Should I leave nursing?

  1. I need some advice! I am so unhappy with my career in nursing. I have only been a nurse for about 6 months now. I worked in med-surg for a few months and I now work in the ER. My current job in the ER is like a breath of fresh air after the hell of med-surg. However, I still don't like it. I suffered through nursing school thinking that it would get better, but it hasn't. I didn't enjoy any of my clinicals in nursing school. I really think that nursing is just not for me. I read somewhere that you should enjoy at least 80% of your job. I enjoy very little of nursing, maybe 10%. I feel that nursing is slowly breaking me down and causing tons of unnecessary stress. All I think about is trying to find another job (which I haven't been able to do) or decide on another career path. I am driving my fiance crazy and it is causing a huge strain on our relationship.

    I was accepted into a family nurse practitioner program right out of my BSN program. I originally went into nursing because this was my career goal. I decided to get some experience before entering the FNP program for several different reasons. Now, I'm not sure if I should pursue the FNP program (I could reapply for winter semester) or if I should get out of nursing altogether while I can. If I reapply, I still won't have the nursing experience that will get me a good job when I graduate. I'm also worried that being a nurse practitioner won't turn out to be what I imagine it is, just as being an RN did. I've been looking into many different career paths, but due to the inflexibility of a nursing degree, I would have to get a second bachelor's degree for many of them. I also feel guilty for "wasting" my nursing degree. Everyone keeps telling me how many opportunities there are in nursing, but it seems all of the good jobs that I would be interested in require years of hospital experience. I don't know if I can take another month! I dream about quitting my job and never having to step foot in another hospital again. I just don't know what to do!
  2. Visit HealthyRN profile page

    About HealthyRN

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 552; Likes: 229

    9 Comments

  3. by   angel337
    can you be more specific and tell us exactly what it is that you don't like? it's normal to feel overwhelmed the first year. so maybe if you can narrow it down to what it is that's making you not like nursing it will help you decide what path you should take.
  4. by   HealthyRN
    I don't like the working conditions. I don't like working 12-hour shifts, weekends, holidays, evenings, nights. I don't like having days off when my fiance and family are working and having to go to work when they are off. I don't like not having time to enjoy a lunch break or the freedom to leave for lunch, an appt., etc. I really don't like feeling as if I don't have the time for even a bathroom break. I dislike the fact that there are so many unhappy people in nursing that also hate their jobs, but won't leave and so they stay and make it miserable for everyone else. I am not satisfied with my pay that is nowhere near adequate for the level of responsibility that I have. I don't like not being appreciated for the hard work that I do by management or even the majority of patients. I can't handle the excessive workload. I don't even enjoy performing the majority of nursing tasks.

    I could go on and on about the things that I don't like about nursing. The only thing that I really do like is the chance to have a positive effect the health of a patient. This sometimes happens through patient education during discharge or even knowing enough to get an asmtha patient started on a nebulizer treatment before the doctor evaluates them. However, I believe that there are lots of other professions in which you could improve the health of others without so much personal sacrifice and stress.

    I know that the first year is hard for everyone. But does it really get any better? I've met so many nurses out there that really don't seem to like their jobs.
  5. by   angel337
    everything you said is very true for most bedside nursing positions. and i can empathize with you. i took the slow route to becoming an RN, so i knew exactly what i was getting into. however, i don't plan to work weekends and holidays for the rest of my life. i am working toward a different career path in nursing, because i actually do like being a nurse. but i also want a more normal lifestyle because i have a growing family. i sugest working for an insurance company. the hours are good. m-f, no weekends and holidays. i know a nurse that only had 3 months experiecne before she started at the insurance company. i don't want to advertise what insurance companies are good to work for, but you could get online and do a search of all major insurance companies adn do a career search. nursing is not for everyone and i don't think there is anything wrong with knowing that early in your career. try looking for an office position too. i know you lack the years of experience, but if you are diligent about it, you will get a job. good luck with everything.
  6. by   frozztozzNak
    i was kind of in the same boat about nursing...new to nursing (by means of a license) however, have had several office jobs with ojt to be a medical assistant, went on to obtain cna,ma and then to rn. i had worked on a ms floor for a while as a cna, saw what the nurses went through and was totally dredding the fact i knew i would go to work there as a newbie. it was a horrible floor to work on. eventually i went to ob found out that really wasnt' my cup of tea either. i now work as a contractor for the af working with insurance companies, finding providers, making sure requested evals and testing are appropriate healthcare tracks. if you you like an office environment, not really having any autonomy as everything goes through the provider here...(maybe because ultimately i work for uncle sam)...but my hours are great...i have the ability to take off during the day (flex time) to go to my children's functions at school or whatever needs to be done. myself, i feel like i am wasting away my license sitting here filing papers, computer data entry, tracking and trending the utilization of the clinic. this isn't really for me...but i was hoping to give you a little insite as to what it is like working for "insurance" as a nurse. i am quite sure many things would be different depending on "who" you work for...but i would think some of them would be the same.
  7. by   jjjoy
    I too enjoyed touching people's lives but was confused and disappointed at how much I really disliked the majority of nursing. It sounded like you got your BSN and it does count as a generic bachelors so you're okay to apply to any job that requires a college degree. If you seriously want out of nursing, the trick is convincing potential employers that you're not going to be seduced back into clinical nursing by the demand and high salaries (higher than most other entry-level jobs anyhow). Persist and show them that you're serious about your choice. There are health-related jobs out there where your background is an asset. Insurance is one. I work in health information. I was very surprised to discover how much I more enjoy an office environment to a clinical environment!

