Finally decided to quit nursing - page 3

Hi everyone. I have been a nurse for over 7 years and for the past year I have debated getting out of the profession for good. I had just finished the week long hospital orientation for a new job and was to start clinical... Read More

  1. 5
    Good for you. I can't think of much I find more depressing than people who hate their jobs but feel resigned to be stuck there. Why give up on having a career that is fulfilling, or at the very least, not soul-crushing?

    I stayed in a job that I hated for nearly two years prior to going in to nursing because I felt stuck there. It just made me feel old, worn out, defeated, and like there was nothing left to look forward to. It was awful and I am grateful I got fired because otherwise I don't think I would have found the motivation to go back to school for nursing, the job was that sapping.

    I hope you don't struggle too much financially while finding your new path.
    Gold_SJ, Merced, Aurora77, and 2 others like this.

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  2. 0
    I'm sorry you are so burnt out with nursing. However, you do have 7 years of experience. That should land you a job with an insurance company pushing paper or answering phone calls from patients or something of the like (though those jobs are not easy to come by). Or you could go back to school for nursing research or nursing informatics if you want to advance your career, but don't want the bedside aspect of nursing anymore. I hear nursing informatics is a growing area, but I've never looked into it since it doesn't interest me in the least lol. Maybe read around here on AN and other websites. If you like kids, summer's coming up, and camp nursing would be a change of pace for you possibly.

    Or, if you really want nothing to do with nursing, you could go back to school for something else entirely (just be sure it's marketable in this economy or be willing to move). Best of luck to you! You can find fulfillment in your career even if it requires you to make some changes, big or small. You just need to ask yourself honestly: are you burnt out because nursing just isn't for you? Are you burnt out because you've had crappy nursing jobs? Or are you burnt out because you just haven't found the right area for you? You can find an appropriate/good solution if you can answer those questions. (before I decided on nursing, I almost pursued my master's in school counseling, so I can't help but try to be the "fixer", so hence all of the questions lol).
  3. 12
    I finally left nursing after working for several years as a CNA. I came to a point where I could no longer subject myself to a toxic
    and soul crushing work environment. I quit taking care of myself and was sinking into a deep depression. In my case, I took a job as a grill cook at McDonalds while I looked for work. Two years later, I was hired by a county to work as an Education and Training Case Manager and I love my job. I had to jump off a cliff and take a chance into the unknown to find happiness and peace.
    VegetasGRL03RN, Nola009, anotherone, and 9 others like this.
  4. 3
    Quote from Guttercat
    I seem to recall some study back in the nineties that found the average professional life of an RN to be six to seven years.

    Indeed, it seems the hardest years are the first two, and then again about year seven.
    I remember reading a similar study, too, a long time ago. I wonder if it could have been the same study.

    Heck. . . I left nursing during my seventh year into the nursing profession. I was going through a personal crisis, back then, unrelated to nursing. Took a position as an "investigator" working for a state over-sight agency investigating negligence and such for a specific population of people. I did NOT do well with that job; just could not see the forest through the trees while I attempted to investigate the cases assigned to me. In the meanwhile, I took care of my personal business through counseling (grief counseling, actually) and started exploring other career options. Well, it ended me with the job that I currently have for 13 years now. I quit that state job after 6 agonizing months and have been an ICU nurse ever since.

    I consider myself lucky. I work for an unusual hospital which provides me a wonderful opportunity to give the type of nursing care that I would wish any of my family members to receive. This hospital and the working environment associated with it is not without its challenges. But, DANG! I generally take care of one, maybe two patients, during my shift. So, I really can't complain about my current status as a night-shift ICU/CCU staff nurse (for a small, small hospital).

    I know that other nurses working for other hospitals in other states aren't so lucky. This is going into my 20th year of nursing and, during that relatively short time-frame, I've seen a lot of changes both in nursing and the medical field as a whole. In many ways, these changes seem to burden the health-care professionals, not help them. To be honest, I don't have the answer for those health-care professionals working in potentially dangerous working conditions and wishing to leave their positions. The only thing that I could suggest is some kind of career counseling. Seek support from a trained and trusted professional outside of work and family. At the very least, such support could help better plan for significant changes in one's career in a more orderly fashion. Even with no job at present, such support might be helpful. Although more rarer now-a-days, there still remains lots of choices in careers outside of bedside nursing for the person being an RN. Effective counseling might clear one's head while wading through the choices and making final decisions.

    I wish you well as you go down your path in seeking some other career. I wish this for anyone seeking career changes and other changes in life. No one needs to be alone during this process. Seeking professional counseling is an option well worth exploring.
    Gold_SJ, Fiona59, and VickyRN like this.
  5. 8
    I'm with you!! I'm getting out as soon as I can! It's been a miserable past 5 years for me, starting with nursing school up to now.

