I Quit Bedside Nursing

Nurses General Nursing


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NaKcl, BSN, RN

236 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg.


I can feel your frustration. and it is good thing we have this nursing forum to discuss about it. I like it alot.

you are a brave and caring heart person, that is why you want to start a union in your job. It is extra work with no pay and not many people want to do that.

however, I wouldn't trust much of your coworkers.

According to my personal experience, you never know what kind of person your coworker is. whatever you decide, keep it to yourself.

I recently made a decision to transfer to different unit. there was one nurse I trusted at work and told her where I am going. She proclaimed my situation during the staff meeting. acted like she didn't know my intension at all!!! I almost let everyone know that she, too, has been applying here and there searching for a job. I didn't. I kept my mouth shot until later time. I asked her, why she acted so surprise. She said, I am going to different unit was something she didn't think about....

I cross her off from my friends list.

Well, with my age, I thought I knew people pretty well, but I guess not.


They can encourage you to work extra all they want, but you are not obligated to do that.

Specializes in Med/Surg, DSU, Ortho, Onc, Psych.

You were right to leave. Some work environments are toxic, unsafe and just not worth the stress. You sound so down, what an awful and depressing environment you were stuck in!

Always remember: being a GOOD and ACCOUNTABLE and PROFESSIONAL nurse is an extremely difficult job. I do agency work and have been to many different facilities and wards/units. I've seen things that would make your hair curl (we all have). The thing is, it is not just about being accountable to the patient, institution or your BON, you have to be accountable to yourself - not just re your license - but when you put your head on your pillow at night, you want to sleep soundly.

I will tell you honestly, ONLY YOU are accountable for being a good and professional nurse. You were trying to be that, but your work environment was not right for you. It happens. I could tell you many horror stories of places I've worked at (we all could), but you might not even believe me, or think I was exaggerating.

Try hard to see this as a learning experience. You won't ever forget it - time does NOT heal all wounds - but you can remember all the unprofessional things you saw done, and never be like that, OR become unprofessional, burned out, be unhappy and b****y and accountable to no-one, least of all the patients. Who wants to live their life like that?

Look on this time as a new, positive, starting point. The worse is now behind you, and you learned valuable lessons from it. How much experience have you got? Can you go through a nursing agency, as you can choose what times/ days/hours you work, and the facilities you work at (depending upon experience). That might give you a bit of a break from all the stress you've endured.

Seriously though, take some time to reflect, write a diary, engage in activities that de-stress you. Try to do some exercise and eat well, do some fun stuff with friends to try and shake off all those bad memories cobwebs!

Also, if it were me that had worked at this place, I would be making some serious, anonymous follow-up phone calls/emails, whatever, and c/o everything I had seen. It would be cathartic not only for your soul, but you would be doing a favour to the residents by the sounds of it. The lack of care and professionalism sounds absolutely APPALLING.

Start applying tomorrow for other jobs once you re-vamp your resume/CV. And tell them the truth as to why you left: that the place was unsafe, unprofessional, etc and you wanted no part of it.


1,361 Posts

Specializes in ICU, ER, EP,.

OP, I promise you... it is NOT like that everywhere. I work with wonderful co-workers whom help each other and generally like each other.

Never burn a bridge, get other employment first. Very important!

Sometimes the grass is grenner than green in the neighbors lawn:cool:

General E. Speaking, RN, RN

4 Articles; 1,337 Posts

Specializes in floor to ICU.

As nurses we allow others to tell us (mostly other older nurses in the field) that it is basically our job to martyr ourselves to the Florence Nightengale image where we work ourselves raw for others for very little compensation or gratituted and then we should be GREATFUL to call ourselves nurses.

Unfortunately, I do think a lot of nurses adapt this angel of mercy, never take lunch or bathroom breaks, clock out and finish charting persona. How can we care for others if we do not care for ourselves first? In toxic environments (as mentioned by the OP) sometimes the best way to save your sanity is to vote with your feet and leave. I hope he/she finds another position quickly and doesn't let this place sour him/her from nursing forever.

