Where do burned out nurses go ?

  1. After nine years of hospital nursing I burned out and I don't know where to go now!!! Does anyone out there have any suggestions?????
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   Mijourney
    Hi burnedoutrn. I suggest that you might want to investigate another area in that hospital before you decide to leave it if you have not tried that route. Some nurses go into utilization review, physicians' offices, specialty services or something along that line. Many nurses that outright leave the hospital arena are going into areas like insurance, legal consulting, research, and development. Others may opt to go into home health, public health, travel nursing, agency nursing in order to stay in direct patient care. You want to search for your niche. I also suggest that you get additional education/training in another area in or outside of nursing. I very much favor lifelong learning and feel that many nurses prematurely stop their formal education. I hope that this helps some. There are many other work options that other posters may have ideas on. Burnout, I believe, is one of the major reasons for a nursing shortage. I wonder when those who are making huge profits in health care will open their eyes (hearts) and see that they cannot continue to have their cake and eat everyone else's and expect the "system" to survive. Hopes this helps. Best wishes.
  4. by   oramar
    Dear BurnedoutM, I hope you go a better place than me, I have gone to hell in a handbasket. I grieve for my lost job just like a lost family member, I think I just went from acceptance back to depression. Well in nursing school they taught us it was not unusual for people to jump from one grief step to another in an erractic manner.
  5. by   bluesgirl

    It can only get better
    it can only get better
    it can only get better
    I'm thinking massage therapist?
  6. by   HazeK
    Originally posted by burnedoutrn:
    After nine years of hospital nursing I burned out and I don't know where to go now!!!
    What kind of "hospital nursing?"
    Medical? Surgical? Specialty unit? Direct Patient Care?
    What did you enjoy most?
    The patients? The doctor/team interactions?
    Helping the families thru crisis? Physical care of patients?
    What did you hate the most?
    Same categories as above, plus/or: understaffing, mandatory overtime?
    poor equipment/supplies? poor salary? 12 hour shifts too long?
    What size hospital?
    huge? (a little fish in a very big pool)
    small? (everyone knew your shoe size...and more)
    medical center with interns & residents?
    private MDs only?

    Break down your burn-out into some smaller, more detailed pieces, then maybe readers can help you out more, OK? There should be SOMEPLACE in nursing that will be just right for you!

    Hang in there!



