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!
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.
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!