Regret Leaving Nursing Too Soon

  1. 2
    I graduated from nursing school with a BSN in May 2010. Nursing was my second career and I didn't start nursing school until I was 40 years old. I was in an accelerated BSN program in Los Angeles and found a job quickly out of school.

    I worked on the floor for 8 months before moving to the OR which is where I thought I wanted to be. I only lasted in the OR for 15 months.

    I am now working at another hospital in an administrative position and am starting to regret my decision to leave clinical nursing.

    I am seriously considering trying to move back into the clinical arena but I know that I cannot go back to working on a regular med/surg floor or working in a busy OR. I am afraid that my lack of solid experience in nursing may hinder my efforts.

    Has anyone else left clinical nursing early in their career and tried to return to the clinical setting?

    Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.
    Liddle Noodnik and Joe V like this.
  2. 25 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    If you want to get back into hands on but don't want anything two fast paced, maybe you should consider geriatric or pediatric homecare....this way you can get back into using some of your skills without being behind a desk but have the slower pace of 1:1
    Last edit by Esme12 on Aug 1, '12 : Reason: TOS/txt speak
  4. 6
    why do you wish to go back to bedside nursing? why did you last only 8 months on med/surg and 15 months in the or? what is it that you liked about each of those jobs and what didn't you like? why did you choose to leave the bedside in the first place? these are all questions that you should consider before you consider applying for new jobs. there are some clinical settings that are laid back most of the time, but they aren't the norm. if you can't stand a fast-paced position, it's going to be more difficult -- but not impossible -- to find something. and yes, you have hindered your efforts by leaving both of your previous jobs so quickly. it doesn't sound as if you've been at your current job for very long, either.
    VivaLasViejas, tewdles, Jessy_RN, and 3 others like this.
  5. 2
    Ruby Vee,

    I "only lasted" 8 months on the floor because it was a waiting period until the OR training program started. I "only lasted" in the OR for 15 months because I herniated a disk. I'm not sure what you're idea of "fast-paced" is or what town you live in...but I worked at the two largest hospitals in Los Angeles, so I know what "fast-paced" is.

    I'm not sure why so many people choose to respond to posts by being condescending and discouraging. I guess people just like to pass their misery on. No thank you. You can keep yours.
  6. 0
    Mrs Hoskins,

    Thank you for your kind response. I am actually seriously considering geriatric homecare, hospice or LTC. I think what I didn't like that most about the nursing positions that I had was that the pace was so fast I hardly had any time to actually spend just being with my patients, listening to them, talking to them. Those times are few and far between in a large urban hospital.

    Thanks again for the support and suggestions.
  7. 5
    Quote from omibashu
    ruby vee,

    i "only lasted" 8 months on the floor because it was a waiting period until the or training program started. i "only lasted" in the or for 15 months because i herniated a disk. i'm not sure what you're idea of "fast-paced" is or what town you live in...but i worked at the two largest hospitals in los angeles, so i know what "fast-paced" is.

    i'm not sure why so many people choose to respond to posts by being condescending and discouraging. i guess people just like to pass their misery on. no thank you. you can keep yours.

    i did not intend my post to be condescending or discouraging -- i thought i was giving you some food for thought and a way to approach looking for a new position after a couple of years of job hopping. i'm sorry you're offended. let me just say that while i did not intend to offend you, you clearly intended to offend me. if this is how you respond to posts you consider to be less than helpful, perhaps the internet isn't the place to go looking for help.
    caliotter3, tewdles, noahsmama, and 2 others like this.
  8. 0
    Home health is kinda slow paced and hospice
  9. 1
    Ruby Vee is correct - the pace & workload of acute care nursing has increased at an astonishing rate in the last few years...due to the convergence of many factors; EHRs, more regulations, greater productivity demands to offset dwindling reimbursement, HUGE emphasis on patient satisfaction, etc. Each and every change results in a negative impact on bedside nursing. It's ugly out there.

