I am 24 and have been a RN for 2 years. I pursued a career in nursing because I have always loved to help others. However shortly after graduating a 4 year university I began my first professional job. Immediately I realized that this may have been the wrong career choice after I became to most depressed I have ever been, and have yet to fully recover. I was heart broken and devastated to realize that I had worked so hard... to feel so horrible. Determined to make lemonade out of lemons and pursue "happiness" I reluctantly left my first job after a few months and eventually ended up at my current employment. It is a different area of nursing, with better pay and benefits but with the same disappointments and frustration; under-staffing due to budget issues (as management builds bigger and better buildings that they say we need), heavier assignments and responsibilities, patient care needs determined by numbers and figures instead of acuity, mandatory plays and skits that management insist we attend, documentation, new documentation, redundant documentation, all the while managers rush you out the door at the end of your shift to avoid paying OT and CT for the extra tasks they assigned. It feels like at times someone hands you 50 cents and expects a dollar in return and then informs you that you are short 50 cents... And don't even mention the attitudes, why I chose to work in a area that's comprised of mostly women??? Anyhow, today I was informed that I was not selected for another position that I had recently interviewed for and became pretty upset. This position seems to be more on the level of the type of nursing I feel I would be good at (primary care) with obtainable goals. I am also planning to return to grad school and this position had a set shift M-F 8-5, as opposed to my current shift, VARIABLE, is the best way I can describe it. I could be of working any day of the week, 730-4 or 1130-8??? O and did I mention my assignment is variable as well. I can be a charge nurse one day on night shift, a lpn the next day on day shift, a na the next, and charge nurse again, all in the same week... So basically nursing has made me extremely unhappy and I feel guilty because I know how blessed I am to have a job, and I still love to help people and will always take care of my patients to the best of my ability...but I AM NOT HAPPY, and I don't know what to do next. And right now I really just wanna throw in the towel and be someone's secretary because I can imagine doing this for the rest of my life, another 10 years, another year, I don't even wanna go back tomorrow. I feel like my choice is to keep doing this and start on Lexapro or find a decent paying job somewhere else and leave nursing for good. PLEASE someone, advice PLEASE!
P.S.- I have seen some of the nastier remarks on here, so before you reply... ask yourselves is it too much to actually be happy at work, or at least not depressed?
Feb 1, '11
I understand your frustration. Nursing is so much more than what we learn in school, and what I mean by it is a lot of nonsense like you just described. I switched my job after a year of tears and suffer from similar problems as yours, and now I'm in residential services agency. I still have problems with my office people, but the stress level is lower than it was at my previous job which was subacute unit.
Last edit by skmhj on Feb 1, '11
: Reason: delete
Feb 5, '11
I feel for you. I am not happy in my current situation at all. I originally worked in Oncology, which I loved, but I "thought" I was just unhappy with the way things were being run on the unit. So I made the change to another hospital and another type of unit, and it turns out I am just as miserable. And I don't want to be any less of a nurse because I'm unhappy. I feel so guilty because I should be just happy to have a job, but I'm actually considering applying for a desk job that is open at my church just to walk away for a time until I can figure out what I want to do next in nursing. I guess I can only offer the advice that if you aren't happy, make a list of what you aren't happy about.. is it patient care, people, hospital, etc? Then make another list of what you enjoy about nursing or any career. Then look at careers that satisfy your wants. I know someone that hated bedside nursing in a hospital and now does Hospice nursing. She travels to her patients' homes and sets her own hours. She's never been happier. You never know where you might land. Good luck.
Feb 6, '11
I was not happy with my first nursing job... I am not sure if it was because it was my first job after nursing school or if it was the unit, etc... I am now working in ICU and have been for 4 years. I LOVE IT! We have 2:1 ratio, sometimes, but rarely, 3:1 if we are understaffed... totally doable. Yes, the pts are sicker and critical, but 2 patients are more workable than 6+.
My advice is not to give up yet. You have worked hard for your degree. The beauty of nursing is there are areas for everyone. You can work outpatient surgery, in a hospital, home health, etc. You just have not found your niche yet. I would examine yourself... is it the pt care you are not liking, or the circumstances? If its pt care, then you should try something else. Pt care is going to be pt care where ever you are. But if its the circumstances, nurse-pt ratios, etc, you can always keep looking til you find something better suited for you.
There is also the choice of going on for you MSN and teach, or be a NP Good Luck
Feb 6, '11
It may take a few jobs before you find your niche. I do think you need to be sure what you want from grad school before you start. Otherwise you risk the expenditure of time, effort and money without a positive outcome.
May 13, '16
I'm in the same boat as you. I'm a 24 year old already working my second job because of the frustration and disappointment at my first hospital. However, I'm still experiencing the same frustration and disappointment. Maybe it's just bedside nursing in general that I do not like.
I'm curious as to where you're at now? Did you stick with it or did you leave nursing altogether? I know this comment is a few years late but I hope you'll see this and respond as I have been looking tirelessly for answers. Wish you the best!
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