Left Nursing After 3 Months and Couldn't Be Happier!

  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm posting a topic today to offer hope to those of you who may have been in my shoes at some point in time.

    Little history: I decided to go into nursing through a second bachelor's degree program since my first liberal arts degree was not marketable in the economy after I graduated in 2008. So on I went to take prerequisites and I was accepted (to my surprise!). Throughout nursing school I was a straight A student and enjoyed my classes, even research and some of the harder clinical courses that most people complained about the entire semester. So with much hard work and soul searching through two years, I became a Registered Nurse. Well, on paper at least! I passed my board exams and was offered two jobs about two months after graduation. Mind you, I applied to over 100 jobs since my last semester. It was only after I had passed my board exams that I was actually considered for an interview and called back.

    So I decide to take one of the jobs at a private acute care hospital in a medical surgical unit that also received step down ICU patients and fresh ER admissions. I was paid $21.45/hr and worked on average 14-15 hours for each 12 hour shift. This was not isolated to me because I was new. This was a widespread activity for every single one of the nurses on the floor. We were expected to complete the impossible and yet the stress was overwhelming and the liability issues mounting. I would cry before I walked into work hoping and praying that the day would not collapse for if I dare forget one detail my butt was on the line with the charge nurse and director. Example of this was extensive management oversight during the day to inspect and watch to see if all customer service components were completed during change of shift report. This would easily take 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to complete all the shift reports for two nurses to change shift. Anyway, I digress.

    After working on day shift, I requested a change to night shift, something I had never done in my life, for hope that the stress would be less and the demands of the job more tolerable. BOY WAS I WRONG! The night shift was terrible and I suffered a lot of health problems from the shake it made in my body. So after three months of employment, unpaid overtime and harassment and discrimination from the patients, management, and other nurses I said goodbye.

    That was the happiest most liberating day in my life. I am now a professional educator and teacher for science and mathematics. While every day is no where near perfect, the impact I make on other people is much more fulfilling and deep. I am not robot nurse. I actually help people and feel like I am part of a profession. Something, that nursing tried to eat off my bones from the day I stepped into that field.

    All I can say is.... if you are truly unhappy with nursing and the mountain of things that are changing in the healthcare system you can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. I chose to leave it and despite the work and time I put into it, leaving was the best decision for me. There is NO SHAME in moving on from something toxic and unhealthy. There is NO SHAME in discovering other talents and dreams.


    Hope this helps someone out there. Best of luck to all of you who actually finished reading this monstrosity of a post!
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    About sweetgeorgia

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 28; Likes: 68


  3. by   Lev <3
    It sounds too me like your problem wasn't nursing, but your working conditions. Working 14-15 hours for a 12 hour shift is tough! You didn't get paid much for a new grad. Also, there are some people who just can't do nights.
  4. by   CrunchRN
    That is great. It is not for everybody and there is nothing wrong with finding a better fit. Good for you! I don't think I could ever do hospital nursing.
  5. by   kalevra
    Good for you! You should not have to be in a work environment where you have to cry everyday before going into work. That sounds like a abusive relationship with your workplace.
  6. by   Pachinko
    I'm sorry that you had such a bad experience. What you were faced with was beyond the pale and totally unreasonable. I agree, at least part of this had to do with your landing in a bad work environment. I am a clinical instructor for an ADN program, and things are really bad out there for new grads. You are lucky to be hired in a nursing home, and you'd better not complain for fear of losing your job. FWIW, I graduated in 2006, a couple of years before the economy got really bad, and had my choice of jobs; RNs also had more bargaining chips to use against employers, so working conditions were better. I hope for everyone's sake that it swings back that way soon.

    Unfortunately, health care in this country is driven largely by the dollar and NOT by what is best for patients and providers.
  7. by   gloryfied
    I cry a whole freakin lot. and I just cried in anger, and threw my cell phone because it wouldnt load quick enough.
    Here I am,I work nights, on my day off like other days sitting here, bored on the internet, Watched t.v shows I can give a crap about. was I hungry? nope but I ate 2 bowls of something i didnt need, text my sis, im going to quit tomorrow, but am i? nope cos i need to pay my bills.

