To stay or not to stay in Nursing

  1. I have only been a nurse for 7 months. I am a navy nurse full-time at a very small hospital and I work med-surg at the local civilian hospital prn (about one shift per week) to gain more clinical experience. I am feeling very discouraged because I put so much time and effort into becoming a nurse and I am now realizing that I really don't enjoy it that much. I am not sure if it is that I don't like med-surg or just don't like nursing in general. Any recommendations from anyone before I start looking for another career? I have had some exposure to other nursing specialties but still don't have a clue as to where I belong. This second job is killing me but I feel that I will not be competitive as a nurse without the solid med-surg experience. Am I just not meant to be a nurse?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   dardoolittle
    Maybe your over extending yourself and need to settle for just your full-time job.
    Sometimes when I've woked to much I get really stressed out and start questioning myself, I have even went so far as getting out of the medical field and going into retail for exactly 3 months. I missed my nursing career so much that I started helping out the customers in a medical way. If you able to step back take a breather, and then regroup. It's hard to reevaluate yourself when you work two jobs.

    Good Luck, if it was ment to be it will come to you.

    Sincerely,
    Dardoolittle
  4. by   hollykate
    People have always advised me that if I do part time or OT I should avoid working in the same area I am already working in. Try getting a part time position doing something different if you really need to be doing that one shift a week extra go elsewhere- tele, ortho, geriatrics, something other than med surg. And if you don't need the OT- don't do it, get out there and have some fun. I have NO (Thats right, zero, zip, zilch, never even walked on a med surg floor except to visit someone) med surg experience and I am certainly competitive in the job market. Med Surg- while it can teach you things, is not the end all be all of nursing.
  5. by   ioannisleon
    Originally posted by Redeye:
    I have only been a nurse for 7 months. I am a navy nurse full-time at a very small hospital and I work med-surg at the local civilian hospital prn (about one shift per week) to gain more clinical experience. I am feeling very discouraged because I put so much time and effort into becoming a nurse and I am now realizing that I really don't enjoy it that much. I am not sure if it is that I don't like med-surg or just don't like nursing in general. Any recommendations from anyone before I start looking for another career? I have had some exposure to other nursing specialties but still don't have a clue as to where I belong. This second job is killing me but I feel that I will not be competitive as a nurse without the solid med-surg experience. Am I just not meant to be a nurse?
    Keep only one of both Nursing opportunities you have while at the same time try to do something different. There will be times though (if you decide to keep a Nursing career) when you will ask yourself: Wouldnt be better for me then to give up? No right answer. Nevertheless, I have a ten years carreer and i still have questions like this to my self. But for you is easier to get a decision while you are at the beggining rather to stay for someyears and regret or get disappointed. Have you ever heard about BURN OUT in nursing?

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    Ioannis
  6. by   Stargazer
    Redeye, I agree with HollyKate that your PT job, if you must have one, should have nothing to do with your FT one. Although I am one of those people who believes that it IS essential to start out with some basic nursing (med-surg) skills, realize 2 things:
    1. Med-surg isn't the only place to get them; and 2. Most people believe 6 - 12 months of that experience is plenty.

    I got my skills in a 12-week critical-care nursing residency straight out of school. Amd I found that, because I was thrilled and excited to be in ICU, I didn't suffer any of the burnout that my classmates who went straight into med-surg areas did.

    I'd suggest 2 things: think back to why you wanted to be a nurse in the first place and where you pictured yourself. Was it in a high-tech, fast-paced area like the ICU or the ER? Was it someplace intense but calmer, such as dialysis or doing gastro procedures? Maybe the OR?

