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If You Changed Careers

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Has 4 years experience.

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I'm coming up on my 4th graduation anniversary, which is a drop in the bucket in terms of an adult career, but I often find myself thinking "wow, I don't love nursing as much as I thought I did."  I stay in it because I don't have the time or money to go back to school for a degree/license in another field that affords me the same income as nursing does.  It's not a matter of not liking my specialty either, I just don't love being a nurse.  This year is a license renewal year for me, and I briefly (and not seriously) thought, "what if I just.... let it lapse?" 😂

Anyone here ever considered hanging the proverbial cap at any point in this career to start anew with something else?  My heart tells me I eventually need to in order to feel truly happy, but I'd be forfeiting 4 years of school, OTJ trainings, time and money spent on my degree and license, etc.  Plus, I don't know what else I'd do.  I decided on this career when I was 16...I don't even know what else I'm good at.

If money were no object and I could do it all over again, I'd go to culinary school.  I love cooking, watching cooking shows, trying new recipes.  

13 minutes ago, Mavnurse17 said:

It's not a matter of not liking my specialty either, I just don't love being a nurse.

May I ask for more details on what you don’t like about being a nurse? I’m not yet a nurse, so I can’t answer your question, but I’m curious to hear about your experience with nursing!

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

18 minutes ago, Mavnurse17 said:

but I'd be forfeiting 4 years of school, OTJ trainings, time and money spent on my degree and license, etc.  Plus, I don't know what else I'd do.  I decided on this career when I was 16...I don't even know what else I'm good at.

No education and experience is ever wasted. I'm a second career nurse myself, never would have thought at age 20 (or even 30) that this is where I would end up. But, my initial career was in a once stable field that became unstable and eventually I was laid off. Fortunately, I saw the writing on the wall with a few years  to go, so my former employer paid for my nursing degree. I think these days more people have more than one career than stay in their initial career field for all of their working years. 

You're going to get older, so the question is whether you want to get older doing what you want or wishing you had done something else? Financial difficulties come and go, but you can most likely find a way to get things to done to allow you to explore other options. Good luck! and happy cooking. 🙂

I suppose I’d also like to mention that you don’t necessarily need to go back to school for a good, different career. Also, sometimes a job doesn’t have to be your passion - sometimes it can simply be a method of paying for your passions, like hobbies or traveling or the like. I do think that if you feel strongly about switching fields, you should definitely research what job you want to do next and then take the leap when you have enough saved. Sunk cost fallacy, and all that. No reason to stick with nursing if it’s not doing anything for you or makes your life worse, just because you spent time and money on it. 4 years is a good run haha

Mavnurse17, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

13 minutes ago, opulentferret said:

May I ask for more details on what you don’t like about being a nurse? I’m not yet a nurse, so I can’t answer your question, but I’m curious to hear about your experience with nursing!

It's just evolved into something different than I originally dreamt it to be.  The rose-colored tint has worn off for me.  And so much liability... someone on my current specialty board here is currently in litigation for a malpractice complaint made maliciously by her own supervisor on a technicality.  I just don't have the drive to practice compassionate nursing the way I did when I started, and patients deserve more than that.  It feels selfish to continue on just to pay the bills.  

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

39 minutes ago, Mavnurse17 said:

  .....  but I'd be forfeiting 4 years of school, OTJ trainings, time and money spent on my degree and license, etc.  Plus, I don't know what else I'd do.  I decided on this career when I was 16...I don't even know what else I'm good at.

If money were no object and I could do it all over again, I'd go to culinary school.  I love cooking, watching cooking shows, trying new recipes.  

Sadly, I think this is what stops so many of us from a career change when it is desired. Like what can I do with all those bio & chem credits? Still some time back, I thought of crossing into pharmacy. But I was older - computer skills were (and still are) are almost non-existent for me and I would have needed to plump up my credits with more sciences.

You are NOT ALONE feeling this way. If you're serious, start exploring your options NOW. It only becomes more difficult later on.

RE culinary school - local comm colleges offer programs. Many of your previous credits prob would count. Don't waste a lifetime thinking 'what if'.

Goof luck.

Mavnurse17, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

9 minutes ago, amoLucia said:

Like what can I do with all those bio & chem credits? Still some time back, I thought of crossing into pharmacy. 

Ahh, I've thought about pharmacy school before too!  It's what I'd go back to school for in the medical field.  But alas, I've acquired a marriage and an infant since then.  I love my little family but it makes achieving big personal goals like that very difficult unless you've got the extra money and extra hours in the day for it all. 

Edited by Mavnurse17

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

One other career I had briefly thought about was becoming a veterinarian, since I'm a pretty big animal lover.  However, it's not something I would switch to--not only because of the schooling and feeling like I would have to "start over," there's other aspects of the job that I'm not sure about, such as performing surgeries.  So, I will stick to caring for my own furbabies.  Another thing I'd always thought of was becoming a teacher, but never knew what age group or subject.   However, I figured going into nursing, I could be both--both nurse and teacher.  Still trying to figure out how to fit in the teaching role. 

1 hour ago, opulentferret said:

Sunk cost fallacy, and all that. No reason to stick with nursing if it’s not doing anything for you or makes your life worse, just because you spent time and money on it.

