Do you regret becoming a nurse?

Nurses General Nursing

Updated:   Published

Specializes in CNA.
Do you regret becoming a nurse?

For as long as I can remember I wanted to become a nurse. I apply for the nursing program this Spring. For the past 4 years, I have heard awful stories about working in hospitals and known of a lot of nurses who have quit. I want to help others but the medical world isn't the same as it used to be. I feel like the focus has been shifted off the patients wellbeing and become all about the hospitals making money. 

Im worried that it might kill my soul to work in an environment where I cant give of myself to a patient like I want to because I am so overworked and controlled by hospital policies that only benefit the rich.

I want to know if any nurses out there feel this way or have struggled working at hospitals. OR if youve found something different.

Thank you


Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years).

No, Jen, I did not regret becoming a nurse, but that was over 40 years ago and things have changed.  I've experienced an enriching career as an LPN and RN.

If I was to do it today, I probably would go from NREMT-A to Paramedic.

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

Not at all, because I know that at this point in my life, I could leave nursing and do something different. Would I do it all over again if I could rewind the clock 20 years? Not sure, to be honest. Probably.

If you are not sure.. don't go into nursing.  It takes mind, heart , body and soul.  I would not have done it.

I don't regret becoming a nurse. I only regret that it would be the only prospect that I have.  If you are cornered into bedside nursing only, that I would regret. Certain states have horrible staffing levels, that would make me have regret. The south has horrible staffing. But I'd imagine states that have better staffing/ratios would have it better. I would have other options instead of only nursing due to shady admins.

Specializes in Critical Care.

Corporate greed isn't unique to healthcare. No matter what field you go into there are going to be suits making others struggle for their benefit. There are certain hospitals/systems that are worse than others and you avoid them.

You show up and do your best with what you're given. It's not perfect but I still feel like I'm helping people. If your heart is telling you nursing then go for it. My two pieces of advice would be to not forget what got you into nursing when it gets tough and don't settle for a job where you're miserable.

Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative.

It drives me up the wall at times. Currently have a toxic work mate which is threatning my sanity. 

That said I don't regret it at all

Well, I've always been employed and I've always been able to pay my bills as a nurse....but I'm tired and still have about 10 years before I can retire.  If I had it to do all over again I would probably study ultrasonography or radiology tech.

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life).

I don't for one minute regret becoming a nurse. I was licensed when I was 36 and it was a 2nd career fo me. The balance of my career has been working with underserved populations in the psych setting and it has had a humbling effect on me. Oh and the pay isn't bad either.


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

50 years in healthcare --started as nurses aid in SNF 1973; LPN 1977 hospital, RN 1982- hospital 10 years, hospice then homecare 30 years  finishing out career 4 more years till 50 years licensed  Practicing in PA/NJ/DE area, nursing travels to ANA conventions --where I met allnurses founder Brian, Critical Care Symposiums in Las Vegas, representing allnurses booth and attending  AACN's yearly National Teaching Institute in various cities allowed me to travel across the US and meet hundreds of nurses, including at New Orelans Mardi Gras.

Would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  You'll have to drag me off this website feet first as constantly learning something new from our members weekly.

Frustration, stress, fears all part of life. The JOY when you can make a difference in someones life priceless.  When the going gets tough, I pull out the thank you cards and attend an inservice/webinar to reinvigorate my practice--along with a cup of Constant Comment Tea. ?

Despite the cons of being a nurse, no, I would start earlier if I knew nursing was a good fit for me. I graduated in July 2022 and have been working since then. Now, I'm in the LPN-RN program and expect to graduate in 2024. 

Specializes in Critical Care.

If you pursue nursing, try to go to the lowest cost college you can find, community colleges are a hidden gem!  Take out as little student loans as possible.  Take a personal finance class and learn about money management which will help no matter what you do. 

You don't have to work at a hospital and you don't have to stay at a hospital.  You can look for office, clinic or outpatient jobs.  Don't give your heart and soul to your job or employer!  Maintain boundaries ie don't pick up overtime if you don't want to, don't let them guilt you into working extra.  It is not your job to staff the hospital, just come in on the days you are scheduled to work.

I think the future of nursing in hospitals will be treated like a short term gig, a residency to gain experience for the next step on your life journey, whether that be another job or further education for FNP or Educator etc.  I think the days of lifetime hospital nurses are done!  That's probably for the best though as the pay and benefits are not that great, pensions are rare, and the stress and wear and tear on your body I don't think it is worth it to stay bedside.  Better to do it short term if at all.

At least as a CNA you have an idea of the culture and workload of nursing and it will be an easier transition if you choose a bedside job.  Just remember you don't have to stay and if you aren't happy you can always get a different job. 

One last thing, take care of your physical and mental health.  I highly recommend self care, stress management, avoiding overindulgence of alcohol, and being open to therapy if necessary as the job itself can be very stressful and even put you at risk of PTSD.  I just heard a study that female nurses have a suicide rate twice women who aren't nurses and that 38% of nurses have suicidal thoughts!  I bring this up in light of a young newer nurse who sadly committed suicide and her parents found a note to her abuser ie her hospital a few months before she died. 

+ Add a Comment