I'm feeling very lost in my career lately. I went into nursing for the right reasons, because I cared about people and I wanted to help make them better. But after 7 years of doing this I have become pretty cynical about people and a decreased respect for what passes as medicine today. I grow weary of butting my head up against the wall that is management. I'm tired of not having enough time to take good care of my patients. I'm tired of not having simple, concise, effective ways of charting in a computer. I'm tired of having to be responsible for tasks that really should belong to other departments....I mean if radiology can get the IV dye consent when the patient is an outpatient why can't they get it now that the patient is an inpatient?

Now I know that some of the issues I'm having is because I left a job that had a good charting system, people that cared, and a manager that worked hard to make processes efficient and effective, instead of just adding papers to CYA. So this job is getting to me more than it probably should just because I know it is possible to have good effective communication and team work among all staff members (pharmacy, radiology, nurses, MDs,). But even prior to quitting the lottery of all nursing positions I was starting to feel annoyed. I'm annoyed with giving up every other weekend of my life for a job that expects so much of me and gives me minimal in return. I'm annoyed that I'm so tired on my days off that I have a hard time doing what I need/want to do with/for my family. I'm annoyed with the feeling that I'm grossly underpaid for all the responsibilities I have. I'm also annoyed with working holidays and nights. You may say "Well this was something you knew was going to be part of the job." But I beg to differ. I knew it was going to be part of the job for a time, but I truly thought that at some point I would be able to work a position that would allow me to be home 'most' weekends, to work 'a couple' of holidays, and to have a somewhat normal day time schedule. I'm not a night person, it makes me sick, I hate it. Yet I'm still working every other weekend, despite changing jobs. That most job opportunities are on nights, which I can't stand. In short I don't feel very fulfilled by my career, more over I don't feel like I'm getting what I want out of life (kids, family, friends, to grow) because my job takes up so much of it.

I don't know what to do I've applied to office nurse positions but I haven't gotten any responses. Maybe it is because all of my experience is bedside or ER. I know I need to change something I just don't know what. And it's making me sad and affecting the care I give which makes me sadder.


309 Posts

I feel your pain. I work every single weekend graveyard shift. It's rough but hopefully it's just temporary


948 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, Dialysis, Hospice. Has 26 years experience.

Have you considered working in an outpatient dialysis clinic? It's day shift and you get every Sunday off. It's still usually every other Saturday, but still...no Sundays, and you get Thanksgiving and Christmas off because they close on those days. It's usually not five days a week either, sometimes four ten hour days, etc. With your experience in bedside and ER nursing you would be a cinch to get hired. It is fast paced during turnover between patient shifts, but it's really not bad at all compared to bedside nursing. I've done both. I am leaving dialysis to go back to my first love, hospice nursing, but for someone who is burned out at the bedside, outpatient dialysis might be a viable alternative.

Speaking of hospice nursing, have you considered that? Unless you work in an inpatient hospice facility, weekends aren't bad at all. Maybe a few visits or an admission on Saturday, on call only on Sunday. It could be a lot worse, and if you ever want to feel truly appreciated for what you do, families of hospice patients are almost always overwhelmingly grateful for what you do. It is humbling, and from a technical nursing standpoint, it is much less stressful because you aren't rushing around trying to heal everybody, including those who do not even want to be healed sometimes, but you are giving someone comfort and dignity while nature takes its course.

Hopefully those are a couple of things to think about. Your post touched me, because I could have written it myself when I was in bedside nursing, and I can remember feeling so helpless and sad about my situation. Bedside just isn't for everybody.

Has 33 years experience.

It is depressing when you do not see yourself getting ahead in any direction. I am surprised you said most opportunities are on night shift. I always found it to be the other way, most opportunities were on day shift. It seemed night shift staff was invisible to management and I found that to be very discouraging. Are there alternative shifts offered in your facility that may work better for your family needs? Working weekends and holidays suck, I agree, it does get old. Nursing is undergoing changes right now and hopefully the opportunities will open up when our economy settles. Keep yourself updated with the current practices, if you do not have your BSN then start working on it or start on your MSN. Are you certified in a specialty?? I find most hospitals are requiring this now. It is very hard to raise a family and maintain a rewarding career at the same time. I am finding out that all my years in nursing and I still cannot find the job I would like. You just have to grit your teeth and hang in there. It will get better.


190 Posts

Have you ever thought of teaching? I teach high school Health Science classes. I make $48,000/yr for working 9 months. I have two weeks off at Christmas, a week at Thanksgiving, a week at Spring Break, and two months during the summer. I LOVE my job! Look into this type of job! The pay is comparable when you consider you aren't working weekends and you have so many days off! I work PRN and make $48 at a rural hospital to keep up my skills and supplement my income.


2,228 Posts

Can you switch to PRN?

It's a heck of a lot easier to tolerate the less you have to be there.

Specializes in Inpatient Oncology/Public Health. Has 16 years experience.

I don't have any suggestions, but you definitely aren't alone.


29 Posts

Thanks for the comradery. I'll check some of the suggestions out. I have applied to a substitute school nurse position but I think it would be so much fun to teach a class! At my previous job I use to give tours of the emergency department to elementary and middle school kids, then teach first aid. I thought that was fun. Firstinfamily I totally agree that night shifts and middle shifts get gypped when it comes to ability to contribute ideas and management. My last manager was so awesome though, she made an effort to work from 3pm to midnight one day a week to try and be there for the night shift. Not perfect, but at least she was trying. Most managers do stupid stuff like ask you to be in a committee that meets at 10am on Tuesdays. Regardless if it is your day off or not, that is equal to asking a day shifter to come to a meeting at 10pm... I just meant that most of the jobs I'm looking at are on night shift. I am not a good night shifter....latest I can seem to handle is 1pm to 1am.

I'm also just sick of what nurses are willing to say 'well that's just part of the job.' I cannot tell you how many times in the last month that I've gone 12 hours without getting a lunch break and having to wait hours to pee. We really should not be alright with that. And those in charge who do not make sure that people get a break, or those who refuse to take a break 'because I never do' should be ashamed of themselves and punished for depriving others from basic human functions. I could just go on and on and on. Thanks again for the support.


453 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

join the club, and there's lots of us:)

Junebug903, LPN

101 Posts

Specializes in LTC, SNF, Rehab, Hospice. Has 9 years experience.

Yeah, I have been an LVN for almost 8 years and I am still not sure nursing is what I want to do. It sucks, especially when trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up later in life is much much harder.

Junebug903, LPN

101 Posts

Specializes in LTC, SNF, Rehab, Hospice. Has 9 years experience.

It does not help that I feel very stuck in long-term care and skilled nursing...which I do NOT want to do. My choices are limited, but I still need to make a paycheck.

Junebug903, LPN

101 Posts

Specializes in LTC, SNF, Rehab, Hospice. Has 9 years experience.

I feel mean, hateful, bitter, and really lack patience. :(