    It's not the patients that I hate, it's not the hard work.. it's FIRST the other catty nurses that I've encountered EVERYWHERE, who are just horrible! It's the short staffing, the impossible tasks to perform in the time frame we're given, it's the lack of resources, and ultimately the stress level, and the fear of being thrown under the bus by everyone.

    I'm a very positive and happy person who just does NOT fit in. There is always someone who is right there, wanting to knife you in the back. I'm going to a profession where I work basically alone.

    BEST of wishes to you! And I admire your bravery!!!
    jadu1106, goalienrse, koi310, and 5 others like this.
  6. 1
    OP, I commend your brave decision. I went per diem at my job to make it more manageable but it's not the cure. After barely 2 yrs in nursing and researching options...I've come to the conclusion that nursing isn't for me. I am not sure where to go from here but I figure I am still young enough to make a career change even if it involves returning school. Only thing is that I am not particularly passionate about becoming an NP or CRNA, or manager. Outside of those areas, nursing is dead-end because those office type jobs are well sought after and hard to obtain.
    Fiona59 likes this.
  7. 7
    You made a poor financial decision but sometimes we have to do what we have to do and money can't always be the bottom line. I quit teaching with no job (and no savings) lined up. I ended up temping for a while, found a permanent position, and eventually went to nursing school. When I handed in my letter of resignation the principal was more concerned about finding my replacement than the reasons why I was leaving. Life went on and I had some really tight times for a while but I didn't starve. These days, I'm not too thrilled about being an nurse but for now it pays the bills and I like my health insurance plan. I've reached the point where I refuse to let anyone (co-workers, pt, administration....who the heck ever) drive me crazy at work. I clock in, do my best, and clock out...mostly on time. This is just a job and if it goes away tomorrow then I will do what I have to do to survive even if it means selling fruit on the side of the road. Life is too short for the B.S and as a nurse you see people who had great health and full lives one day lose it all the very next. Why spend up your life being miserable when youth and health are so fleeting?
    Jessy_RN, cocoaluv, koi310, and 4 others like this.
  8. 5
    I admire your bravery and don't blame you a bit. In many ways nursing is an oppressed position so the wrong people often seem to have the most power. Third world power politics....
    Last edit by alwayslookingnp on Mar 6, '12 : Reason: mispelled word
    anotherone, missladyrn, Merced, and 2 others like this.
  9. 0
    I have moved away from bedside nursing in 2010 and still feel a twinge of guilt at times because isn't this why we went to nursing school? To take care of people? I especially feel guilty when I hear a nurse say "this is my calling" or " I could never imagine doing anything other than this" or would see the nurses who worked their schedule and more and seemed to spend almost everyday at the hospital then would voluteer for committees, fundraisers etc. The whole "team spirit" thing. But, after 2 decades in the profession, it or I or both have changed to the point bedside nursing doesn't fit me anymore - to continue to work in that type of position is not fair to myself, the patient or to someone else who is job hunting and needs it. I tried several different flavors of nursing over the years - HH, psych, float pool, dialysis which was as bad to me as the hospital,to see if that would make a difference...it didn't. I tried to get weekend only positions - but many of those are every weekend plus one day during the week now so whay give up every weekend if you still have to work one day/week? I worked temp for an angency Jan and Feb to give myself some time to figure out what I need to do - I am not in a position not to work - I was offered and am going to accept a FT M-F position in a clinic type setting. I know...not as many days off as working 12's but I don't want to get up early, get home 13-14 hrs later, deal w/all the crap - literally and figuratively - that goes on in a hospital now. I need a break from it. I don't expect any job to be 100% perfect, I know the M-F gig is going to require me to make some changes but I don't have kids, just animals and a spouse so it's doable for sure. I will get use to the M-F and if, when, something in a hospital setting comes up that interests me, I may try again. I'm not going to say "never" to the hospital setting but I am going to say "not now." More and more nurses are beginning to speak out about nursing, their dislike of it and eventually the employers will "get it" - but the work em til you burn them out mentality of some employers is insane. Patients are sicker because many wait longer to seek treatment, the computer has advanced us in some ways but has detracted in others and the charting, double charting of meds, procedures is time consuming and a waste.
    You have the nursing degree and experience so hopefully you can find something to springboard into. Univsersities, camps, pharm companies, hospices and counties sometimes hire nurses so keep those in mind too. Case management, at least where I live, is extremely competitive to get into and usually requires experience and certification but..keep going...you'll land on your feet somewhere. Good luck.
  10. 3
    i quit teaching with no job (and no savings) lined up.
    i was a teacher who was not granted tenure and had to find a new job. couldn't and now i am a senior nursing student. i have friends in education who are doing exactly what op did: education is becoming a horrible place to work. in hindsight, i am lucky i got out when i did. i find nursing school incredibly challenging and pray i make it through. i enjoy nursing and hope to last long enough to retire (i am old).

    good luck to you!!!! sometimes you just have to follow your heart.
    RunnerRN2b2014, Gold_SJ, and Merced like this.


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