I have noticed alot of my friends (and myself) are really getting tired of all the politics, weekend and holiday work, stress, and lack of support from directors in the nursing field. About half of the nurses I know are strongly looking, not for just another job...but another profession. I am curious how many other people are looking for something new. If so, any ideas? I have a bachelors, and I am not opposed to grad school.
Jun 19, '01
I left the nursing field in '95 and opened an assisted living facility with my family. Even though business is good and I make 35K, quite frankly, I am bored stiff! I miss using my nursing skills. I started reading these posts because I was considering going back... thinking of moving to a large city and that maybe a large hospital would be better. (I would still be part-owner, just not actively employed there). I already have a B.S. degree and was also considering going through the Regents program to get my RN. But now I think I need to have my head examined for even THINKING about it!
From what I've read things have only gotten worse... something I have a very hard time even imagining. Things were BAD 10 years ago and I could see this crisis coming even then. When I'd suggest we form a union the other nurses would look at me like I was from planet Mars! After reading 100's of posts all I can think is OHMYGOD!!! This is sooo tragic! In 10 frickin' years not one thing has changed! I watched nurses age rapidly, have stress-related disorders, depression, nervous breakdowns, heart attacks.... It was so bad at times we would hide in the supply room and cry. What was so disheartening was that there were more people down in laundry FOLDING SHEETS than nurses taking care of patients! And now I see that hospitals still have not gotten the concept that WITHOUT NURSES THERE IS NO HOSPITAL! They are and will always be the BACKBONE of a hospital.
I have a very hard time feeling sorry for the very people who created this crisis!!! You cannot consistenly treat nurses like second class citizens, take away their basic human rights, throw them into the pit of hell with no support whatsoever and then wonder why they are leaving the 'profession' in droves and not entering nursing schools! And I see that you can still go to work out of high school packing potato chips and make more money!
I obtained my LPN degree in '91 and went to work in a small community hospital. Even back then it was 'feast or famine'. On the days we worked we ALWAYS had 11 patients each. On the med/surg floor we had one RN and two LPN's for 22 patients. On a "busy" day, if they opened the West wing of the floor one of us had to take part of that hall plus keep some of the patients we had on Main. In other words, sometimes we had more than 11 patients each! They finally 'gave' us some CNA's to help but they were the first to be called off. Famine? If the census was low the LPN's were called off next (they would schedule three LPN's "just in case") and I was regularly called off about once a week. We worked 3-12's and needless to say, losing 12-24 hrs a paycheck HURT. It was as if the hospital refused to let us have a good day where we could actually give adequate patient care! My last year at the hospital I made 10K!!! (I started out at $6.83/hr and after a YEAR received a .35 raise! I used tojoke that after taxes I would be able to buy an extra pack of gum a month!) In the peice of crap hospital I worked in we weren't even paid time and a half for holidays! And I remember working the night they rolled the clocks back for daylight savings time.... no pay for the extra hour!
To every nurse who is sticking it out all I can say is "Brava!!!" To those who want to leave... I don't blame you one bit. I can hardly imagine the shape of things to come if things don't change STAT!!!
Jun 19, '01
I can almost understand missing hospital nursing.....no, not really
I have decided that I am DEFINATELY going back to school for a non-nursing job...I just have to decide what that new job will be.
The horror stories you described are still the norm, although where I'm from you never have to worry about NOT getting to work. And when you do finish a particular overloaded, stressful shift AND you've done a good job....ther is some enjoyment in that.....just not enough.
Jun 19, '01
ksrn1, what is your undergraduate degree in? What are you considering changing to? There are several good career transition books available... I've read just about all of them. I recommend "Cool Careers for Dummies". My degree is in Rehabilitation Services. Talk about another worthless, undervalued, underpaid profession! When I left it my boss who was about to retire was making 28K. I knew then I had to get out.
I've been reading the nursing salary discussion, too. Ten years ago I knew RN's who were making $18 an hour!!! Jeezzzz, what are LPN's making nowadays? Pathetic. I guess eventually health care will cease to exist or else the government will have to step in to force all licensed personnel to report to work or face the firing squad!
I just think all of this is soooo sad! It's so sad that hundreds of thousands of nurses have given up their years of hard-earned education because the field has just completely gone to pot! And changes are so slow in coming that most simply don't have the emotional or physical strength to wait it out.
Jun 19, '01
I must think about changing jobs like every other WEEK. I swear, sometimes I'm so jealous of the unit secretary...yeah, she's busy...but man, what I wouldn't give for a shift of answering phones and call lights, and taking off orders, WITHOUT the additional nursing duties...ahhhhh.
I even talked to my husband about going back into WAITRESSING at an expensive restaurant here in town. Same cash, less responsibility, no license or certification upkeep, etc..
The sad part is, every time I think about doing something else, there's a part of me that knows I'd miss nursing a LOT. I dunno. As I sit here, getting ready for night shift, vision blurred from sleep deprivation, my head spinning from wanting to crawl back in bed, and the resentment of not getting to spend the night with my husband building, that unit secretary job doesn't sound half bad....
You aren't alone. If you think of something good (profession-wise), let me know....
Jun 19, '01
I think I would miss nursing if I left. No, actually I would miss taking care of the babies. I wouldnt miss all the crap that comes along with doing that. The stupid doctors, the clueless family members, etc. A lot of my dissatisfaction issues with nursing were settled when I started working as an agency nurse. I was paid better, not as bored, did not have to work weekends or holidays, actually picked which shifts at which hospitals I wanted to work. The control over my situation made all the difference. I can take a vacation whenever I want one, I can work in almost any location I choose, for almost any duration of time (ex. 4-6-8-13-26-52 week assignments) What other profession would offer me that?
Jun 19, '01
My daughter just graduated with her accounting degree, her starting salary is very close to mine after 20 years of nursing. She is in the master's program now and her income is expected to triple in just a few short years, at which time she plans to quit and raise her kids, maybe work free lance, etc. when she wants to, etc. Well, rather than getting just a bsn, msn, I have opted for the msn/mba to see if that offers additional opportunity and money. You have to consider that while nursing is changing and will continue to change, some of the problems won't go away and those of us who are fighting for change are being ignored, blackballed and beat up on by our "peers", so why not leave? I would normally be the first to say stay but I have decided that while I want to make a difference, be heard and help the profession, I don't want to loose my self esteem, respect, and license to do it.
Jun 20, '01
Has anyone considered another side of nursing? There is a lot to expand on. Office nursing, consulting, school nursing and I can think of a lot more. Nursing is so deversivied and sepecialized you can almost pick and choose what you want to do. I am the asthma care manger and asthma educator of our clinic. Lots of autonomy and I only report to two people. The allergist I work with and the head of care managment. I couldn't ask for any better job. Yes I've done med surg, woman and childrens health both in the hospital setting so I've been there. But when I got sick of the politics I never thought of giving up nursing just moving to another side of nursing.
P.S No weekends, holidays or nights
Jun 20, '01
I agree wholeheartedly with Jeanie. I too have a "day" job (research). No nights, no weekends, PAID holidays, no call, no overtime. Lots of autonomy and I report to a PA and the MD who heads our division. I love my job. I left the hospital because it made me miserable. Before you leave nursing, consider alternative nursing jobs.
[ June 20, 2001: Message edited by: BeachNurse ]
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