    I admire those who take to clinical nursing. I wanted to be one of them! But I had do some soul searching, admit to myself my strengths and weaknesses and determine where I thought it best to invest my time and energy. I decided that for myself any advantage that the clinical experience would give me career-wise would be counter productive because it's not my thing. I wish I had known it sooner, but I didn't. I try not to think that I'm "wasting" my education as I did truly learn a lot and I plan to continue to support the nursing community as it faces many challenges.

    Good luck to you as you make your own decisions!
  8. by   np_wannabe
    Quote from KatRN,BSN
    I don't like the working conditions. ... I don't like not having time to enjoy a lunch break or the freedom to leave for lunch, an appt., etc. I really don't like feeling as if I don't have the time for even a bathroom break. I dislike the fact that there are so many unhappy people in nursing that also hate their jobs, but won't leave and so they stay and make it miserable for everyone else. I am not satisfied with my pay that is nowhere near adequate for the level of responsibility that I have.
    Hello KatRN,BSN.

    I am sorry that you are so unhappy in this field. I have only this to offer you: Regarding not having time to leave for lunch, go to an appointment, feeling underpaid for the amount of responsibilty you have...MANY people outside of nursing have this same complaint. In my previous fields, I often ate lunch sitting at my desk WHILE WORKING! Usually, "lunch" meant eating something as quickly as I could so I would stop shaking with hunger! I also felt like, for what I was responsible for, my pay was so little it was insulting!

    I hope that this can help you when you are considering which route to take. Maybe you can shadow an NP and get a sense of how their job/schedule differs from yours??

    Good luck.
  9. by   rn/writer
    The things you don't like about nursing are not universal. That is, there are many other areas of nursing that have better scheduling/days off, better pay, and less pressure. Insurance-related jobs, psych, postpartum, clinic, occupational, and many more.

    By all means, go through the FNP program. I give you credit for wanting experience before aiming for the next level. Once you finish, you will have much more autonomy and a totally different perspective.

    The things you don't like about nursing have very little to do with actual nursing and much more to do with hospital culture. Most of these will change for the better with an advanced degree. Tell yourself that what you are bumping up against now is only temporary.
  10. by   mtngrl
    Quote from KatRN,BSN
    I don't like the working conditions. I don't like working 12-hour shifts, weekends, holidays, evenings, nights. I don't like having days off when my fiance and family are working and having to go to work when they are off. I don't like not having time to enjoy a lunch break or the freedom to leave for lunch, an appt., etc. I really don't like feeling as if I don't have the time for even a bathroom break. I dislike the fact that there are so many unhappy people in nursing that also hate their jobs, but won't leave and so they stay and make it miserable for everyone else. I am not satisfied with my pay that is nowhere near adequate for the level of responsibility that I have. I don't like not being appreciated for the hard work that I do by management or even the majority of patients. I can't handle the excessive workload. I don't even enjoy performing the majority of nursing tasks.

    I could go on and on about the things that I don't like about nursing. The only thing that I really do like is the chance to have a positive effect the health of a patient. This sometimes happens through patient education during discharge or even knowing enough to get an asmtha patient started on a nebulizer treatment before the doctor evaluates them. However, I believe that there are lots of other professions in which you could improve the health of others without so much personal sacrifice and stress.

    I know that the first year is hard for everyone. But does it really get any better? I've met so many nurses out there that really don't seem to like their jobs.
    You said it girl! That is why I went into real estate and now only work a few hours a week in nursing. My family is very important and most nursing jobs just don't give you the family time you need. If you stay in a job you hate it will just wear on you so much you will end up physically ill.
  11. by   1Tulip
    Quote from KatRN,BSN
    I don't like the working conditions. I don't like working 12-hour shifts, weekends, holidays, evenings, nights. I don't like having days off when my fiance and family are working and having to go to work when they are off. I don't like not having time to enjoy a lunch break or the freedom to leave for lunch, an appt., etc. I really don't like feeling as if I don't have the time for even a bathroom break. I dislike the fact that there are so many unhappy people in nursing that also hate their jobs, but won't leave and so they stay and make it miserable for everyone else. I am not satisfied with my pay that is nowhere near adequate for the level of responsibility that I have. I don't like not being appreciated for the hard work that I do by management or even the majority of patients. I can't handle the excessive workload. I don't even enjoy performing the majority of nursing tasks.

    I could go on and on about the things that I don't like about nursing. The only thing that I really do like is the chance to have a positive effect the health of a patient. This sometimes happens through patient education during discharge or even knowing enough to get an asmtha patient started on a nebulizer treatment before the doctor evaluates them. However, I believe that there are lots of other professions in which you could improve the health of others without so much personal sacrifice and stress.

    I know that the first year is hard for everyone. But does it really get any better? I've met so many nurses out there that really don't seem to like their jobs.
    Well...
    Sounds like a lot of your problems are the environment in which you're working. The nurses I work with are terrific, we're friendly with each other and try to watch each other's backs. We have a buddy system and cover each other so that we can get a meal when we need it. The work's hard. The facility in which we work is not exactly nurse-friendly. But we usually stick together and keep the wheels from coming off. I also know for a fact that physicians try to get their pts. admitted to our unit because we do a better job than any other in the hospital.

    So... you should just talk to a lot of nurses. Find someone who likes their job and investigate why that is so. Imagine yourself in that job. Would you fit in? Is it possible you'd feel differently about your work.

    And one more thing:
    I have no experience from which to draw, none but my own, but you sound like you could be depressed. People who are clinically depressed make some stupid decisions because they really can't think clearly about things here and now, let alone issues to face in the future.

    Just give it some thought.

close