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How do you know if nursing is right for you in the long term?

Nurses   (365 Views | 7 Replies)

pinkdoves has 1 years experience and specializes in Pediatrics.

449 Profile Views; 33 Posts

I am only 22 and am working at a children's hospital on the pulmonary step-down unit. As a background, I have had anxiety since I was in middle school/early high school, but only really noticed it in nursing school. Nursing school made me get rashes all the time from stress, crying non-stop about clinicals, never sleeping, etc. 

Somehow I made my way through nursing school and I graduated with my bachelors May 2019. But, ever since then I have not liked nursing at all. Even right now I am giving myself a rash for having to go to work tomorrow...

I started my first job at a large teaching hospital but then quit after a couple of months bc the patient load was too high. Now, at my new work (of 3 months), it is more manageable. I still hate nursing though and I am wondering if this feeling will ever go away. I feel like so much of my happiness has been stripped away from this profession. I miss being my happy, care-free self. I don't want to be a hero...I want to be happy and not get rashes every 2 seconds. Should I just stick inpatient nursing out for one or 2 years, or is it safe to say I should just get out of nursing in general? 

I am young enough where it's fine if I get out while I can...IDK. I just have started to really hate nursing (so much) and it's crazy when I see all my classmates bragging on fb about how they're saving people in a pandemic. Meanwhile, I hate this job and would rather not be a hero or whatever garbage

I do like parts of the job though. I love children, and have good times at work talking to them (like when my 5 year old patient told me he loved me :')) but I'm starting to think the cons outweigh the pros. What do you guys think?

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531 Posts; 2,415 Profile Views

You need to get a handle on your anxiety stat.  Then it'll be easier to decide if you want to continue to be a nurse.  

Edited by Elaine M

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

5 Followers; 2,839 Posts; 11,937 Profile Views

If you had asthma or diabetes, would you let yourself go untreated?

We are not allowed to give clinical advice. But from what you describe the anxiety is clearly affecting you. You'll need to actually say everything you said to strangers on the internet to a qualified mental health provider and see what the answers may be. 

The good news - you've got a great running start. Remember this is a JOB. A job that pays for vacations and housing and all manner of things. You need to keep a job at least a year, because you won't feel "expert" until about a year into the job. Given that you acknowledge anxiety you do not want to job hop to make it worse. Best of luck to you. Consider school nursing as a possibilitly but not this year - we don't know how COVID will affect what we do (and you don't need that extra stress!!)

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pinkdoves has 1 years experience and specializes in Pediatrics.

33 Posts; 449 Profile Views

On 5/19/2020 at 9:33 AM, ruby_jane said:

If you had asthma or diabetes, would you let yourself go untreated?

We are not allowed to give clinical advice. But from what you describe the anxiety is clearly affecting you. You'll need to actually say everything you said to strangers on the internet to a qualified mental health provider and see what the answers may be. 

The good news - you've got a great running start. Remember this is a JOB. A job that pays for vacations and housing and all manner of things. You need to keep a job at least a year, because you won't feel "expert" until about a year into the job. Given that you acknowledge anxiety you do not want to job hop to make it worse. Best of luck to you. Consider school nursing as a possibilitly but not this year - we don't know how COVID will affect what we do (and you don't need that extra stress!!)

I just want to be happy again. I miss being happy so much. nursing is so soul-sucking 😞

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 4,301 Posts; 30,174 Profile Views

If this is your first full-time, adult level of responsibility job, the transition is tough. I suspect it is more than nursing; you might feel the same way in a different field with the expectations and time commitment most "real" jobs demand.

I think the transition from youth/student to adulthood isn't talked about and underappreciated for the stess and anxiety involved. Be kind to yourself, but be strategic in your plans.

 

 

 

 

 

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Marisette has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Registered Nurse.

375 Posts; 13,823 Profile Views

Hi.  It sounds like you have been in nursing for about one year now. The first year is challenging, especially if you had issues with anxiety frequently in the past. Personally, I think nursing is stressful, although many nurses don't feel this way.  Sometimes, changing to a workplace or area in nursing that is more suited to your interest, capacity to handle the stress or pace of the work helps.  The longer you practice nursing the more expertise you acquire and the more likely, that you will relax and possibly enjoy nursing.  Education is very expensive, so you want to be sure to consider all your options prior to leaving.

Having said the above, you should not consider how your friends feel, or judge you if you want to pursue another career. You have to do what is best for you, what makes you happy.  I would give it another 6 months to a year, and if you are still unhappy, move forward and change careers. Imagine doing 40 or more years of something that makes you unhappy and causes you so much stress. Even if you earn less elsewhere, happiness has more value. Just my opinion, based on my own experience. 

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pinkdoves has 1 years experience and specializes in Pediatrics.

33 Posts; 449 Profile Views

41 minutes ago, RNperdiem said:

If this is your first full-time, adult level of responsibility job, the transition is tough. I suspect it is more than nursing; you might feel the same way in a different field with the expectations and time commitment most "real" jobs demand.

I think the transition from youth/student to adulthood isn't talked about and underappreciated for the stess and anxiety involved. Be kind to yourself, but be strategic in your plans.

 

 

 

 

 

It is technically my second job, since I quit the first one within a couple of months. I think it is a rough transition for me. I am very good at bookwork and am naturally adept at it--while skillful labor, I am NOT naturally good at. My strengths are not at play in nursing which is unfortunate. My older sister works in business and she sits at home in her pajamas all day, while getting paid more than me. It seems there are other jobs that don't require you to go through breakdowns all the time

8 minutes ago, Marisette said:

Hi.  It sounds like you have been in nursing for about one year now. The first year is challenging, especially if you had issues with anxiety frequently in the past. Personally, I think nursing is stressful, although many nurses don't feel this way.  Sometimes, changing to a workplace or area in nursing that is more suited to your interest, capacity to handle the stress or pace of the work helps.  The longer you practice nursing the more expertise you acquire and the more likely, that you will relax and possibly enjoy nursing.  Education is very expensive, so you want to be sure to consider all your options prior to leaving.

Having said the above, you should not consider how your friends feel, or judge you if you want to pursue another career. You have to do what is best for you, what makes you happy.  I would give it another 6 months to a year, and if you are still unhappy, move forward and change careers. Imagine doing 40 or more years of something that makes you unhappy and causes you so much stress. Even if you earn less elsewhere, happiness has more value. Just my opinion, based on my own experience. 

I just hate this feeling that I am wasting my life away, miserable. There's no saying if each day is guaranteed. What if I pass on in 2 years? 5? All I would have is a life of misery. At the same time, I know it's impractical to keep job hopping. I don't know what to do. I am so miserable.

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Marisette has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Registered Nurse.

375 Posts; 13,823 Profile Views

I'm sorry that you feel so badly.  I know someone advised that you get help for your anxiety earlier.  Do you have an employee assistance program at work that you can call and discuss your anxiety. They might be able to provide some resources for you to get assitance to control the anxiety.  Although not for the same reason, I know of a coworker, many years ago, who asked for assistance and the program was able to advocate on her behalf and get some time off for her.  

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