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Anyone else regret becoming a nurse?

Nurses   (5,681 Views 61 Comments)
by Florida Sun RN Florida Sun RN (Member)

Florida Sun RN has 5 years experience .

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CKPM2RN has 3 years experience as a ASN, EMT-P and specializes in Med-tele.

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Just a few months ago I was wishing I had never bothered with getting my RN. Now, I have just been hired at the job I wanted in the first place (2.5 years after obtaining that RN) but if I were to do it all over again? Not worth the stress and frustration. 

I had that crap job in skilled nursing/LTC. We had up to 38 patient to one nurse and thank the gods that we at least had a med tech. The few times I had to work the med cart was pure hell. Go ahead and chastise me for not giving all 38 med passes within two hours. If I were allowed to run by the rooms and throw the meds at the patient and call it good, then I could have done it in two hours. 

I worked in Urgent Care which I really enjoyed. I think you should check for that job if you can. Look to Urgent Care, Prompt Care, and any other non-appointment type clinic. Similar to private practice in duties, but more variety. With your private practice experience you would be a good fit. 

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3 hours ago, rn409 said:

It won’t get any better if there aren’t people in the job who care. And telling others not to go into nursing just because you don’t like it is incredibly selfish. IMO, it’s an extremely rewarding (albeit stressful) profession. There’s nothing wrong with voicing what you don’t like, but don’t discount everything based on your own bias. 

Nothing selfish about people saying "I wouldn't recommend nursing to anyone because..." or "Don't go into nursing unless you are ready for...". Nursing schools would have way more integrity if they had mandatory meetings with a nursing professor advisor before accepting applicants, during which warnings of real-world nursing in current conditions would be given. It's one thing to accept thousands of dollars, sweat, tears, and hard work from people when those people are given a clear idea of what that degree and licensure will get them in this capitalism-rules society. It's quite another to feed students a fantasy that is likely to quickly be dispelled at their first nursing job where they are not in fact given the option to work in an environment conducive to being the good, safe nurse who can abide by professional standards of practice. But don't forget that schools are businesses too -- is it to the advantage of their bottom line to tell students how hard (impossible maybe) it might be to get a job right out of school where you don't have to jeopardize your license due to facility conditions that are unsafe for patients? Nope.

I highly recommend no one pursue a nursing degree unless you are ok with working a highly stressful job for an employer who will have impossible expectations of you and put you in situations where you may have to choose between quitting or putting your licensure at risk. 

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rn409 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in CCRN.

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8 minutes ago, mtnNurse. said:

Nothing selfish about people saying "I wouldn't recommend nursing to anyone because..." or "Don't go into nursing unless you are ready for...". Nursing schools would have way more integrity if they had mandatory meetings with a nursing professor advisor before accepting applicants, during which warnings of real-world nursing in current conditions would be given. It's one thing to accept thousands of dollars, sweat, tears, and hard work from people when those people are given a clear idea of what that degree and licensure will get them in this capitalism-rules society. It's quite another to feed students a fantasy that is likely to quickly be dispelled at their first nursing job where they are not in fact given the option to work in an environment conducive to being the good, safe nurse who can abide by professional standards of practice. But don't forget that schools are businesses too -- is it to the advantage of their bottom line to tell students how hard (impossible maybe) it might be to get a job right out of school where you don't have to jeopardize your license due to facility conditions that are unsafe for patients? Nope.

I highly recommend no one pursue a nursing degree unless you are ok with working a highly stressful job for an employer who will have impossible expectations of you and put you in situations where you may have to choose between quitting or putting your licensure at risk. 

There is a total difference in expressing your reservations about nursing and pointing out things than giving them an absolute- saying simply do not to pursue it (due to your own unhappiness).  I completely agree to make people aware of the challenges, but don’t discount it as a whole because you’re unhappy. There’s positives in every job. I say it’s selfish because people considering an occupation take it to heart when someone says such an absolute. It isn’t constructive.

