing? Not as much money but TONS less stress! Try going to a nursing career fair and link up with other professionals...see what they do!
    Yes, you definitely need out of the institutional setting. With no kids, you have a tremendous advantage. In 2 years, you could get your NP and work in a practice! You say you have an associate? Why not go on for your BS.? Home health might be an option you may want to consider too. Considered getting a certificate in something? Like aesthetics?
    I was where you are about 15 years ago and now, I work as a forensic nurse in a county job where for the most part, I am pretty content and have a good retirement plan. I just got lucky and heard about the job from a friend. With all your experience, I think you can find better work you are more suited for. I wish you happiness and success in your search for greener pastures.
  11. by   bargainhound
    I know you said there are not many jobs in your area, but are there
    hospice agencies? You might be suprised if you tried that. The benefits
    and pay are generally good and sometimes better than other nursing jobs.
    There are also jobs with insurance companies that you do on the phone.
    There may be some of those in your area.

    Good luck whatever you do.
  12. by   DISCONTENTNURSE
    I would like to say thanks for the time you guys took in replying. It seems the thing to do is finding a niche, which hopefully I can. I have herd from friends at work that I may like Hospice or Home Health and a couple of you told me the same. I know that a lower stress atmosphere for a extended period of time would do me good. I am at the point of making serious changes in my spending habits and changing to a lower paid nurseing job. Having said that I am a bit disbondent about getting paid less after having worked my butt off in nursing school, but if that what it takes.
  13. by   bargainhound
    Please do not assume you will be making less.
    There are jobs that pay the same or more in the types discussed
    in the thread.

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