unsure what to do

  1. 0
    I'm sorry to come on to here to complain. I just was hoping to get some advice from people who have been in my shoes.

    I have been working as an RN for about a year and a half. At this point, I just feel so worn down.

    I should say that I like a lot of the aspects of the job itself. I like patient care and interaction. I like being busy and working hard. I like thinking on my feet. But I just feel stretched so thin.

    I've gotten so physically and mentally tired lately. Working 12s is getting harder and harder. Staffing is always so low that I literally can't take breaks during my shift. I feel like I have no control over many situations, but am held accountable for all of it. And it doesn't feel safe. I even changed hospitals and specialties, but it hasn't gotten any better.

    I know these are common complaints, so I apologize for being redundant. I try to explain this to my family, but everyone looks at me like I have 3 heads when I say I hate nursing.

    I just don't know how I'm going to get to that magical 3 year mark, when you can qualify for non-hospital jobs.

    thanks for listening.

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  2. 15 Comments...

  3. 1
    Is it all exclusively 12 hour shifts? What is your base education? Have you thought hospice or clinic nursing?
    jadelpn likes this.
  4. 0
    have considered hospice, but most want at least 2-3 years inpatient experience.

    and clinics in my area rarely hire RNs, and those that do pay insultingly low salaries. Its not entirely about money, but I have to be able to pay my bills.
  5. 1
    Hey, I don't know if you have your BSN but if you do, I have an idea. Maybe you can cut back shifts and maybe see if you do clinical for a nursing school in your area. Then, go on for your masters and you have more opportunity. It's just an idea.
    jadelpn likes this.
  6. 1
    You need a vacation.. Trust me. Use your PTO (2 weeks if need be)... Be honest with your manager if he/she is a level headed individual.. The sooner you can start, the better. Use the 1rst week feeling out apps for non clinical or low stress positions... Go to Prn status on your stressful job after landing a different job...
    wish_me_luck likes this.
  7. 1
    Quote from gcupid
    You need a vacation..
    You need a break. Take some time off. Use earned time, and if your SO can support it, take even longer off just to recharge your batteries. If at the end you still hate nursing, maybe its not for you.
    wish_me_luck likes this.
  8. 1
    Quote from PunkBenRN
    You need a break. Take some time off. Use earned time, and if your SO can support it, take even longer off just to recharge your batteries. If at the end you still hate nursing, maybe its not for you.
    Where do you get that this person "hates" nursing? Sounds to me like they like
    nursing OK, would possibly even love it if it were not for the low staffing, inability
    to take a break, etc..

    EDIT: went back and reread the original post, yes they did use the word "hate"
    at the end of it. STILL, it doesn't sound like this poor person hates the actual
    profession, just all of the horse crap thrown into it these days.
    Good Morning, Gil likes this.
  9. 1
    Yup, I've been there, and my feelings while at the bedside completely echo yours. I vividly remember how it was being where you are now. I don't see the hospital situation getting better any time soon. There are a few places out there that do have decent staffing and where you can feel that you are not stretched so thin and are able to give good, safe nursing care, however those places are not the easiest to find unless you know a nurse currently working there.

    Generally if you can find a clinic connected to a hospital they will pay much better than private clinics, some will even pay the same base rate they would for hospital RNs. I'm not sure if you live near a big city, but even if you don't, consider commuting a bit further for better working conditions. Having worked both clinic and hospital I can tell you that the clinic has far superior working conditions where you can generally feel like you are giving good care (and can go to the bathroom and most always get your lunch, and can go home with some energy as the physical demands are much less, no holidays, minimal weekends, etc), but the job itself is quite different than being at the bedside and it was very hard for me to let that part of my nursing life go, but it was the right thing to do for my health, my sanity, and my family. You can feel free to PM me if you'd like me to elaborate.

    If you have a BSN and especially if you are bilingual, you can look at getting a public health RN job. The pay will be less but from what I've heard the benefits are usually good. When I was in clinicals doing public health rotations (back when nurses were high in demand and getting jobs before they graduated) I was asked to submit an application, so you don't necessarily need 3 years of experience. I also know people that have been hired to work in a non-public health clinic with 0-1 year of experience. So even if the clinic jobs are advertising 3 years experience, apply anyway.

    Good luck!
    Last edit by Ayvah on Aug 27, '12
    jadelpn likes this.
  10. 0
    You may be better suited for management, school nursing, an MD's office, case management, lots of things that perhaps at your 2 year mark you can begin applying for. Bedside nursing is not for everyone. And I love the idea of doing nursing school clinicals or even teach a class(!) and if it is for a local college, you can often take classes for little to no tution, therefore, can get your masters and do something entirely different. (NP perhaps?). Lots of choices, and really concentrate on perfecting your clinical skills, at the least think about what you love about nursing, and perhaps certify in that area (hospice, wound care, IV's) so that you can then have choices when you decide you would like to make a change (IV team? ER?). Eye on your goal, and yes, it does suck out loud that nurses are run ragged. On your time off it IS ok to nap, read, take a walk, go out with a friend. Regenerate on your time off.

    Wishing you nothing but the best!
  11. 0
    I am very sympathetic to the OP's situation... I am hearing an increasing number of nurses who voice the same complaint - 12 hour shifts are too mentally and physically exhausting. But, when I talk with nurse executives, they tell me that their staffs prefer 12-hour shifts. There seems to be a real disconnect here.

    In addition to the good advice provided by PPs, I would encourage you to make sure that your nurse leaders understand your feelings that the workload is just too intense to withstand for 12 hours at a time. They have the power to make changes. There is really no need to force everyone to work 12 hours. Progressive hospitals are introducing a variety of shorter shifts (4 hr, 6 hr, 8 hr) to attract and retain valuable nursing staff.

    Make yourself heard!

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