Feeling lost.


Hello everyone,

I have been a nurse for about three years now, working mainly in skilled nursing facilities. I have my BSN and am really unhappy in this field. I have tried convincing myself at first that it was because I was a new grad and working at a facility that was terribly understaffed and poorly managed. So i moved to another facility and quickly began feeling the same way. I had the opportunity to work as an admissions nurse and have been doing that for about six months. I'm afraid I just hate nursing.

I really dread going into work everyday. Some times I am so anxious that I worry it is affecting my mental health. Other times I just sleep until I really have to leave and just wake myself up and go to work. I'm not sure what depressed feels like but when I think about work I think I am. I often feel so selfish and like a baby for complaining about my job because j was able to go to school and graduate and make decent money...why complain? But I am seriously unhappy and worry about my health now. Mentally I am suffering.

I don't want my life to revolve around work. I don't want to feel like I wasted my life or missed big or little life moments because I was too worried about work or too stressed to enjoy life or not able to sleep because of work. Some weeks I work over 50 hours. That is most weeks.

I want to spend time with people I love. My boyfriend works days and I work at night and often don't get home until 2 in the morning. I don't see him but twice a week. I never wanted that kind of life.

I guess I am just asking for advice and what type of career path can I take? I've always imagined myself working for myself but have no idea what to do. I feel like nursing is all I know and I hate it. I have considered health coaching and have applied at some of those job openings but have no heard back. I just don't know how much longer I can take this.

Any advice much appreciated. Sorry for any typos...typed all this on my iPhone!

Specializes in Flight Nursing, Emergency, Forensics, SANE, Trauma. Has 9 years experience.

Have you considered applying for an actual bedside position in a hospital? It sounds like LTC is out, and that's ok. Admissions is a lot of paperwork and none of the rewards of seeing people get better.

What subjects did you enjoy in school? Maybe you need L&D or Peds to renew your spirit? Maybe you need more challenge in the ICU or ED?

Don't give up yet. Bad jobs don't mean bad career.

Specializes in Registered Nurse. Has 28 years experience.

Nursing can be emotionally challeging work. You can look into a different area in nursing that may be more in line with your needs. There are nurses who find a particular "niche" or field in which they are very happy in. I have been in nursing about 28 years now. When I thought I found my niche, the healthcare system appeared to be on an overhaul as far as change and I was stuck in a position that went from my dream job to a nightmare. Some nurses never find their "niche". I would also consider looking into some alternative education to see if you can find yourself doing something different in nursing or healtcare. Definitely, keep applying for positions that may interest you. Unfortunately, I am very familiar with the feeling of feeling anxious and depressed when I have to go to work. Otherwise, I'm fine.

Has 33 years experience.

Sounds like it's evening shift, and overtime , not nursing itself that is getting to you. How is an admissions nurse in a SNF forced to work 50 hours?

You are on the right track with health coaching jobs. Try disease management, etc. While you are on the hunt, at least get hours that work for you.

Good luck, let us know how it's going.


3,726 Posts

Depending on how you feel about the actual patient care aspect of your admissions job, you could take that experience and apply for a home health admissions position.

There would be a similar amount of documentation but the atmosphere is different. Home health patients aren't happy about being in their patient role and/or condition but there is usually relief with discharge to their home. When I admit a patient there is so much satisfaction in getting them set up and settled in, they often go from being over the top overwhelmed and anxious to somewhat reassured and confident. Pulling that off every day gave me purpose and a real sense of accomplishment. And it felt like nursing the way we traditionally envision nursing.

Hard to say how your income would be affected but home health pays well in our area. You can work a better schedule, at least not nights, and possibly a Mon-Fri daytime.

Specializes in ICU.

I almost never recommend people come into the hospital, but if you worked daytime 12s, you'd be 7a-7p or so three days a week and have four days off to spend with your SO. It sounds like that would have huge life benefits for you.


163 Posts

Time to look for another job hun. Try looking for a day job. Try applying for med surg RN1 positions at a hospital, or try a medical practice or even Home Care. Looks like you need a change of pace. SNF can be very stressful and everyone I know that have worked in one have told me they absolutely hated it.


6 Posts

Thanks everyone for the responses! I don't mind the paper work side of my current admissions job I was almost relieved when I started that I didn't have to spend as much time doing direct patient care. I find I really enjoy being more independent and working alone. I even wish I could work more alone. If that makes sense. But I don't really know if that exists in nursing.

Its hard to explain but I just don't want life to be work. I just want to work and come home and live my life. But right now I spend all my time at work then come home and worry about work. Maybe I am just dreaming of a perfect world!