Trapped In Nursing

I have been a nurse 8 yrs. Every minute of the day I wish I would have gone into a different field. I hate hate hate it. I hate the responsibility that comes with being an RN. I have tried many different fields of nursing also. I have never felt confident in clinical skills so eventually went into case management. Well I hate it too! I cry at least several times a week due to my job. I am overworked and incredibly stressed. No one seems to understand how miserable I am. I am sick of new paperwork every day. Document the same things in 10 different places. I just feel so trapped, and it seems like if you tell anyone you don't want to be a nurse anymore, that they think you are such a horrible person. Any other job no one seems to care. I make good money so I feel like I would be disappointing my family if I leave this profession, since they depend on me. How would I ever make good money again?? What the heck job could I have? WHO would even hire an RN for a non nursing job????? My fiancee is laid off so all the pressure is on me to keep a good income (i also have one child). But I am so depressed about this and no one really knows how much. I really just feel like a failure, I failed at picking a career I would I like, I failed at being one of those awesome nurses that does everything right and loves it, I have failed at making a good future for myself. I know one day I will up and quit for good on one of those days where I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I swear if I don't quit this field I will end up in the hospital from a heart attack or in the looney bin! I am glad to have found this site and to know I am not the only one that thinks nursing sucks!
misssassypantz misssassypantz
36-40, F
7 Responses Dec 6, 2012

Try reading this book. It gives advice on how to use your nursing experience to transition into a completely different career.

How to Get Out of Nursing

by Melanie Nightingale

Available on Amazon as an eBook

I sooo feel your pain. I graduated 2 years ago and I haven't worked in a hospital because I have no in- hospital experience ( this what I have deemed " The Catch 22 from Hell"); the only job that I could get was in Dialysis.......( i so want to cry). It is like high school on steroids with the cattyness. The patients are such a pain in the ***, I would get sick at the thought of going on the floor :(. I have to feed my kids and I am living in Hell everyday. I quit and have NO intention of returning. I have applied for every entry level job on this side of the Atlantic and will BEG for the opportunity to show my worth. Please keep your head up; I will let you know how my search goes.....

I think I could have written your post because I am feeling the same way. I'm so sorry you do too. I wish I would have seen this going in to this profession while in school, but for some reason I kept thinking it was going to be different when I was out in the real world of nursing. Sadly, it's worse than it was in clinicalls because at least then, the responsibility was buffered and shared by my preceptor nurse. I've been a nurse for 3 years now and like poaster: Realityhit said, I have a very hard de-tatching myself from the responsibility that I take so seriously and can't let things go after my shift is over. I started out in a really lousy unit out of school (tele) where my health suffered quite a bit (but not enough to make me take time off or anything) I lost my spirit a bit. Then everyone said to go to ICU because when you're in ICU, you can get a job anywhere...wrong. ICU only made me more of a stress case and depressed. I still haven't found my niche, and I don't know whether to go back and get an advanced degree in nursing (to get OUT of the hospital setting somehow) will make things better for me or just put me right back in debt and in the same situation only paid a little more...I honestly don't know what to do and have been researching it almost every free time I have. I'm so glad I found this site. It helps that other people understand. Because yes, when I tell close friends, parents, that I dislike my profession, they look at me like I'm going to give them a huge reason that will give them an "Oh, yah, that's a bad profession" when in reality, unless you've BEEN a nurse, you have no idea. By the way, I also love this post because I feel guilty and mis-undrstood by venting to my family and spouse already (3 years now). This place is perfect for something like that.

One more thing on respect, I see it every day where I work from all levels of health care staff. And from ancilliary positions where the tech makes the same, if not more money, for the same experience in years as the RN does. Comments like, "Well it's the nurse's responsibility that it didn't get done", or "what are the nurses doing all day" becuause of such-and such happening. Hmmm, if employees our OWN work enviornment CAN'T get it - can't get all that we go through and how overworked we are - then how are people who have no clue what goes on on a nursing floor every understand?

Trust your instincts!! You feel awful because you know there is a better way to live. I get it about the money. Could you reduce to part time while you search for another job? I've been nursing for twice and long as you....you are very insightful. Stop beating yourself up. Your right that no one else will probably "get it" when you tell them you NEED to get out of nursing. Well, the people on this forum will understand...lol. Sometimes it's the really good nurses who get burnt out early because they are empathic and can't detach themselves from the care they give. I think that's a good thing for the patient. Unfortunately not so good for the nurse! You need to do the right thing for you. Otherwise all you energy and emotion will be funneled into the job and the rest of your life and the people in it will be sacrificed. That's where I'm at now. Don't wait for the job to drain you dry. Take care and good luck.

OMG! I have felt this way soooooooo many times. Ways to "improve" my self as a nurse are constantly being shoved down my throat. I am burned out and worn out by the most difficult profession to be in. I told my coworkers not to be surprised if I had a stroke one day.

I'm still in nursing school and wondering if I should quit now. I have two quarters left. I just feel like there is so much I don't know or will never know and it scares me. My confidence level in my clinicals isn't very good. I feel stupid.

Dear kayaker68, I have been a nurse for 21 years here in the state of California. And believe it or not I felt the exact same way all through nursing school, quite often in every nursing job I've ever had, and to this very day. But somehow, someway they keep letting me come back and be a nurse.

Switch to another health profession or tech career. If you still want the health field that is. I think you need to listen to your gut. Being nervous and insecure was a part of nursing school for me but I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. Sounds like you are realizing you don't want this. That's OK! Look into other programs now while your courses are still current and transferable. Don't limit yourself to University if that's where you're studying. There are a lot of good careers where the education comes from a community college. Well paying jobs too that probably offer a better quality of life once you're out of school and working. Good luck.

I so thoroughly enjoyed school. Sure it was stressful but I'm smart and I got it. I did well on tests and in clinicals and with each I would get more and more psyched about doing the real thing. I graduated with a 3.5 gpa. It's everything else that goes along with nursing that makes me miserable. I think that if I got a job in a doctors office or a clinic it would be nice. But those jobs are few and far between.

I feel the same. I never gained the confidence so second guess myself at every turn and it's so stressful. I hate the responsibility. But I feel like a failure if I lose my registration.