I think we all have those days when we just want to give up as a nurse. We want to throw the towel in, we can’t do anything right, it’s too hard and maybe even question if nursing was the right decision for us. I can promise you that these feelings are normal. Our jobs can be downright hard at times and not everyday will be smooth sailing. Of course some days will be harder than others but that shouldn’t be enough to make you want to give it all up. You worked hard to get where you are at now so it’s important to know that your current job will not be your forever job.
One of the best things about nursing is that you can go many different routes with your nursing license. You feel more comfortable on the administrative side of nursing? Take that nursing management job. Or you feel most fulfilled when you are teaching people? Take that job at the local college as a nursing instructor. Or you want to be in the throws of things and want a fast-paced, hands-on experience? Take that job as an ER nurse. The hardest part will be finding where you are most happiest and finding that happiness can take time.
Sometimes trial and error is necessary in finding your happy place as a nurse. You hated the job in home care? Or in the hospital setting? Or the job was simply not clinical enough for you? Take those things and cross them off your list of potential jobs because you already know that it isn’t the right fit for you. Maybe it wasn’t even the job itself; maybe it was the hours. You are tired of working evening shifts, weekend shifts and holidays. Maybe you want some normal hours. Take those things into consideration when looking for a new job.
It’s important to make note of the things you are looking for in a job and the things that are absolute deal breakers. Make sure when you are looking for jobs that you are not automatically disqualifying yourself from a potential job just because it says they prefer a BSN versus an ASN or they prefer an RN with at least two years experience. Just because some qualifications are preferred does not mean that you are disqualified. If it’s something that you are interested in, take that shot. You will be surprised at the opportunities that can be presented to you when you aren’t afraid of taking that leap.
So yes, not being happy in your current job can be normal! Finding the nursing niche that is correct for you can be difficult to find if you are unclear about which direction you want to take. Just remember that there are so many possibilities out there as a nurse that you don’t have to fall into the conventional areas of nursing. There are interesting jobs out there that are unique or different that may just be exactly what you are looking for. Don’t be afraid to apply to a job that may be out of your realm or comfort zone. Embrace the discomfort of a new job skill so that you can expand your areas of expertise. The unknown can be scary but sometimes that unknown is the thing that we have ultimately been looking for.
Emily Steadman, RN-BSN