FYI: As an "older" nurse who has been around for a while, I am happy to say that I do not advocate being a martyr and walking into work backwards in order to take one for the team. :)

KalipsoRed, although I truly understand the spirit of what you have said re: Florence Nightengale and the martyr thing...I DO dislike nursing allowing the martyrdom!! Hate that! But I HVE TO mention that Florence Nightengale who is obviously my idol in nursing (my username); was a nurse who actually accelerated nursing into the professional, respected science it has become. She was the first to create scientific studies during the Crimean War and actually change conditions for patients. She was a rebel who came from a very well-to-do family in which nursing was an unheard of profession (nor any profession at all for rich women). Her family berated and almost disowned her; yet she persevered to devolop ethics, sanitary and sterile practices, and was the beginning of proper schools of nursing for women. Previous to her, nursing was not much more respected than prostitution. She also developed theories re: spiritual connection to the patient and advocacy through several ideas based in humanitarian concepts...she is the precursor of Jean Watson and her Theory of Caring. Sorry, there's so much more to be said about Nightengale but I have never seen her as a martyr....although I do realize her name carries a lable with the masses of being this sort of saint who signifies that all RNs should just eat **** and continue to smile and be loving....yuck. But check out her history and I'm sure you will find that she was a revolutionist, activist, scientist, and spiritualist. But I do agree....the OP needs to find a new job!!! RN's are professionals....we DO need to destroy the martyr label....with all due respect, KalipsoRed.....Blessings

To dear LittleMouse....stay in nursing if you possibly can. As others have said, bullies and sourpusses prey on the unconfident. Remember your qualities and enhance them as much as possible. What has happened to you has happened to me in my first couple years of nursing as well. Thrown to the wolves and torn asunder! But part of being a nurse is being strong and confident within yourself no matter what others say or do. Read the nurse practice act thoroughly...can you perform to these standards? If you have the golden heart it appears that you have, it will be easy for you to live up to this, and it will become apparent to yoy when you are working in a hostile environment right away in the future! ( I have had this similar stuff happen to me...and only because behind my spiritual little heart lies a belly full of **** and vinegar have I continued to advocate for the patients and confront unethical and unsafe conditions head on....confronting one right now in fact.) I can tell you, whatever happens, keep all your paperwork....file it well at home in your file cabinet...do not make the same mistakes as I have by not documenting to HR practices which are against policy.....print out all e mails when you send suggestions for better care to supervisors...keep educating yourself....and right now....just know that YOU ARE A GOOD NURSE who has been treated VERY BADLY....take a break...or look for work before you quit if you need the money...but know that not all places are allways this bad....and within a few years even a seemingly unsafe patient load can be maneuvered well as you learn prioritization skills.....(They didn't teach much of that in nursing school, did they....nor how to get along with backstabbers).....I say a prayer for you and send you blessings....with love.


1,361 Posts

Specializes in ICU, ER, EP,.

I have to add, that as of Tuesday I'm leaving bedside myself, after 15 years ICU... I'm going to an EPS lab.. basically cardiac ablasions and pacemakers... very little to no bedside nursing. I wanted to share this with you to point out how versatile nursing really is.

Yes, it's easier for me and I have more options because of my exp., BUT you can apply for labor delivery, hospice, home health, ER, short stay, a doctors office... nephrology... get my point.

You are a degreed professional that has some very important basic skills and you've not job hopped through the worst!!!!! Better is out there, that's why I love this profession, we can always re-invent ourselves!

Your job market might be tighter than mine... but persistance with resumes and phone calls will make a huge difference.... keep at it, I know you're exhausted, but if your next choice is only half as bad and you add to your resume and can do what ever for the next year and move on... that's how us nurses move up the ladder. So you're at the bottom now... time to move up and fight for it to get out. You'll know if something is better in your heart when it comes up. It's out there but you'll have to work very hard to get to it. You can do it!


52 Posts

I just wanted to add that i'm pretty sure that all nursing positions wouldn't be as horrible as this has been for you. It's so many different aspects to the nursing profession. Sometimes you don't even have to do complete patient care. I just wanted to agree with the previous posters......Good Luck!


146 Posts

I was just looking back at my previous posts. Some, I can't believe I've even written. This (original) post was written 5 months ago and man, things have changed! And for the better!


I followed everyone's advice here and stuck to it--I found a new job which I started 3 months ago (it feels longer--but I mean it in a good way!) in a med/surg unit. Overall, I'm much happier now and haven't crossed out bed side nursing completely (anymore :p). I'm learning so much and get much more support from administration. We have 3 clinical educators which are totally awesome. I'm learning so much more in my 3 months here than I did at my previous job. But I'm not writing my old job completely off--the experience (no matter how horrible) did help me adjust to working in Med/Surg.

There are good and bad days of course, times when I'm on the verge of tears (or even crying!) at/because of work, but I think that's any place...and also how I handle things...

Thanks again for all your kind words and support! I'm even considering trying to get the M/S certification one day...who knows...I'm not sure where I want to take my career in the future, but I do know that bedside nursing is a possibility. It's not that bad... :)

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