When I saw your age and how long you've have been a nurse, I thought we were twins! I have never even worked at McDonald's. I started in a hospital as a volunteer and then got a job as an aide back then in the early 1980's, then on to the RN. Sometimes, I think much of the stress and unsettlement I feel now is that I have never done any other type of job. I have had many side jobs, but they were all nursing too. I feel burned out, but what else will I do and still make the $?.... and would I like it? Maybe try going back to school or getting a certification so you can do something else. I don't mean get your PhD, but maybe something like case management or an IT (no not me) certificate. Sounds like you may be a little bored too.
I feel kind of lost. At one time, I loved being a nurse. Of course there were ups and downs but generally I was happy with it overall. When I was younger one of my daughters had a chronic illness. I thought I was stressed then... little did I know what was ahead. It isn't anything awful, but it weighs me down. My mother is elderly. My dad died a few years ago. Since then, I am responsible for my mother who has dementia. I have a sister. She calls regularly. At least once every 6 months or so. When she does, it is because she has some problem. She has no money and multiple illnesses, so I am told. Somehow she is able to take cruises and fly out of state every few months. I am pretty sick of her. I told her not to call me any more. Breaking ties with her is not a big deal.
Everyday, I get calls from my mother's caregivers. She needs groceries, diapers, etc. I stay overnight 4 or 5 times a week to save her money. I take her dog to the vet. My husband shovels her snow. This is year two of things this way. Prior to that she lived out of state and caregivers stole from her. Now my husband's mother fell and is confused.
When my daughter was ill, going to work was almost an escape. I could concentrate on work and I had some great coworkers. Five or so years ago, I left a long time workplace because the manager was a narcissist who criticized everything I did. I had always had stellar evals. I have an MSN and had been in education. She picked at everything I did. My grey hair, my height, the wording in my charting. We did not gel. She saw me in sweats and asked me one day with a giggle if I was going to work out. I had enough sense not to respond to her as I would have liked. left that workplace voluntarily. She was asked to leave, apparently?
Since that time, all of the stuff with my mother started. I have had a couple of jobs, but they don't really click with me. As an older nurse, I hate the IT and am slow with charting. It annoys me the time put into charting when you barely have a minute to say hello to a patient and the phone rings to call you for the next task. I work with students and find many are wonderful, but a significant number are difficult. I think I am hesitant to become too attached to a job after my former experience. I know I should just get over it. I wish I knew how. I am taking a class and know I bombed the paper I just submitted because I was so busy with my mom and had to submit a particular form for the end of course in Excel. After two hours and calling one of my kids out of state, it was converted to the acceptable format. My heart was not in it. Anyone else get down in the dumps and find work happiness again? I hate to be such a grumpy old bag. I wish I could find a way to be happier, more organized and less sick of it all! I would love to hear from someone else who is now standing right in front of the light that is supposed to be at the end of the tunnel.
Not a CRNA. I am a CNS without an exam in my field so no credential. I also have an MSN in nursing education. Writing a policy or two is ok. However, now that the staff don't and won't at least look at one or two policies to revise I have all 125+. I am on multiple committees and attend endless meetings. I do like to see how changing a policy/practice can improve care. Really, I only get to look at the data because I have little patient contact any more. And of course as a salaried person, I now cannot make overtime.
I am on a sabbatical of sorts because I am getting a newly opened unit. I am actually shadowing nurses in a sister hospital and learning how to care for this new population. I am loving it. It makes me sad that there isn't a place at the bedside where I could be "an expert" and use my bedside nursing skills fully.
I still consider being a CNM because I love my L&D patients and M/B couplets. More school and more debt at age 50+ HMMM??? I am really seriously planning to go for it it, but I do have to clear some debt before moving forward.
The variety of patient care is great. The long hours, shortage of staff and resources, lack of "power" and dealing with immature and irrational docs is a huge downside. As a very experienced OB RN, I have a pretty good idea of what is the standard of care for patients. In my last few months at the bedside, I saw some poor practices and did not my name attached to those situations.
If we ever really do practice to the "top" of our RN license, I think there is a lot of good to be done. Nurses need more real power and pull in organizations. That, to me, is one of the biggest dissatisfiers to bedside nursing.
Did I mention the mountain of documentation? UGGGHH!
In the end, I was happiest with my job when I was at the bedside. I am glad others feel the same. I really think before getting into debt and years of schooling, people who want to leave the bedside should shadow and talk honestly with someone who has done it. Some of us are happy. Some are not. I think deep down, I am bored.