I've never done bedside, and I've been a nurse for close to 3 years. Not for lack of trying, but right out of school, I missed all of the new grad programs that my cohort got into because my state nursing board took their sweet time getting my ATI to me (6+ months), so I started my career sort of behind the 8 ball. I tried for acute care jobs because I thought that's what I was supposed to do. We were trained as nurse generalists. I was ready to generalize my little heart out.
I busted my *** in college and graduated in the top 1% for the school, so I was pretty disappointed that I didn't land a hospital job right away. But the truth was, I never really even liked acute care when I did it in clinicals. I would leave at the end of the day and sort of go, That's it? And while everyone else was really gung ho about foleys and ekgs and IVs, I was just sort of... meh. It wasn't really the holy grail of nursing to me, and so I took a clinic job in a private practice derm office. It was the best thing I could've done.
Monday-Friday, normal-ish hours, holidays off, no endless IV pump alarms, no cleaning urine and feces, no turning patients, no med pass, and I got to develop a totally different skillset than what I learned in nursing school. Actually, when I first started in derm, I was shocked (and maybe a little frustrated) that absolutely zero things I'd learned in school were applicable to my new position, except how to do a head-to-toe assessment and to put a needle into a patient bevel up for comfort. But I learned almost every other skill I now possess on the job.
Bedside isn't for everyone. Even out of those that DO bedside, many don't really enjoy it, it's just where the money is, and where people have developed their skills to feel like "real" nurses. But I'm no less of a real nurse in the outpatient environment, and I have the job title and salary to prove it.
In school, we're not taught very much, if anything, about the options outside of the hospital, and I think it's a shame. It may just be that the opportunities for outpatient RNs are harder to come by and they're pretty competitive, but if you can land one, I really think it's the bee's knees.
So just because you're currently in a position you think is coveted by others, it doesn't really align with your end goal, which is to be an aesthetics nurse, so it doesn't serve you much to stay where you don't want to be. Most people will probably tell you to stick it out so that you're more marketable and have more career flexibility later if you decide against aesthetics, and they're not totally wrong. I just think that if you know what you want, you should go for that instead of wasting time on a what-if. And if you're still working your way to your end goal, you might as well be doing it in a job that you don't hate in the meantime.
I think you'll find getting into the routine of 5 8's is pretty easy. Being able to live like a normal human being instead of doing shift work is luxurious. Having all of your weekends off to be able to participate in your typical weekend activities is awesome.
And in case you think that you'll get stuck or pigeonholed in that specialty, I assure you that you won't. I started in private practice derm and moved to a fancy pants affiliate clinic in OBGYN (SUCH a different world...), and I'll be going back to cutaneous oncology at the end of the month with the fancy pants hospital system. I've gotten to choose where I want to be, and what I want to do, and I'm able to enjoy my life spending time with friends and family during normal hours on normal days.
So for all of the people that will inevitably say, stick with the hospital job, at least here's one person - me - saying take the outpt job!