HELP!! Cant figure out what I wanna do!!

Nurses General Nursing Nursing Q/A

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Specializes in Postpartum, Labor & Delivery.
HELP!! Cant figure out what I wanna do!!

I began my nursing career in 2020 as a night shift mother/baby nurse. LOVED caring for the babies but the patents kind of annoyed me, and I was always tired/sleepy.

Left after a year and became a day shift plastic surgery OR nurse. Schedule was nice, but my pay was terrible, all my hours weren't guaranteed/week, and for some reason I just wasnt feeling it, like a 5/10.

Left after a year and became a night shift L&D nurse, my dream specialty, why I went to nursing school. Loved delivering babies but once again the parents were annoying. Left that after 10 months (tired of night shift, direct bedside care was annoying me, always tired, not loving L&D as much as I thought I would but maybe it was just my mindset) and now I'm a plastic surgery OR nurse again, but for a different hospital system.

So my dilemma now: the schedule is OK (5 8hr of 4 10hr day shifts) but I'm still always tired/sleepy, I'm not comfortable at this hospital system (maybe because I was just used to my old one from being there for almost 3 years but IDK), and I kind of miss being a womens health (postpartum, l&d) nurse. IDK what to do.

Go back to my home hospital and back to l&d or mother/baby?

Stay at the new hospital system in the OR?

I feel like a chicken with no head here. I'm still a new nurse (<5yrs total experience) and so IDK what type of nurse I really really want to be but I missed leaving both womens health nursing jobs after I left (even though I thought I wouldnt miss it) and I missed leaving the OR job (but only because of the schedule really).

I can't vent to/get advice from my parents anymore because they're tired of my flip flopping. So IDK how to figure this out. Please help me!

11 Answers

Specializes in LTC & Rehab Supervision.

As someone who got many jobs and left them/got fired by them, I understand how you feel. If you aren't happy, find another specialty. It can be hard. 

Do you prefer in-patient or out-patient? Or which did you like more? I think that's a good stepping stone in deciding where you want to land.

I also want to tell you that if you find something you love, and later would want something new, that is totally okay too. (As much as I love the other member's post), I think you should keep looking around and trying different things. Just make sure if you do leave a new job, you do it professionally with notice. And I think 2-3 months would suffice to see if you like it and want to continue.

You'll find something. Maybe you'll go back to something and realize you loved it. It sounds weird, but that happened to me with LTC. I left, I went back, and realized I love it and want to stay in it.

Now I'm a supervisor at a skilled nursing facility, and I love my job.

You'll get there. Keep going is all I have to say. ?

Specializes in Nurse Leader specializing in Labor & Delivery.

I'm a little tired of your flip-flopping too, tbh. You've worked 4 jobs in 3 years.

As my wise old dad once said, "Wherever you go, there you are." The one common denominator in your dissatisfaction with where you are is YOU. Maybe a life coach or therapist would help.

Specializes in Postpartum, Labor & Delivery.
klone said:

I'm a little tired of your flip-flopping too, tbh. You've worked 4 jobs in 3 years.

As my wise old dad once said, "Wherever you go, there you are." The one common denominator in your dissatisfaction with where you are is YOU. Maybe a life coach or therapist would help.

Im tired of it as well honestly. I've realized that im looking for a unicorn when it comes to a "perfect job" where nothing annoys me or makes me wanna quit, and that doesn't exist. So im trying to figure out if womens health is what I really did like and I just have to figure out how to come to terms with the things that annoyed me there or if I should just stay in outpatient OR.

You have pros and cons for both L&D and OR. You must be quite versatile to switch between them. Your comments about being "annoyed with  direct patient care", suggests you would be better off in areas that don't involve direct patient care. Research those. 

What  jumped out to me was  "So my dilemma now: the schedule is OK (5 8hr of 4 10hr day shifts) but im still always tired/sleepy" That should not be happening  if you are a younger nurse.  Did you run that  by your PCP? 

Good luck with your decision.

Specializes in ER, Informatics, FNP.

I read your post and had to respond as an old nurse (since 1994) who has been where you are. 

The best choice is to stay where you are for at least another year. If you keep changing jobs, employers will be reluctant to hire you. The patients can be annoying in any setting so take that off the table. Instead, focus on looking at certifications or additional courses to build up your CV and help you decide. For example, a course on AI in healthcare. Or a course on dealing with difficult people. Maybe a new language. 

If you still want to leave after a year, you will be in a stronger position. 

Maybe you are really just bored.


Specializes in Postpartum, Labor & Delivery.
JKL33 said:

Any low-key depression/anxiety part of this picture?

To be completely honest, I think (and havr been told by those close to me) that I seemed my happiest/most at ease when I was a postpartum nurse. It was an easy job, not stressful at all, and I loved caring for peoples newborns. And it was my longest held job since becoming a nurse. Ever since I left that job my anxiety and stress has increased, my depression has increased, and I've just been bouncing around jobs looking for that feeling again. And I havent found it.

I am sure you will find something that suits you nursing is a profession full of different specialities. There is nothing wrong with searching for a place that suits you and I would say it would be wrong to stay in a job that does not give you joy for the sake of just having a job. 

Any low-key depression/anxiety part of this picture?

I mean you're working 5/8s or 4/10s and still feel just as tired and worn out... it really might be past time to see your primary - perhaps there's a physical reason you feel this way - thyroid, murmur, anemia, the list goes on. 
I will say if you're annoyed with patients in the settings you've worked in, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD stay away from the ER as an alternative choice. Those patients have the most ungodly expectations and trust me when I tell you that seeing only half of what we don't send to the floors would make you want to get a job in Antarctica counting snowflakes. 

Specializes in PICU, NICU, Clinical Nursing Educator.

Have you considered a newborn nursery or NICU setting. If you enjoy caring for babies it might be what you're looking for. Nursing is difficult and family members are usually the toughest part. I would also say that the people that you work with are the most important part of any job. Having a good supportive team around makes going to work enjoyable. No job will ever be perfect but you should enjoy what you do.

The field of nursing is a huge buffet of options, hopefully you can find something that works. The fatigue though stood out to me - I'd consider talking to your doctor about this. Are you getting enough sleep, are you getting good sleep? Maybe a sound machine or a sleep study can help. I've heard people say they didn't realize what horrible sleep they were getting until they found out they had sleep apnea and started using a CPAP machine. I know alcohol can cause me to get lousy sleep. Overeating, lots of sugar...perhaps an elimination diet like "Whole 30" may help pinpoint what, if anything in your diet is contributory. Maybe you could also benefit from a thyroid study; when working in the OR there tends to be a lot of radiation, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to get this checked out anyway.

I'm a firm believer that there is a key to every lock, so keep doing what you're doing by reading forums and networking. No job is a utopia but it's possible to find one that's really good. And if one job doesn't satisfy all your needs, consider a side hustle or hobby. I enjoy nursing for the challenges and the personal fulfillment but I also like to come home and garden for its therapeutic effect because it's a slower pace and I get to enjoy the fruits of my labor, literally.

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