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My nursing career has been a failure

Nurses   (902 Views 15 Comments)
by Hangin'On,RN Hangin'On,RN (Member)

1,109 Profile Views; 25 Posts

Well, I'd like to start off by saying that I'm not looking for pity because I have enough self pity everyday to cover it.  But I want to share the story of my career, and how I feel it's been a personal failure, in hopes of helping someone else whose been in my shoes or had similar feelings.

Okay. Where to begin?  I guess I'll begin with nursing school. The next paragraph will all be a rundown of my career and its pitfalls, and why I regret my career decisions.

I knew right away that nursing was not for me in nursing school.  I could feel it in my gut. But what did I do?  I kept right on going; passing tests, studying hard, and passing nursing school and then the NCLEX.  Then I went to work at a hospital, which was your typical med/surg experience.  I hated every second of it for 2 1/2 years, so I quit and went back to school for a different career that I thought I would love.  Then got scared about layoffs in that career and job prospects, so I left and went to back to the hospital to a better floor.  I liked it better, but not exactly my dream job.  The first scare was when I was involved in a lawsuit with several staff members on the floor because I'd taken care of the patient one night (luckily it was settled).  This was scary but not life changing.  I worked that floor for about six years then transferred to another area within the hospital.  I enjoyed this area, as much as I could enjoy nursing, but after a year I was fired in a mass firing with around 15+ people.  I won unemployment, even though my former employer fought me every step of the way because it was determined I was not at fault.  Then, I got a job as a school nurse and a few months in I was informed that my former employer (hospital) had turned my name, along with the others, into the board of nursing.  That was an ordeal!  In the end I had to hire an attorney, had to pay the board a few hundred dollar fine and do X amount of extra CEs in addition to the required 14.  I kept the school nurse job for three years until we were all laid off.  I ended up going back to school nursing last school year, but resigned at the end of the year due to too much stress and anxiety.  Now, guess what?  I'm enjoying my time off, minding my own business and Boom! There's another lawsuit that has named me and others from an incident from last year. No resolution to this yet.

My career has been a complete failure.  I am a failure.  I have no self confidence left.  After 15yrs in this field, I feel as if my youth was wasted on a career that wasn't for me.  And never mind the Bachelors degree I have in another field because no potential employers care about it.  I've tried multiple times to get jobs in other fields, but no luck.  It's so easy to get pigeonholed once you're a nurse.

I don't know if I'm simply unlucky or the universe is trying to knock me off this path by force.  All I know is I'm done with nursing.  I plan to let my license expire and maybe go back to school and try something else.  I've been a nurse for 15 years. One and a half decades! And now, I'm a complete loser.  Right now, my husband has a good job where I can take some time off and contemplate what I am going to do with the rest of my life.  I have interests and passions, but I also have so much fear.

I guess I'm writing this to urge others to listen to their guts.  If you are in school or not very far into your nursing career and feel in your gut that it is not for you, then listen to yourself.  Get out before the years pile on.  You don't want to look back at your life and regret your entire career.

I'm sorry for the negative post, but I had to share this.

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Aliens05 has <1 years experience.

121 Posts; 1,812 Profile Views

I'm sorry about the experiences you have had. Out of curiosity may I ask, when you went back to school the first time, then stopped due to layoffs in that career, what was it that you were going to go back for?

My second question is what is your other bachelor's degree in?

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25 Posts; 1,109 Profile Views

I was going into a teaching program for middle school.  After being in the school system and seeing what it's like for teachers, I really don't regret the decision of backing out.  

My other degree is in Psychology. 

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Aliens05 has <1 years experience.

121 Posts; 1,812 Profile Views

I don't blame you one bit on that, I would never want to be a teacher, but I do know people who have just graduated and are now teachers. However, it was hard for them to get a full time teacher gig.

Do you have any desires to go forward in Psychology in terms of a Doctorate degree?

What about something like being a case manager? With your experience you could get a lot of different positions for nurses that aren't really dealing that much with patient care, possibly zero patient care. What about utilization review, insurance review, similar things to that? I would imagine with your experience you may be able to gain positions similar to these if they interest you at all. If nothing else they would probably offer pretty decent pay and you wouldn't have to deal with patients or the possibilities of getting a lawsuit again.

