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Burnout: Best/worst nursing jobs for long-term career

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rubyagnes has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Emergency Department, Psychiatry, Art Therapy.

4,209 Profile Views; 164 Posts

Hi,

I know nursing can be a very transient field... In a way I like the idea of not feeling "stuck" but at the same time I'm wondering what are the best Nursing Jobs for a long term career? I worked a few years in the ER and felt physically emotionally and mentally exhausted, but deep down I loved the thrill and the constant learning. Moved to inpatient psych and I feel underwhelmed and bored. I think psych has a lot of potential but in my experience there's not enough therapy and a lot of patients are overmedicated. I am currently interviewing for an ER position and a Neuro ICU position. Could the ICU be a field where a nurse can stay, learn and grow without necessarily getting run into the ground every single shift? I'm trying to figure out what nursing jobs are good for a long term career. What fields do nurses stay in for a majority of their nursing career, and why? Thanks in advance!! 

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speedynurse is a RN, EMT-P and specializes in ER.

110 Posts; 433 Profile Views

I would be curious to hear the responses. I have always been an ER nurse and keep thinking of trying different specialties - like PACU or even the PICU....but then I wonder if PACU would be too repetitive for me? Generally, I feel like I am good at my job and I honestly think I am just too scared to leave my job.....and end up in a different nursing field that I am terrible at 😆

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Rose_Queen has 15 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

12 Followers; 4 Articles; 9,558 Posts; 111,341 Profile Views

I don't think there will ever be one single answer for this question. It's all a matter of what you like, your personality, and even the people you work with.

It's long been said that nurses either went to the OR and never left or ran screaming as soon as they could. Even that isn't true these days- people are looking to move around, not stay in one specialty.

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rubyagnes has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Emergency Department, Psychiatry, Art Therapy.

164 Posts; 4,209 Profile Views

19 hours ago, speedynurse said:

I would be curious to hear the responses. I have always been an ER nurse and keep thinking of trying different specialties - like PACU or even the PICU....but then I wonder if PACU would be too repetitive for me? Generally, I feel like I am good at my job and I honestly think I am just too scared to leave my job.....and end up in a different nursing field that I am terrible at 😆

@speedynurse @Rose_Queen I started in the ER in Baltimore City and stayed for 2 1/2 years. I loved it. What I learned is beyond words, completely invaluable. I did things I never thought I would or could do. I was also able to precept a few newly graduated nurses to the ER which was a super rewarding experience. I survived insane shifts and grew in ways I didn't know possible. I left the ER for inpatient psych focusing on neurodegenerative disorders (dementia, movement disorders, encephalopathy, etc) and though the overall focus is behavioral health there's a huge part that's Neuro based... now I'm craving more medical stuff and I'm considering moving to Neuro ICU. I've also considered going back to the ER. I left the ER because I felt exhausted, mostly physically, and felt like it wouldn't be the healthiest long term environment for me. Also, at times it felt like a revolving door, for both patients and staff. What I loved was the learning and proactive inquisitive nature of the work space.

Psych (despite the Neuro intrigue) has been underwhelming. I wish there was more focus on brain and behaviors and less emphasis on bogging patients down with meds. Many patients are like guinea pigs and I think psych needs a lot more research. Some methods are outdated, but many of the doctors I work with are stubborn and unwilling to think outside the box. They also tend to disregard the body, and I'm constantly pointing out various clinical concerns (labs, VS, test results) that contribute heavily to the behaviors the doctors are trying to mask with medication. My coworkers are very disengaged and tend to do the bare minimum. I've had to rapid response various patients due to negligence and/or ignorance... I ended up getting board certified for mental health nursing and I didn't even study. It's disappointing to me psych isn't more challenging, because the presentations and behaviors of the patients can be very confusing and challenging. I feel like psych is a puzzle the medical field can't solve, so instead of trying harder they just throw the puzzle aside. 

I'm ready to move on in many ways, I just don't know if Neuro ICU is the right next step, if I'm biting off more than I can chew just because I'm bored at my current position. I feel like I could be passionate about a specific field of nursing, where I can grow and learn and be challenged, but I don't want to be bogged down by my jobs either (I'd like to have some semblance of a personal life, if possible) Anyway, is ICU/neuroICU a place where people tend to stay a long time? 

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84 Posts; 2,651 Profile Views

That would be an interesting survey!  "Which speciality did you stay in the longest" I'm also an ER RN and made the switch to procedures then back to ER and am regretting it ☹️ stuck on nights and forgot about the constant disrespect by patients and lack of teamwork among staff.  

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