Does that make sense?

Edited by rn409

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Leadkrm is a RN and specializes in Pediatric Burn ICU.

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7 minutes ago, rn409 said:

There is a total difference in expressing your reservations about nursing and pointing out things than giving them an absolute- saying simply do not to pursue it (due to your own unhappiness).  I completely agree to make people aware of the challenges, but don’t discount it as a whole because you’re unhappy. There’s positives in every job. I say it’s selfish because people considering an occupation take it to heart when someone says such an absolute. It isn’t constructive.

Does that make sense?

I got a similar vibe when I read the two responses that said they detour or discouraged people that said they wanted I to nursing. My school did an amazing job during orientation of the accepted applicants. They didn’t sugar coat the pitfalls of the program or job climate. It’s is no ones job to hold our hands after graduation. If we find we are in an unsafe work environment with no help from management, it’s us that need to take action and leave those situations. Long term care is notorious for these horrible practices described by the original post and I’m surprised if anyone is surprised that their experience in a LTC facility played out as it did. I was always warned that they will take advantage of new grad nurses. If we come together collectively to give these constructive pieces of advice, I think less people would get stuck in a place that they hate working. I hated the adult world and love working in pediatrics. It wasn’t a unit issue for me but a patient population. There are so many avenues to explore in nursing. I think I agree very much with your post. 

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Notern has 15 years experience as a ASN and specializes in Telemetry/Cardiology/ICU.

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I too am very unhappy with how hospitals have changed over the last 15years of my career. I am currently reassessing my role as a nurse because I understand my happiness, in whatever I do, is MY responsibility. A colleague of mine got her NP and started an aesthetics practice. She is happy as a clam. Another went into plastic surgery. Another went to tele-nursing- online consultation. I think we just have to find our niche. You said u were happy in the practice u were at... I would suggest u go back to something like that. I am currently switching to travel nursing because that is what floats my boat. Hate the job... don’t hate the career. 

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rn409 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in CCRN.

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23 minutes ago, Notern said:

I too am very unhappy with how hospitals have changed over the last 15years of my career. I am currently reassessing my role as a nurse because I understand my happiness, in whatever I do, is MY responsibility. A colleague of mine got her NP and started an aesthetics practice. She is happy as a clam. Another went into plastic surgery. Another went to tele-nursing- online consultation. I think we just have to find our niche. You said u were happy in the practice u were at... I would suggest u go back to something like that. I am currently switching to travel nursing because that is what floats my boat. Hate the job... don’t hate the career. 

👏👏👏👏👏

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rn409 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in CCRN.

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  .

Edited by rn409
Wrong post

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

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I don't regret it though there have admittedly been times I've wondered why the hell did I want to do this for a living?   I work in a SNF and the workload and chronic short staffing occasionally gets to the best of us. 

Before people start responding telling me to get out of LTC, no thanks. I work LTC by choice, not because I can't find an acute care job.  I am one of those nurses that has absolutely no desire to work in a hospital.  Though it sometimes drives me a little bonkers overall the rewards of working with the elderly are worth it to me. 

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kdkout has 20 years experience.

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On 2/9/2019 at 6:25 PM, momofm1998 said:

