Dear Burned Out and Bummed Out,
One of the things they don't teach in nursing school is that after you graduate you get a jobâ€ that has all the requirements and disadvantages of any job. You are expected to show up to work, do your job to a high standard, get along with people obnoxious or not, navigate through politics, etc. After all of the learning about how to be professional sometimes you get treated like you work at a fast food joint. All jobsâ€ have some elements in common. The difference is that in nursing you sometimes have the opportunity to truly help people. Nurses usually make a decent salary with benefits, and can advance their career. At times you help people just by doing the job you were hired to do. Other times, you simply cannot help those who won't accept your help. People have the right to make bad decisions. What makes it all worthwhile is when there is a patient that you can truly help manage their illness and live the best life they can. The chance to truly help someone isn't an everyday event. Even in home care, most patients won't change their lifestyle even if it is killing them. In psychiatric nursing home care I would see the same patients for years and help them remain in the community as long as I could until another exacerbation landed them in the hospital.
Best wishes in your search for meaningful career.