I think I'm done with nursing. - page 3

I've had a tough few weeks of self-reflection. My mind has gone back and forth over my preferred career path, and, ultimately, I think I'm going to bow out gracefully. I am a career-change RN.... Read More

  1. by   OCNRN63
    Quote from MBrickle
    Being a lawyer...ugh, yikes!

    I LOVE nursing. It's where I want to be! My frustration comes from not being able to make a move out of what I'm doing and into the hospital environment/acute care that I really see myself doing for the long haul! I can't make a move. I'm STUCK! It's so, so frustrating, especially after how hard I have worked (as I know many people have.) I just wish I could more easily get into the hospital. It's honestly next to impossible, I feel! This is what is really getting me down...and resulted in my bacon grilled cheese, french fries, and mint chip ice cream for dinner :-)
    Well, that meal might get you into the hospital, just not the way you want to be there.

    I'm really sorry all you've been through. I wish you could have been in nursing back when I first graduated; it was pretty slick then, till about 1995 or so, then things started to go downhill. With your bad back, though, you wouldn't make through orientation. These days it's getting really hard to work "the floors" if you are not hale and hearty.

    Best wishes for whatever you decide to do.
  2. by   Ruby Vee
    Over and over I read what an awful job nursing is, and what awful people nurses have turned out to be . . . and I don't see it. Granted, some jobs are horrible as are some people. But the majority of nurses I know are smart, hardworking and NICE people who really want to give their best. I work in the ICU and have for decades, but I've encountered some really wonderful people who happen to be nurses when I've been a patient (as I've been for most of this year) or my family members have been. I've only run into one or two stinkers. Over the years I've encountered only a few truly miserable people in nursing, although I've encountered many more than that in other fields.

    Perhaps the dichotomy is because people are expecting nurses to be perfect, to be "angels of mercy" or some other such tripe when nurses are merely good people doing a tough job.

    A back injury is a good excuse to leave nursing if that's what a person has made up their mind to do. But surely I'm not the only person who has had a back injury, gone through the horrible pain, the months without pay and the hard work of rehab to go back to the profession I love? When I first injured my back, I thought I was never going to be able to walk "normally" again because the nerve controlling my right knee was pinched and the knee wasn't supporting my weight. I had surgery, I did the PT, I strengthened my other muscles and I went back to work. It can be done if one is determined to do it.

    If ICU is your dream, you can do it. I'm not going to lie and say it will be easy. But it can be done. But, as I was told at the time by more than one person, if you want out of nursing, a back injury is a great excuse. I just couldn't see myself quitting, so I didn't.
  3. by   NurseCard
    Just my 2 cents, related to back problems...

    I suffered a herniated disk back in August of 2008. I was in HORRIFIC pain, could barely walk,
    thought my life as I knew it was over. I had actually been having problems with my back, back
    pain, etc, for years prior to that, then I finally had the big blowout of my back.

    I was blessed with a very good neurosurgeon, and after a not so long period of recovery, my
    back felt WONDERFUL, better than it had in years. Over four years later, I'm still doing very
    well and feel like I could work anywhere that I want. I'm an RN in LTC and do my fair share
    of bending and lifting, but I know to be careful and use proper mechanics.

    I'm not going to say that my back never hurts; sometimes after I've been lying in a certain
    position for a while, I feel like I can't get up. However, usually once I do get up and moving
    around, the pain and stiffness subside.

    So, I just want to say that, back problems do NOT necessarily mean an end to all
    floor nursing, but it does help to find a GOOD surgeon. =)
  4. by   marcos9999
    I understand what you are going through because I'm in the same boat as you but I'm not quitting. We carer changers walked into nursing perhaps at it's worst moment. The situation now is the complete reverse of what it used to be when we started school before 2008 (if that's your case). Before there was a normal healthy workplace; appreciation; perks; job security; unlimited jobs; respect for the profession; now all the above are reversed with no foreseeable improvement. I'm only working because I took a job 7 hours from home in a absolutely remote place away from my family and I can't express how hard it is to be here but I'm doing it in the hopes I'll will get my magical 1 year experience so I can go back home. I believe however that there are reasons to be positive. The fundamentals of health care haven't change much, and nothing significant in terms of how we handle care have materialized so this crisis is produced by mostly two causes which are greedy hospitals and unemployment in other areas and that could be reversed as I believe is already happening. Obama care is around the corner and I think big hospital are about to hit the panic button and be forced to change their attitude or risk not having anybody to staff, they just can't give up their upper hand and all the millions they are making.
  5. by   pattylee1122
    Quote from MBrickle

    I just wish I could more easily get into the hospital. It's honestly next to impossible, I feel! This is what is really getting me down...and resulted in my bacon grilled cheese, french fries, and mint chip ice cream for dinner :-)
    Oh no! Sorry to hear that... someone suggested to me to review the BLS and BON here in Dallas, TX area close to where I live. I saw how there were over a 1,000 unemployed.... I am sure there are more teachers unemployed right now since I resigned two years ago and can't seem to go back with too much competition. So I am hearing how nurses need to get acute training when they are NEW grads, right? Or is it just highly recommended? Reading your post, I am surprised how hard it is to get into a hospital especially after you graduated! A cousin in law who is a nurse informed me how retired nurses are returning to work due to their husbands getting laid off....I just hope there is HOPE for you and the rest of us. I can't wait til the job market grows.
  6. by   nanhaus

