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Switching Careers from Nursing because I hate it so much

Posted

Has 2 years experience.

Hi guys,

I am a new nurse that graduated May 2019. I have held 2 different RN inpatient jobs at this point and I have hated both of them in every fiber of my being. The first one was completely terrible: poor staffing, high ratios, etc. The second one I have now is objectively better but I still hate nursing. I have been an RN at my second job for about 6 months. I was scarred from my first job, but told myself I would give it 6 months to regroup. 6 months later, I still hate my job so much. I would literally do anything else but nursing. is it irrational to switch fields completely? I am also a very introverted person. I dream of having a desk job and I am starting to resent the entire healthcare field in general. I want to be left alone. I don't want people yelling at me. I don't want to run around stressed all the time. even when things are going well, I know anything can go wrong at any point and am just never settled, calm, or happy.

I used to be such a positive person but nursing has sucked the life out of my very young soul. I get that it's normal to feel negatively about nursing for the first couple of years, but I am just so miserable. the fact that I resent healthcare is telling me I really should switch fields...I just want to be left alone at a desk where I can do my work and leave. anyone know what job that is? sign me up!

not to mention, when I was in nursing school I never liked clinicals...like ever. I guess in retrospect this should have been a sign, but I am very book smart and enjoyed learning. so I guess I just ignored the reality of what my job would be like after my classes were over.

I was also reading a stat the other day that about 1/3 of nurses leave the profession within the first couple years. this is telling me it's not just me and that my feelings are never going to get better. is it crazy to switch professions this early on? Does anyone have a job that is not stressful (or AS stressful as the bedside)?

kristine_bean, RN

Specializes in Acute care and rehabilitation. Has 10 years experience.

I hated nursing when I was new and some really bad days make me wonder about a new career. But it depended on the hospital and unit I worked for. I've been a nurse for 9 years now and my favorite part is getting to know the patients and making them feel well cared for and important. I still don't like the emergencies, chasing a doctor for answers to the same questions all day, or the need to be in 3 or 4 places at the same time. With that being said the bad days are not frequent. I usually have a very steady day of work flow with very helpful charge nurses (most of the time) that help me when I get behind and at a certain point you just learn the ropes and start to feel comfortable. For me a new job takes 9 months to a year to truly feel comfortable. I have considered moving to a different type of nursing, like case management or home health but I like 2 or 3 twelve hour shifts with several days off on a regular basis so the work life balance for me keeps me at the bedside.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

You have a degree and one year of experience. No need to switch fields.

Get cracking on the job boards, and networking ...to find something outside of the hospital.

Good luck

Lovethenurse2b25, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in CCRN, Geriatrics.

7 hours ago, nursingworldwhy said:

Hi guys,

I am a new nurse that graduated May 2019. I have held 2 different RN inpatient jobs at this point and I have hated both of them in every fiber of my being. The first one was completely terrible: poor staffing, high ratios, etc. The second one I have now is objectively better but I still hate nursing. I have been an RN at my second job for about 6 months. I was scarred from my first job, but told myself I would give it 6 months to regroup. 6 months later, I still hate my job so much. I would literally do anything else but nursing. is it irrational to switch fields completely? I am also a very introverted person. I dream of having a desk job and I am starting to resent the entire healthcare field in general. I want to be left alone. I don't want people yelling at me. I don't want to run around stressed all the time. even when things are going well, I know anything can go wrong at any point and am just never settled, calm, or happy.

I used to be such a positive person but nursing has sucked the life out of my very young soul. I get that it's normal to feel negatively about nursing for the first couple of years, but I am just so miserable. the fact that I resent healthcare is telling me I really should switch fields...I just want to be left alone at a desk where I can do my work and leave. anyone know what job that is? sign me up!

not to mention, when I was in nursing school I never liked clinicals...like ever. I guess in retrospect this should have been a sign, but I am very book smart and enjoyed learning. so I guess I just ignored the reality of what my job would be like after my classes were over.

I was also reading a stat the other day that about 1/3 of nurses leave the profession within the first couple years. this is telling me it's not just me and that my feelings are never going to get better. is it crazy to switch professions this early on? Does anyone have a job that is not stressful (or AS stressful as the bedside)?