Oh sweet lady, I sooo support you...Get out now!!! Find some out of the way small clinic that is a cash only or just cut your losses and do something else..legal nursing (but thats more costs also)just anything to get peace of mind..It is not worth it. 
If I could do it all over again after what I know now, I would work as a farm hand instead of this  very expensive to get, even more expensive to keep license I am burdened with. I was stupid enough and must love punishment enough that I went further and got my masters and FNP at a fabulous university. Now I find that just the cost of keeping up with licenses, CEUs, credentialing, certifications is enough that it has actually impaired our ability to get a mortgage. Mortgage lenders will deduct the twelve month average costs of business expenses from income. And the student loan to finance my additional education is also being counted against us as outstanding debt, even with immaculate credit, no other debt, lenders count that as a negative. So what did I gain by furthering my education to provide higher level care?? Debt, and loss of hope for a house any time soon. 
In addition, the liability is enormous!!!  Any nurse or NP that thinks their employer is going to stand behind them in a "situation" is insanely ignorant. Vanderbilt threw that nurse under the bus and refuse to acknowledge their own responsibility in that fiasco. I, myself, as an RN  supervisor several years ago, was asked many times to pull a pediatric nurse to ICU. I refused of course. I also refused to leave my floors understaffed and faced a lot of flack for it. That nurse will probably serve prison time, and for what? Vanderbilt has power and pull in Nashville and is protecting it's bottom line. I can remember when we begged pharm companies to please change the label on potassium from being identical to the label on normal saline except the letters. I can remember hurriedly handing a vial of digoxin to an intern thinking it was another drug used for a GI test( he caught it, thank God) . 
Nurses are being pushed to take on heavier and heavier more complex patient loads and  and working longer hours( better clock out and then finish charting). NPs are being asked to do a complete assessment, diagnose, reconcile meds, prescribe appropriately in 15-20 minutes. This may also include collecting insurance info, ID, call in the prescription and discharge with education materials. And God help you if you make a mistake! There is always that angry, bully nurse to tell you how incredibly stupid you are! Always administration to threaten/chastise you! The rare times a patient thanks you for your help is some balm to the wounds inflicted by nursing, but as soon as a scar begins to form...another one complains because you didnt "lay hands on and heal them". 
I would NEVER recommend to anyone to pursue nursing as a career. Nor would I encourage medicine in general as a choice. We dont practice medicine anymore, we just try to get the right box checked, right code checked, make sure our patient is still breathing, treatments done ( outcome? Who can stop long enough to check?) We must make sure we have followed QA, QI, CMS, HCQIA, HRRP, HIPAA, PSQIA, CDC, JCAHO, 5 rights, clinical standards and guidelines, preventive guidelines, treatment guidelines and just maybe we make it to void once during our twelve hour shift without a patient(or colleague) glaring at us for not bringing his juice within 2 minutes of request. 
No, I am not a fan of nursing/medicine today as a career choice. At one time maybe, not in 2019. I wish I had my tuition money back, my holidays back, my sanity back, my children's childhood back( I can remember every facility I worked at but have difficulty remembering  fun days with my children) 
I am sure there are nurses whose mantra is "I cant believe they actually pay me to be a nurse!" Love em! Go for it! They are holding the profession together. But for so very many, nursing is a nightmare and a curse during waking hours. 
 

I totally agree after almost 24 years.  And sooooo wish I felt differently.

 

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River&MountainRN has 4 years experience as a RN.

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Right now I'm regretting it because I have a shift in 3 hours and I just found out my uncle died. While we can be cancelled at any time (up to and including to the point where we are in the patient's driveway and find out no one is home because someone "forgot" to notify us), we have to call in at least 4 hours in advance. The response I got when I called and asked about the policy in this case: "Well, he's already gone. Surely you can just go after your shift to be with your family".

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

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On 2/6/2019 at 8:13 PM, Florida Sun RN said:

I have been a nurse for almost five years.  I’ve been in every job possible; nursing homes with 22 patients and paper charting,  rehab facilities with 24 patients on EMR on a tiny laptop dragging that  stupid 500 lb med cart everywhere, not having all meds in the cart, and having to go all over looking for supplies, yet having to pass meds on 24 patients in two hours (ya good luck with that!) 

I have  been bullied by old lady nurses  telling me to “get a thick skin, stop asking stupid questions, and figure it out yourself!” (Yes an older nurse of 30 years said this to my face!) To make matters worse, I spoke to the DON in the same facility and asked her how I was doing in my job (I thought I was catching on and doing pretty good) and she said “go back to your nursing books, learn how to do an assessment then come back when you learned something!”, and was fired on the spot. 

