I am an RN on a busy med-surg floor in a mid-sized hospital in the "bad" part of a southern city. I've been on the floor for a year, but also used to work on this floor as a new grad back in 2009 (I moved away from the area for a couple of years then returned). I work with good people for the most part but the hospital is just a disorganized mess. I used to enjoy working there and wanted to make it a better place. . .but these last couple of months I have lost all joy and just feel. . .nothing. Just dread. Just frustration. Physically sick when I think about/go to work. My coworkers have noticed although I try to hide it. I do the job and treat the pts well, but I just don't care anymore.
Also, I am in school at a large local university for my master's in nursing. . .which I was very excited about. . .and now I am thinking of quitting. The classes are all "theory" and paper writing and nothing clinical and speaking to the upper level students, they say even the CLINICAL classes aren't really clinical and NP's are graduating and passing boards without really ever even seeing patients or caring for them and are being thrown into jobs seeing 15-20 pts a day after just a few days of orientation! Scary stuff. And this is a "good" university with a reputation of having a good NP school.
I am questioning why I am doing this, why NP? Is it just because as a "smart girl" I feel pushed toward a higher degree? That as a single mom I feel the need to push myself and have a good career? I thought I wanted to work primary care focusing on geriatrics, but NP's face the same problems that RNs face. . .just with more responsibility and pressure.
I am questioning why I am a nurse. The 12 hr shifts are just killing me - before I was a single mom, it was no problem but now I come home after 13 exhausting hours and get my toddler from my mom and bath him and put him to bed and it is so late (his bedtime has been 9:30pm since he was an infant because of my schedule) and I am so tired and then I have to either spend the night at my mom's or drive to my apt for just a few hours of sleep before doing it all again.
I am torn between having the extra days off by working 2-3 12s a week. . .or having a more "normal" schedule so that my son will have a more normal schedule. Is it good for him to have such an exhausted mama?
I also think back to working as a professional in an office before I became a nurse. I changed careers because I wanted to do something completely new and because I was single back then and LOVED to travel all over the world and thought that as a nurse I would have the $$ and time to travel. Which I did - before becoming a mom I took weeks off at a time and traveled to south america and africa and asia and just loved it. Being a PRN 12 hr shift hospital nurse was PERFECT as a single gal in my 20s. Now? Not sure. . .
I feel so lost. I am in my mid 30's and just feel lost. And anxious and scared about my whole life. I feel the decisions I make now will affect me and my son forever. I care about my son so much and am so fearful of the future raising him by myself. My mom is so much help to me (I moved back here so she could help me) but her health is poor and she cannot do as much as she would like. Watching a toddler is exhausting for her even though she loves it. I try not to work 2 days in a row because it is too much for her.
I don't know what I am looking for - advice, other people's stories, just some people who maybe understand or who have been there. I look at my options - finding a job in nursing with better hours, leaving school/staying in school, leaving nurses entirely (I have other skills to fall back on but the pay wouldn't be as good), trying to get into an insurance company.
I do enjoy patient interaction. I love my patients, especially my elderly patients. I love getting to know them and helping them. I don't mind doing CNA work - when I have the time to bath a patient or help them ambulate or talk to family or just LISTEN to them, it is a good day. I have never been attracted to the critical side of nursing - thank god there are nurses who love it and work in our ICUs and ERs because I just couldn't do it. Very sick patients scare me.
I have played with the idea of working at an ALF or SNF, with 8 hr shifts, but the reputation of them around here is so awful and I fear that it would be brutal to work there.
As you can see. . .I am lost.
Thank you for reading my long post. I have been wanting to write it for a while, I just never had the time plus I always fear some people's responses on here.
Have you considered working a weekend program? Research if your area has Baylor programs, and/or flex time programs to give you time for your schooling and your career, and a better work/life balance.
Last edit by LadyFree28 on Oct 7, '13