What if you don't want to be an RN anymore?

  1. 3
    I've been a nurse for almost 20 years now and I'm in my early 50s. In the last couple of years I really feel like I'm no longer sharp and my memory is getting not so good. I've suffered from depression for the last several years and I'm disillusioned with life as a whole. I feel like, to help decrease my stress, that I would like to try to find something else to do with my life. I can't retire, I can't go on disability, and I can't afford to just sit home. I don't have it in me to go back to school for another two years to find something else. What in the world does someone in my position do? I'm at my wits end.

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  2. 19 Comments...

  3. 8
    First, I would suggest seeing someone re: the depression...that alone can color your perception of yourself and your life and effect your ability to think clearly, etc. Make sure there is nothing going on physically with you - hormones, etc. as well. Depression can come from many sources and therapy to medication or both can help.
    As far as what else to do...you don't say where you work...there are hospitals hiring nurses for non-nursing type jobs or those that are M-F, there are also nursing agencies you could look into..travel maybe or take assignments that are local, home health, community health, LTC. With nursing degrees we have a lot of flavors with in the profession but are limited outside of it I know. Insurance companies look for nurses as well. But first, take care of yourself and see a NP or doctor that can help you sort out the way you are feeling first. Good luck.
    VivaRN, GrnTea, Marshall1, and 5 others like this.
  4. 0
    I know what u mean! I just posted a thread saying I honestly feel like nursing is driving me insane. It's inhuman hours, u get treated like u aren't a professional and the public don't even realise what we do & don't care. We are little more than servants IMO.
    It is hard to answer ur question without knowing your background. Did u do anything b4 nursing? Can u type for example or have u run an office? What do you like? I hate to say this, but u may have to go do some training for something else. Otherwise, get something for ur depression & try to find some activities you like - exercise, walking, take vitamin D if ur deficient in it. Write a journal - that helps me de-stress & gym work is good.
    I don't know what else to say, unless I get more background on you
  5. 3
    Thank you for the replies so far. I worked at a hospital for a few years and it was so stressful I went into home health where, overall it is less stressful. But I don't even feel on top of that anymore. I have been trying to get help for my depression for over 2 and a half years now. I've tried a few psych mds, many, many meds that either worked for awhile then stopped helping, never helped at all, or I had such severe side effects from I had to stop them. I've had counseling, didn't help. I've actually given up on the whole thing because nothing helps. I have kept a journal, helped only a little, I do exercise at the gym regularly. There's a little background for you all without giving away who I am for those that might know me near me and figure it out.
  6. 1
    OP, in addition to seeking care for depression, have you thought about case management? I'm a 25 year RN in my 50's and while I always loved nursing, the physical aspects combined with shift work, weekends, forced overtime and doubles were just too much for me. I had done case management (in an office, not from home) earlier in my career and I am back there now.

    CM isn't a cure all but specific to your post...people treat me with respect, I work in a clean office , have regular hours, no on call or weekends or holidays or nights. No surprise! 16 hour shifts. No physical drain. The money is actually better than I was making in acute care.

    There are options out there. Best wishes to you!
    GrnTea likes this.
  7. 5
    Just a hug.
    TnRN43, Marshall1, imintrouble, and 2 others like this.
  8. 0
    im with you. I imagine the possible ?M word isnt helping here either- that hormone change has clouded my thoughts and affected my sleep and sharpness.
    I am in the same position wondering what to do with this damn degree. I cant docase mgmt here because they all want BSN's and experience.where i live the only jobs available for asn-rn are hospital jobs, or home care jobs in the bad section of town. So I, like you , ponder what else can be done. I'm actually in an RN_BSN program, but am havingg a hard time with it. So bye bye CM job. I try to figure out a way to live on a minimum wage job, but that would be hard in my area- 1 br apts are still 800 and up.and dont even mention insurance. But maybe where you are you could do this. I think it would clear your head possibly to do something diffent- people always joke about the wal-mart greeter, etc. To have that nurse stress released would be worth it. Someone said that hospital nursing sucks the life out of you - theyy arent kidding.
    I wish you luck- would like to know what you come up with so I can cheer you on :-)

    eta oops didnt see you were out of hospital nursing - lucky you -see you are that much further ahead :-) . yes if you can afford it find something not related at all- what about a truck driver(small) for local deliveries? just throwing it out there
  9. 0
    I am sending you a pm.
  10. 1
    I'm not a nurse (yet) but I'm a 3rd career changer who's in her mid-30s. My friend became a nurse in her 50s and inspired me to become a nurse. I'm new to this but I've met a few RNs along the way and made me think, "Wow! RNs can do most anything!"

    I've taken a CPR class from an RN who owned her own business just teaching 4 hour CPR classes to those who needed to renew; she was associated with the American Heart Association. I've also met RNs who are evaluators or teachers at the American Red Cross to potential CNA students. Personally, my teacher was an LVN and taught the full-time class which was from 7:30am-4:30am M-F. The RN taught the weekend/evening class. I also took an online class at a university for Medical Terminology, run by an RN. The lectures were pre-recorded slides. I think all three jobs would be less stressful and maybe a little bit of fun.

    That said, I think that you are still young. =)
    Rodoon likes this.
  11. 0
    Hug...Just like everyone is saying you can find a lot to do with ur RN degree have u tried Healthcare Management in the Hospital, working for insurance company, or even as a school nurse..Good luck whatever you decide to do...P.s. please get help with ur depression once thats done maybe you'll have a change of heart, or maybe its not even depression just see someone it might be you just need someone to talk to(vent)..Good luck once again

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