I hate being a nurse - page 4
Hey all. I'm really struggling here and need some advice. I am a new nurse at my first nursing job. I graduated May 2017. I just got out of the residency program at my hospital just last week. The... Read More
Jul 23From: AZ, US ; Joined: Dec '10; Posts: 1Hi KNC
I want to begin by saying I know EXACTLY how you feel. Second, I want to say QUIT NURSING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IT DOES NOT GET BETTER.
I'm on my 8th year as a nurse and I literally just googled "I hate being a nurse" and found this thread. It's been nice to read some comments from people who are on our level. Some think they are, but not really. After 8 years working everywhere from ED, LTAC, Med Surg, Pre Op, PACU, Clinic I can say without a doubt I ******* haaaate nursing. It's the biggest mistake of my life and my only advice is to get out ASAP. I've moved around many times hoping that there really is a good fit for me and I've been disappointed every single time. Unfortunately for me, I've dug quite a big financial hole and I can't just quit and work a lower paying job. I've very much ****** myself and I'm desperately trying to find a way out.
I feel your pain more than you could ever know. Do what I haven't had the guts to do and leave nursing and your degree in the dust behind you.Last edit by matwpac7 on Jul 23 : Reason: Fix error
Jul 26Joined: Jul '18; Posts: 1I feel the same way, please help me, I adore my patients but I feel terribly sad when I come to work.
Oct 7Joined: Oct '18; Posts: 3; Likes: 7KMC12 and Others,
It doesn't get better. At all. The ones saying it will are simply acclimatized to the inevitability of how their work lives will be, if they wish to remain a Nurse. Kind of like the boiling frog metaphor.
My best advice. I have a little bit of an advantage as this is my second career and I kept my license doing what I did before. I was an Xray Tech and I certified in MRI and CT. It didn't take long. Radiography is a 2 year program and the additional certifications are actual specialties, which is unlike how Nursing has 'certified' someone to do something like ICU or ED or would care but it really doesn't amount to much.
I have had 4 jobs in 2 years. One as a "Nurse Resident", which is a scam from the get-go, just a way to get cheap labor on the bottom rung of the clinical ladder and guilt trip the new grads into staying long after they should have moved on because they were "invested in" by the employer. A few months at a smaller hospital, hoping that the toxicity of nursing was just a fluke at the big hospital I trained at. Just as toxic, just smaller. A few months across the country, because I thought maybe it was just the locale/region and their crazy "everybody knows everybody and everybody went to school together and you aren't one of us because of that" attitude, at another big hospital. More toxic if you can even believe it, because I went to a place where everybody is pretty entitled generally and the nurses aren't what they like to think they are (I was even told on a few occasions, before I even opened my mouth, they they 'know they are years behind' the east coast on pretty much everything). One year as a traveler at the same place the whole time, and the only reason I stayed is because I brought home $2000/week. Other than that, this last job was the most toxic of all, because this is the typical traveler user, toxic in every way to Tuesday, can't keep staff and think that just because you're a traveler, they have the right to abuse you relentlessly.
I took a perm job (different unit than I am historically trained in) at a pretty stable place, but these folks have their problems too. I moved again to another state to take the job. The unit had 4 openings, when most of the other units of the hospital have openings rarely. It's not so much that the atmosphere is toxic, but that to get off of nights, someone has to either die or quit, neither of which happens at this place, so I either stay on nights and suck it up buttercup or I look to transfer out of the unit. The work is the same. Nursing is nursing. The manager is "ok" but a good number of the nurses are real jerks.
So I am taking in the new unit for a year, gathering the new experience, keeping to myself, doing my nights with my mouth shut. I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, because I am actively pursuing MRI and Xray jobs in the area, even though I have been out of it for 4 years. There is a real need for Radiographers now, it goes in cycles.
In Xray, you work pretty much alone. You are the boss of your exam, there are Supervisors, but you rarely see them. As long as the work gets done, nobody bothers you. The money in some states is MORE than nurses get paid. When I was working on the east coast in MRI, I made $15/hr more than I did as a "Nurse Resident". Had I stayed at the hospital as a nurse, it would have taken me 10 years to break what I made as an MRI tech when I left that field.
MRI is even more autonomous. It's you, 8 patients per day, 8 hour shifts, sitting for most of your shift and talking/interacting with patients for about 10 minutes max. No medicating, no ambulating to the bathroom, no call lights (if the pt does press the call bell, the exam is over and they reschedule at a different time, probably not with you). I didn't chart, other than to send my images to PACS and finalizing the exam.
There are other healthcare careers out there just like this, like Ultrasound or CVT or straight up Xray (no specialty) where you are autonomous and more highly paid than nurses. Plus, I was never, EVER disrespected like I am as a nurse. My colleagues were super cool. We did fun things outside of work, because we didn't hate each other by shift end. And I never had to clean a patient's butt or have them throw feces at me. I never worked with doctors who abused me, because Radiologists sit in a room by themselves and the only time I ever interacted with them was over the phone for protocols or problems with a patient.