Not sure if this was helpful, but thought I would throw out a few ideas.

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

2 Followers; 1,596 Posts; 14,034 Profile Views

This does not seem to me like a failed career. Over 15 years you seem to have had some successes and some challenges.  It seems like normal ups and downs of a career that you are just done with.

And now it's time for a change. Enjoy!

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Stalyad specializes in Wellness.

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I know exactly what you’re talking about! I had a bad feeling in my gut when I was in nursing school. I knew it was not for me especially hospital nursing and the like.  The stress and anxiety was just too much.

I worked in the newborn nursery way back because that was the least stressful area. I always wanted to be a teacher but at that time of the counselors were saying not to go into that because there wouldn’t be any jobs. I should never have listened to them. 

 Now I’m looking for a non-hands-on nursing job because I seriously cannot find anything else that I can do. I enjoy doing employee health screenings but those are not reliable for the long term. 

 That whole nursing experience made me lose some confidence in any other type of a job like office work etc.  but I need income so I was trying to find something in the wellness area in   Southeast Michigan  .  It’s hard to find those kind of nursing jobs. UGH

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TriciaJ has 37 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

11 Followers; 3,291 Posts; 33,996 Profile Views

First of all, please stop describing yourself as a loser.  Fifteen years with more than the usual vicissitudes of nursing when you'd already realized it wasn't the career for you - that shows amazing fortitude.

The fact that you stuck it out that long really is a mark of success.  It also seems you have a supportive and productive spouse so you are not up a creek financially.  That's not being a loser.  I also don't think those fifteen years were completely wasted.  You did mostly earn a paycheque, didn't you?  That's actually the whole point.  Everything else is icing and for you there just wasn't much icing.

You already know now the importance of trusting your gut.  I think you are wise to take some time to recoup and regroup.  Nursing can be demoralizing at the best of times; I think it really took its toll on you.

Stop with all the negative self-talk.  Your next thing will show itself to you in due course.

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On 8/11/2019 at 9:39 AM, Hangin'On,RN said:

Well, I'd like to start off by saying that I'm not looking for pity because I have enough self pity everyday to cover it.  But I want to share the story of my career, and how I feel it's been a personal failure, in hopes of helping someone else whose been in my shoes or had similar feelings.

Okay. Where to begin?  I guess I'll begin with nursing school. The next paragraph will all be a rundown of my career and its pitfalls, and why I regret my career decisions.

I knew right away that nursing was not for me in nursing school.  I could feel it in my gut. But what did I do?  I kept right on going; passing tests, studying hard, and passing nursing school and then the NCLEX.  Then I went to work at a hospital, which was your typical med/surg experience.  I hated every second of it for 2 1/2 years, so I quit and went back to school for a different career that I thought I would love.  Then got scared about layoffs in that career and job prospects, so I left and went to back to the hospital to a better floor.  I liked it better, but not exactly my dream job.  The first scare was when I was involved in a lawsuit with several staff members on the floor because I'd taken care of the patient one night (luckily it was settled).  This was scary but not life changing.  I worked that floor for about six years then transferred to another area within the hospital.  I enjoyed this area, as much as I could enjoy nursing, but after a year I was fired in a mass firing with around 15+ people.  I won unemployment, even though my former employer fought me every step of the way because it was determined I was not at fault.  Then, I got a job as a school nurse and a few months in I was informed that my former employer (hospital) had turned my name, along with the others, into the board of nursing.  That was an ordeal!  In the end I had to hire an attorney, had to pay the board a few hundred dollar fine and do X amount of extra CEs in addition to the required 14.  I kept the school nurse job for three years until we were all laid off.  I ended up going back to school nursing last school year, but resigned at the end of the year due to too much stress and anxiety.  Now, guess what?  I'm enjoying my time off, minding my own business and Boom! There's another lawsuit that has named me and others from an incident from last year. No resolution to this yet.

My career has been a complete failure.  I am a failure.  I have no self confidence left.  After 15yrs in this field, I feel as if my youth was wasted on a career that wasn't for me.  And never mind the Bachelors degree I have in another field because no potential employers care about it.  I've tried multiple times to get jobs in other fields, but no luck.  It's so easy to get pigeonholed once you're a nurse.