    I feel like a waste sitting here, and as much as I am blessed with a job, my health is surely deteriorating, more so my mental health. I can't think, because the clock difference has disabled me. I just vented to God for 10 minutes and apologized after. Something isnt right with mee, and I was NEVER EVER like this. SMH
  8. by   Flatlander
    I have to agree. This is the part we weren't warned about in nursing school. Sure we heard that nurses eat their young, but thought it couldn't be that bad. Sadly, it's worse. My experience was much like yours, but I'm going to give it another try. Best of luck to you in your new vocation.
  9. by   kalevra
    Quote from gloryfied
    I cry a whole freakin lot. and I just cried in anger, and threw my cell phone because it wouldnt load quick enough.
    Here I am,I work nights, on my day off like other days sitting here, bored on the internet, Watched t.v shows I can give a crap about. was I hungry? nope but I ate 2 bowls of something i didnt need, text my sis, im going to quit tomorrow, but am i? nope cos i need to pay my bills.
    You share these feelings with a significant other?
  10. by   Mulan
    Good for you!

    It's better than waiting 41 years.
  11. by   gloryfied
    Quote from kalevra
    You share these feelings with a significant other?
    I just had a convo with my sister, and although she feels for me, she doesnt really understand because the feeling is hard to explain. I am hours away from family, I went to school away from family, toughest 4 yearss, but I did it, now in a profession i think i dont like hours away from family. working nights, feeling like life is being wasted so much sitting around days, fighting sleep at nights for 10mnths now

    The scary thing to me is that I had a break down in the comforts of my own room weeks ago long ago, and actively got back in control. This morning i went to the gym,something i LOVED doing but now just i do it to keep myself physically up for the job, ate my healthy bf, watched shows, I laid in bed for the 60th time, getting up back to bed, up, back to bed, checked my phone the 125th time, screw my laptop ive been on it all freakin morn and day, looking at the ceiling, and I JUST SNAPPED! Upset. that scares me, i know im unhappy and that scares me. . crying, vented to God cos he wouldnt give youmore than you can handle, but he gave me this and im not handling it, im pretending to.

    I have always been active in my decisions, and a very strong ambitious person, but ive become a very vulnerable defeated person. Nothing i do lately EVER feels right. I have no sig other ive lost myself. in my early 20's, and so ****** that a boy is the last thing i need. i dont care about a lot of things i used to, because this switch of clock has affected me whole.
  12. by   kalevra
    Im sorry to hear that. What about transferring to another floor or hospital?
  13. by   OnlybyHisgraceRN
    Good for you OP. Nursing is NOT for everyone. Glad you are happy. I still have faith that I find my niche and work in a positive work environement. I know I'll have good and bad days, howevever I can't see myself doing anything else. Maybe I'm just a gluten for punishment.
  14. by   Flatlander
    For Kalevra -- I say this with caution, because I don't really know your situation, but it sounds to me like you might have some clinical depression going on. It may be, as you say, due to effects of day/night switch, but it may be more than that. If you are still employed and eligible for employee benefits, you may be eligible for some free counseling through your employee health counselor. Your loss of interest in things you previously enjoyed, your irritability and uncontrollable anger, your sleep problems, your overeating, your dissatisfaction with your life, feelings of hopelessness, etc -- these are all symptoms of clinical depression. Sometimes addressing that issue itself can give you the clarity and energy to find some other ways to go -- either by improving your current situation/job etc, or moving on to something much better.(Some counseling and some pharmacological help has given me the boost I needed to seek some different solutions...I found some helpers who believed in my strengths, when I couldn't see them for myself.) I encourage you to take care of yourself. As the old saying goes..."Misery is optional." We must support each other in believing this is possible for us. I wish you well and hope you will keep us posted on your situation. But believe me, I understand how a demoralizing situation can drag you down!