Unhappy nurse? How to be happy?


Hello guys! I have been a nurse for 13 years and so far since i migrated to america on 2005 i never felt being happy at all to me being a nurse. I end up jumping to different jobs several times in the past 2 years and still i don't feel that leap in my heart of a thing called "happiness!" how do you know if it is the right field of nursing for you? And how would you know if it is for you???

tokmom, BSN, RN

4,568 Posts

Specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff. Has 30 years experience.

I guess when you can't believe you get paid for doing your job. I don't think a lot of people are a 100% satisfied with their jobs. That is what some of the surveys have said. As someone who was burned out on nursing and quit for almost 5 yrs, I can say I actually hated my profession at one time. I was forced back into it, but took on a completely different attitude. I'm forcing myself to learn parts of nursing I used to despise, like cardiac, lol. Now I'm finding it rather interesting. My attitude has made the difference of me liking my job.

Maybe you need a different niche in nursing?

Specializes in Peri-op/Sub-Acute ANP.

Nursing specialties are so diverse, I truly believe that there is a field out there for everyone. If you had the passion and determination to get through nursing school you have all the makings of a good and happy nurse, you just have to find your best fit. Some are lucky and find their passion early in their career, others have to kiss a few frogs before they find their prince of a job.

Specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD.

Well, I guess you have to ask yourself what is making you *unhappy*. Maybe it's not just work. If you are lonely and unhappy in your personal life, then you'll likely be unhappy in your work as well.

I don't know anyone who gets ecstatic about their job. Personally, I don't love a *job*, although I may derive great satisfaction from it. I'm currently in a job that fits like a glove. But then again, I am a different person than I was in my last job. I'm personally happier and my life is more stable. Therefore I'm able to put more of myself into this job. It helps a lot that my work place is happy, bright, calm, and fun(I'm a school nurse in an elementary school. :clown: Ah, the glue! the glitter!) My last work place was chaotic, threatening, and difficult. I definitely did NOT love that job.

So I guess I would say, work to make your personal life as fulfilling as possible. Then assess what you can do to make work more interesting and enjoyable. You may or may not need to find a new specialty. I worked in several areas before I finally found my nursing love--pediatrics. But even in my specialty i have moved around some, to keep it interesting. Maybe a little tweaking of the job is in order, along with some shoring up of the personal life. Good luck. :nurse:


221 Posts

As much as I hate to lose a nurse, I would say that after 13 years, you would know if you like the profession. It might be time to move on.


1,361 Posts

Specializes in ICU, ER, EP,. Has 17 years experience.

I have been very unhappy on and off through my 15 years of nursing. Several reasons have been management, upper management unit changes (merging the CSICU/CCU), being chronically trippled in the ICU with unsafe staffing. Sometimes I'm just unhappy personally and it affects my nursing. Sometimes I'm simply bored and unchallenged.

So you have to do some soul searching and identify the reason. Without that it's tough to help suggest some ideas. I have learned as I'm sure you have... that management, peers and my job do not exist to make me happy, I have to find it in my practice... some days it's very difficult. Sometimes it's changes that will pass I have to adjust to them or leave. I've only left once and know that all these periods of unhappyness do pass.


659 Posts

How many different areas have you tried? Maybe you just haven't found one that really fits you yet.(even after so many years)

I worked several different nursing areas and while I tolerated most of them I never did really 'like' most of them enough to last very long. Then I went into management and was happy as a clam. I think I was born to work in the management setting. I love it.

But then I got greedy and had the desire to make more money so I thought I would further my career by getting my Nurse Practitioner degree. All I have left to do is get my certificate, I am done with school. And I am wondering if I made a mistake because I literally hated clinicals and that type of work.

But it's too late now, too many loans to payback. Anyway, I am rambling. I think you can still be happy, just need to find your spot.

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU. Has 19 years experience.
As much as I hate to lose a nurse, I would say that after 13 years, you would know if you like the profession. It might be time to move on.


Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,022 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

most people, according to abraham lincoln, are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. good jobs/bad jobs, good relationships/bad relationships, poverty/wealth make it a bit easier to make up your mind one way or the other, but in general it doesn't really matter what happens to you in life. what matters is how you choose to deal with it.

i made up my mind to be happy, and although i've been through a lot of trials and tribulations, i'm pretty much happy.


38 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Onco, ED, Tele, Med/Surg. Has 4 years experience.

Ditto. You can be happy if you give yourself the proper perspective. But if you truly can't be happy here, please move on.


1,459 Posts

Being happy is a conscious decision that you have to make. You have to decide for your self that you will be happy no matter what. Your happiness should be independent of your job, you should be happy inspite of your job and not because of it.

Dissatisfaction with job occurs but that should not be the measure with which you guage your happiness. You live this life only once, and for that you should not have to go through it being unhappy.

Re-evaluate and see if there is not an underlying factor with which you have used your job as a cover-up. It is my hope and prayer that you find happiness- it is unthinkable for otherwise.

Specializes in Onc/Hem, School/Community.

Forgive me for hijacking the thread a bit, but I can also use the advice of experienced nurses. I am a new nurse and have the same feelings as the OP already. I love what I do; however, with newly implemented staffing matrices (many times we are without a unit clerk, a CNA, and our charge nurse floats between units), I feel as though I am left to do my job with one arm tied behind my back. I don't want to become bitter; however, I would be lying if I did not admit to being discouraged.

Thank you for any advice you have to offer.

Happy Easter! :nurse: