Want to hear from RNs who are leaving the job.

  1. Originally posted by josh_RN:
    I call it a job because after working 4 years of burn trauma and CICU/SICU I realize now society, doctors and administrators do not really consider nursing a career. I am changing over into networking and electronics. I would like to hear from other nurses or ex-nurses that are now working in other fields. I am curious to know how it is going for you and your families now that you are out of nursing. Has it been as good as I think it will be or have there been problems? Thanks...josh
    You can't quite call me the average nurse
    who left the profession but I do appreciate the chance to talk about the last two years. If three years ago someone would have told me I would be out of work at age 52 I would have told them they were insane. Nursing had always been tough but I had always managed to hang in there. Then came RESTRUCTURING, DOWNSIZING, PATIENT FOCUSED CARE. What a beeping nightmare! I had a mild health problem that suddenly became a sever health problem. I wanted to retrain but you have to be well to do that. So I just up and quit and stayed at home for the last nine months. Most people do not have the economic option of just sitting at home for nine months. I was lucky to have a husband with a good job, a home that is paid for and no serious bills. It takes nine months to have a baby and it took me nine months to give birth to a new me. When I left I was full of self loathing and feelings of failure. After about three months I started to notice a improvement in my mental health, just this summer I started noticing an improvment in my physical health. Now I am interested in life again and am starting to check into some options. Will I go back into nursing or sign up for retraining? I am not sure of the answer to that question. However, I am starting to look into various options and I am about to make my way back into the world. I owe Brian Short and the people at these boards a big thanks because being able to talk to others in the same situation save my life. I AM NOT KIDDING IT SAVED MY LIFE.
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   nursnooz
    Hello, I'm new to this site. I got here through a website, for information to become a medical transcriptionist, (to hopefeully work at home)...marketing those with healthcare experience. Recently, thinking about setting out in a new direction...starting own business.
    My Hx: nurse x 10 years, and becoming really unhappy with the corporate mind-set, low pay, and high-stress on a regular basis. I NEED A NEW CAREER! Any success stories out there?
  4. by   lita1857
    well 1 year ago in august I'd had it so opted to help start a call center get up and running. I sit a cube and do managed care and a few other things. You get the idea, not patient care...well soon maybe 1/1/2001 I'm going back, in a more controlled version(PRN). I also over this year cultivated a new career, I'm learning financial planning. My goal is to support myself with this career and go back to patient care as much as I can.We'll see how it goes....josh_RN I wish you well, and oramar I thought you were a male nurse from other posts, I'm still laughing at myself. I have an idea where you were and am REALLY glad your making a come back...WHAT ever you do in the future, nurses continue to practice no matter what setting or how far it seems from medicine. I went to a great conference"Taming the beast" the nurses were AWESOME and still in the trenches!!!
  5. by   oramar
    Originally posted by lita1857:
    and oramar I thought you were a male nurse from other posts, I'm still laughing at myself. I have an idea where you were and am REALLY glad your making a come back...WHAT ever you do in the future, nurses continue to practice no matter what setting or how far it seems from medicine. I went to a great conference"Taming the beast" the nurses were AWESOME and still in the trenches!!!
    I once had a friend with whom I was having a conversation about my being dependant on my husband. She was shocked, she said "you dependant, you seem so powerful" Now Lita thinks I am a man. Perhaps I present a stronger front than I realize. Anyway, I have saluted nurses who are in the trenches before. I have two friends who are older than me and they are the lynch pins around which there units revolve. They are the ones who orient the new grads, who guide the agency nurse and answer residents and interns questions. They are simply the greatest human beings on the planet. Their managers should crawl on their hands and knees to them and kiss their feet bid. Perhaps I should post a new topic saluting them and those like them because without them the shortage would result in many more poor patient outcomes than are already occuring.

  6. by   moonshadeau
    Being a relatively new nurse, I have seen 12 nurses leave my floor in the last five months. Only 4 nurses have been replaced as of this time. Most of the nurses on my floor are in their 40's, 50's, and 60's. I am the youngest nurse at 21 on my floor. It has been a very odd experience being considered old and "experienced" after 5 months of working as an RN.
  7. by   josh_RN
    I call it a job because after working 4 years of burn trauma and CICU/SICU I realize now society, doctors and administrators do not really consider nursing a career. I am changing over into networking and electronics. I would like to hear from other nurses or ex-nurses that are now working in other fields. I am curious to know how it is going for you and your families now that you are out of nursing. Has it been as good as I think it will be or have there been problems? Thanks...josh
  8. by   rncountry
    Josh, I gave up active nursing a little more than a month ago, I will not be going back unless I see some substancial chnages in the health care system. I loved being a nurse. I enjoyed the challenge of what I did, up until about a year ago. I took some time off and then felt ready to tackle it again. 5 months later I quit. The straw that broke the camels back, was my dad being dx was terminal cancer. Melamona that had mets to his brain. I live in Michigan, he was in Tennessee. I was getting frantic phone calls nearly every day from my stepmom not knowing what to do as things got worse. My dad had never been ill really, neither had any experience of the health care system outside of the military and they were scared. I told my DON I needed time to get to Tennessee and what was going on and the only response I received was how was I going to get my work done if I left? I was an MDS coordinator. Did I care about that right then? No. After much soul searching I decided to leave permanently. I don't regret what I did, the time I spent with my dad was invaluable, it was the last time I would see him alive. Now that I don't have the stress of massive hours and responsiblilites I no longer have the depression I didn't even realize at the time I had, I don't snap at my kids, I have time for my family and for the husband that has supported me through all the times I felt so overwhelmed and the times I was furious at the lack of respect I received. I am now in the process of setting op my own business. It is busy, and I have put alot of hours into it now, but the difference is I do it at my pace, there are many things I can do while my children are in school, and after they go to bed. I am fortunate to have a husband that is able to support us by himself, it is tight, but we make it. I have thought for years about my own business, but never really seriously thought I would leave nursing. I actually feel this is not something I choose, it was a chose forced on me. I miss being a nurse, or I would not come to the nursing sites, but I also know I could not handle the physical and emotional strain anymore, and I was not willing to put my family on the back burner any longer. I do not expect to get rich with my business, but I do believe I can make a decent living. I think I can make at least what I was making as a nurse. I won't right away, but I figure if I can make it through nursing school, and 10 years of active nursing, then working at my own business should be something that I can accomplish. If I'm going to put in 60 hours a week than I'd rather do it for myself, and maybe, just maybe, earn some respect to go with it. I have worked general med-surg, neuro intensive care and been a DON in LTC. I feel I'm pretty prepared for the pressures of running my own business. I do not encourage nurses to leave, the shortage is bad now, however I think it is important that an assessment is done as to rather this is something to continue at the time. It is impossible to take care of patients if you can not take care of yourself. There may be a day I will be active in my practice again. I will always keep my license, but I won't do it under the circumstances that are currently in healthcare. By the way are you following the million nurse march discussion? We have to do something, whether I chose to be active or not, I feel all nurses must become active in making themselves heard, or the situation will not change. That would not benefit nursing in general, the individual nurses, or the patients that rely on nurses. Just a thought.
  9. by   josh_RN
    rncountry...sorry to hear about your father. The important thing is that you were there for him. Unlike the hospital who was not there for you. I feel bad because the facility i work for now is just like the place you left. You are highly discouraged from ever taking sick time and god forbid that you want to take time off to take care of family members . Just as a aside to everyone else......i did work for a small non-profit hospital in Lincoln, NE that should be the model for all hospitals. It respected its employees and took very good care of us. Not a day goes by that I wish I didn't have to leave there. There is not a hospital down here in Kansas City like it....rncountry..you were the type of person i was hoping to hear from. Motivated and a self starter. sounds like you have stood up to the challenge and are doing well. i think things will work out well for you. And I think everything will work to out well for me as well. I will no longer be a slave to hospital administration who make obscene profits off the sweat and strain of the nurses backs and the pain of the patients we are charged to serve.
  10. by   binky
    Hello everyone!!! Today i threw my hands up and left a job that I thought I was highly respected at....HA.....No one cares....I feel like a terrible person....I needed help with the schedule so that i could work with my son in after school classes and they told me that i woud work the schedule that they put out or i could get out....I am tired of putting my children on the back burner....My husband does not have a job that will finiancially support us.....so I don't know where to go from here.....factory work maybe? It has to be less stressful...............Binky
  11. by   josh_RN
    Binky...don't even for a second feel bad about quiting. I feel that more people should do that when they get the finger by administration. If they feel that their staff is so easily replaced and unvaluable then they need to be educated in the only language they understand....MONEY. Its going to cost them to replace you. It will cost them in overtime pay to your co-workers...assuming they will pick up the overtime. It will cost them to order agency nurses to replace you. it will cost them to train a new hire to replace you....once again assuming they even fill your position. the sad part is that this is a big sacrafice on your end. and will be little noticed by them in the short term. but over time with more nurses leaving and fewer nurses coming into the work force they will miss you and all the rest of us down the road. I know others will say this wil hurt patient care but really we will be improving patient care down the road. only downfall would be a government intervention like a draft that would force those of us that left to return to the job. doubt that would happen but if the nursing crisis gets that bad one never knows.... josh
  12. by   oramar
    Originally posted by josh_RN:
    The important thing is that you were there for him. Unlike the hospital who was not there for you. I feel bad because the facility i work for now is just like the place you left. You are highly discouraged from ever taking sick time and god forbid that you want to take time off to take care of family members ........
    There is something rotten here folks, nurses are entitled to emergency family and medical leave just like everyone else. IT IS THE LAW. I have a cousin who is an IV team nurse, she took off 12 weeks when her mom died of cancer 4 years ago and now she is off because her father is dying of cancer. No body has said beans to her about either leave. If they do say anything they will be looking at the wrong end of a law suit.
  13. by   rncountry
    The only thing about the family leave act oramar is you must have worked a certain amount of hours, I don't recall how many now, I used to, but its not in my brain anymore. I know though that it works out to around a years worth of employment, I had been in my job 5 months, and while I had worked a great deal of overtime I did not qualify for the family medical leave act, nor does it cover situations like binkys, who by the way should not feel terrible about leaving that job. If you choose binky to stay in nursing, I suggest you look for a nonprofit place. The best place I ever worked was nonprofit and the only reason I left is because my husband and I broke up, my children were small and I worked midnights. There were no openings for days, so I went were there were day positions. In nursing homes. I went from neuro intensive care to a nursing home! Talk about culture shock! It was a nursing home I left Josh, I remarried, had a baby and needed to stay with the day job. I worked my way up into management eventually becoming a DON, however my administrator and I were unable to see eye to eye about staffing and budgets, and when he threatened to physically harm a CNA I left. After that I worked as the MDS coordinator at a couple different places.
    Binky I feel for you, it is a difficult decision at best to leave a job, but doubly hard I think for a nurse because we do want the best for the patient I think. However we also deserve the right to be mothers and wives too. The job should not be the only thing in our lives, it is only a part of who we are. For awhile I thought if I wasn't an RN than who was I? I talked about it alot with my husband, then it dawned on me I will always be an RN. I worked damn hard to be one, and regardless of whether I actively nurse or not I will continue to keep my license up. Yes, I am an RN, I am proud to be an RN, but I am not proud of what the health care system has become, and I was not proud of what type of mother and wife I had become. When I was basicly told to forget about my dying father that was enough. Of course this came from a DON that had a brother shot in the head in Detroit on the Fourth of July, but still did not miss a day of work. I cannot help but feel that anyone who is that cold cannot be what the patient needs, regardless of whether she was capable of performing any RN duties or not. She disappointed me greatly, I had gone to nursing school with her and thought she would be great for the facility, maybe she is, but I don't think she was so good for the nurses that work there. Maybe that is the way you have to be to be successful in management. I can't say I was particularly successful doing what the admin. wanted, but I did what I felt was right for the patient. And in the end I did what I felt was right for me and my family, thats what you did Binky, so don't feel bad. There are other jobs out there, if you want to stay in nursing another option to look at is home care, though the govenment has made the paperwork the same nightmare that they have given nursing homes, yet you do have only one person to take care of and most agencies are willing to work with your schedule. They will pressure you take certain hours that you may not want to, you just have to be able to say no. That's something most nurses have to practice! If not nursing than think of what skills nursing has given you, management skills, even if you've never held a nursing management position, you already likely supervise someone unless you worked with an all RN staff, you are able to work independently with minimal supervision, you can juggle many tasks at the same time, you are able to prioritize and shift your focus in a moments notice. You have some computer skills, you work well under pressure and are able to work with the public. So nurses have many other skills besides giving meds and starting IV's. If you decide to look outside of nursing you can always pick up an agency job that allows you to pick where you will work and what days you work, and because of the increased wage you will earn will not have to work as many days, freeing you to look into other possiblilities. I do not mean to encourage people to leave nursing, I miss it and probalby always will, but if it is no longer what works for your life than take the skills that you have and put then to good use somewhere else, you can always return to nursing if and when you feel you are ready.