I am a novice nurse also, and since working as a nurse I have not found my niche. But leaving nursing, a degree I worked so hard on is not an option. Don't give up! Keep in mind we started as nurses during the worst time possible considering how terrible the pandemic is. Give it time things will get better, with experience. A nursing desk job with tons of paperwork and the phone ringing all day also does not sound much better.

I think you should consult a professional who can help you sort through the variables and understand their relationship to your feelings. There are a lot of variables even in the short post you wrote: The specific job characteristics and demands, the culture of the workplace, the aspect of being newer to the profession, your personality and preferences, etc., etc.

All of that put together is too much for anyone to say, "yep, you sound like a true introvert, this will never make you happy" or "it's because you're still new..." or "find a different place to work..." or any of that.

You need help putting it all together and figuring out what fundamental things make you feel whole and then figuring out if those characteristics can readily be found within this profession or if you truly would be better off focusing your energies elsewhere.

There is no right or wrong answer here with regard to staying in or leaving the nursing profession, only right/wrong answers as far as what makes the most sense for you.

Take care ~

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

You can bail if you want. Just make sure you do the math and weigh that out. You won't qualify for government assistance on another degree and your parents are likely tapped out. The cost of financing a different degree plan can be enormous and take a lifetime to pay off.

I would advise that before you jump out of nursing and into some other unknown, which you might or might not hate just as much, that you investigate all the other ways your degree can work for you outside of inpatient care.

Best of luck.

Neo Soldier, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 6 years experience.

On 8/10/2020 at 8:40 PM, nursingworldwhy said:

when I was in nursing school I never liked clinicals...like ever

You and me both.

Before you tap out, may I suggest looking into a different field- of nursing. You can work at a clinic psychiatry, or a rehab. You could even look into teaching- you will need some nursing experience for this and a Masters degree. The hospital settings can be overwhelming even for the more seasoned nurses so I can only imagine what it is like now with COVID. You've worked hard to earn this degree; let the degree now work for you. Good luck.

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

On 8/10/2020 at 11:40 PM, nursingworldwhy said:

Hi guys,

I am a new nurse that graduated May 2019. I have held 2 different RN inpatient jobs at this point and I have hated both of them in every fiber of my being. The first one was completely terrible: poor staffing, high ratios, etc. The second one I have now is objectively better but I still hate nursing. I have been an RN at my second job for about 6 months. I was scarred from my first job, but told myself I would give it 6 months to regroup. 6 months later, I still hate my job so much. I would literally do anything else but nursing. is it irrational to switch fields completely? I am also a very introverted person. I dream of having a desk job and I am starting to resent the entire healthcare field in general. I want to be left alone. I don't want people yelling at me. I don't want to run around stressed all the time. even when things are going well, I know anything can go wrong at any point and am just never settled, calm, or happy.

I used to be such a positive person but nursing has sucked the life out of my very young soul. I get that it's normal to feel negatively about nursing for the first couple of years, but I am just so miserable. the fact that I resent healthcare is telling me I really should switch fields...I just want to be left alone at a desk where I can do my work and leave. anyone know what job that is? sign me up!

not to mention, when I was in nursing school I never liked clinicals...like ever. I guess in retrospect this should have been a sign, but I am very book smart and enjoyed learning. so I guess I just ignored the reality of what my job would be like after my classes were over.

I was also reading a stat the other day that about 1/3 of nurses leave the profession within the first couple years. this is telling me it's not just me and that my feelings are never going to get better. is it crazy to switch professions this early on? Does anyone have a job that is not stressful (or AS stressful as the bedside)?

First, you are a newer nurse and many nurses question their career choice in the first year. Second, it sounds like you know why your first job didn’t work out. Chronic understaffing and poor support will deplete the best nurse. Third, why did you choose to go into nursing? Think back about this before you change careers. You worked hard to get through school!

I actually didn’t like clinicals either but I think I was bored during them. I had been a paramedic prior to nursing school and worked as a tech in the ER and wasn’t used to the med surg flow of things. I am also an introvert - actually an introvert/extrovert. I am very quiet until I am comfortable with my team and then it’s hard to keep me quiet ☺️

There are plenty of other areas of nursing to explore. Other forms of bedside nursing from ICU to OR.....eventually non bedside nursing as well. If you like desk work and are good with book work, then maybe you could try nursing education, informatics, telephone triage, etc down the road. Just a few thoughts.....

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

I think if you hate it then move in. It is not for everyone and that is fine.

