Why should I remain in nursing?

  1. The other day, a patient at the dialysis unit I work at asked me, "Are you looking for a new job yet?", this struck me as odd because I have been looking for a career change, I hadn't told anyone about it.

    She asked, because she knows I have been an RN for about 3.5 years, and she saw the results of a study that showed most male nurses look to get out of the field after about 4 years.

    I have been considering prospects elswhere for about the last 6 months. I don't see the healthcare situation in the US getting any better with Howdy-Doody sitting in the Oval Office. And, quite honestly, I am tired of putting up with the B.S. we are expected to put up woth as nurses. I love the work, but the jobs stink. I'll live on the streets and beg for food before I'll work in a nursing home again, and I'll burn my license before I work in a hospital again.

    The patients and staff all trust, respect, and like me where I work. But with the cuts coming in state medicaid and federal medicare re-embursments looming, staff is being cut, and we are getting higher and higher acuity in hwat is supposed to be an ambulatory unit...HELP!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   wv_nurse 2003
    I wish I had magic words of encouragement, the proverbial "false reassurance" we learned in nursing school that is "non-therapeutic communications". (don't worry, it will all be okay..blah blah.....)

    But the truth is, I want to tell you NOT to look for a new job. If you "love the work" don't quit. Take a pro-active stance to improve things.....if we all do our part, maybe we can change things.....not the whole staircase, but one step at a time.
    (okay yes an eternal optomist--guilty as charged)
    If you love it, don't quit--

    "It is not the critic who counts;
    not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled
    or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
    The credit belongs to the man
    who is actually in the arena,
    whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
    who strives valiantly;
    who errs and comes short again and again;
    who knows great enthusiasms,
    the great devotions;
    who spends himself in a worthy cause;
    who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
    and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while
    DARING GREATLY
    so that his place shall never be
    with those timid souls
    who know neither victory or defeat."


    Theodore Roosevelt
    26th President Of The United States
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    "Howdy Doody in the Oval Office"!!!BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
  5. by   kfaganrn
    If you first ask yourself "why did I choose to become a nurse?", you will be more prepared to solve your own dilemma. If you became a nurse for money, or prestige, or any number of other reasons, you may very well need to rethink your career choice. As for myself, I chose nursing as a career because I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be able to look back on my life someday and be able to say to myself that I had achieved something good. Do I make a difference on a large scale? No, of course not. I'm only one person. Have I made a difference at all? Yes. The family member who hugs me and says "Thank you for being there for us, or for our loved one" tells me that I have. I touch lives everytime I go to work. I give my all to my work. I don't seperate myself from it emotionally, either. My patients are important to me. I realize that nursing isn't the same for everyone, and it might not be the best career for you, but you have to ask yourself why you're in this profession. I hope this helps, and I can tell you already, you've obviously made a difference, or your patient would not have bothered to ask if you were considering a career change. You might consider a different kind of nursing, though. It helps to prevent burnout if you change specialties every now and then. Good luck!
  6. by   sjoe
    "I have been considering prospects elswhere for about the last 6 months. I don't see the healthcare situation in the US getting any better with Howdy-Doody sitting in the Oval Office. "

    Not really fair, of course. These problems were obvious to me in the very early 1990s, and to others with more experience and insight there were clear long before that.

    "I'll live on the streets and beg for food before I'll work in a nursing home again, and I'll burn my license before I work in a hospital again. "

    So would I, but I'd do a lot of other things before I'd live on the streets. Fortunately, there are many other possibilities than nursing homes and staffing hospitals (and many other possibilities than nursing, for that matter).

    And I might add that Teddy Roosevelt is being quoted VERY MUCH out of context above. He would be the last person to argue that a man is somehow better off staying in an abusive and dysfunctional environment where his every action is dictated by bean counters, in order to say that he somehow "held out." Quite the contrary. The excellent "Theodore Rex" by Edward Morris makes that abundantly clear.
    Last edit by sjoe on Feb 23, '03
  7. by   Glad2behere
    and another one bites the dust
  8. by   Stargazer
    Ronin, I don't know what your job priorities are--working in a high-tech environment, doing direct patient care only, $$ --but there are tons of non-hospital, non-clinic (and non-clinical) jobs out there for nurses. I'd highly recommend exploring some of the less traditional options out there before giving up on nursing, or giving up on the U.S., altogether.
  9. by   LilgirlRN
    Stay in nursing, someone with your amount of experience really can make a difference in someone's life. I've been a nurse for a long time, when I look back I see faces of people who would not be here if I hadn't been there. We all know that in a hospital or clinic setting where the doctor isn't right there every second, it's us, the nurses who save the patient when he's dying. We start the CPR, more than likely a CRNA will entubate your pt and we get everything going, get the pt stabile and the doc walks in and orders this and that and it's already done. And all because we ARE so SMART and so well trained. Unfortunately, the public thinks the doc saved their life. This is why I am still here, so I can save people and make the docs look bad at the same time...j/k
  10. by   -jt
    Last week a Cambodian immigrant in Brooklyn NY won the megamillion lottery for $128 million. He works as a gardener in Central Park. He gets to be outside all day in gorgeous surroundings, doing something creative and stress free, getting exercise in the fresh air, meeting happy relaxed people, all for $40,000/yr. Now thats hes got $128 million, his job may be open soon. I swear if I didnt have 3 kids to get through school myself, I would seriously consider taking that 50% cut in my salary & applying for his position with the Parks Dept.
  11. by   -jt
    <I am tired of putting up with the B.S. we are expected to put up woth as nurses. I love the work, but the jobs stink.>

    2 nursing fields that are growing & you might consider
    Nursing Informatics
    Nurse Forensics
  12. by   kfaganrn
    I agree. As a travel nurse, I just left an assignment (the first time I've ever done this) because I was expected to perform beyond the capacity of any one human being and that put my patients, my licenses, and my sanity in jeopardy. I still feel that what I do is worthwhile. If nursing was no longer a paid profession, I'd still do it. As I said before, Nursing is not for everyone. Its a very personal decision that you must make, but for me there isn't a choice. Its not what I do, but who I am. I understand that the crap gets deep, the expectations are beyond reason, and the workload is overwhelming, (and that's on a good night!) but its still an honorable profession, and a noble cause. I couldn't do anything else. Maybe a change within the nursing profession is what you need, or a nice long siesta. Time off and time for yourself can help you regain perspective, and possibly clear your mind so that you can make the decision that is best for you. Good luck!
  13. by   RNforLongTime
    Originally posted by mjlrn97
    "Howdy Doody in the Oval Office"!!!BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
    DITTO! BWAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA:chuckle
  14. by   Ronin
    ...I became a nurse because I want to leave the world a little better place than when I came in. But that's getting more and more difficult with the changes sweeping the healthcare system, and I don't see those difficulties being resolved without a fundamental paradigm shift.

    THe system has collapsed under its own weight, and needs to be replaced, not repaires or overhauled. We need to first start by removing the profit motive for health care. Next we need to examine priorities, i.e. distribution of a finite resource. How do we ethically determine who recieves what services? Finally, the healthcare consumer needs to be educated thoroughly so that they have realistic expectations as to what the healthcare system can provide.

    But do our politicians and healthcare industry leaders have the will to undertake this fundamental change? I don't think so.

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