unhappy with school nursing

Posted
by jagalu100305 jagalu100305 Member Nurse

Specializes in School Nurse, NICU. Has 7 years experience.

I have been a school nurse for 3 years now--i moved from elementary to junior high this year and I really don't like it. Before being a school nurse i was a NICU nurse and very proud to be. If people asked me did i like my job my response used to be "I love my job but hate the hours" now I say "i hate my job but love the hours" I wanted to be a school nurse soooooo bad but it was just for my kids not me. Now i am struggling what to do because i love my kids and want to be there for them but don't like school nursing. i am bored, feel unsupported, teachers do not respect me (for the most part) i do not have coworkers I can bond with and all in all it is the most thankless job i have ever had. i feel stressed because if I leave I feel i will be letting my family do but doing what i want to do. I worked soooo hard to become a nurse and I loooove the hospital and being part of that. but i love my kids more than anything. I hate making this decision--things have not been different going from one school to the next and I feel i have given it a good try. any insight or advice out there??? The icing on the cake was the other day when a teacher came up to me and I said something like gosh i am sooo tired-- and he said "you can't be as tired as a real nurse that works in the hospital!!!--they work hard!!" :crying2::confused::mad:

pugmomrn

pugmomrn

Specializes in LDRP/Nursery/Peds/Gyn, school nursing. Has 17 years experience. 90 Posts

testing (couldn't post a bit ago...)

pugmomrn

pugmomrn

Specializes in LDRP/Nursery/Peds/Gyn, school nursing. Has 17 years experience. 90 Posts

School nursing is definitely a unique area of nursing, and it varies so greatly from one district to the next. I tried it because of the hours/schedule, my desire to try community nursing, and my interest in the whole educational arena. School nursing offers independence, but the flip side of that coin is isolation. It is difficult being the only health care professional in the district-- all eyes fall to us. I've been fortunate to work in a really supportive district- the teachers are very appreciative of anything I've done.

ctd. onto next post.

Edited by pugmomrn
addendum

pugmomrn

pugmomrn

Specializes in LDRP/Nursery/Peds/Gyn, school nursing. Has 17 years experience. 90 Posts

But, alas, it's not where I want to spend my life.

Coincidentally, I gave my notice just last week, and have 2 weeks left. I've decided to go back to my true love, OB. There's a brand-new hospital opening up nearby, and I'll be working a 0.5 pm/noc position. I thought that the school schedule would be more family-friendly, but I spend my evenings and weekends playing catch-up with groceries, housework, homework, etc etc etc.

I grew up with a dad who hated his job, and a mom who spent her days at work and came home crabby. I don't want to set that example for my kids. We are fortunate to work in a profession that has such great flexibility. You gave school nursing a try. If your heart is in NICU and it will work for your family-- go for it!:nurse:

Edited by pugmomrn
spell

luvschoolnursing, LPN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 23 years experience. 651 Posts

I love school nursing. I was absolutely miserable in the hospital. I would rather work 5 days/week in the school and make as much money as I could working 2 days/week in the hospital. Like pugmom said, the beauty of nursing is that we have choices. No one can say you haven't given it a fair try if you have been doing this for 3 years. Go back to what you love. NICU can probably give you flexible hours and your family will be much happier if you are happy. "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"

mustlovepoodles

mustlovepoodles, RN

Specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD. 1,041 Posts

The icing on the cake was the other day when a teacher came up to me and I said something like gosh i am sooo tired-- and he said "you can't be as tired as a real nurse that works in the hospital!!!--they work hard!!" :crying2::confused::mad:

What an idiot.:grn:I have to remind myself that it is the rare staff or admin who actually knows what I do. In fact, I started signing my name Firstname Lastname, RN, BS just so they would understand that I have as much education as they do--some of the teachers didn't know that nurses go to college!

