Hi Nurse Beth,
I've been a nurse for a little over five years now. I am bummed out because I can not seem to find my "niche" in nursing. I have worked in SNF/subacute rehab, OR, and now I am employed in a step-down unit with frequent floats to the ICU and med-surg. However, I have never been particularly happy in any of these positions. I am worried that I have spent so much time in a career that I just don't like.
The source of my unhappiness stems from feeling unable to truly impact patients. In all the areas that I have worked, I mostly feel as though I simply patch the patient up or control symptoms. I don't feel as though I am actually making an impact in their care.
Should I continue to look into other specialties? Or, am I a total lost cause in nursing?
I do have my BSN, but I don't know how utilize it in trying to find a new position. I also feel as though I have "job hopped" too often and look like a risk to employers.
Your input would be much appreciated.
Dear Burned Out and Bummed Out,
You are making an impact but it's important for you to know it and believe it.
What would make you feel you have made an impact? Think back to a time when you felt you helped someone else. Is it more time with your patients, more connection? Do you enjoy talking with them but don't have the time?
Maybe acute care is not the right setting. Have you considered home health? How about cardiac rehab, where you work with patients and actually see their progress towards their goals? It could be that seeing patients over a longer span of time would be more ratifying for you.
Are you a teacher? With 5 years of nursing experience, you could be a clinical instructor. Have you considered behavioral health nursing? There are so, so many things you could do and it's not necessary for you to feel ungratified. Without knowing you, it's a shot in the dark making suggestions but I do believe there is a niche where you can shine and feel that you are making a difference.
I wouldn’t worry about job-hopping. You have tried a few different settings, but you have 5 years of experience (great!) and your BSN. Many employers would be more than happy to receive your resume. Keep us posted, friend.
Burnt out and bummed out;
plz man up and smell the roses...
that is why nursing is a four letter word, like ****,****; etc...
Nursing is WORK, that is why WORK is a four letter word.
It is damn hard, it is demanding, it hits your beliefs, ethics and stamina right in the gut...
Why not run away; go shuffle money in a bank or count paperclips in some office somewhere???
At least in Nursing you can make a small difference, instead of no difference at all...
So man up and put your apron on and get back to the kitchen or stop your whining and drop out.
Your so lucky; your glass is half full (of opportunities); travel, meet different people in different places...
Put some money aside and go rent a shack in Puerto Rico or Fiji for two weeks and sit with your toes in the Atlantic or Pacific...
Cannot afford to do things like that then work to modify your finances so you can work hard and then time out to relax and recharge your batteries...
Whatever you can now re-invent yourself every year or two and work in any one of a hundred different nursing fields, but regardless just remember there are literally thousands of people standing behind you with a big knife just itching for the opportunity to stick you in the kidney to take and use the luck and opportunities you have right in your hand already...
Now man up and stop your sniveling; have a mental health break and recharge your batteries and get back into life...
Good Luck and thank you for being a part of the worlds most trusted and loved profession...
Last edit by dianah on Aug 13, '16
: Reason: Terms of Service
Wow. I was with you 'Crok63' for a minute thinking you were motivating with "tough-love" until I got to: " literally thousands of people standing behind you with a big knife just itching for the opportunity to stick you in the kidney" AND then I realized that is EXACTLY why our Profession is not respected. Something is enormously wrong when a kidneystick with knife is appropriate to use in regards to those awaiting a nursing opportunity she has. Possibly because it's true? Possibly because the women and men in this field are in tune with that frequency as acceptable and the norm. Ever hear of receiving just what we ask for not in terms of karma but in reaping what we actually sow. Bad fruit is a major issue in bullying, lateral violence but MOST of all a true lack of understanding that we're not foot soldiers ready to shoot one another (or knife) at command.
It seems Nursing Administrators do feel this way (hence lateral violence as acceptable in secret, age discrimination, racism, hazing, etc.). I won’t give a speech next on how we must come together in unity in a positive way for genuine professionalism to take place; it's a broken record so it seems. You can't produce courage where it doesn't exist. Those with it however, please continue to stand. What I will end with to the original poster [Nurse Beth] is this advice: You do make a difference upon your client as a nurse. Alleviating symptoms is huge to quality of life. Imagine no antibiotics for an infection that is not life threatening but extremely uncomfortable, or no NSAID for a migraine? Nurses are not here to heal (unless we can) but to help the community exist physically and mentally in as high of state of existence wherever they are on the health and wellness continuum of no sickness to death. I encourage all to remember this; we truly do (or at least can) make a difference. I would even say HUGE. May God bless you all.
Last edit by RadiantLynneBSN on Aug 13, '16
: Reason: Spelling