Need Advice! Unmotivated & Exhausted

Specialties LTAC

Updated:   Published

Hi everyone, I’m an RN of almost 3 years, and all two jobs of mine have consisted of skilled nursing/LTC, and subacute rehabilitation. The hospital setting was never my thing so I don’t have too much regret not taking that step, but I feel as though MAYBE my outlook would be a bit different had I taken that route.

I graduated with my Associate’s in 2019, right before Covid hit. I had about maybe 6 months experience (in a SNF/LTC) before Covid took over and it completely burned me out. I think in many ways this has made me a stronger nurse in some senses, and has taught me to be resilient with my learning and gaining experience, however at the same time, I am just so over nursing, particularly bedside nursing. I left my LTC job after a year due to short staffing, feeling stressed and overwhelmed with no support, and feeling like I was working a job that was not beneficial to my growth and learning as a new nurse.

I started BSN school online and found a new job (my current job) in 2020. I work as a subacute nurse, working on the floor. It was doable in the beginning, I didn’t feel as though I was completely overwhelmed. Staffing was better and my nurse to patient ratios were much more feasible. Fast forward to a couple of months ago. Our census has gone up tremendously (not even Covid patients), my facility takes anyone and everyone because it’s more $ in their pockets, and the overwhelming stress of taking this on is just too much.

I am now lacking motivation, I am now feeling forced to take on a supervisor role on my weekends and a desk position during the week because the facility cannot find anyone else interested in doing it and I am the only nurse qualified to take on the position. I worked my first supervising shift last weekend and felt completely unsupported, stressed and overwhelmed by my bosses and their expectations of everything I needed to get done in 8 hours after the facility received 10 admissions the night prior (and the bosses literally saw nothing wrong with calling nurses on their days off to come in and help). I called out Monday because I was incredibly tired and not feeling well after my weekend, and literally my scheduler was calling me and blowing my phone up with texts at 2pm asking if I could come in 3-11 to help with admissions. After I called out 7-3 because I didn’t feel good?? The boundaries are just not existent and/or maintained and it’s a huge lack of disrespect towards nurses who are treated like robots rather than individuals. 

I hate to say this, but I’m starting to feel trapped and I don’t want to look bad for just upping and leaving, but I don’t know how much more I can do this. I spend many of my days off dreading the next day. I have anxiety and I just don’t want to feel this way. I don’t know if I should request to change shifts? Maybe step away from 7-3 for a while? I’m now looking for more outpatient jobs. Any advice on what I should look in to? I want something that will keep me involved and busy but not overwhelmed to the point I want to scream or go into the bathroom and have a breakdown. I just received my BSN and I am actively looking but many outpatient jobs I feel are hard to come by. Does anyone have any advice on MDS? Informatics? Case management? I just need to take a step back from bedside. Any advice would be appreciated! 

Red Shirt 6, CNA

2 Articles; 164 Posts

Employers do not really want to pay for training so if you can get some training in the area you want to go or get certifications like paralegal, office management, or a CDL if a community health bus type of job is of interest to you. 

The other thing you could try is go to places with a lot of turn over or do not have the best reputation because if they are desperate enough, they will most likely agree to give you the job you want at the pay you want. Although expect they will try to get you to fill other roles and work more hours. 


975 Posts

Hey, hate to say it but this is becoming a common theme in bedside nursing. It’s just too much. It truly is exhausting, I feel you. The calling of supervisors and such on your days off and even making you feel guilty as if, is also becoming common at the bedside.  Switching shifts might help temporarily but we are stretched thin no matter what shift.  As far as picking one of those jobs that will give you training and experience and at the same time has a high turnover rate, yeah, NO. Be careful what you wish for. They could give you a dangerous number of patients assignment/(all your  people could be falls/dementia/withdrawing anything) /multiple drips etc. (one place I worked changed the policy constantly as to what was considered a drip so that they could give you more patients), float you to areas you have no knowledge of etc.

It’s also true that jobs may not want to train in the areas you’re interested in, but keep trying.  

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