I was a NICU nurse too and when I first left it to pursue a non-clinical position I was really sad. Even though the hours sucked and I really was unhappy in the NICU(at the end, anyway), I craved the adrenaline rush. Ultimately, I determined that my reasons for wanting to go back were NOT realisitic and I stayed in the non-clinical position, which prepared me well for being a school nurse.

I think 3 years is long enough to know whether school nursing is for you. You know what they say, "If Mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" Maybe it's time...

safarirn

safarirn

157 Posts

Great advice POODLES... I've been told the same thing. Give it 3 years. I hear it takes that long for a school nurse to get accustomed to her school/ students/ setting/ responsibilities. And that's about as long as it takes the staff to truly appreciate & respect you as a valuable professional that's here for the long haul.

Good luck making your decision. You can always come here for support!

LACA, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med Office, Home Health, School Nurse. Has 4 years experience. 371 Posts

School nursing is a job that you can't do effectively if you don't enjoy it. You can work at a McDonald's drive thru and hate it, but still be able to complete your job duties. But, school nursing is something that you have to have your heart in to be able to be effective. If you don't love your job, it's not worth it to you or your students to stay. If you would be happier elsewhere, then don't feel bad at all for leaving! Do what's best for YOU and YOUR family!

bergren

bergren

1,112 Posts

Follow your heart. Life is too short to work in a position you hate. Good luck transitioning back. Advocate for the school nurse role in the units!!

luvmykidz

luvmykidz

Specializes in Med-surg, OB, school nursing. 37 Posts

If I were you I would wait until summer and go back to the NICU if you can. That way you can see if you really are as happy there as you remember and if you are you can quit the school nurse job and if you find it's more stressful or whatever than you remember then it will give you a better perspective of school nursing. I can completely understand where you're coming from. I worked on OB and loved it but hated all the forced overtime and hours so when a school nurse job came open I jumped on it since we were getting ready to start a family. I didn't like it as well but kept hanging in there hoping I'd become used to it and like it more. There are some things easier and some things harder about school nursing. I loved all my summers, weekends, and holidays off and I loved working with kids but I hated the lack of respect from the teachers, the un-caring parents, the whiny kids that really just wanted out of class, all the lice and the teachers that thought lice was more serious than a diabetic going low, etc. After five years as a school nurse and two kids I was lucky enough to take off 10 yrs to raise my kids and have another one! However, once they were all in school we needed more money and I was ready to return to work. I tried to get on at a hospital to get back into OB but with this recession and hospital cut-backs no one wanted to re-orient me so I went back to subbing as a school nurse. I enjoy it more because it's part-time but I don't really think I could do it full-time again. The school nursing schedule does work well with your kid's schedule but if you aren't happy then your family is going to notice. Trust me-your family would much rather have a happy mom that's working crazy hours than a mom that's there but grumpy and resentful-they can tell even if you are trying to hide it. There will be people that think you're crazy for giving up such a "cushy" job but unless they've done it they can't understand. Life is too short to not do what you love and do you really want to set an example to your kids that they should just settle even if they aren't happy? Good luck!

manjaNurse

manjaNurse

Has 10 years experience. 42 Posts

Oh wow....i totally understand how u r feeling...working in a job u hate is depressing...before, i worked with palliative patients....i hated it...it was the most depressing division of nursing ever!!

Granted, I've only been a school nurse for 3 months, but I am really loving it!! The principal and teachers really trust me and they make me a part of their circle. And the medical issues are usually so minor and yet u still have to use all your skills to ensure its not major....it really balanced up.

I've been working with Burns victims including children, palliative, intellectually disabled children.....God, school nursing is d best so far!!

But really, if u hated it, find a way out....u need to be happy to give out your best!!

DistrictNurse19

DistrictNurse19

66 Posts

Half the battle is liking what you do...go back to NICU and the rest will take care of itself. I think we "working moms" are far too hard on ourselves...your kids want you to be happy, too! There are times that I miss the hospital, too, and it has been a long time away for me. Nursing is a great field because there are so many choices!