Thinking about leaving nursing

  1. Good Morning All,
    I woke up this morning feeling uptight and anxious, sweaty palms, knotted tummy and knowing I have to go to work this afternoon. It's not that work is a bad place or anything, so I can't actually pinpoint why it is I am feeling like this. But I'm feeling awful. And it is affecting me, I've never taken so much sick leave over a year in my entire career and most of this leave has been taken due to actual illness, not merely 'mental health days'.

    What I do know is that I have been considering leaving nursing for quite some time now. I've been an enrolled nurse for 8 years and am now in my first year or registered nursing (so a total of nine years nursing). I've been doing nursing since I was 17. I guess what gets to me most is the rostering and inflexible hours. It was fine while I was single, but now that I'm married, it's not. Plus I'm not getting any real satisfaction from what I'm doing. This could perhaps stem from the instability of a recent graduate programme, I'm not sure, but frankly, I'm just not enjoying nursing as much as I used to.

    I feel like I really need to make some sort of decision here, only problem is, if I was to leave, I have absolutely no idea what I could move onto, only knowing nursing.

    Anyway, just needed to get it off my chest, I still feel awful though...

    Finn
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   sjoe
    You might want to check out agency nursing for some more ideas, as well as noting the long list of nursing specialties on this BB--in case any of them spark some idea for you.

    With that said, it's wise to "know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em."

    But it is no surprise that people in Australia feel uncomfortable--walking upside down and having your seasons backwards and all that. It would be enough to upset anyone.
  4. by   Finnabhair
    I've tried agency nursing before and it really wasn't for me. Besides, who's going to take on a first year anyway?

    Finn
  5. by   Tweety
    I don't speak Aussie, so I'm not sure what an "enrolled" nurse is. Is that a student? But I know when I graduated from nursing school, for a solid year or more I questioned myself, was very stressed, "why did I go into nursing" etc. I was seriously stressed.

    First of all, it's not worth your health. You might consider seeing an MD for a thorough physical just to rule out an organic cause.

    Before you abandon nursing altogether, make a list as to why you wanted to be a nurse, balanced with all the negatives you are feeling.

    There are other things to do once you get some experience under your belt that might be easier on you.

    In the meantime, do what it takes to take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.

    Best of luck to you on your journey.
  6. by   renerian
    Maybe you could look into home health or hospice. Maybe case management. I think nursing no matter where you go has stress. Sounds like you hit the burn out stage. Agency was also posted that way you could pick the hours you want to work.

    Have you had a good vacation lately?

    renerian
  7. by   Youda
    There are times I've taken "sabbaticals" from nursing. I've been a news director at a radio station, a disc jockey, written technical computer user manuals, college recruiter, band roadie for a country western singer, and a student.

    Take the time you need. From what you said, you are working on a good case of burn-out. The anxiety and resistance you're feeling probably won't get better before it gets worse. Take the time you need. Someday, you may want to come back to nursing. But, for now, it sounds like you need a break.
  8. by   almostanurse
    Originally posted by sjoe


    But it is no surprise that people in Australia feel uncomfortable--walking upside down and having your seasons backwards and all that. It would be enough to upset anyone. [/B]

    :roll :roll and the toilet flushing the other way, that would be hard to deal with too. lol

    but seriously
    you should take a vacation, take a long time to really think it through, before you make any sudden moves.
  9. by   CashewLPN
    Enrolled nurse= LPN/LVN
    Registered nurse = RN...

    personally... I'm getting out...
    Going into cooking full time, as soon as I get my degree, in MANAGEMENT.... notice, no nursing in there

    --Barbara
  10. by   casperbjs
    Finn,
    Just take a leave of absence. See how you feel after you've been out of nursing for a few months. I was working nights when I got married and my husband wanted me on days, so I got a different job, (of all things) working in a bakery, decorating cakes. It was ok for a while, but I missed nursing and went back 6 months later!
    If I had only known, I wouldn't have lost all my seniority and everything. It made me enjoy nursing more!
  11. by   aus nurse
    Originally posted by Yeti1313LPN
    Enrolled nurse= LPN/LVN
    Registered nurse = RN...
    --Barbara
    Barb, our enrolled nurses are not exactly the same as LPN's there. Here they do no medication administration at all. There is an medication certificate they can do, but it doesn't include IV administration.
    Hey, good luck with the new venture, sounds great


    Originally posted by sjoe

    But it is no surprise that people in Australia feel uncomfortable--walking upside down and having your seasons backwards and all that. It would be enough to upset anyone.
    :chuckle
    Last edit by aus nurse on Nov 14, '02
  12. by   aus nurse
    Finn, I can relate to your feelings. I, too wonder if this is what I want to be doing. For me, the answer has been to join the casual pool. I didn't like agency...going to heaps of different hospitals.... but find casual pool at one big hospital is OK. I get to pick my own hours week to week, which I love, and which units I will work on. Nursing on my terms, not theirs.
    I wouldn't normally recommend it to a first year grad, but with your EN experience you would be fine.
    If this doesn't appeal to you, how about looking around for a medical receptionist job or something. Years ago I took a job in a pathology collection clinic. I loved the "normal" hours for about 3 months then got really bored with the slow pace.
    Nothing is worse than a job you hate going to, so I hope you find your niche.
  13. by   Youda
    Originally posted by Yeti1313LPN
    personally... I'm getting out...
    Going into cooking full time, as soon as I get my degree, in MANAGEMENT.... notice, no nursing in there

    --Barbara
    Good luck to you, Barbara.
    You might notice a big relief, and even discover that you start to enjoy life again. There's always another nursing job if you want to go back to nursing.
    Last edit by Youda on Nov 14, '02
  14. by   renerian
    I wanted to check with you to see if you were feeling any better? I have felt the way you have at one time or another. I found a new job in sales, still using my RN degree, has been a wonderful change.

    renerian

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