Taking Job Hopping to a New Level

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I think I have taken job hopping to a new level. I am an RN of 27 years who has had ten jobs in the past eight years, some for as briefly as a few months. Seriously. The longest I have stayed at any of them was 2.5 years and that was a job doing phone triage from home that I also came to hate.

    I can honestly say that I haven't liked any of these jobs; the responsibility of having people's lives in my hands, the emotional stress, the ridiculous workload (I had an acute dialysis position where I was sometimes required to work 20 hour days!) and feeling incompetent because I took several years off of nursing before jumping back into the pool eight years ago...and on and on and on.

    I am currently working at a hospice inpatient unit which I also don't like, although I am, and always have been, very kind to my patients and their families because I don't blame them that I hate what I do. My employers have all liked me and were unhappy when I quit, but I just couldn't stand what I was doing.

    So here is the same old million dollar question: I feel like I can't go on anymore in nursing but I can't find anything else that I'm qualified to do that would pay even close to what I'm making now and provide benefits, and I don't have the option of working somewhere that pays much less because my husband is currently laid off and finding it hard to find a job due to his age.

    My job requires doing some laundry and dishes and these are actually my favorite part of the job because there's no stress and I don't have to be a nurse to do them.

    Help! Am I stuck? I am getting really depressed and I don't know what to do. It is 7 am and I am already feeling depressed and anxious because I have to work tomorrow evening, not even today!

    Dear Stuck,

    Honestly, I feel that your best solution now is to re-frame your view. You need to work as a nurse to provide for your family so that's your starting point.

    Rather than spending your energy looking for a high paying non-nursing job or letting your dissatisfaction take over, spend your energy focusing on what you do like about your job.You make a difference because you are kind. You get a mental break when you do laundry and wash dishes.

    Sometimes I tell myself I am lucky to work an an inside job, when others work outside in the heat or the cold. Your job provides benefits for your and your husband, and that's huge.

    Reinvent yourself at work. How can you make even more of a difference? Improve the unit, help others? You may not fall in love with your job, but you may find you no longer hate it, either.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Dec 28, '17
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   AngelKissed857
    My first job was corrections in a incredibly busy county jail. After a few weeks, I was the only RN in the building for 8 hours, with several hundred potential patients, observation cells, mental health holds in crisis, infirmary, and 50+ new medical intakes. Can we say unsafe conditions?! I felt it was only a matter of time till I got into real trouble. Now going into Community Health position where they will pay for me to get CWOCN and CFCN, which is my goal. It's a much better environment for me at this time. If a new nurse is going to go into corrections, it needs to be a reasonably small facility, which another RN on. Just my opinion. Gotta realize, incoming are potential patients will lots of chronic comorbidities, very possibly acute issues, 60-80% with at least one diagnosed psych issue, and the lowest health IQ you can imagine. This is a very unhealthy population, and anything can happen at any time.

    The OP needs to be in an environment that can support her growth, but maybe she needs to identify some arenas that make her heart sing. I think if you love what you are doing, feel a passion for that environment and population, you can grow and experience less stress.
  4. by   Forest2
    I fully understand. It is very depressing to be doing a job you hate, the kind that you just dread going to days in advance.
    I know you don't want to stay where you feel work is sucking the life out of your spirit. So you have to cut expenses to the bare minimum and get your husband off to work somewhere. Either go part time or find something that pays half where you don't want to kill yourself just thinking about work. It sucks, I know. I am working at 14.00 an hour now in a non nursing field. I have one hour lunches daily and plenty of time to goof off in the day. No weekends, no holidays, no overtime, no stress. I answer the phone and take care of customers that wander in from time to time.
    After 33 years of nursing and I couldn't find a hospital job, I decided to try and just be satisfied with less. Though it is not ideal, it is a choice. If you have to sell your house, then do it, down size. Your mental health is worth it. I know it is a tough choice, I didn't buy Christmas gifts this year and no one cared.
    Just sick of the pace and stress of nursing. I hope something changes in this field or there will be no nurses one day. Good luck.
  5. by   1indat
    There is something for everyone in Nursing. Have you thought about being an educator? YOu have a wide variety of experience to share. Or how about home health? Or maybe get into the regulatory aspect and become a state surveyor? Perhaps office based nursing would be interesting. Don't give up or feel that you are stuck. The right job is out there!