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Do you regret leaving bedside nursing?

Nurses   (544 Views | 8 Replies)

nznurse93 has 3 years experience as a BSN.

3,318 Profile Views; 295 Posts

RN, BSN with 2.5 years experience working float pool. Most of my experience is med/surg though. Keen to start my master in the next couple of years. Unsure of career decisions  

I originally started my degree knowing I didn’t want to work in a Hospital, half way threw I changed my mind when doing placements. So when I graduated I started working float pool.

Now 2.5 year on I’m having a dilemma, part of me wants to get more acute care experience. I really enjoy having pt that are acutely unwell Or when there’s a medical emergency.

But the other half of me wants to go into the community. Either dr office or public health nursing. I enjoy working with a wide range of people, different ages, different conditions/concerns ect. Not having to do shift work. I feel I have more opportunities to advance my career in these area too. Plus Working 5 days a week doesn’t bother me. 

conflicted on what to do next. So desperately ready for a change from my current  job. 

Edited by nznurse93

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 9,739 Posts; 250,160 Profile Views

One of the things I found helpful while I was searching for greener pastures was volunteering in a free clinic for uninsured patients. I was the intake nurse so I got some experience in triage, and worked with all age groups and minorities. I ended up sticking with my hospital job for a while longer because I really enjoyed caring for people, but eventually the chaos became too much and I quit. I ended up working in assisted living as a DNS, where I didn't do resident care but trained and delegated nursing tasks to unlicensed caregivers and med aides. And for the most part, I loved it, and it paid decently.

A word of caution on doctor's offices and public health: both are poorly paid as a rule. So is home health, although you get the benefit of working with only one client at a time. It's up to you as to how much you want to put up with to continue working directly with patients; most hospital jobs are chaotic and not very rewarding at times. However, it sounds---to me anyway---like you would be a good fit for ICU. You don't have as many patients, but the ones you have are complex and very, very sick. Med/Surg patients today would have been more appropriate for ICU 20 years ago, while most of today's ICU patients would simply have died 20 years ago. 

Think about it, look around and see what's out there, and whatever you do, make sure you have a job offer in hand before you resign from your current position. Good luck!

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Tweety has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

3 Followers; 28,993 Posts; 48,483 Profile Views

6 hours ago, nznurse93 said:

 So desperately ready for a change from my current  job. 

To answer the question you asked in your title.  Yes.  I left the bedside for six months for an office job and immediately missed the patient care.  At that point I'd worked the floor for 18 years, turned 50, had my BSN and was a little burned out from floor nursing and an opportunity presented itself.  

That said, I really had to get away to learn this about myself and I'm glad I did.

The statement I quoted above really is telling that perhaps you should branch out and learn more about yourself and what will be your niche.   There's nothing wrong with branching out, learning and growing and finding out about yourself and changing your mind and going back.   But who knows, you may find a new pathway that you never considered and like more.  Bedside nursing will always be there.

Edited by Tweety

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"nursy" has 40 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU, ER, Home Health, Corrections, School Nurse.

240 Posts; 951 Profile Views

Personally, I completely burned out on bedside, became a school nurse, totally love it.  However, I've been a nurse for 40 years, and have all the experience I need.   You indicate you've been a nurse for 2.5 years, and you are still interested in acute care.  I would go for it, get as much experience as you can before you go into the wider world.  

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

3 Followers; 1,700 Posts; 14,999 Profile Views

I love my job working in the community and I pretty much hated the hospital. 

I don't miss the backstabbing culture, working weekends and holidays, being responsible for techs who had no respect for me, being scapegoated for every single problem.

Sometimes I miss having 4 days off though. And now and then, I miss the ability to beef up my paycheck at will with OT. 

All in all I prefer the community so much. 

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OUxPhys has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiology.

800 Posts; 9,515 Profile Views

I think you will miss the bedside right up until you have a shift where you are short staffed and absolutely slammed. Then reality hits and you remember "oh yeah, now I remember why Im leaving".

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1,170 Posts; 9,580 Profile Views

I left bedside to do school nursing - I have no regrets but I will admit to missing the ability to learn new things, see different things on a daily basis.  

 

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laflaca has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

377 Posts; 8,730 Profile Views

Another nurse here who left the hospital for public health and then a school....no regrets!  The five days/week is not always my favorite, but it's more than balanced out by four weeks off during the school year, eight weeks off in the summer, and finishing work every day by 3:30.  We're paid on a contract but if you calculate dollars/hour, I'm making the same rate I got in the hospital (though that's rare for school nurses), with great health insurance, and the stress level and physical risks are much lower. 

I like seeing people in their normal everyday lives, and developing relationships with their families.  Even though the level of acuity is usually close to zero, and handing out tylenol and ice bags makes me roll my eyes at times, I have a lot of opportunities to make a longer-lasting impact than I did in the hospital.  I'm the one who notices that a kid needs glasses, I'm the one who teaches a newly diagnosed diabetic student to effectively use nutrition labels day after day, I'm the one who has the time and knowledge to work with the psychiatric provider when  a student's auditory hallucinations keep him from learning or making friends. 

In the hospital everything is focused on the next minute/hour/shift.  I like the long game :)   But it might be different for you.  You can always try and see. 

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Kyla RN is a BSN and specializes in Research, Neurology.

27 Posts; 1,221 Profile Views

I worked in inpatient/bedside for 3 years and left due to always working holidays, never getting PTO dates I wanted, and physical and emotional burn out. Now I work in clinical research. I don't regret the decision at all, but after 2 years in research I'm starting to miss the clinical focus of being a nurse. So I'm now thinking about grad school to pursue the outpatient NP route. I do not miss the chaos of inpatient! 

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