Did you leave bedside nursing?

Nurses Career Support

Updated:   Published

For those of who have left bedside nursing (but not to move on 'higher' like as a NP etc), were you happy or do you regret it? Does it make you feel like less of a nurse? I am so proud to call myself a nurse, and I feel like if I leave bedside I won't be a nurse anymore.

Specializes in Pedi.


Why would I feel like less of a nurse? I was still a nurse when I was working in a boarding school, still a nurse when I was accessing ports and pushing chemo in children's homes, still a nurse when I was teaching parents how to use IV or enteral pumps as a nurse liaison and I'm still a nurse now managing complex needs of children in foster care.

Specializes in public health, women's health, reproductive health.

That's a very narrow view of nursing. One of the things I love about being a nurse is that it is a broad field. I didn't like working in a hospital but I love being a public health nurse. I am a nurse each and every day and never question that. I'm proud of what I do and I look forward to going to work. No regrets whatsoever.

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.

I did a few years of research and a few years of clinic before returning to the bedside. I did not feel like less of a nurse; in fact, on the contrary. My varied experiences gave me a perspective that made me a stronger nurse.

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU.

I still work in a hospital, but took a role in patient safety and quality improvement. Though I still do clinical care occasionally, I'm primarily away from the bedside, and yes, there are times that I miss it and feel like I may be losing my clinical skills. My job is still rewarding and challenging, but in different ways than bedside nursing. Did you perhaps mean to direct your question to those who have left patient care altogether, not left inpatient/hospital nursing?

I have to agree with others, bedside nursing in my view is the lowest you can go. 12 hour hospital shifts, with minimum down time, always on your feet, with patients and management always pointing finger at you for anything that goes wrong. In fact my biggest mistake was leaving a supervisory position to go back to bedside. Did it once, and would never do it again. The only positives from bedside nursing is experience, IV's, blood draws, CPR the basic foundations of nursing practice. Management roles don't compare as you gain completely different set of skills in communication, time management, tolerance, organization etc. Anyone that elevated beyond bedside should be very satisfied. My niche was home care nursing. Started an agency, and have been completely satisfied every single day. Less stress, with more satisfaction.

Specializes in Palliative, Onc, Med-Surg, Home Hospice.
NurseMegIBCLC said:
For those of who have left bedside nursing (but not to move on 'higher' like as a NP etc), were you happy or do you regret it? Does it make you feel like less of a nurse? I am so proud to call myself a nurse, and I feel like if I leave bedside I won't be a nurse anymore.

I left the bedside and am now a hospice nurse. I am so much happier but there are times when I do miss the bedside. (I know, crazy!) I get to spend time with my patients, and I find it very fulfilling. There are times when I would like to go back to the bedside but then I get to spend time with my patient and realize, it's not worth it.

I have left beside nursing for a career in case management and no, I don't feel like less of a nurse. I do feel I've lost some clinical skills but have gained experience in treating the effects of social determinants :)

Specializes in LTC and Pediatrics.

I have left bedside nursing for PDN Pediatric nursing. I do not feel any less of a nurse doing this than I did being bedside. It is very rewarding to be part of their total care team. You get to know the child as well as the family. You get to know the patient well and you learn what signs to watch for should they be getting ill and know exactly what to do to prevent things from worsening or when to take them to the hospital for further treatment. You also get to see any improvements too.

Specializes in Critical Care and ED.

I left the ICU for informatics, and while it affords me a very comfortable lifestyle and schedule, I do miss critical care. I really enjoyed taking care of critically ill patients on 36 different gtts, with CRRT, IABP, paralyzed, intubated and sedated etc. However, I get my fix working per diem in the ICU and I'm about to graduate as a critical care NP so i will still get to work in that arena but without all the physical stress. I guess I just need that excitement in my life.

I left the bedside and went into a corporate position. Despite driving a desk I consider myself a nurse and considering my work to be nursing since I directly impact healthcare.

I am now many degrees separated from my patients but my overall gross impact on healthcare on a global scale is many orders of magnitude larger. I miss seeing the faces of my patients everyday but I am comforted knowing that my work improves their lives despite them never knowing my name.

Specializes in ER.

Still hate it, but would never go back to hospital.

I am very jaded and very much hate nursing career (or the healthcare field in all spectrum including the hospital's business system and the crooks in it), so I don't have any nice things to say about nursing in general other than it brings in income. I am in UR now and just sit around reviewing cases. I can tolerate it much better now since I don't have to talk to patients like I had to in the ED. I would like to eventually move away from healthcare completely and do something else.

+ Add a Comment