Worry about making a career change

Nurses Nurse Beth


Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Hi Nurse Beth!

I am struggling with major burnout and have been thinking for a long time about making a career change. It was always my plan to get an advanced degree, but I've become less and less certain what degree I actually want to pursue.

I am passionate about women's health and currently work in labor and delivery, but the high stress and working nights/weekends/holidays is killing me. I literally dread going to work most days, even though I do love being a part of labor and delivery. I have considered a clinic RN position but I can't afford the pay cut that comes with it. I would love to find something with better hours, lower stress, but still satisfying and offers some purpose. I've considered nursing education and nurse practitioner routes but also worry about the job market for both careers. Would love whatever insight and ideas you may have... 

Dear Struggling,

Major burnout, high stress, the dread of going to work...weigh those against a cut in pay. You already know you can't continue indefinitely on your current path. There is a high personal cost to what you are doing now.

An advanced degree will help you redesign your career. Overall, advanced practice nurse jobs including CRNA, midwives and nurse practitioners are projected to increase up to 45% until 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics.

Of course the projections vary regionally, but overall the outlook for APRNs is very good. NPs are providing primary care and preventative care.

Nursing education and nurse practitioner are very different roles. One is clinical, one is not. Your first challenge is to narrow down your choice. Can you picture yourself in Staff Development, as an educator in acute care? Or perhaps as a professor in a local nursing program? Online education can provide a career as long as you need or wish.

Or do you want that patient connection, such as working as an NP and seeing patients? 

Best wishes with your decision,

Nurse Beth

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