Should I quit?

Posted
by whydoidothisrn (New) New

I have been a nurse for 17 years. 14 years in a small ICU. I was involved in a layoff from that job 3 years ago. Since then, I have been bouncing from job to job. It has caused a form of PTSD, Anxiety and now I have been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. I have started two jobs in last 2 months and just called and quit because the anxiety got too high. I have earned my Master's in nursing education and am very comfortable helping students. But can't find a nurse teaching job in my area. The stress is unbearable right now. I'm thinking of quitting all together, and just working retail. But I don't want people to look at me and think "why is she here" and me have to answer that question. Anyone in a similar situation? Any ideas? Suggestions?

missmollie, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Neuroscience. Has 4 years experience. 869 Posts

Why don't you like your new job, and what is different from your old ICU job. Bigger hospital? Cliques? Work different than you expected? How long have you been in this job, how many jobs have you had before this particular one. What is it you are looking for and can't find?

If you've been diagnosed as bipolar, I'm sure you've been given a prescription or a referral. Utilize that. If you've just started your meds, realize it will take up to 6 weeks for the medication to take effect, so give it some time. Otherwise, don't make any rash decisions right now. Tell us more information.

Things do get better.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 16 years experience. 224 Articles; 27,608 Posts

I have earned my Master's in nursing education and am very comfortable helping students. But can't find a nurse teaching job in my area.
Many nurse educators are online instructors who live hundreds of miles from the school and work remotely. So although no teaching jobs might be in your immediate area, there's probably a vast range of online positions if you know how to find them.

Good luck to you.

VerticalHorizon

106 Posts

There are obviously issues that need to be addressed. Figuring out a solution to your anxiety is better than ignoring the problem. Dont let this keep you from what you want to do with your life.

whydoidothisrn

9 Posts

I worked at my first nursing job for 14 years. I was even manager. Stepped down to finish school. Then got laid off. Even though that job was very hard, in a small hospital. 2 RNs to five patients, plus we placed the tele units on, watched them, charted on them, was after hours PACU, responded to every code, and more.......I can't get over the fact that they laid me off I think. I have had a series of jobs, its not the jobs, I could and would work anywhere if my anxiety would let me. I just can't get past that moment. I feel like they threw me out like the trash when I was a seasoned nurse with them. It doesn't help that I got diagnosed with RA the last year I was there and was hospitalized a number of times. I just want to not feel like this. That's it, I just don't know. I can NOT stop having anxiety attacks going into work, if I get there.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 16 years experience. 224 Articles; 27,608 Posts

I can't get over the fact that they laid me off I think.
I am so very sorry you were laid off. Nonetheless, the layoff occurred three years ago. You must move on. As Tim Robbins would say, "Get busy living or get busy dying."

I just can't get past that moment. I feel like they threw me out like the trash when I was a seasoned nurse with them.
They laid you off. It appears your life's been profoundly affected by this layoff, yet I guarantee your former employer is not losing one bit of sleep over what occurred.

You need to do what it takes to move past this layoff, even if it means professional help for the lingering anxiety. The layoff happened in the past. When we keep both eyes in the past, it blinds us in the present. Look to the future. Good luck to you.

Edited by TheCommuter

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience. 6,767 Posts

We all have a form of PTSD. It goes with the territory. Nursing is as high stress as it gets. Must question the bipolar dx.

Take some deep breaths, get some counseling, and use that Master's degree.

jadelpn, LPN, EMT-B

51 Articles; 4,800 Posts

I worked at my first nursing job for 14 years. I was even manager. Stepped down to finish school. Then got laid off. Even though that job was very hard, in a small hospital. 2 RNs to five patients, plus we placed the tele units on, watched them, charted on them, was after hours PACU, responded to every code, and more.......I can't get over the fact that they laid me off I think. I have had a series of jobs, its not the jobs, I could and would work anywhere if my anxiety would let me. I just can't get past that moment. I feel like they threw me out like the trash when I was a seasoned nurse with them. It doesn't help that I got diagnosed with RA the last year I was there and was hospitalized a number of times. I just want to not feel like this. That's it, I just don't know. I can NOT stop having anxiety attacks going into work, if I get there.

