Least stressful nursing specialty

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    (Also posted in the Health/stress management 101 forum):

    I apologize if this has been discussed before:


    I am inquiring as to what my fellow nurses on here believe to be the least stressful nursing job/specialty. I know the answers to this question can vary for a multitude of factors, (age of the nurse, education, location etc.) but really just looking for people to talk about their experience and the jobs where they have felt the least stressed. Please discuss how you may have felt in some of your jobs.

    Thank you all in advance
    marialaughs likes this.
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  3. 21 Comments so far...

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    I feel clinic/office nursing is less stressful. The acuity use much lower, you deal with pts one at a time, doc is usually around so no need to page and wait...and wait while pt/family member is yelling. You can learn alot working one on one with your doc. Hours are nice. You may work weekends but will likely have holidays off. No bed pans. In a small practice you are more able to implement changes and discontinue protocols that are redundant/not working. You can spend more time teaching and building therapeutic relationships. The only downside for me was that after 2 yrs I started missing the insanity and went back. I am a younger nurse so I felt I needed more exposure but I am still keeping my clinic position per diem because it really is a nice niche.

    Another area can be specialty nursing vs floor nursing because the nurse to pt ratios are better. For example procedural nurses such as those in endo or radiology.

    Longterm care is also low to moderte acuity depending on the facility but the nurse to pt ratio can be more than 30 to 50 pts per nurse. Your only saving grace is that you get to know the residents very well so that most days it is managable. This area was one of the most rewarding that ive been in.

    Good luck on finding your sweet spot!
    melby87 likes this.
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    I really believe that stress is a variable that is connected to the nurse, not the job in some cases.If you are inexperienced or a new nurse you will find EVERYTHING stressful. I have a friend that works on a cardiac floor and she loves it. I have floated to her unit a few times and found it completely nerve wracking, mostly just because I don't work there very often so I feel a little overwhelmed.She has floated to my unit and she is driven crazy by all the confused people trying to elope, calling out, trying to get out of bed, having to be coaxed to take meds, also dealing with fresh post-op hips trying to mobilize. She was completely terrified to touch anyone.You get used to what you know.

    I have never worked in a doctors office and I would be completely lost and stressed out if I had to do it.
    ~miss_mercy_me, nrsang97, poppycat, and 3 others like this.
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    No apology required. I can't imagine a nursing job without high stress. I've read comments throughout the forum that there is stress in non nursing jobs, but I don't think most of the jobs compare to nursing stress. Nurses are responsible for people's lives. One mistake may be one too many so the consequences of mistakes are not forgiven.

    I have worked in nuring for about 26 years, possibly more, lost count. I enjoyed nursing for the first 18 years. I mostly worked in dialysis and I was very young when I started so I continue to work. But it's a world of difference now since I started. Some nurses like dialysis, but I'm personally tired of it. It's mostly a business if you work for the large corporations that have taken over the dialysis industry. Short staffing of nurses is common. Companies prefer to hire technicians at lower wages and nurses manage the technicians. Nurses are pushed to meet patient satisfaction, and help patients meet medicare required guidelines for reimbursement. The patients are mostly non compliant and when they don't meet goals, nurses are blamed, or the nurse did not do enough... Nurses get paid according to when they clock in and out. God forbid we don't clock out for lunch. We work with others in health care, social workers and dietitians. They don't clock in or out, arrive later than the nurses and leave earlier. They focus on diet and psycho-social issues. When they feel overwhelmed, the nurses are required to fill in the gaps. So that means we handle the insurance issues, and assist as diet aids. They are considered part of the management team. I just had two complain that my Plan of Care for a patient was inadequate to the manager. The nephrologist seldom make their rounds, wave at the patients, and hold the nurses accountable for policies or algorithms which are basically orders to help patients achieve goal. These orders are mass created by the company and the physicians review and sign them for all the patients. Some dialysis nurses are required to take Call. I feel everything is dumped on the nurses. Most of the nurses will not speak out, and fear participating in getting a union started. I have tried to find jobs away from dialysis, but with less stress, and frankly I don't believe there are any. I'm now hoping to get a certification somewhere away from nursing.
    Last edit by Marisette on Feb 2
    SoldierNurse22 and melby87 like this.
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    Loriangel14:

    You definitely get used to what you know, and I know that anything new can be stressful. As I said in my post, I understand that stress can be variable and it depends upon the person/situation. I was just looking for personal accounts and experiences.
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    And I gave you a personal account and an experience.
    nrsang97, poppycat, and SoldierNurse22 like this.
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    It really depends on the nurse. Some think that ER isn't stressful and some think that MD office is, so it is hard to gauge. From my personal experience Endoscopy has been low stress, good hours.
    melby87, Fiona59, and loriangel14 like this.
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    I like home health, case management, and long term care. If I had to return to a hospital floor setting, I would, but anymore, it would stress me to a nervous breakdown. I currently work in a nice private pay ltc, but on 12 hr nocs. They schedule us to work over constantly. Many of us are starting not to like it so much anymore. But, unfortunately, limited choices in my area. 8 hr shifts are long gone!
    melby87 likes this.
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    Depends on the personality type you're asking. I would say Trauma/NVICU/ER is the least stressful. On the other hand, I would say Acute Rehab was the most stressful, only because you're turning, transferring, managing pain, dealing with diva attitudes, and not to mention the staff.
    Then again, I am not used to having my patients for months at a time.
    nrsang97, melby87, Fiona59, and 1 other like this.
  12. 0
    Quote from RNGriffin
    Depends on the personality type you're asking. I would say Trauma/NVICU/ER is the least stressful. On the other hand, I would say Acute Rehab was the most stressful, only because you're turning, transferring, managing pain, dealing with diva attitudes, and not to mention the staff.
    Then again, I am not used to having my patients for months at a time.
    Exactly. I love having people for weeks/months on end.I am used to the rehab routine and the confused people.Some people hate it and find it tough to deal with. Everyone's stresses are different.


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