    I know several administrative nurses who have 'opted in' - returning to the clinical arena after becoming completely burned out in admin work. For the most part, they made arrangements with their employers to do a gradual re-entry via PRN work while continuing to do the admin job. For the most part, I think it works out well - being able to reconnect with the factors that inspired them to become nurses in the first place. But I don't know of anyone who has resumed a bedside position on a full time basis. One has moved into Clinical Informatics, one became a Diabetic Educator - the others still have full-time admin positions.
    Tragically Hip likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from Omibashu
    I graduated from nursing school with a BSN in May 2010. Nursing was my second career and I didn't start nursing school until I was 40 years old. I was in an accelerated BSN program in Los Angeles and found a job quickly out of school.

    I worked on the floor for 8 months before moving to the OR which is where I thought I wanted to be. I only lasted in the OR for 15 months.

    I am now working at another hospital in an administrative position and am starting to regret my decision to leave clinical nursing.

    I am seriously considering trying to move back into the clinical arena but I know that I cannot go back to working on a regular med/surg floor or working in a busy OR. I am afraid that my lack of solid experience in nursing may hinder my efforts.

    Has anyone else left clinical nursing early in their career and tried to return to the clinical setting?

    Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Have you considered acute rehab or skilled nursing? The patients in both of these areas are not always stable but not always unstable either. You will need to develope and draw upon your clinical knowledge and critical thinking skills in both areas. I am not sure where you are geographically or how any particular facility operates, there are a ot of places with CNAs who administer medications now that would require the RN to over see them, some RNs are not to comfortable with that. In skilled and subacute care you will certainly use your clinical skills and improve upon them (you pretty much are the eyes and ears, doctors don't routinely round dailylike a med surg floor) but the pace is different. I don't want to bore you with a long drawn out response, I hear where you are coming from. Have more to offer if you want a sounding board.
  11. 5
    Quote from Omibashu
    Ruby Vee,

    I "only lasted" 8 months on the floor because it was a waiting period until the OR training program started. I "only lasted" in the OR for 15 months because I herniated a disk. I'm not sure what you're idea of "fast-paced" is or what town you live in...but I worked at the two largest hospitals in Los Angeles, so I know what "fast-paced" is.

    I'm not sure why so many people choose to respond to posts by being condescending and discouraging. I guess people just like to pass their misery on. No thank you. You can keep yours.
    Ruby's post was neither condescending or discouraging. I'm not sure why you're so sensitive to her comments. Possibly it's because she pointed out that your transition back into clinical nursing might not be easy. Perhaps that's not what you wanted to hear?

    YOU said in your original post that you "only lasted" in the OR for 15 months. So I can't understand why you seem to be offended by Ruby's use of the same phrase in her post.

    YOU are the one that said you "know that I cannot go back to working on a regular med/surg floor or working in a busy OR." How are we to know what a busy OR means to you? Busy to you could be 10 cases per day. A busy med surg floor to you could be a four patient load, but in other facilities it's a 6 patient load. If you're saying you don't want to work in a busy location, it's important that we know what busy means to you. Why are you so upset that Ruby was trying to get a better understanding of your experience and perception?


    I see that you're relatively new here, so let me give you some information/advice.

    1. Ruby Vee is an excellent contributor to AN. She is honest, insightful, experienced, and witty. She is a valuable member of our community and in no way deserving of your rude remarks.

    2. Many of the posters here will not sugar coat things for you. If you want to know if it's going to be hard to get back into the clinical field, we are going to tell you the truth. We aren't going to hold your hand and tell you everything will work out great if you think positively and try your best. It might not be what you want to here, but it will be the truth based on our experiences. If you want to hear about rainbows and unicorns, I suggest finding another website to post your questions.

    3. One of the quickest ways to lose respect here is to start drama by blowing things out of proportion. In the bottom corner of every post is a yellow triangle with an ! in the center. You can click on this to report a post to the moderators. If you believe that a post violates the TOS, you may use this button at any time to send a complaint to the admin of AN. I suggest you use this option rather than calling out other members and starting "drama." These types of posts will add nothing beneficial to your post and will actually detract from it and probably side-track your thread far away from your original post.

    Best of luck to you as you attempt to re-enter the clinical nursing field.
    cloudwatcher, RN In FL, Syrenia, and 2 others like this.


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