I Quit Nursing.

  1. As the title states, I made the decision to quit nursing last weekend. Actually, I simply couldn't bring myself to show up anymore.

    A few hours before my shift was to start, I began having the usual increase in anxiety, degradation of general mood, and grew increasingly unsettled at the mere thought of clocking in. I sat on my couch and cried, feeling like someone ran over my dog. It was bad. Those feelings/reactions to going to work have been going on for quite awhile, around 3 years now. But I finally hit a wall. I. Just. Can't.

    I attribute the PTSD-like symptoms I am experiencing to too many shifts of being woefully understaffed with too many high acuity residents and management who says out loud "You have enough staff." while all but sprinting up and down the halls just to try to keep up with the lights/perform ADL's. Where is my CNA? Helping with meal service on another unit because that's how management says it's supposed to be, leaving me with 18-20 skilled residents who think they're at the Hilton. They have PICC's to flush/hang ATB's on, drain flushes, I&O caths to do, wound care, hip precautions, loads of ortho residents, FBS's, etc. Never mind the "nurse" duties I'm supposed to magically get done in 8 hrs. And why does half the hall suddenly have to pee 5 min after meal service starts? Especially the 2 asst people who refuse bedpans? Those residents also happen to have cell phones, who gleefully call their designated loved one to complain that "My light has been on for FORTY-FIVE MINUTES and NO ONE WILL ANSWER IT!" Actually, it's been about 10 minutes, but guess who gets that phone call from angry, misinformed family members? But who am I kidding? We have enough staff. Management said so.

    I have worked in at least 25 different facilities in 2 states, and know that the above is par for the course. I have worked in a couple fairly decent buildings, but in my experience, those buildings are few and far between. I don't have the strength to continue working in this madness.

    I also have no desire to work in any other venue be it home health, hospice, MD office, none of it. I want nothing to do with healthcare at all. I am at peace with that. In fact, I haven't felt this good physically/mentally in a long time. It's nice, for change.

    I have known for years that I would leave healthcare, and did leave a couple years ago but had to drag myself back due to finances. Not this time, sister. It's over. It's finally over. Onward and upward.
    Last edit by bluegeegoo2 on Mar 4 : Reason: clarification
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    About bluegeegoo2, LPN

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 719; Likes: 1,535


  3. by   caliotter3
    Congratulations for accomplishing what many can only dream about. Best wishes on a good future.
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    Your story is heartbreaking. But I totally understand it, and I feel the same way. Even if I were someday able to work, I wouldn't go back to nursing. Not only can I not handle the stress of it, the way it's done anymore is not how I believe it should be done. It's supposed to be patients first, not profits, and the business model of healthcare has destroyed nursing for many of us. It certainly did for me.

    Good luck in your next venture, whatever it may be.
  5. by   RockiesRN3
    Oh I know the feeling! Geriatric psych with the same issues! I even had to use a Safe harbor but it did nothing for staffing ratios!! Don't get me started about the boards either! Let me know what your plans are after. I may follow in your footsteps!
  6. by   leilo0
    I wish you the best of luck. This is the very reason why I choose to leave nursing too. There has to be a better way and I will trust that we will find it
  7. by   bluegeegoo2
    I secured a job in a greenhouse for the time being. (I love all things nature!) And plan to start school this fall.

    I'm not solid on the course of study, but am investigating several broad-scope degrees that won't pigeonhole me into a specific venue for employment. I enjoy having choices, but as a LPN there are very few. I feel that the fact that I had few choices with that education is what expedited my burn out in the field. I felt very, very stuck.

    Once it dawned on me that i don't *have* to be a nurse I fought and clawed myself into the financial position to be able to leave it.

    I may be back to ramen and pb&j for lunch for a while, but the feeling of being liberated is immeasurable.
  8. by   RNBell
    I fully agree that there is a disconnect between management and floor nurses. I think if the staff nurses had more of a voice there would be much greater job satisfaction, while it's getting better in some places, we still have a long way to go. And you have management who have zero hands on experience in healthcare IN CHARGE of the nurses - there is something the matter with that picture!
  9. by   Leader25
    I may be back to ramen and pb&j for lunch for a while, but the feeling of being liberated is immeasurable.

  10. by   OrganizedChaos
    I have been an LVN for 8 years. I finally got my foot in the acute care world, I thought I would love it but boy oh boy was I wrong! I had just come from corrections so it was a big shock for me. I had to learn how to bite my tongue with patients. I will definitely not be going back to acute care. There is NO respect for floor nurses and the pay is NOT worth it.
  11. by   Have Nurse
    You are not alone. It sounds as though you are suffering from "burn out", a hazard of our profession. I took a whole year off and did other things for income for a while. It paid the bills. You need a break. The fact that you care tells me you do have what it takes, but you are made of flesh, not a machine. If you are still on the payroll, get them to let you have some FMLA. You will need a note from your physician. Please don't be hard on yourself. You need some down time.
  12. by   davke17
    Sometimes I really wish I could quit too, but financially I could not support myself. I hope that I will find a RN job that I enjoy more and find less stressful.
  13. by   redreba
    I really do not know much about the LPN world these days, but have you considered clinic nursing? I know a lot will want to only pay MA rates, so not sure this would be a 'demotion' or not, but the pace would definitely be much less stress than what you have amazingly been able to do.
  14. by   VA2AK
    Sounds like you made the decision to do what's best for you and that's what counts! I'm considering the same, what career/job are you changing to if you don't mind me asking?