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Burned Out and Need to Move On

Nurse Beth   (900 Views | 1 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

18 Followers; 100 Articles; 233,939 Profile Views; 2,023 Posts

Dear Nurse Beth,
I am hoping you can provide some much-needed advice. I have a little over 10 years of nursing experience in trauma, med surg, and tele. I worked at an intercity hospital for 2 years. This was a hard place to work and required me, as a new grad, to often oversee LPN's. Additionally, we were chronically short-staffed and the patients could be extremely challenging.

I changed positions to my current job. I've worked there now for 8 years, with the last 2 as charge RN. I have made some great friends. However, we again are chronically understaffed, there is favoritism, and little room for growth. I recently applied to another job within the hospital, but was told I have no experience (it was an educator position for my floor!) Also, I have an MSN in education and administration.

My dilemma is this... I know I am probably starting to experience burnout. I see little opportunity for growth and recently applied for nursing supervisor positions in a hospital (these positions fit my schedule as I just had a second child). I'm starting to doubt my abilities and also worry about becoming what I can't stand..managers that have forgotten what it's like to be a bedside nurse. How do I know when its time to move on? I worry about losing my skills and getting into something else that is even more stressful, yet want all the hard work I've done to pay off.

Dear Dilemma,

Congrats on having your second child 🙂

It's not so much a dilemma as the first step towards your next new role. Awareness that you need to move on. It is time.

You are in that sweet spot of your nursing career where dissatisfaction combined with a yearning to grow and see how far you can go has set in.

You are well prepared with your background and education for your next step. The challenge is getting that first opportunity to make the leap. Be persistent and keep applying. Trust me, you will get your chance.

In the meantime, shine (or continue to shine:) as a charge nurse. Involve yourself in unit-based committees and shared governance, if you have it. Contact the Education department and request to volunteer next time super-users are needed for a rollout of some kind, or staff are needed for a skills fair. Be sure and list these accomplishments on your resume.

As you move away from the bedside, stay true to your bedside roots. Speak up for bedside nurses, whether you land in administration, or education, or wherever. Your voice is needed. I call it "losing your soul" when some nurse managers forget what it's like at the bedside and turn a blind eye to the challenges their staff nurses face.

There are challenges to every role, and a primary challenge for you is to stay tuned in and relevant as you move away from the bedside. This must be done for your credibility and your ability to influence nursing care.  This is probably singing to the choir for you, because you already expressed it as one of your values.  Good luck to you.

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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12 Followers; 3,815 Posts; 28,764 Profile Views

On 12/11/2019 at 9:41 AM, Nurse Beth said:

I changed positions to my current job. I've worked there now for 8 years, with the last 2 as charge RN. I have made some great friends. However, we again are chronically understaffed, there is favoritism, and little room for growth. I recently applied to another job within the hospital, but was told I have no experience (it was an educator position for my floor!) Also, I have an MSN in education and administration.

Continue with the introspection and then make positive changes; these are opportunities for personal growth.

And once you are confident that you have achieved that...be sure to look for a job elsewhere. Jeez.

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