    The second is to try to find something "fun" for your PT job. These are usually the things we end up being passionate about that direct us where to go next. I have taught CPR, become an inside attendant in a hyperbaric chanber, and given hospital/ICU tours for Career Day to high-school kids, just for fun. Each of them led to potential career options and opened me up to all the non-traditional nursing possibilities out there. Some people do camp nursing or man first-aid stations at sports events. The possibilities are endless. Network and find out what's out there. Good luck!
  7. by   Jenny P
    Redeye, I think you have too much discipline in your life right now. Working as a full time navy nurse is tough enough- both regarding being in the Navy and being a nurse. Drop the part time job as a nurse-- if it's a money thing; cut back on your budget. We always think we need to have more money than we are currently making because our expenses seem to expand to just beyond our earnings. If it is as you say: you're trying to get more experience; just remember experience comes with TIME. Trying to work extra in this situation is causing burn out. Stop and smell the roses, walk on the beach, etc. and then be fully present at your full time job. Regroup, remember why you chose nursing, and then try to recapture those reasons in your current situation. Sometimes when we are young we forget that it's the little things in life that make life so important. I treasure sitting on the front steps watching the sun set with my Grandma, but I never took the time to do that with my kids when they were little; yet that is what I need when my life gets too hectic. Think about it.
  8. by   lids
    Oh gosh! I'm in nursing school and I can tell you that med-surg sucks. Too much work with trake care and chest tubes etc. I think that might be your problem, see if you can shadow a nurse in another area for a day or so, that might give you an idea of other areas . don't give up your carrer yet, love lids.
  9. by   505rn
    Don't give up yet!!!! I agree that you may be over extended, life is short and a life in the service is not always conducive to support systems but make time and make some friends, do fun things or volunteer...whatever it takes to replenish yourself, that will help you to enjoy nursing more!

    While I have never been a nurse in the service I do know that there are a LOT of different nursing opportunities out there...instead of working prn like you are now look to work or to volunteer in long-term care, Red Cross, volunteer to go hold babies or take bp's or give flu shots, work with paperwork (MDS, admissions) etc.deliver meals on wheels, work in a prison, do home health, teach at schools.....Be creative. At one point when I was looking for a job I looked in the administrative section and found some neat opportunities.

    I hope this helps....maybe you need a hobby to help replenish yourself, something that has nothing to do with taking care of others. Sometimes nurses get so focused on taking care of others we forget to care for ourselves or feel guilty taking care of ourselves....Christina
  10. by   NurseNikki2001
    Have you ever consider that it might be the Navy in general and not the fact that you are a nurse? Coming from experience of a Navy veteran. Once I got out of the service man did my life turn a 360. The pressure was gone and I felt like a ton of bricks was lifted of my shoulders. Don't get me wrong being in the Navy was a wonderful experience.
    I can tell you one thing Redeye, Navy medicine is very different that civilian medicine and that my friend can make a difference in someones career.
  11. by   NurseLinda
    MY choice was to leave... but I had been in 22 years. I'll bet EVERY new RN (new as in the first year) remember feeling the way you feel, and MY suggestion is to stick it out and see if that feeling goes away. MAN, I remember feeling it to my toes, and then it abated and I stayed a long time before I got out...

    Give it some time...

    Linda/FCLS, CMAS, BS, RN
    BizNurse@satx.rr.com
  12. by   babs_rn
    Originally posted by Redeye:
    I have only been a nurse for 7 months. I am a navy nurse full-time at a very small hospital and I work med-surg at the local civilian hospital prn (about one shift per week) to gain more clinical experience. I am feeling very discouraged because I put so much time and effort into becoming a nurse and I am now realizing that I really don't enjoy it that much. I am not sure if it is that I don't like med-surg or just don't like nursing in general. Any recommendations from anyone before I start looking for another career? I have had some exposure to other nursing specialties but still don't have a clue as to where I belong. This second job is killing me but I feel that I will not be competitive as a nurse without the solid med-surg experience. Am I just not meant to be a nurse?

    I wanted out of it after only 8 months, myself. I was in med-surg at the time...12 years later, I am still here mainly because of financial commitments that I am trying to eliminate so I can go to school on scholarships and a grad assistantship. Currently I am taking courses online and through independent study to get a BA in English with a philosophy minor...my plan? to teach college. Why? Where else can you have the freedom of expression and of ideas and still impact people's lives and still make a decent living without the stresses of nursing? Nursing is oppressive but it's also REpressive. I am burning to be able to be myself - I am an adult and a mother and I'm tired of having to "make nice" and eat a plate of **** and pretend to like it and of being told what color my nails can or cannot be painted...that kind of thing. In a couple of years I should be able to attend grad school full time and from there on to the Ph.D. Then I should have the kind of freedom and respect that we all deserve.

    But I digress. Don't feel so bad that you want out...but if you do plan to get out, go ahead and do so before you get too tied down. I used to burn myself out working the second job partly out of financial necessity and partly "to keep the experience" but you know what? It does no one any good. Take care and I wish you the best.

    Babs

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