I've been an LPN for almost 7 years, before that a CNA for 4 years. Most of that was LTC, which would burn anyone out. But right now I'm working in an outpatient clinic, and it's boring and slow and totally stress-less...and I'm bored and unhappy. It sounds awful to say that, because for years I busted my rump in LTC- never got to sit, always stressed. So I shouldn't be complaining. But I think that, really, it's not the job. It's the career. I'm a pretty good nurse, but I just don't care about it anymore. And that's not good.
I thought maybe if I had a different type of nursing job, I would feel better about it, but that hasn't been the case at all (although it's definitely nice to not have the stress). Plus, being an LPN makes it more difficult...I guess there might be a job out there that I would like, but LPNs are so limited in our options these days (especially where I live). I've given a lot of thought to getting my RN, but I just have no interest in it. I don't feel like being an RN is going to be the answer. I might have more options, but it's still going to be the same b.s.
I'm not really writing this to look for advice (although if you have anything reasonable, I'd love to hear it), or for people who love nursing to tell me how much they love nursing. I'm just looking for co-commiserators- people who feel the same way (if there are any).
Also feeling pretty frustrated about how hard it is to get into an RN program, we can talk about that, too.
Thanks for reading
Dec 3, '12
What qualities are you seeking in a job? The answer to this question is very important because it shall determine the next career decision that you make.
I can understand your feelings and wish you the best of luck.
Dec 3, '12
Thanks for the reply, Commuter.
You're certainly right, what I'm seeking in a job is an excellent question. I'm trying to find the answer. Complicating things is the fact that I'm planning a big move in (hopefully) the next 5 years or so, to a very remote location in northern California. The place I'll be moving to is mostly off the grid with only dirt road access, and the nearest hospital is over an hour's drive away. I'm guessing that there's not much turnover with nursing jobs
in this area, given that there are so few. I may not be able to work much anyway due to my partner's job (and hopefully we'll have some kids by then). So right now I'm debating about whether to try to get the RN (which may end up being a useless waste of time and money...not to mention the time/effort it might take to actually get into a program), or taking an entirely different track and finding something I can do via the internet. I'm leaning toward the latter option. I really have no interest in getting the RN, but on the other hand...it's always good to have options. I don't know. I don't want to be a nurse anymore, but not being a nurse anymore is sort of scary, too. Well, that's life, I guess.
It would be nice to chat with nurses who are thinking about different careers, just to hear their stories and their decision-making process.
Dec 3, '12
I was burned out of my previous career field (rad tech/ct/management/military). I can understand.
I just quit cold turkey. Was I scared? Not really.
Do I advise the same?
Nope. It was hard. I never did regret leaving. Maybe...the way I went about it. LOL I didn't keep my license current. I did the whole 'take this job and shove it' schpeal with middle fingers blazing (ok, maybe I don't regret THAT. LOL It's been 6 years later and they can all still kiss my a--!).
I was done. 'Over it'. In fact, I couldn't have been more 'over it' if I were standing 10 ft in front of it. I could've been folding t-shirts at The Gap and been completely content with life.
That was my 'American Beauty' moment.
I never did regret leaving and seeking better, however. I went back to school and didn't return to work for 2 years. When I did finally rejoin he workforce? I got a job at UPS. I didn't have to think. I wasn't in charge of anyone or anything. Someone was always telling me what to do.
I was just a straight up 'worker bee'.
It was great.
That's nothing. I used to work with a rad doc who told me that he wanted to be a used car salesman. LOL We'd sit around and trade stories all the time. He never left, though.
But, of course, he wouldn't. The man earned about $245,000/per year. It's not easy for most people to just pick up and leave that kind of security. Plus, his daughter was at Harvard, so he def couldn't. It's nice to dream, though.
Nursing? Meh. I 'love' nursing (at the moment) because it's new...AND because I know myself well enough (thanks to my last burnout meltdown) to know the signs and how best to manage such things.
I work weekends and nights, with good reason. The politics of nursing would drive me insane - would kill my spirit - if I worked 9-5, mon-fri. It's the only way that I can maintain my dewy eyed 'Pollyanna' outlook where nursing is concerned. LOL
...and I know what goes on during the week because I occasionally pick up shifts during the day and it's nothing but hellraising, drama and ******* contests.
Of course, everyone compliments my diligence and focus. I'm 'the hardworker'.
Some of it's just how I work. But, honestly? I just put my head down and concentrate on my tasks+pt's+aides because I don't want to be bothered with it or any of those crazy a--s women.
Last week, we lost 6 aides. GOOD aides, too. I mean, what are they doing to these guys to make them quit?! SMH
Anyway - I see nothing on my regular shifts. I hear nothing, because the unconventional shifts are never kept in the loop. Nights and weekends are the last to know everything...and that's how I like it: Blissfully oblivious.
Ignorance is bliss. LOL
So, IMO? You spend a lot of time and energy - a great deal of your life - at work and that's entirely too much spent not doing work that makes you happy.
Seek a more fulfilling path, I say. Just cover your bets and keep that nurse license current.
Last edit by MedChica on Dec 3, '12
Dec 6, '12
Thanks MedChica. Yes, I'm planning on continuing to work as a nurse while I go back to school for something else. The idea of trying to get my RN- with all the fiery hoops you have to jump through- just feels like drudgery to me....like there's no light at the end of the tunnel. I started researching web design programs and was absolutely giddy over the fact that I would be REQUIRED to take Photoshop and photography classes. Nursing has completely killed my creativity...after awhile, especially in LTC, everything gets to be rote. You don't even really need to use critical thinking skills because you've seen everything already and you just know the answer. The stress and the hours and the depressing stuff (I'm prone to depression) have just totally burned and bummed me out. I'm sure that my second career will have B.S. as well....but at this point I feel like nothing they could throw at me would be harder than nursing has been. Nothing could be harder, in web design, than having 5 of your patients (that you've gotten attached to) die in a month (they all had cancer). I was so depressed that I had to go on prozac, and the prozac made me want to kill myself. Good times! I remember that I went to employee mental health and they were like, "you need a professional". Really? What the heck are you? Just another aspect of nursing that's horrible- no support. At this point, I'm just checked out. I'm done with it. And in my current job, it's more about waiting hand and foot on the doctors than it is about service to the patients...And I can't stand most doctors. Pompous no-common-sense-having jerks, a lot of 'em. So, yes, I've had enough. And I agree with you- evenings and NOC shifts are the way to go. I always worked evenings, when I had the option. I'll probably go back to med cart drudgery while I go to school, at least on a part time basis. Not thrilled about it, but it's not like you have options as an LPN.
Aug 18, '16
I completely agree. I worked 3-11 mon-thurs for a while when I first started then I went to 7-3. When I went 7-3 mon-fri I ended up working 1 double. The 3-11 was cake. The reason I swapped was for more time with family when my child was out of school. Even on 7-3 I didn't hear much of the politics. I have the same mindset as you. Ignorance is bliss. I don't want the drama, don't care.
I love your last statement about spending a lot of time at work.
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