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  7. by   burnedoutrn
    Dear Oramar,
    I know exactly how you feel. I quit my job 18 months ago after I take couldn't one more threat of pt. abandonment from unsupportive supervisors who couldn't possibly imagine that they still had RN after their names!! The thought of touching a pt. for 16 hours in an ICU setting was unimaginable for them but perfectly "ok" for staff nurses..After all it's not just our jobs to work our scheduled shifts but to work 24/7 without batting and eye and of course "keep smiling".
    How can we possibly ever care for any patient when are constantly abusing ourselves? Are we still only human or does that not apply to nurses?? I gave 110% to my patients every day and all that was ever said by administration was "What more can you do?" My BEST was never enough!!!!!
    Burnedoutrn
  8. by   oramar
    Originally posted by burnedoutrn:
    Dear Oramar,
    I know exactly how you feel. I quit my job 18 months ago after I take couldn't one more threat of pt. abandonment from unsupportive supervisors who couldn't possibly imagine that they still had RN after their names!! The thought of touching a pt. for 16 hours in an ICU setting was unimaginable for them but perfectly "ok" for staff nurses..After all it's not just our jobs to work our scheduled shifts but to work 24/7 without batting and eye and of course "keep smiling".
    How can we possibly ever care for any patient when are constantly abusing ourselves? Are we still only human or does that not apply to nurses?? I gave 110% to my patients every day and all that was ever said by administration was "What more can you do?" My BEST was never enough!!!!!
    Burnedoutrn
    I am probably not the best person for you to talk to because depressed people tend to drag each other down. I have to say that when I wrote that last post I think I was bottoming out. It is about time. Once you bottom out you can start up. I wish I had not made this journey alone, it would been better if I talked to a therapist or something. Either way I am going to bounce back, for instance I have started a new job just this week. However, I think I would have gotten better faster with a little help. Think about what I have said.
  9. by   mimawcatclaws1972
    I"ve been in nursing for 15 years, part as an LPN and the rest as an RN. I feel burned out too. I work my scheduled time and often sign up for extra shifts. Still, I get mandatory overtime. 16 hours in any department in not "OK". I wouldn't want someone who got up at 0500 to go to a seminar and then went to a 12 hour shift that ended up being 16 taking care of me. I personally don't know how to fight it. A union, maybe. I think it will take a lot more than a union. I personally am considering travel nursing. I wouldn't have to put up with the politics and how burned out could you get in 13 weeks.
  10. by   burnedoutrn
    DearHazeK,
    My reply to oramar details my burnout somewhat. To answer some of your questions, I worked in a small hospital with a 16 bed combined ICU/CCU. Big fish in small pool. HaHa. The burnout came from too much (is there really such a thing?) mandatory overtime and no administrative support. I loved caring for my patients ( I always have) but couldn't stand the abuse by the system. I didn't go into nursing to feel like didn't do enough for my patients at the end of the day. I worked with residents and the medical director of my unit was excellent. One of the few md's I have worked with that I would trust with my life!!!!!! Anyway maybe it was time for me to change and I didn't know it until it was too late.
  11. by   burnedoutrn
    DearHazeK,
    My reply to oramar details my burnout somewhat. To answer some of your questions, I worked in a small hospital with a 16 bed combined ICU/CCU. Big fish in small pool. HaHa. The burnout came from too much (is there really such a thing?) mandatory overtime and no administrative support. I loved caring for my patients ( I always have) but couldn't stand the abuse by the system. I didn't go into nursing to feel like didn't do enough for my patients at the end of the day. I worked with residents and the medical director of my unit was excellent. One of the few md's I have worked with that I would trust with my life!!!!!! Anyway maybe it was time for me to change and I didn't know it until it was too late.
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    "Cliches are a dime a dozen. Avoid them like the plague"
    Seriously, we had a cliche at my former hospital (which burned me out after >20 years) "Burnt out nurses go back to school"
    I went to a hospital that does not pay well but respects people. I still hired on part time with benefits, required to work only two 12 hour shifts a week. That way I could offer to work extra and get the work when I felt like it. While there are problems with few exceptions the patients, staff, MDs and management really show respect based on their spiritual belief.
    I know home health nurses who love it though they do so much paperwork at home 8 hours is really 10 or 12.
    In Northern Californis where the California Nurses Association has contracts the nurses (with exceptions) are empowered by working for improvement. I know a pediatric oncology nurse who loves her job. They have decent staffing there.
  13. by   nurse T
    Boy, after reading about burnout from nurses with 10, 15 yrs exp. I feel like a weeny. I waited until my children were in school to go back to school myself. It took me 3 yrs to finish RN-ADN school. I worked PT, took care of my family and went to school FT. I'm 40 now. A 3 yr old toddler in NRSG. I'm already feeling a little crispy. I've worked pool, LTC as a CNA and RN, hospice and currently home health. What has always bothered me the most is that the patient is never the issue. It's always money. I have never been called into the supervisors office more than in home health. It's always the same; Document for payment. Every time I think I've got it all straight, the rules change. I really love being a nurse. The nurse patient relationship is so rewarding. I'm considering putting my name in the local paper and working for myself. Thanks for listening!

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  14. by   laurasc
    I went to a doctor's office.

    I didn't just burn out, I sizzled...and I didn't last as long as you...only about 5 years. When I quit my last hospital job (in a med/surg ICU) I was pregnant and decided it was the end of my nursing career. After 4 years at home I happened upon a "cushy" job in a pediatric clinic. I was there for 5 years and now work in a pediatrician's office. I refuse to go back to the hospital.

    Laura

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