Been there, done that, bought the commemorative mug. I felt like garbage too. Although never an LPN in an ICU, I was able to work for many years in every part of a small community hospital. Until a big fish came and swallowed the small fish.

First off, it is all about you. You need to manage your conditions so that you can function in all parts of your life.

Then, your career. Online schools are an awesome thing!! And yes, you can do this in your living room!!

I the meanwhile, think about tutoring. Maybe do a NCLEX prep study group. Talk to new nurses about their resumes and cover letters. How to get a job. Most can be done by word of mouth, hooking yourself up in the college that you attended as a resource. There are even adult education community schools that have online courses of study.....lots of things.

But first and foremost, get yourself to a therapist. Grieving is a process, and we all need assistance now and again.

Best wishes!

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience. 6,767 Posts

Been there, done that, bought the commemorative mug. I felt like garbage too. Although never an LPN in an ICU, I was able to work for many years in every part of a small community hospital. Until a big fish came and swallowed the small fish.

First off, it is all about you. You need to manage your conditions so that you can function in all parts of your life.

Then, your career. Online schools are an awesome thing!! And yes, you can do this in your living room!!

I the meanwhile, think about tutoring. Maybe do a NCLEX prep study group. Talk to new nurses about their resumes and cover letters. How to get a job. Most can be done by word of mouth, hooking yourself up in the college that you attended as a resource. There are even adult education community schools that have online courses of study.....lots of things.

But first and foremost, get yourself to a therapist. Grieving is a process, and we all need assistance now and again.

Best wishes!

"Been there, done that, bought the commemorative mug." Using my user name? Good advice for OP. I sent her a detailed message with the same advice. Hoping gleason can get it together.

nutella, MSN, RN

1 Article; 1,509 Posts

I worked at my first nursing job for 14 years. I was even manager. Stepped down to finish school. Then got laid off. Even though that job was very hard, in a small hospital. 2 RNs to five patients, plus we placed the tele units on, watched them, charted on them, was after hours PACU, responded to every code, and more.......I can't get over the fact that they laid me off I think. I have had a series of jobs, its not the jobs, I could and would work anywhere if my anxiety would let me. I just can't get past that moment. I feel like they threw me out like the trash when I was a seasoned nurse with them. It doesn't help that I got diagnosed with RA the last year I was there and was hospitalized a number of times. I just want to not feel like this. That's it, I just don't know. I can NOT stop having anxiety attacks going into work, if I get there.

If it is a valid dx (bipolar) you might want to connect with a specialist for that. That illness can also cause underlying anxiety if not under control - a mental health specialist who is well versed should be able to help you sort or what is bipolar and what is garden variety anxiety after being fired.

If you are on meds for RA have somebody look at that as well to see if the medication is contributing to your anxiety (even low dose steroids can give people anxiety issues).

There is also the issue of transitioning out of the ICU to a different job. Switching to floor nursing can cause huge amount of stress (I went from critical care to floor and it was no picnic....) , so does to switch from rural ICU to regular high acuity critical care. It does cause discomfort and anxiety in a lot of people.

In any way - you would like to be a nursing instructor. Others have already given you some advice. While you can apply to jobs in hospitals as a clinical educator, there are also other possibilities like online instructors and Kaplan tutoring. You can also check out community colleges for example.

I have gotten to feeling that there are not too many positions for nursing educators these days so you may have to be creative or perhaps get two part time jobs or such.

pixierose, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, psych. Has 5 years experience. 882 Posts

Reading your OP, is your bipolar disorder being treated? Starting and quitting 2 jobs in 2 months and high, high anxiety can be hallmarks of poorly managed bipolar disorder (2007 was my spectacular year for the high anxiety why-is-my-life-falling-apart, I'm-bipolar-what-now? God-bless-Lamictal roller coaster).

Get thyself to a therapist, both for cognitive behavioral therapy (the grieving) and med management. I'm very sorry you're going through this.