Keep your license active, but in the meantime find that desk job in a non healthcare setting and give it a try. See if it makes a big difference for you. Why not?

Assuming you do not have huge financial considerations of course and can afford a little "fling" to see if something else is better for you.

Edited by CrunchRN

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

1 hour ago, Neo Soldier said:

You could even look into teaching- you will need some nursing experience for this and a Masters degree.

I respectfully disagree. I would not advise someone who so far hates nursing to aim for a position teaching it to others.

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

4 hours ago, Jedrnurse said:

I would not advise someone who so far hates nursing to aim for a position teaching it to others.

Even if an educator thought they were good at faking enthusiasm for the profession, I would think the students would see through it.

On 8/10/2020 at 10:40 PM, nursingworldwhy said:

. I would literally do anything else but nursing. is it irrational to switch fields completely?

To OP, I truly hope you find some peace with what ever choice you make. I have taught several students who didn't like nursing and didn't want to be a nurse. There was a great deal of parental pressure and the students I am thinking of were young. After working a year or two they had the money and confidence to pursue other career options like interior decorating or fashion, elementary education or music and have done very well. When I was in graduate school I worked for the boys club in a grant funded position teaching basic health skills and practices. There was no stress, I was not responsible for breaking up fights and only had minimal first aid responsibilities. That was fun!

Best wishes - it is very hard realize what you worked so hard for is not after all what makes you happy but on the flip side, there are many posters on AN who are second career nurses or have a bachelor's in something else before ABSN programs. Hopefully their stories will comfort you.

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

Bedside nursing is definitely not for everyone. But if you're not 100% sure you want to completely switch fields, there are desk jobs in nursing. Insurance companies, case management, research, informatics. I think it is hard to find a job with absolutely no human interaction, but there are definitely jobs with much less than bedside nursing. Working in a lab doing research, utilization review, etc. One nurse who used to work with me on the floor went to utilization review and loves it, because he hardly ever talks to patients. Mostly paperwork and if on the phone it's talking to companies, not patients with volatile behavior. Good luck!

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 3 years experience.

Well, I changed careers TO nursing, so it’s definitely possible. I was an elementary school teacher, and while I didn’t hate it, I knew it wasnt for me. So, spend some time thinking about it, and maybe try an outpatient nursing job first, but you certainly aren’t locked into a career if you hate it.

One of a few pros of working as a nurse is that many nursing jobs are flexible. If you can afford, maybe it is a good idea to be part time on your nursing job and use your extra free time to prepare for what you really wanna do.

I left nursing for good. I have a desk job in clinical research now. They definetely leave me alone most of my work time. I tried medsurg and surgery in the past. Nursing was not for me. I became a part timer on my surgery job, and went back to school for my master's degree in STEM. My current job does not require a nursing license, but it is nice to have nursing knowledge since after all I am working in clinical research. I did not waste my BSN since having a bachelor's degree was one of requirements for the admission to graduate school.

Good luck finding what you make you feel happy!

Swellz

Specializes in oncology, MS/tele/stepdown. Has 6 years experience.

I don't think it's crazy to switch professions, but I do think it's crazy to leave nursing without trying a different kind of nursing. I know, you've had two positions, but they sound pretty similar. You put a lot of work into becoming a nurse, and I think you do yourself a disservice by not trying out other options before leaving the field completely. Go peak at the specialties threads here and see if anything sparks your interest.

And maybe nursing really isn't for you and you won't find a job that makes you happy, but maybe you find a job that doesn't drive you insane and pays the bills while you find a field that will make you happy. Good luck!

SquishNurse, BSN

Specializes in Acute care, travel nurse, public health, CM. Has 16 years experience.

Check out utilization management. I am so sorry that inpatient nursing has been such a bad experience for you. It is not for everybody, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for wanting to leave. Also, look into public health. I liked nursing MUCH MUCH more after I left inpatient bedside.

In nursing school, there is just not enough time to get exposed to all of the non-bedside jobs that are out there. Obtaining a BSN or MSN (if you haven't already) will open up more opportunities. I could have written your post in my first year of nursing but I've found fulfilling jobs for over 20 years. Yes, I did put in some years at the bedside and advance my education for those non-bedside opportunities but it was totally worth it.

NurseSpeedy, ADN, LPN, RN

Has 19 years experience.

