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Florida Sun RN Florida Sun RN (Member)

Anyone else regret becoming a nurse?

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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.  

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And not to be mean but those of you that have sailed through and have your dream job need not respond.  

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I'm sorry things haven't worked out in accordance with your expectations. But I'm wondering why you only want to hear from people who share a negative experience such as you? How will that help you to move forward? Not to be mean but...

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I'm sorry for all the bad experiences you've had being a nurse, after all the hard work it takes to become one. I can relate to your feeling of regret. So much so that I would advice most anyone to not become a nurse unless they thrive on working as hard as they ever worked in their lives and don't mind the frustration of wanting to help people but being put into work environments that often prevents them from doing so. If I could do it over again, I'd become a dental assistant or dental hygienist. Or get a CDL and drive. I love patient care but hate the for-profit work environments. I nearly decided to leave nursing and not return, after only three years working in a hospital. But I decided that after all I invested to get my nursing license, I should at least see what jobs outside of the hospital are like before leaving the profession. So that's what I'll do. I told myself I could get excited about trying out a hospital job again one day -- but after reading about the poor nurse who made a fatal error and is now being charged with reckless homicide, I will remind myself to not go back to the hospital. If I thought I could work in one that has safe work loads, maybe...but I doubt any of them do. I have to quote someone who said it best in another post:

  3 hours ago, lemur00 said:

It's very much a reality of nursing that we were taught "best practices" and then quickly learn we will never be allowed to practice that way by hospital administrations. I am personally convinced best practice guidelines exist solely to provide a framework for blaming a single nurse when things go bad due to systemic failures, as I suspect had happened here. They don't want you to actually follow them. As I've said previously, I think this can be proven by the fact that "work to rule" is an effective labour resistance technique. 

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NOT

ONE

DAY.  

 

You should quit, today, if you are that miserable.  

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Yes yes and yes! mtnNurse !!!  Thank you for your reply!  I also cringe when I hear about someone wanting to go into nursing and tell them not to do it! I also read about that nurse and that Med error.  How tragic.  We are so overworked in these hospitals with understaffing and high census but in the end, it’s all about the dollar.  We don’t have time to actually CARE FOR our patients.  N:P should be 2-3:1, not 5-6-7-24:1!  It’s insane.  That’s why I got out of that environment- it’s not safe for us or the patients.  How many times have I read in our board of nursing newsletters about staffing ratios    It’s not rocket science.   Stop it with “there’s a nursing shortage!”   No there isn’t, hospitals only care about hiring less people to take care of more patients.   It’s such a racket.    

Try  looking for a position in primary care. Apply to the medical assisting jobs then tell them you’re RN.   They may want to talk to you.

A big part of why I wanted to get into primary care is that I really love working as a nurse in primary. I am not miserable in this environment because  I love the patients, that’s why I was drawn back in.  I KNOW I’m a darn good nurse.  I actually care about them.  So many nurses and medical assistants don’t.  I get to spend actual time with my patients. I get to educate them and talk to them and learn about them and see them over and over again and watch them progress through their medical issues.   When they become well, I know I played a part in that.   They appreciate me and I appreciate them because I learn from them!  We help each other!

Edited by Florida Sun RN
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You have to keep a good attitude as a nurse. I had things go wrong before. I've also had a scare with the B.O.N. But I do not regret becoming a nurse. 

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Keep looking for outpatient jobs.  Sell yourself at the interview. I never wanted to do acute care after being a monitor tech and unit secretary prior to nursing school. You can make it work.  There are jobs out there.

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definitely!  Change your specialty if you are unhappy. You may have not found your niche yet.

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Richard Bach wrote something that is worth considering in such a situation, Florida Sun RN:

"Every person, all the events of your life are there because you've drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you".

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I am sorry that you have been having such a tough time. I know many nurses (including myself) who have never found that dream job. If I had to do it over again I am sorry to say that I probably would have chosen a different path. The jobs I have had have also been very stressful including one at a "world class care" hospital. You can make more money with less stress in different fields and I would not recommend nursing to anyone now knowing what I know. So now that you are already a nurse your choices are to continue trying to find a decent job or becoming a MA or something else all together. If it were me I would continue trying to find a non-hospital job because it sounds like you enjoyed the one you had (clinic?) and have only been at it a short time (with your BSN), or pursue the OR job (why cant you do that, you can!). If you decide to go the MA route I would not dwell on the fact you lost some money, in the end your health and well-being will be worth it! You will be a better person in all your roles if you are happier/not stressed. And, as you know stress can lead to health problems. Also, I think you may be making a mistake by not listing all your jobs on your resume, that is a red flag when they check because you have lied/tried to hide that fact. It is probably better to list them and have a good reason why they only short times than to leave them off. Of course we all have to make our own decisions, wishing you well for which ever way you go!!

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