I don't know if I'm simply unlucky or the universe is trying to knock me off this path by force.  All I know is I'm done with nursing.  I plan to let my license expire and maybe go back to school and try something else.  I've been a nurse for 15 years. One and a half decades! And now, I'm a complete loser.  Right now, my husband has a good job where I can take some time off and contemplate what I am going to do with the rest of my life.  I have interests and passions, but I also have so much fear.

I guess I'm writing this to urge others to listen to their guts.  If you are in school or not very far into your nursing career and feel in your gut that it is not for you, then listen to yourself.  Get out before the years pile on.  You don't want to look back at your life and regret your entire career.

I'm sorry for the negative post, but I had to share this.

 

 

 

 

You're not a loser.  You made it through school.  Great job!  A lot of people get a degree and realize that their field of study is not their passion.  There are other jobs that require a RN but don't involve patient care.  For example, I've worked for two medical device companies that use RNs (without business degrees/experience) to help in product design, conduct user validation studies and support development partner hospitals.  Other RN roles have included inseriving and installation of new products.  Also, many companies like to hire RNs in sales and support positions. If these sound interesting you could consider the other side of health care.  Good luck!  You have a ton of options.

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3 Followers; 1,320 Posts; 6,626 Profile Views

I won't take the time, and bore everybody with the ups and downs of my RN life. Similar to your experience. I hated the hospital, and tried other things. Every form of toxic workplace, bullying, and personality disordered colleagues/supervisors landed repetitively on my doorstep.

I fought through it, got treatment for anxiety and depression, became a Psych NP, and now life is all rainbows, lollipops, and unicorns.

Of course it isn't, but it has been much, much better.

I forgot to mention I failed at teaching earlier in life. Nursing was a second career.

Your career has not been a failure. You've probably been unlucky, but not a failure in any way.

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Snatchedwig has 11 years experience as a ADN, CNA, LPN, RN and specializes in Medsurg.

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6 hours ago, TriciaJ said:

First of all, please stop describing yourself as a loser.  Fifteen years with more than the usual vicissitudes of nursing when you'd already realized it wasn't the career for you - that shows amazing fortitude.

The fact that you stuck it out that long really is a mark of success.  It also seems you have a supportive and productive spouse so you are not up a creek financially.  That's not being a loser.  I also don't think those fifteen years were completely wasted.  You did mostly earn a paycheque, didn't you?  That's actually the whole point.  Everything else is icing and for you there just wasn't much icing.

You already know now the importance of trusting your gut.  I think you are wise to take some time to recoup and regroup.  Nursing can be demoralizing at the best of times; I think it really took its toll on you.

Stop with all the negative self-talk.  Your next thing will show itself to you in due course.

Yes Lord in the name of jesus

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271 Posts; 6,166 Profile Views

I totally agree. You’re not a loser. You’ve persevered way beyond what I think would be the norm. So many stressors. 

Many years ago I was essentially laid off with 120 other people. I went through anger, depression...all the stages of grief. And that was for a lousy job that I disliked and didn’t plan on sticking with long term. I can’t imagine how you must be feeling.

I think you should pursue other types of nursing related jobs. Don’t give up on so many years of experience. Try pursue something that matches one of your passions. If you’re not worried about money, pick something you are fascinated with, perhaps would never have considered in other circumstances. Bring some fresh air into your life. Just go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose. Best of luck!

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

15 Followers; 1 Article; 6,273 Posts; 77,047 Profile Views

9 hours ago, TriciaJ said:

please stop describing yourself as a loser.  Fifteen years with more than the usual vicissitudes of nursing when you'd already realized it wasn't the career for you - that shows amazing fortitude.

I say, "AMEN!" to TriciaJ's and others' support.

I was thinking that maybe you could try psych nursing, Hangin'On. In over 25 years of psych nursing, with about 10 years of medical, I have not been involved (knock on wood) in a lawsuit stemming from my profession.

It has been said, "Those who nurse, do. Those who can't nurse, teach. And those who can't do either, do psych".

Good luck and the best to you in whatever you decide, Hangin'On!

 

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