I don't like nursing. What else can I do with my degree?

  1. Ok I have only been an RN for 2 years now and have done nursing in Med/Surg, LTC, and currently work in home health. I keep running into the same problems I get burnt out way to quick! I am a huge over-achiever and find this very difficult for me to let go of which leads to increased stress levels, no time for myself or family because I am constantly reading or researching nursing articles and doubting myself in my skills and competency.

    I know I am a good nurse but feel that I chose the wrong profession basically because of family pressure of the to good to be true stigma of nursing....I like home health, I mean it's OK at its best and less stressful than the hospital but definitely the pay sucks and gas at $4.00 a gallon with only .40$ per mileage!

    I was wondering if my nursing degree could actually be applied to something I may actually enjoy more..I originally wanted to be a social worker but changed degrees because my husband said that it was a dead end job and minimum wage at the best..which I came to find out was mostly true for our area.

    I feel at odds because I just want to make a decent living without having to deal with the Dr's crap like in a hospital setting. I am very smart but tend to be swayed by what other people want instead of what I want. BIG TIME PEOPLE PLEASER and equals more stress.

    I considered continuing my education in nursing to become a PA but the more I think about it I just don't think I want that kinda life either. I keep coming back to this same thing that pops in my head....a counselor/psychologist and yes I know they definitely don't make much money either but I think its a better fit possibly...any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Last edit by Joe V on Mar 28, '18 : Reason: spelling
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    About toniasday7

    Joined: Dec '08; Posts: 14; Likes: 10


  3. by   chall2011
    Might not want to hear this but I think you should try to look at your situation in another light. You have this nursing degree. There was something inside you that wanted to pursue this career and when you reached a plateau you realized it wasn't giving you the lasting feeling of happiness and contentment you thought it would. Maybe before you knew what a nurse actually is, you looked at the nursing profession and saw how you wanted to help people in some way or fashion. My only suggestion is to really do some hardcore research about all the facets of nursing. Nursing has so many directions it is ridiculous. Ever think about becoming a practicioner? They make really good money, in my opinion, some in the six figure mark. Don't give up on nursing just yet...theres so many outlets to choose from. When you know in your heart that you have absolutely exhausted all those outlets...then maybe think about another career. Just my thoughts anyways. Good luck.
  4. by   Bhavana
    If counseling or psychology attracts you, have you thought about psychiatric nursing? Maybe try an acute unit in a hospital? Lots of drug addicts, lots of suicides admitted thru the ER, and a few "real deal" mentally ill patients. You give meds, and occasionally get a patient with a medical issue, but the rest of the work is mostly behavioral-based. (A seriously ill patient would not be sent immediately to a psych floor.) Lots of therapeutic communication. Some units the nurses run the group therapy/support groups. Believe me, it can get stressful, but as a rule it isn't running from room to room, checking IV's, trying to get meds done on time - it isn't the same kind of stress as "regular" nursing, where you are caring for the physically ill.

    Even the category of psych nursing has many areas - working with kids, with adults, outpatient, long term care - usually in the bigger state mental hospitals, plus more. And the money is still good!
  5. by   A&OxNone
    Maybe not switching careers all together, but finding a specialty that is your thing! You talk about being an "over achiever" and a "people pleaser", what about research? Or maybe something you can really specialize in and get really good at, so you feel satisfaction in your job. I know there are happy med/surg, LTC, and home health nurses, but for some people, that's just not for them.

    Good luck. My advice may not help much, but I do hope you find something you enjoy because I know how frustrating it is to work and hate your job!
  6. by   AgentBeast
    You can roll it up and smoke it. That's what I've done with my BSEd degree along with my old textbooks.
  7. by   toniasday7
    Thanks for the replies The only type of nursing I ever wanted to do was Behavioral health nursing but being that I live in very small town with a population of 10,000 and 1 hospital, a gas station and a walmart LOL theres not alot of those nursing jobs available esp in behavioral health bc they shut down that area in the hospital. I loved psych nursing in school and my instructor even said she thought I was great at it! Lots of the students hated that class. I even considered traveling 70 miles just to get to a well known hospital in st louis,mo but they will for some reason only accept new nurses with a BSN go figure....
  8. by   sweetnurse63
    I agree with chal2011, explore other possibilities first before you throw in the towel. Nursing is challenging with a lot of responsibility and some doctors don't make it any better by how they treat us sometimes. There are days when you will hate nursing and there are days when you will love nursing especially when that special patient smiles and thank you for making a difference in his or her life. Be greatful that you have a nursing degree which can help you live a pretty decent lifestyle, because I have seen nursing students who were torn apart because they invested time and a lot of money and huge sacrifices only to fail out of the program. I, myself had to repeat a couple of classes and thanks be to God I made it!!!!. I've had some ruff days as a nurse, and have not been always treated fairly, but I would not trade in my nursing degree for anything. Hang in there, you can do it and you will find your niche in nursing. Wish you the best.
  9. by   R*Star*RN
    I thought the IRS reimbursement was 51 cents a mile?

    Anyway. . . all jobs are stressful, in different ways. You will get "burn out" in most types of careers. If it is your personality to research your job for hours while you are off, you will do that with other jobs besides nursing.

    Have you considered going back to school? Perhaps you could do something like Psych NP. Most of your life is spent working, so it's important to like your job. . . consider relocating or driving to another city for work.
  10. by   notsosupernurse
    Hello ,

    I can definitely understand the way you feel. Some other aspects can be Nurse Case Management. You can work from a home or office setting (save gas) or work partially in the field and partially in the office. I have worked in these environments and it is a great area for the BURNT out nurse . There is still great opportunities for teaching and assisting tele phonically with discharge planning, pre op teaching and so much more. I personally am in the process of leaving this field of nursing because I do not like the Mon-Fri 8-5 office environment and miss the hands on training. If you want a few companies that offer this type of work message me and I will send them to you. Your two years of clinical nursing will be of great help to you if you decide to switch to nurse case management/Telephponic Nursing .
  11. by   Bhavana
    oh, I see what you mean, small town nursing doesn't leave you with a lot of options. I live in the most crowded area of the country, lots of hospitals, 3 or 4 major cities within an hour or less drive - almost every hospital has a psych unit, and there are several state mental hospitals as well.

    You have gotten some good advice here, and I think you should not stop looking into all of the different types of nursing available to you with your current degree. But, for any major changes, you are probably either going to have to relocate or go back to school. I wouldn't give up, though. Do your research. The areas one can work in with an RN are ridiculously limitless! You will find something that suits you, I am sure of it! And remember too, not everyone loves their job every day. Not everyone goes to work each morning with a big smile on their face. You've got to take the good with the bad. It's a rat race for sure, but you gotta make the money to live well, no?
  12. by   carolmaccas66
    I'd go through a nursing agency & try some different areas. I really didn't like nursing as a RN, until I did orthopeadics & mental health. Now I'm doing my post grad dip in mental health. It also depends where you work - some hospitals suck more than others.
    You can also work where and when you want mostly.
  13. by   WyndDrivenRain
    I would suggest you try mental health, maybe even addiction nursing. If you find you really enjoy it, you could consider becoming a psych NP. I wouldn't do that without spending some time in psych though. Good luck!

  14. by   Mulan