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Do I really want to be a nurse?


I've been struggling a lot lately with the nagging question of "do I still want to be a nurse?" Its not cuz I don't love patients and patient care. I love to help people and I knew I wanted to be a nurse at 15 years old. Lately I just feel worn down with the pressure. The pressure to be perfect. The pressure of having docters, families, and administration treating us like we are stupid. If a doctor makes a mistake in an order and we follow the order, seems like we get in trouble...not the doc. I'm just sick of condescending a**holes all the time. I feel like, no matter what job I'm at, rules are made by people in suits who haven't worked on a floor in years. I get so tired of making suggestions to improve the unit and getting shot down every time. I'm tired of being treated like we should somehow be super human and be 3 places at once. And God forbid we get sick, as we all do. They say don't come to work sick then write you up for absence. It all just pisses me off. I am already in debt up to my eyeballs so I can't go back to school. No other career can offer the pay we make. I want to be in forensics more than anything but going to school costs an arm and a leg. I'm really just venting. When it comes down to it, I do love being a nurse. Just tired of all the pressure.... anyone else??

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 10 years experience.

Welcome to the realities of healthcare. It's a business, plan and simple. Your feelings are pretty common, and not unique to your hospital/facility. It sounds like you're burnt out. Exploring jobs in another area of nursing might be a good idea. There are some places that are not quite so political and financially-driven (although they will all be, to some extent). At any rate, it sounds like you either need a long vacation or a job change.

Agreed. I took a few months leave from nursing and went to work making insulation panels for like $13/ hour. It was sweet to not feel the stress of nursing but after a while I saw the same kind of attitudes and ridiculous policies that drove me crazy in nursing. Except there I didn't get the feeling that I was at least doing something of real value and improving people's lives. 2 job changes later and a lot of soul searching have brought me back into nursing in an area where I'm much less stressed, better paid, and part of an awesome team .

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

You need to change your venue.

nurseburst, ASN, BSN

Specializes in Telemetry, Step-Down, Med-Surg, LTC.

Hey Shelly,

I am a very new nurse. (7 months working in LTC/Rehab) and I have often wondered if it's just ME. If I am the problem. I have never had as much pressure at a job, to even get the little non-life threatening things right. To be called or text about how you didn't do this or do that but you hardly ever get a thank you for busting your butt on the floor and following up on issues that arise that many nurses will say when it's shift change, "SEE YA!" And pass it off to the next nurse, leaving them with a hurdle. I think I am still too new to completely gauge the politics of healthcare but I do understand the need for the pressure to be heavier... we deal with people's lives. I didn't deal with people's lives when I worked at a call center for customer service (needless to say they nitpicked too ;) )

But I am changing jobs and going to Med-Surg in a hospital setting to see how different the atmosphere is. I have told several people, I love nursing but I hate my current job and that is true... I hate the nitpicky stuff, and the seemingly lack of teamwork, and throwing other shifts under the bus that occurs (this isn't everyone but it is for most.) I hope that if you really enjoy helping people that you can look into other avenues in Nursing that can maybe take you mostly out of that environment. What we do as Nurses is awesome and I am not ready to throw the towel in yet... I had a much more experienced LPN nurse tell me who picked up at my facility say, "You will probably never quit nursing" due to how I answered his question on how I feel about nursing. :p And I think there is some truth to that.

Hope the best for you!!! Focus on your patients above all, try to brush that other stuff off your shoulder... Question Doctors on orders and DOCUMENT to CYA: Cover your A... I am learning this as I go along...


Specializes in Ambulatory Case Management, Clinic, Psychiatry. Has 14 years experience.

What area are you in now?