This ^

 

1 hour ago, Mavnurse17 said:

It's just evolved into something different than I originally dreamt it to be.  The rose-colored tint has worn off for me.  And so much liability... someone on my current specialty board here is currently in litigation for a malpractice complaint made maliciously by her own supervisor on a technicality.  I just don't have the drive to practice compassionate nursing the way I did when I started, and patients deserve more than that. 

Understandable.

I'm completely biased here as I no longer recommend this line of work when directly asked for my opinion IRL. And those for whom I am directly responsible have long known my specific opinions and rationales.

Anyway. I would advocate that you consider staying at it while seriously making alternative plans for your future--either what you are going to do with your nursing background or what you are going to do in a different career/line of work. There is nothing wrong with using nursing to provide your income while you put another plan into action as long as you can be motivated to provide excellent care in the meantime (to the extent possible). I would recommend you not be passive about this. Years pass and the last thing you want is to feel this same way 10 years from now when you could've used the time to put yourself in a different position.

Best wishes.

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

3 hours ago, SilverBells said:

One other career I had briefly thought about was becoming a veterinarian, since I'm a pretty big animal lover.  However, it's not something I would switch to--not only because of the schooling and feeling like I would have to "start over," there's other aspects of the job that I'm not sure about, such as performing surgeries.  So, I will stick to caring for my own furbabies.  Another thing I'd always thought of was becoming a teacher, but never knew what age group or subject.   However, I figured going into nursing, I could be both--both nurse and teacher.  Still trying to figure out how to fit in the teaching role. 

If you're interacting with residents, families and staff you're probably teaching every day and just not realizing it.

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

4 hours ago, Mavnurse17 said:

Ahh, I've thought about pharmacy school before too!  It's what I'd go back to school for in the medical field.  But alas, I've acquired a marriage and an infant since then.  I love my little family but it makes achieving big personal goals like that very difficult unless you've got the extra money and extra hours in the day for it all. 

So just how bad are you starting to hate what you're doing now?  How bad will it be in two years?  Can you be okay with just providing solid (but not passionate) care and collecting a paycheque?

Only you know what you're experiencing.  No harm in starting to explore options, just to get an idea.

Mavnurse17, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

15 hours ago, TriciaJ said:

So just how bad are you starting to hate what you're doing now? 

I can't say I "hate" being a nurse, though I've certainly been in situations where I hate the circumstances around me (poor staffing and resources, disgruntled patients that I seemingly can't do anything right for, yelled at by doctors for inconveniencing them but doing my job, etc.)  I get your point, though. 

I posted upthread that I have a family now, and thus less time and resource ($) to freely explore my options.  Can't save up because daycare costs in my area eat away the rest of my discretionary income.  I feel stuck, but it's not dire.  

Edited by Mavnurse17

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

1 hour ago, Mavnurse17 said:

I can't say I "hate" being a nurse, though I've certainly been in situations where I hate the circumstances around me (poor staffing and resources, disgruntled patients that I seemingly can't do anything right for, yelled at by doctors for inconveniencing them but doing my job, etc.)  I get your point, though. 

I posted upthread that I have a family now, and thus less time and resource ($) to freely explore my options.  Can't save up because daycare costs in my area eat away the rest of my discretionary income.  I feel stuck, but it's not dire.  

It's a tough spot to be in when you don't hate it bad enough to dumpster-dive, but the whole thing is unpleasant enough that there's little to enjoy.  Add in a family dependent on your income and it isn't an easy fix.  Hope something serendipitous happens soon.  🙂

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

1 minute ago, TriciaJ said:

It's a tough spot to be in when you don't hate it bad enough to dumpster-dive, but the whole thing is unpleasant enough that there's little to enjoy.  Add in a family dependent on your income and it isn't an easy fix.  Hope something serendipitous happens soon.  🙂

This ^^^ and what I posted a little before also acts as a deterrent to changing careers. Also if you're just a single and resp for everything all by yourself, that monthly mortgage payt yells real LOUD at you!!

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

20 hours ago, SilverBells said:

Still trying to figure out how to fit in the teaching role. 

Nurses have opportunities to teach on a daily basis! Patient education is one of our primary job duties,

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

I don’t at all hate being a nurse and even dislike it. However, I would at some point like to get into an area I am more passionate about. Pediatric genetics clinic, pediatric GI, etc. I would love to work in a genetics company or a rare disease clinic.....

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

"  It feels selfish to continue on just to pay the bills."  We  all work to pay the bills. Otherwise we would work for free.

Think outside the box.

You have plenty of experience to find a nursing job that is not hospital based. Search here and scour the job boards. I found a utilization management job.. sitting on my tookas at home and still using my brain.

 

Mavnurse17, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

13 minutes ago, Been there,done that said:

nce to find a nursing job that is not hospital based. Search here and scour the job boards. I found a utilization management job.. sitting on my tookas at home and still using my brain.

 

I'm no longer hospital-based, thank God!  I legitimately felt suicidal as a new grad doing shift work in the hospital.  I work a M-F 0830-1630 now, making even a little more than at the hospital.  My mental health has greatly improved, enough to finally function as a human.  I guess it's just that when people ask me what I do for a living, I no longer feel pride or passion behind responding "I'm a nurse."  

How did you land your utilization job?  All of the postings I've come across require experience, usually 3-5 years before they'll consider an applicant.