Suggestions PLEASE for unhappy nurse


Hi all. I am very unhappy being a nurse, but I think I could tolerate it more if I didn't work with patients. What kind of jobs could I get where I am more off to myself? I'd rather work by thinking and not by doing.

Also, my husband is about to finish nursing school and we are wanting to travel (after his year or so of experience), so are there any positions like I just talked about in my first paragraph that would allow for travel? I mean, are there travel positions available without direct patient contact? I'm just trying to get by until I fulfill my other dream and get out of nursing completely.

Thanks in advance!


104 Posts

Specializes in Adult Cardiac surgical. Has 5 years experience.

"but I think I could tolerate it more if I didn't work with patients"

Are you joking? Why did you become a nurse? I suppose research nursing is an option but I would think there still would be some patient interaction.

Virgo_RN, BSN, RN

3,543 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED.

What specifically is it about working with patients that doesn't suit you?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm more of a task oriented nurse than a touchy feely one. My current position really pushes me to work on my interpersonal skills, which I think is really important in my growth and development as a human being. Ultimately, I think I'd like to get into a more technical area of nursing, but for now, where I'm at provides a lot of opportunity for growth.

What types of nursing have you done so far? Maybe it isn't patient care so much, but the patient population?

For example, when I did a med-surge rotation, I had a really hard time with the younger patients in their early twenties, because they tended to be more self absorbed than the older folks. The patient population I primarily deal with now are generally fifty and older. These folks have enough life experience and have taken their lumps enough times that they tend not to sweat the small stuff quite so much. This meshes a lot better with my personal style of nursing practice.

It's mostly the hovering family members that drive me insane now! Once they go home, the patient and I get along just fine.


1,313 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

Are you finding patients way too demanding? I certainly did when I did bedside nursing. A few nurses on this forum would probably think i'm wrong here but some nurses are just not prepared to put up with overly demanding patients and want out of this type of nursing.

In the OR you may get some annoying patients but they are soon anaesthetised and you can get on with caring for them without the constant demands and relatives being annoying.


474 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Education.

When I think of jobs with no or little pt interaction the following comes to mind: OR, staff development, management, utilization review, some case management jobs, clinical informatics (computer) working for vendors such as drug companies, equipment or the ever present computer systems that we all love and hate. Now many if not all of those positions require additional training and or education. So you have to decide how committed you are to the healthcare field in general.

Now I think with travel nursing the only one that will fit is OR and you must have experience in the area that you work in as a traveler - so you'd have to see if you can transfer now to the OR in order to gain experience. And your hubby will also have to have , I think it is at least a years experience to travel too. So I don't think you're going anywhere in the near future. Actually starting out as a new nurse is very hard (as you now know) and I would not recommend traveling until you both feel competent in your skills. Traveling sounds wonderful but it has its headaches too -- learning a new place, new routines, new docs and co workers every 3-4 months. And you are always the new person/outsider, everywhere you go so you never develop the sort of support systems that regular staff does. Meaning when the s*** hits the fan who do you call?

I agree with the other posters - you need to figure out what exactly you don't like. And also ask your self why did you go to nursing school in the first place? But the wonderful thing about this profession is that it is so diverse and with time you should be able to find something that is right for you.


77 Posts

it's mostly the hovering family members that drive me insane now! once they go home, the patient and i get along just fine.

that's why i love nights... hovering family members are rare!


417 Posts

Specializes in ccu cardiovascular. Has 12 years experience.

How long have you been a nurse? Most travel jobs require at least 2 yrs experience and well not sure how many travel jobs you could get without having patient contact. What about it is driving you away? Is it the families, patients or the work itself?


88 Posts

Specializes in peds and med/surg.
that's why i love nights... hovering family members are rare!

yeah, i work at night too, and for the most part this is true. sometimes, they stay. others, like the other night, they just drive you crazy at your craziest times. my patient was just as sweet as she could be, not demanding anything. her sister on the other hand was a different story. it was shift change and we do walking rounds. the sister asks for pain medication for the patient...but doens't want the percocet (they don't work for her) she wants the morphine. the day shift nurse politely told her that we were in report and that i'd get it as soon as we were done. she asked if someone else could do it. day rn asked pt if she'd be ok for another 10 minutes, she said of course, she'd be fine. the sister kept saying how she knew things were crazy...b/c she was a nurse...but when was her sister gonna get her pain meds. we had an emergency in another room, then a doc needed to talk to me....and the sister is standing behind the doctor waiting.......then says again that she knows things are crazy, but when am i gonna get that med. after i medicated the patient, the sister left and i never heard a peep out of that patient. i know this is off subject, but i couldn't imagine dealing with family all day. some are great, but some just need to go home.

Specializes in Med Surg, Geriatrics. Has 7 years experience.

Try working as a nurse consultant for an insurance company. Many pharmacutical companies also hire nurses however there is some contact with regards to research study, etc... Good luck! Maybe you need a break. Mini vacation "retirement" then try again in a couple yrs. That is what I have done! I feel better! I think we as nurses tend to expect to much of ourselves not realizing that we are just as human as those we are taking care of. I commend you on your honesty and good luck!


1,446 Posts

Specializes in ED, ICU, PACU.
"but I think I could tolerate it more if I didn't work with patients"

Are you joking? Why did you become a nurse? I suppose research nursing is an option but I would think there still would be some patient interaction.

Kinda harsh thing to say, isn't it?

Maybe the OP had enough of snotty comments, too?

People change and no one in school advised us of the crap we would have to put up with. It was certainly a shocker to me & I can totally understand the OP wishing to leave the bedside. Some people aren't gluttons for punishment and should not be ridiculed for an honest decision they make.

To the OP: You can work for insurance companies, telenursing & even in informatics, as many have done who feel the way that you do.


12 Posts

I really appreciate most everyone's replies. I apologize for my delay in replying, but I had forgotten my password and kept getting locked out of the message boards.

I can't pinpoint just one reason I don't like nursing; rather, it's actually almost everything about it. I tried convincing myself that nursing was what I wanted to do, but now I find myself 5 years (of school) and thousands of dollars later realizing it was all someone else's dream and not mine. Like I said in my original post, I have a very different dream for myself that I am in the process of making a reality, but I can only do so much about that because I have signed a contract with this hospital for a ridiculous amount of money that I would have to pay back if I broke the contract. It is a three year commitment and if at ANY point during that three years I were to break the contract, I have to pay back the ENTIRE amount. No, I'm not staying for the three years, but I am in no financial position to pay it all back right now. I'm guessing I will stay until next december then pay back all I owe at that time. My problem is finding something until then that at least won't cause me to cry on my work days and dread work on my off days. I'd love working in an office type setting during this waiting period, but I'm hesitant to take too drastic of a paycut (remember the contract repayment).

Again, I do appreciate all the suggestions, and please keep them coming. It helps getting others' opinions and encouragement.

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