Quitting nursing

  1. I am on the verge of leaving this career and going back to my old career as a Med Tech in a hospital. I have been a nurse for 18 months and have been in two settings... 1 year in a SNF/subacute rehab and 6 months in a LTAC.

    I'm told by many people that I am a great nurse, very compassionate, very smart and great with my patients. But my heart just isn't in it. I'm tired of working weekends, overtime. Tired of making errors even though I'm vigilant about checking my work (haven't made many but even one is bad). I left my old job because I was bored. That was my only compliant. I had great benefits, time off whenever (which allowed me to go to nursing school while working full time) and great pay. If I switched back I'd be making the same amount of money that I make as an RN with no stress.

    I know that nurses who've left the profession don't really hang out here but can anyone give me advice? I've already talked long snd hard with my family and friends but I am afraid I will regret this choice. I would like to work in a big boston hospital but I can't "pay my dues" any longer where I currently am.
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    About sbostonRN

    Joined: Jun '08; Posts: 524; Likes: 344
    Nurse!; from US
    Specialty: Med/Surg, Rehab


  3. by   sbostonRN
    What makes it worse is that though they supported me through school, my parents and husband have told me that they never saw me as a nurse. They don't think that my personality fits with nursing because I am not flexible enough and I am too much of a planner.

    Although I plan to keep my RN license current no matter what, I am worried that this will hurt my chances of going back to nursing in the future.
  4. by   DoeRN
    Do what will make you happy. I'm leaving nursing too eventually. And I had the same reaction from my family and friends when I went to nursing school. But the crazy thing is no one said anything until after I was a nurse for a while. I finally admitted that I didn't like it and everyone said we know. I never said anything to anyone in real life but yet they knew. They said they could tell I was depressed, felt defeated and trapped.
    So I said no more there are other things I can do to make me happy. And there is no point in me continuing because I'm not doing myself or the patients any good. But the funny thing is I'm a float nurse and I have had several patients write letters or talk to the floor managers about how they like me. I just received an email from my manager today about a patient I took care of last week and how she thought I was a good nurse. I guess I'm good at holding in my feelings and being hard to read.

    My heart isn't in it. I will keep my license active but I'm going to use my experience elsewhere. So I completely understand where you are coming from.
  5. by   AnonRNC
    Quote from sbostonRN
    ...They don't think that my personality fits with nursing because I am not flexible enough and I am too much of a planner...
    Being a planner is not a bad thing. You might be happier in another area of nursing - like ICU, OR, Procedures Center (endoscopes, etc.).
  6. by   RNsRWe
    What does "med tech" entail? Are you passing meds.....or a patient care assistant? My med techs are people who clean and care for our endoscopes, so.....what job do you mean?

    If it's anywhere in the patient care arena, and you're keeping your RN license current, be aware that you are going to be held to the standards for THAT scope of practice, and not necessarily the one you're being paid for. It's the reason why many who earn LPN or RN licenses can't really work as a CNA for instance (I'm sure someone here would be happy to point themselves out as an exception, but....overall it's a no).
  7. by   sbostonRN
    A Medical Technologist is one who runs lab specimens. It's a degree and an exam just like nursing, only in a non patient care area. The two areas do not overlap at all.
  8. by   beachfashionnursing
    Do what will make you happy. I am leaving my ICU job for a less-paying job in IR but I cannot put a price on happiness. I loved the ICU but it was stressful. There were nights that I worked that I didn't feel safe and/or I felt that I am jeopardizing my license. Most nights, we didn't have a clerk and a CNA. We did everything ourselves. I noted a decline in my physical health as well. I would go home and have dreams about my patients. It was just not meant for me but I did love what I learned.
  9. by   somenurse
    Prior to leaving nursing, you might want to explore some other nursing areas first. Just a thought. You worked hard for that nursing license, and possibly neither of two areas you have been exposed to, are for you.

    I've worked most every area of nursing you can name, (see my page) but, i was blown outa the water by SNFs and any unit where you get tons and tons of patients. I have deep respect for those nurses who can care for 20, 30, 40 patients, but, i lack the skill to do that well.

    some areas you may not have considered, are the IV team. Lotsa fun, imo. You get a ton of autonomy, get to run all over the house, be in the middle of any goings on, and until they begin to pressure you to learn how to insert PICC lines, you might find the chance for errors to be less than floor nursing. (not that IV nurses can't make errors, sure they can, but, imo, it's a more straight forward, linear type of nursing, imo. Your notes are almost a checklist to prevent some errors, too) Sure, sure, even the best of IV nurses, sometimes have to call each other to put in some IV they have missed, that happens now and then, and it's humbling, but, otherwise, it might offer an appealing change from floor nursing.

    ONce you have more experience, there are many other options available. Not sure if your PACU unit would accept such a new nurse, but, IF they do, PACU might offer more nearby support for you, as typically, many have the patients pretty close to each other, so help/mentoring is never far away. PACU might offer more of a 'routine' to appeal to your organizational side, (NOT that PACU can't have it's crazy days, it's times where you encounter the absolutely off the hook moments, too, but, generally, it's more of a routine there, from one patient to the next)
    Especially in OUTPATIENT pacus, where most of the ppl are not acutely ill/coming from home,
    and the surgeries are minor enough, the person is going home. Lotta patient teaching, which you'll have to learn, but soon enough, you'd have the basic routines down (of course, sometimes a patient comes up with some new, never heard of situation or question, which we have to consult around for, but, most of the time, it's very pleasant work).

    ANYWAY, maybe if you look over the "Specialties" forum of allnurses, maybe you can find one that appeals to you, to try out, prior to leaving nursing.

    btw, don't beat yourself up too too hard over mistakes, every nurse has made 'em, and we all just hope that when we do, it's a minor one. Becoming a nurse isn't something you learn in school, imo,
    it takes years after to become a nurse. You are in the hard part now. Maybe a less stressful unit might help. (i myself think those units with huge patient/nurse ratios are so so so hard)

    BEST OF LUCK whatever you decide!!
  10. by   missladyrn
    I think the hardest thing is admitting to yourself that it does not make you happy. You have already done that. If you think you are happier in your old setting, I say go for it! You explored a little and realized you liked what you had. Nursing is not for everyone, I contemplate going back to my old job every single day. But I am in a new state now so I can't otherwise I''d already be there.