Why did you retire or become inactive?

  1. 1
    I find it interesting that the amount of graduate students increase each year and the number of active nurses don't. Why is this? Why did you retire or become inactive? I am looking for problems in nursing that causes experienced nurses to stop nursing. If I am sick, I want an experienced nurse to care for me. Nothing against graduates, but it takes a while to pick up on the nuances/intuitive factors that makes an effective nurse. Especially considering all the multi-tasking and troubleshooting required (not to mention the diplomatic maneuvering). And, who is going to help the grads and show them how to do it?
    Last edit by dlatimer on May 28, '09 : Reason: format error
    wondern likes this.
  2. 26 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I went inactive for awhile to stay home with kids full-time. I am back per-diem now, but very little. I don't plan on going back full-time for a LONG time...
    dlatimer likes this.
  4. 3
    Frankly, I retired because I was fed up with being pulled to adult units while working in a NICU for 19 years. I reached 60 in January and was eligible for retirement and took it without looking back. The politics of nursing pushed me over the edge. More and more responsibility is falling on nurses since they are at the bedside 24/7 and it just became too much for me.

    OTOH, in this economy, I feel like I gave a new nurse a job!

    Plus, the fact that now I can be with my dh as he is a pipeliner and is gone much of the time. We just bought a travel trailer and no matter where we are, our home is the same while the scenery changes!

    Good times!
    Dangerous, wondern, and dlatimer like this.
  5. 2
    Quote from NICUQueen
    Frankly, I retired because I was fed up with being pulled to adult units while working in a NICU for 19 years. I reached 60 in January and was eligible for retirement and took it without looking back. The politics of nursing pushed me over the edge. More and more responsibility is falling on nurses since they are at the bedside 24/7 and it just became too much for me.

    OTOH, in this economy, I feel like I gave a new nurse a job!

    Plus, the fact that now I can be with my dh as he is a pipeliner and is gone much of the time. We just bought a travel trailer and no matter where we are, our home is the same while the scenery changes!

    Good times!
    I am envious of your new life! It sounds fantastic!
    wondern and dlatimer like this.
  6. 18
    This isn't me (yet) but I found this thread...

    When I was in college, I studied old videos of Skinner's rats. B.F. Skinner was the "father" of behavioral psychology. He dedicated his life to studying how far rats (and people) were willing to go in order to receive a reward or avoid a punishment.

    As a culmination of his research, he randomly assigned either a yummy rat food pellet or an electric shock to be delivered to rats who navigated a maze. These rats had been conditioned to expect that they would receive a food pellet when they reached the end of the maze. However, in this experiment, their speed or accuracy had no bearing on the outcome. Sometimes they received a pellet; sometimes they received an electric shock. In all other respects, the rats received all of their basic needs. They received adequate sleep, adequate food, adequate socialization, etc. The only uncertainty was what they received when they navigated the mazes each day.

    The effects of this experiment were remarkable. Some rats curled up at the start of the maze, refusing to complete the task for which they had trained for years. Other rats became overtly aggressive, attacking any other rats attempting to run the maze. Still other rats became blinded to their surroundings, oblivious to anything but the goal of completing the maze. When they finished, regardless of whether they received a reward or a punishment, they would return to the starting area and run the maze again and again. All of the rats experienced some sort of ill effect, such as sleep disturbances, appetite changes, increased aggression, self-mutilation, etc.

    Nursing reminds me a lot of being one of Skinner's rats. Sometimes I get a manageable patient load--and sometimes I'm in WAY over my head. Sometimes I speak with a physician who is courteous and professional--and sometimes I get verbal abuse, condescension, or worse, despite my best efforts to be prepared and professional. Sometimes I get patients who appreciate my efforts--and sometimes I get spit on or battered. For me, that's what makes nursing so difficult. I am the person who has ultimate responsibility for the patient, but no matter how hard I try, no matter how fast I work, no matter how balls-on accurate I am in my craft, I have no effect on the outcome. Worse still, I am as powerless as Skinner's rats. Because of our hospital culture, I am powerless to speak out against managers, physicians and patients who present unfair expectations.

    As a result of this powerlessness and random nature of rewards/punishments, I see the same effects in my co-workers as Skinner saw in his rats. Resignation, horizontal violence, insomnia, "nursemares", obesity, ulcers, anxiety, ETOH and drug abuse, "eating their young" and so on...

    I want no part of that. The IDEAL of nursing may be noble, but the REALITY is far less inspiring. God help the patients. I can't imagine anyone in their right mind going into nursing
    Kashia, NursePooh, wnyrn1977, and 15 others like this.
  7. 2
    Type in "why I hate nursing" on google and you'll get some feedback... there are many websites explaining why nurses leave.
    dlatimer and sissiesmama like this.
  8. 4
    I have often wondered the same type of thing myself, thinking about when or what would get me in the retirement circle. I always worked full time or more, since I was 16 and in high school. I had never wanted to be a nurse, that was a given.

    When I graduated nursing school almost 19 years ago, it was just a different ball game. It just seemed like people were nicer, so to speak. I know that sounds kind of naive, or stupid. It's not like I was raised to be a "Mary Poppins" character or anything, I knew some people could be jerks.

    So, I've been a nurse for 19 years and about 7 years ago started having a lot of cardiac and BP problems. During this time I also went through a divorce. I got remarried almost 5 yrs ago and my dh is a nursing sup. He knew how much I had started to really dislike the direction that nsg administration and that kind of thing was going, and we decided to make the decision to retire me and become a full time stay at home step mom to my now 11 yr old.

    I don't regret it for a second. I mean, I miss my patients, I miss being an ER nurse at a busy hospital, but the administrative BS and the ...

    I don't mean to get on a soapbox - I know life is like that, and all that, but it just simply wasn't worth it to me, or the dh either, so we talked about it and we decided it was worth it to cut back on some of the "extras".

    I don't regret it for a minute, not at all. I'm the happiest I've been in a long time. As far as the coworkers from the ER I miss, I bake a lot, so I take things to them, and I am a patient in the same ER where I had been working at times, so we stay caught up.

    Anne
    Not_A_Hat_Person, Dangerous, wondern, and 1 other like this.
  9. 1
    Quote from Bmahoney
    Type in "why I hate nursing" on google and you'll get some feedback... there are many websites explaining why nurses leave.
    You're right about that!!

    Anne
    dlatimer likes this.
  10. 1
    I started doing real estate investing with my husband and begged him to quit. The stress, rude docs, and drug harm we do to our patience, pushed me over the edge! It's the HARDEST job I've ever had and my life is too valuable to allow the stress to kill me!
    dlatimer likes this.
  11. 0
    I worked as an LPN from '72-82 in clinics and hospital settings. I was married to a family practice Doc and we went through a bad divorce in a small town with one 35 bed hospital and 3 docs so I wanted out and away from nursing...unfortunatly I moved to a state that treats LPN's like nurses aids and I hope to sell my place and move back out west and take a refresher course. At the very least it will give me a stable job environment.


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