  14. by   rncountry
    I also want to say thankyou Josh for your condolences. I miss my dad, as I take each step to get this business up and running so many times I think, I have to email dad and let him know how things are going, and then I remember he is not there to read the email. My dad came out of very bad circumstances, went into the navy at 17 without a high school diploma. At some point in the 70's he got his GED, he went through innumerable classes in the service, he was a flight engineer on a P3orian. That is a plane that tracks enemy subs and whatever else the govenment wants it to keep an eye on. In the 80's he went to college, taking night classes to earn his bacholor degree in business, it took him 6 years to complete. In the late 80's he became a master chief, the highest enlisted grade he could attain. Not many get that far. 5 years ago he retired after 33 years, and became a manager of a factory in Millington TN, I can't say it was something he liked particularly because he had trouble adjusting to people who did not come to work if they did not feel like it. He had difficulty telling someone to do something and then not have it done when he expected it to be, we would talk about it, and I'd tease him and say welcome to civilian life dad! However he had great pride in doing his job well, and when he became ill, he was kept on the payroll, full pay, full benefits. In fact the day after his funeral my stepmom received his last paycheck. Contrast that with how I was treated when I wanted some time off to be able to see him. My dad lived by the motto that can't never did anything. I heard it many, many times, and his life reflected that. I think that somehow in the back of my head I thought that he would get through the cancer, he had always overcome anything before. He overcame coming out of a family with an abusive, alcholic father. He survived being put into an orphanage for a year when his mother could not afford to keep him and his siblings after his father left. He recieved beatings from the woman who ran the orphanage, had a broom broke across his back by her, and suffered back trouble for the rest of his life. Yet he was able to go on as an adult, become a decent man and father. We talked about my nursing career many times, he always told me to do what I felt was right, and to not let others get me down. Their problems were their problems, and I should not take on what was truly up to them to figure out. He pushed education, not only because it would get you were you wanted to go, but learning for learnings sake. To broaden you mind and make you a more well rounded person. When I would meet a goal I wanted, he would say Great, now whatta you gonna do in his southern accent. Always believing their should be new goals, new heights to attain, no matter if they were large or small. My parents divorced when I was 8, and I spent many years not seeing my dad, he was in Florida, California, Iceland twice, Spain, Greece, Germany and flying in and out of navy bases throughout the world. At one point I was pretty sure he didn't care if I was around or not, but after he quit flying and became an instructor if he missed the world traveling and he said no, he'd had enough of it, and besides now he could spend some time with his children, and he'd already missed alot. He and my stepmom had adopted the daughter of my stepsister because she is not able to take care of her, and at my dads funeral the pastor spoke of how much he had wanted to be able to give to this young lady, to do for her what he had been unable to do for me and my sister. I spoke to the pastor afterwards and learned of the regrets my dad had regarding the missing years that he had not been able to voice to me or my sister. He was a private man, and did not feel comfortable expressing alot of emotion. What he did do, was be my motivator and my soundboard. He was my advisor and in the later years of our relationship he was my friend as well as my dad, forgive me for going on and on, but I miss him so much it makes me ache inside. I am sometimes too much my fathers daughter in that I sometimes hold my feelings tight, and telling someone about who he was, that he lived and he was worthwhile makes me feel better. Does that make sense? It doesn't really go along with the topic at hand, except when you look at how he was treated by his company when he became ill and how nurses in general are treated when their outside lives interfere with the job they are doing. Thanks for listening to me, and thank you for the condolences. It does mean something to me, even if I don't actually know you. In fact it means even more, because it's nice to know their are nurses out there willing to support on another rather it is work related or not.

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