 I have worked in “world class care” hospitals working day/night rotations on two 12s and two 8s (starting at 11p - 7a?Thank you, next) I worked another straight night hospital and was told that I don’t have good critical thinking skills, while I run around with my head cut off caring for only 4-5 pts as the 20 year old new grads sit around on their phones all 12 hours and chart the entire shift.  

I still don’t feel like I can do this freaking job or feel like I may kill someone!  It all sucks to me.  Why did I ever think I could do this and become an OR nurse someday? I regret every single day that I didn’t get out after first semester (but I didn’t want to show my kids or my husband I was a quitter!) My first year of nursing I had four jobs as mentioned above, and said screw this - I’ll never make it.   I went back to HR and office administration and felt the pull back to nursing a year later.  I landed a job in another state working primary care as an RN and I was dang good at it. I was the happiest I had ever been in any job!  I was rooming patients, giving injections on my own schedule, assisting doctors with procedures.  I loved my job and my coworkers but I still had my sights set high that I could be a good hospital nurse.

 Here I sit after spending 10k$ of my own cash on my stupid BSN and graduating last May with honors and no job to speak of (yes I apply to all sorts of RN/BSN jobs and go to lots of interviews). I was unemployed all of last year because I moved back to my home state and left my awesome primary job that I loved (why why why??😑). No one is going to hire me without much experience for the last five years.  I don’t list all the jobs I have worked for two months here, three months there, etc, so it looks like I haven’t done anything or learned jack except my primary care gig for a year and a per diem position that I don’t even get approved for! 

I can’t keep flip flopping from admin to nursing so I am currently studying to get a medical assisting certification so I can work in the primary care environment (offices in my town require a certification and don’t hire RNs as MAs)making $10 less an hour than regular nursing jobs in these god awful facilities and understaffed hospitals. At least I will have A JOB. I should have just been a medical assistant all along and saved me and my husband tens of thousands of dollars.  

I want to know if any of you will take the time and tell me your nightmare story or a story that started out bad but got better.  

Do you also regret becoming a nurse?  I would love to hear from you!  Thanks for reading.  

So you had four jobs in your first year of nursing, and you think that the problem was all of THEM?  The common denominator in your poor job experiences was YOU.  Have you given some thought to why you failed at all of those jobs and what YOU could have done differently so that things would have worked out differently?  If not, that seems to be your problem.

It isn't the profession.  It's probably you.

I don't regret becoming a nurse, although my first year was really rough.  I was too nervous about not killing anyone to be friendly or worry about developing workplace relationships.  I asked stupid questions, and I didn't understand the answers, and rather than look to myself, I thought everyone else was at fault.  Thankfully, I figured things out without a ton of job hopping.  When I was more comfortable with my role as a nurse, I got friendlier and was easier to work with.  And people responded by being nicer to me.  

 

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 65 Articles; 13,946 Posts; 170,708 Profile Views

On 2/8/2019 at 1:35 PM, BarrelOfMonkeys said:

I'm sure many of us can relate to some (or a lot) of what your post is saying.  Nursing school was tough for me. I was a non-traditional student going back to college in a new profession.  It was very stressful.  I made the most of it and got past the gender biased teachings and clinical environments and bullying.  I graduated with honors. I thought I'd some how

Whenever I'm asked if I'd recommend nursing to someone I always ask the question, "Why would you want to be a nurse?"  If they answer along the lines of income/more money/stable job, I tell them there are a lot of other career options that can provide these things with a lot less stress.  I never went into nursing for some financial gain or stable income.  I made a lot more in my previous job with a lot less stress.  That has made all the difference for me.

Whenever I am ask if I'd recommend nursing to someone, I always ask the question, "Why would you want to be a nurse?"  If they answer along the lines of stable job, interesting and challenging work, I tell them they'd make good nurses if they work hard, learn the material and are able to take accountability for and learn from their mistakes.  

Anyone who tells me they want to be a nurse because they have "a calling," I tell they need to grow up and think this through a bit more.

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