Nurse pondering career change

Nurses Career Support


Hello all!

First here is a little bit about myself. I am an BSN prepared nurse. I graduated from an acredited University at the top of my class. I did very well in all of my nursing courses and enjoyed the schooling behind my degree. However, during school, I always HATED clinicals! At that point in time, I thought I hated clinicals because I was never acting in the role of the nurse. I was acting in the role of a PCA i.e. filling water pitchers, changing bed linens, providing peri-care. I didn't mind because I thought..."this is part of my training." By the time my senior year in college began, I was still performing these things and hardly ever performing nursing duties. So, I decided to apply for a college co-op program and was accepted. I worked along side a preceptor for a year and a half in the role of the nurse. It wasn't bad, but I can't say that I enjoyed it. I now have a year and a half of expereince, both in the hospital on a med/surg unit and presently in a LTC/rehab facility. I don't hate nursing by any means, but I generally don't feel that it was the right career choice for me. I hate working holidays, weekends, being demeaned by doctors, and working with nurses who wouldn't be able to tell you their "right from their left." I am in a position that requires an LPN. At first, I was okay with it, simply because I was a new grad. However, I'm not now and any opportunities that arise within the company that require an RN I apply for. I get turned down for these positions because, unfortunately, management likes to play "favorities." I'm not simple minded enough to think that this doesn't go on elsewhere, but I feel that I'm not living up to my potential. Especially with the degree that I have. Quite honestly, I think to myself, "do I even really want those positions?" I can honestly say that I love the knowledge behind my degree, but I don't enjoy the career. I do love to train other nurses and thought "I'll go into teaching." However, most places require more experience or a Master's degree. I guess what I'm asking is are there any options out there for me? Fast track to another degree? I think that I would like to become an elementary science teacher....but I'm afraid I'll hate it just as much as nursing. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!! :)

Specializes in PACU, Surgery, Acute Medicine.

No worries, you just need to find a different area to work in! I felt the exact same way in nursing school. When I did graduate, med-surg was all that was available to me. I did it, can't say that I loved it (I did love it when I had the time to do my work, but there was always too much of it). I mean, I could feel my vital signs alter as I pulled into the parking garage. And the people I worked with were pretty cold. Not good, all around. Last summer I transferred to the OR and it's like a little slice of heaven in my nursing world, for a million reasons. If you are someone who really enjoys patient contact, just not dealing with the "code-brown" side of nursing, I would suggest looking into the ED. I did an ED externship in nursing school and was most impressed by the high percentage of my time that was spent delivering actual nursing care (that is, not serving as a waitress/steward/concierge). I didn't mind the people who came in with colds and tummy aches at all, it provided nice relief from the people who came in with chest pain, where I really felt like I was putting my education to use.

As far as getting into teaching, if you want to sink the time and money into another degree, go for it. In the mean time, try to get into a field that's more in sync with what feels right for you, and then you can become a nurse educator or preceptor in that field. BTW, other areas to consider: hemodialysis, wound/ostomy, IV therapy (PICC line placement). Good luck to you!

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

((((((hugs)))))) to the OP for being so bummed out about nursing. But did you ever stop to think that this 'feeling' may have become evident in your work - and that's why you are being passed up for other jobs in favor of nurses who exhibit more joy/motivation/engagement in their work? If you feel this way about nursing, PLEASE do not try to move into nursing education. Educators have to be role models - how can you engender passion in students if you are all "meh"?

On another note, if you're experiencing any of the same sense of 'blah' in other areas of your life, have you considered that it may have a physical connection? Based on my own experience, I fell into the same sort of general slump before I was dx hypothyroid - it resolved with treatment. May be worth exploring.

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