I am leaving nursing after this year of commitment to this new place. I have an interview at a local hospital for an MRI PRN position in a week, and I will work my butt off to prove to them I am a worthy investment. The job in nursing I have now, the only reason I will stay is because the RN Mgr took a chance on me as a RN with no experience in her unit. So I owe her that, but no more than a year.
If I were doing this all over again, I would take a 2x4 to my former self 5 years ago when I "got bored" with MRI and "wanted more interaction" with the patients and decided to go to nursing school. I would beat myself senseless, drag myself into a closet and lock the door until I promised to never, ever think about nursing school again.
Yeah, Rad Tech school or Resp Therapy or Ultrasound will take you two years. But you can do it because most of the pre reqs are done because of nursing. There are a ton of schools and if you can move, do it. Apply to schools everywhere and see where you get in. It's worth it.
The money I made as an MRI Tech surpassed my wildest hopes for my nursing salary unless I moved to California or someplace with a ridiculous cost of living and a hellish quality of life. Radiology is in big demand and easy to learn. Even if I wasn't already a licensed Tech, I would probably do the program right now, getting my employer to pay for most of my education and when clinics came around, take a PRN RN job to pay my bills while I finished school.
Anybody who says that "but there are so many avenues to go with nursing!" is fooling you. The same people are everywhere, with the same personalities and the same attitudes. The management is the same. Corporate pencil pushers see nurses as one thing. A liability on the balance sheet. Not a money maker. Radiology is a money maker for the hospital. And we were treated accordingly. I had respect, a great schedule, a life outside, no stress and plenty of mental stimulation (MRI is physics based so you have to like that part of it).
Nobody ever "threatened my license" as an MRI Tech. The ARRT doesn't come and swoop in at every opportunity to kick your butt over a DUI or a drug problem off duty. No pee tests other than initial employment. Nobody cares what you do on your off time. The BONs are like the Gestapo and I for one am glad that at this time next year, I will never deal with them again.
Get out of nursing. It's not different "in clinics" or "home care" or whatever, because the same people are running the show no matter where you go, and the same toxic personalities are there, the ones that thrive in this BS atmosphere.
Oct 18Joined: Dec '15; Posts: 77; Likes: 53There was a recent new grad this year that started in ICU and shared the same exact feelings of stress like you. She resigned and now works Urgent Care. Perhaps floor nursing isn't for you or you need to talk to your manager about transitioning to a lower acuity position and let them know how you feel.
Don't forget the reason why you became a nurse in the first place. You worked your butt off to get pre-reqs done, get into a program, pass your classes and pass the NCLEX. The good thing about nursing is that there are so many areas of nursing to choose. You don't necessarily have to work at a hospital either, even though it sounds "cooler" to work in one since that's what everyone seems to think "real" nursing is. Check out other areas of interest you had during clinical or the population you'd want to work with. You may hate nursing now because of all the stress, but if you haven't check out other avenues, you are making a quick generalization over ONE job.
Also, I don't know what things you do to relieve stress like fitness, meditation, yoga, etc but I suggest you implement those into your life to relax. Don't forget about caring for yourself.
Oct 26Joined: Mar '15; Posts: 2,493; Likes: 8,698Quote from Kmc12This may have been suggested already but here goes. What are you doing for self care? What you describe is pretty normal for a brand new nurse and things do get better with time as your learning curve flattens out and you become more confident. Still I cannot stress enough how important self care is. The first thing is to make sure you are eating an appropriate diet. We all know how hard it is to eat properly during a nursing shift and often the offerings in the hospital cafeteria are anything but healthful. So what I do is pack a lunch that contains several small servings that can be consumed quickly throughout the shift. Carrot sticks, small granola or protein bars, salads with a bit of protein etc.... Take a ten minute break to eat something and keep your blood sugar levels even. Next try to get some exercise - just about anything will do. You don't have to join a gym either. Walking is a great exercise and you don't need to be in terrific shape to do it. I used to take a ten and go up and down a couple flights of stairs at work. when you are not working get outside at least 3 30 minutes times a week. Constant exposure to non-natural light can effect your mood. I live in Southern California where the weather is mostly nice and maintain an vegetable garden.You took the words right out of my mouth. This is exactly how I feel, only this is my first nursing job. I can't imagine doing this much longer. I cry before work and think about just not showing up at all I feel so miserable sometimes
These are things I do for self care and help to keep me whole and sane.
Oct 26Joined: Oct '03; Posts: 354; Likes: 930I have some questions for those hating their career choice.
1. Is this your first job?
1a. If no, is it your first job in the medical field?
1b. Is it your first job experience with customer service?
2. Why did you think you'd be a good fit as a nurse?
3. Why does everyone think it's a good idea to go and get a degree for a job they know nothing about i.e. why wouldn't you go be a nursing assistant first?
4. How could one ever come to the conclusion that nursing school was going to prepare you for a fast paced, high acuity environment?
I'm not completely devoid of sympathy for those of you who hate your career, but what did you expect it to be like? Since this is a fairly frequent type of post, I feel like there are a lot of folks who thought this would just be all skittles and beer and didn't do enough homework to figure out what the job actually did, or what it was actually like.