On 8/10/2020 at 11:40 PM, nursingworldwhy said:

Hi guys,

I am a new nurse that graduated May 2019. I have held 2 different RN inpatient jobs at this point and I have hated both of them in every fiber of my being. The first one was completely terrible: poor staffing, high ratios, etc. The second one I have now is objectively better but I still hate nursing. I have been an RN at my second job for about 6 months. I was scarred from my first job, but told myself I would give it 6 months to regroup. 6 months later, I still hate my job so much. I would literally do anything else but nursing. is it irrational to switch fields completely? I am also a very introverted person. I dream of having a desk job and I am starting to resent the entire healthcare field in general. I want to be left alone. I don't want people yelling at me. I don't want to run around stressed all the time. even when things are going well, I know anything can go wrong at any point and am just never settled, calm, or happy.

I used to be such a positive person but nursing has sucked the life out of my very young soul. I get that it's normal to feel negatively about nursing for the first couple of years, but I am just so miserable. the fact that I resent healthcare is telling me I really should switch fields...I just want to be left alone at a desk where I can do my work and leave. anyone know what job that is? sign me up!

not to mention, when I was in nursing school I never liked clinicals...like ever. I guess in retrospect this should have been a sign, but I am very book smart and enjoyed learning. so I guess I just ignored the reality of what my job would be like after my classes were over.

I was also reading a stat the other day that about 1/3 of nurses leave the profession within the first couple years. this is telling me it's not just me and that my feelings are never going to get better. is it crazy to switch professions this early on? Does anyone have a job that is not stressful (or AS stressful as the bedside)?

Honestly, any decent paying job is going to be stressful. My father worked in business, had a CPA license, and told me to never make the same career mistake that he did. My husband does medical equipment repair for a manufacturer-loves his job-but stresses out over it constantly. I got my nursing license, have done a little bit of almost everything. There will always be stress with jobs that have a decent salary, require and education and critical thinking, and are enough to keep you motivated so that you are not completely bored off your butt (there are some nursing jobs that will have this-they also do not pay well and they may be nice for a change of pace if you like learning and using your brain they will eventually drive you nuts). I ended up hating floor nursing-not the patient care so much as the understaffing and inability to do what administration demanded-and when the HELL did the H start standing for Hilton and nursing got hard pressed to get the means correct out of the kitchen for satisfaction scores??? I had one patient demand their “flan”....I had to Google what it was. Another was ticked off she couldn’t get polenta with her pasta-sorry hon-it’s not gormet-Gordon Ransey isn’t in the kitchen whipping up dinner tonight, if frozen choice defrosted and heated # 1 or #2-polenta goes with the stake-yesterday-so it’s not available for a reimbursement tonight. Good Lord. Now wait a moment because your neighbor stopped breathing.

Assisted living was no acute but I found it stressful due to crappy management and no staff showing up. Neglect hurts and I couldn’t be a part of what I kept witnessing. I was only one person. I could not care properly for 100 if 4 sides went MIA and didn’t show up on the weekends and still kept their jobs.

Desk jobs carry their own stress. Things need to get done and a lot of it is going back and forth with other organizations or insurance companies playing and endless game of phone tag and being on hold only to get disconnected-given the wrong info-or told thank you for the info we will get back to you only to call a few days later and no record of the call.

There are many jobs you can use your nursing license for that will not require direct patient care. Most will involve some-at least phone-contact- and most require at least a few years experience in the area of care that you eventually get the desk job. I will say that it will depend on what kind of stress you handle better. I could never go back to working at the Hilton. I burnt out years before I knew it-but I have dabbled in a little bit of other nursing jobs here and there. I love what I do now for the most part, but there’s always stress in most jobs.

I am sure even the Walmart Greeter has their days (haven’t seen them in a while) or the bag boy. Customer service whether in nursing or elsewhere is always going to have its unhappy consumers-the Wally I looked at it in nursing was that at least most of them had a reason to be grumpy. They didn’t feel well. As for the guy who came in for the sale that was sold out-get out of my face-take your rain check and back off before you are escorted by security for threatening me because your zip lock dime bags sold out.

Its you’re call. I would see if there’s something that you could use your education with before starting over, but if your young you may have time on your side. Just take the time to figure out what it is you really want to do because school-for anything-gets expensive and we have to pay for it whether we work in the field or not. Best of luck whatever you decide.