    I totally get what you're saying. Sometimes you just have to know when to hang in the towel. I was a nurse for 20 yrs. and soooo idealistic in the beginning. Though nursing can be one of the most rewarding jobs out there. It could be one of the most physically and mentally and sometimes emotionally demanding jobs out there. Sometimes you go on an on with very little kudos but that's not why we do what we do. It's not to get recognition. It's our patients well being that's enough. I've always felt that and I am sure every good nurse out there feels the same.
    Nursing is a career that is an excellent field to be in but it can also take the best out of you. I have no doubt in my mind that you would be a stellar ICU or NICU nurse. Sometimes you have to know when it's time and enough is enough. Trust your good instincts. They are your best guide. For me it happened after the birth of my fourth child 2 yrs. ago. That's when I decided to retire from nursing. I am only 40 years old and I still love people and love to help. Now I do it on a bigger scale, working the hours that I want and I work from home. I have my own business and I love it. I still have my close friends in nursing and every time I miss working at the hospital, I just phone one of them up and hear their stories then I feel so good for making that decision. I love working with my baby on my lap. It's the best feeling. So kudos to you!
    Last edit by TheCommuter on Jan 6, '13
  7. by   Nelli17
    Nursing is my life but I branched into social services because many of my patients in the clinic had medical treatment but no treatment for their mental health. So their lives fell apart because they had no where to turn, did not know what effective coping skills were or a good support network. When I started a group at the clinic, a few came at first then more. Now I have 3 groups going and now the patients are more compliant with their care and treatment. I love nursing but love it more from a holistic perspective. M next project in nursing- obesity - reducing the numbers through education and support.
  8. by   MBrickle
    Thanks for the replies. I was kind of in a rough place when I wrote the post. I'm also grateful to hear the accounts from nurses with back injuries. I was lucky enough to heal well after months of the most horrible pain I've ever felt. While I still suffer with nerve damage, I am vigilant about taking care of my body. I sleep well, I eat largely whole foods and I work out at least 5 days/week, including weight training. I also stretch for 45minuts 2-3x week. I will also be seeing a personal trainer with a DPT to help strengthen me further.

    I really want to be a nurse. I have decided to pursue my BSN to see what doors it will open, while I pursue leadership courses and other certifications such as PALS. I'm going to stick with it and give myself a shot this next year (while obtaining my BSN) before deciding whether to stay in home health while going to NP school, or continuing to work towards my dream of working in an ICU.

    To SionainnRN: First of all, I do have experience in the ICU, just not as a nurse. I am a quick thinker, I have forever been a problem solver, I excel under pressure and in emergency situations, taking the lead. I'm smart. I understand underlying pathology in a way that most of my classmates didn't. I'm incredibly observant and analytical. I'm not saying this as a cocky person (I could write a novel on my flaws) but I'm saying this to highlight the personality characteristics I possess that are in line with that of any critical care nurse. I have had exposure to the ICU, understand it, and truly love it.

    To britt_student: To say that I love the "idea" of nursing, but not the hard work is catty and downright untrue. If you read my post correctly (which obviously you didn't) I have expressed that my frustration is rooted in the fact that I HAVE worked hard. INCREDIBLY hard to even get where I am in nursing today and it doesn't really help. I'm frustrated because I'm stuck - in my area I don't even know if there is anywhere else I could get a job right now, or at least anywhere soon. My frustration is because I have SUCH a desire to work harder and prove myself, yet no outlet to do so. I am the exact opposite of what you accused me of.

    I'm going to stick with it because it's what I really want to do. I'm nervous about my back, but am hoping with proper body mechanics and some assistance I can do well. Time will tell.
  9. by   elprup
    I feel pretty stuck too, and I have my BSN. But because I graduated right when economy took a dive, and without a year of acute care experience, I became a stale old grad in California. Every year that goes by looks even worse on my resume. I am giving it one more year. Best of luck.
  10. by   cardiacrocks
    I'm curious where you live? You stated northeast, where exactly? I work in PA, live in upstate NY, we need nurses like you so bad at my hospital. I work on a high acuity floor and love it. Fast paced is all about our floor. Good luck in your adventure no matter what you ultimately decide.
  11. by   Orion81RN
    [QUOTE=Ruby I've encountered some really wonderful people who happen to be nurses when I've been a patient (as I've been for most of this year) or my family members have been. [/QUOTE]

    I'm a wonderful, warm nurturing nurse to my patients. However, I am seething on the inside with the unbelievable, unrealistic demands placed on us. But you know what? My patients would NEVER KNOW I feel this way. So those nurses you had whom you are speaking of may very well be the same ones coming to this site venting about hating their job.
    Last edit by Orion81RN on Jan 6, '13 : Reason: error
  12. by   afjgnp
    Rhi007: you are lucky that you have co workers that are so supportive. I have had job where they are less than friendly.Same with the patients.
  13. by   Marshall1
    The VA hires LPN's and ADN's and they do work them in the units - or at least the VA I was at did..things may have changed...anyway try here:

    You never know - maybe there is an acute care job out there just for you