I want to leave Acute Care Nursing

  1. Hello Nurses,

    I just thought I would share my thoughts because I am in a time of transition in my nursing career. I am a fairly new nurse, working my first job on a Med-Surg floor for 2 years now. I started on a Med-Surg floor because I wanted to get a basic foundation in nursing. Throughout the two years that I have been working, I was always hoping that it would get better as I got more experienced. I hoped that I would get over the "new grad" stressful phase and start feeling like I enjoy my job. However, I am still waiting for that time to come. I dread going into work and am so stressed out during my shift and then when I come home, most of the time I am depressed and it is disrupting my relationship with my husband because he says he can't handle the stress that he sees me in. I basically can tolerate this job but I just feel like there is something better out there for me!

    So, I have been applying for positions through Kaiser and also the County Hospital Ambulatory outpatient clinic in my county. I have received an invite to undergo an oral exam for the outpatient clinic position!!! It is not a hiring interview but it will put me on an eligible list and possibly land me the job. From what I have been reading through allnurses and elswhere, clinic nursing is more about pt education and building relationships with the same patients over time through guiding them through chronic disease management. I have been looking into something called "RN health/wellness coach" and consider having my own business doing this someday. I believe the skills I can gain from a clinic setting can bring me another step closer to this dream.

    Is there anybody out there who feels the same way? Is there anybody who has moved from acute care hospital nursing to clinic/ambulatory nursing and what can you say about the differences? What are the pro's and con's of clinic nursing?

    Thanks for reading!
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    About hrae

    Joined: Jun '13; Posts: 4


  3. by   KittyLovinRN
    I left 3 years of acute care for home care and never looked back. Leaving the hospital was just what I needed to prevent burnout and hatred for nursing. I enjoy going to work every day, my call-offs are nearly nonexistent (I've called off twice in a year and despite being very ill I had overwhelming guilt about it), and I have normal daylight hours. I still work some holidays but I'm done by 2-3pm so I have plenty of time to spend with my family. I know this isn't clinic nursing but I can see the attraction to that as well.

    Good luck!!
  4. by   hrae
    Thank you for sharing your experience! Home health is another avenue I have considered as well : )
  5. by   HouTx
    No need to feel bad/guilty. You've given it a good shot. If you are unable to achieve a reasonable work-life balance, then you do need to make a change. Don't every sacrifice your real life for your work life.

    Try something different & if that doesn't work out - try something else. A well-run clinic may be the right answer for you, but a poorly run one may be just as chaotic as the situation you are leaving. I'm sure you will find something that is much better for you and your family.
  6. by   westieluv
    After many years of acute Med/Surg nursing, I was offered a job as a hemodialysis nurse in the acute setting. Basically, I go to various local hospitals and give dialysis treatments to patients with acute renal failure or those with chronic renal failure who are hospitalized for something else but still need their treatments while hospitalized. I realize that this isn't clinic nursing, but it was a much needed change and for the first time in many, many years, I actually love my job and want to go to work. This is huge for me, because I was the acute nurse who hated my job and literally prayed to be called off every single shift.

    One of the things that has alleviated a lot of the stress for me is that now I only have to deal with nephrologists, not all of the patient's physicians. When a crabby doc shows up during a treatment and demands to know who the patient's nurse is, I can say "Oh, I'm the dialysis nurse, but I can find him/her for you!" For anyone here who has worked Med/Surg for any amount of time, you can probably relate to how good that feels!

    Best of luck to you! Life is way too short to do something that you hate and that stresses you out this much. Clinic nursing might be the answer for you, or perhaps hospice, home health, dialysis, or some other type of nursing. The beauty of nursing is that we have so many options and therefore are never really "stuck" doing something that we hate.