Inpatient Nursing- Not For Everyone


A little over two years ago, I began my journey into nursing. For experience sake, I decided to become a medical float nurse as a new graduate. Although I learned a lot, my first year was a struggle. I realized it was time to move on after being stressed every day about what unit I would be on and how long I would be there for. There was one floor that I enjoyed, but I was unable to transfer to that unit. From there, I knew it was time to move on and experience what it would be like to be solely on one unit. I moved towns and switched to a different hospital system. Surely this change would be for the better.

Immediately upon starting this new role, I felt like a new grad all over again. And to top it off, I had to be on night shift in this role. At first when seeing how crazy day shift was, I was appreciative to be on night shift. Then I started getting nauseous after waking up from a shift and I was sleep deprived between shifts on my days off. I was eager to find another solution so I asked my manager if I could go part time. Again, I thought this would be key. Nope. Even with only 2x a week, I was still feeling ill and unable to feel healthy during my days off.

At the brink of changing jobs, my manager was able to offer a part time shift on PMs. Again, I was hopeful this would be the ticket to my success. Unfortunately the shift was crazy busy; admit, discharge, admit, discharge, nonstop, for the 8 hours. After the shift I found myself staying for 30 minutes up to 1.5 hours past my shift to make sure all my notes and charting were complete. If that was not defeating enough, the morning after I worked, I was nauseous with a headache, AGAIN. My migraines would hit harder than ever and end with me at the porcelain throne. I tried ginger tea before bed, snacking on crackers, drinking more water, cool room temps. Much to my dismay, nothing worked. Therefore, even though I was going to bed at a somewhat normal time, my days off were being affected and bleeding into my home life and well being. One quote that I was thinking of during this process was, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” -Albert Einstein. It was time for me to realize that after experiencing 4 different units and floating to several other units, I was still feeling the same. Overwhelmed and fatigued trying to get everything done and keep everyone safe. I was tired and ready to stop being insane.

I put my ego aside regarding staying in the hospital and contacted a friend who was part of an Hem/Onc infusion clinic. I was able to get an interview and a job offer! This would be a completely new environment for me and a different pace. The thing that allowed me to put my ego aside is that here I would be still practicing some nursing skills and I would be able to continue my education to become an NP or nurse educator if I wanted to. I also appreciated the idea of having holidays and weekends off. I was most healthy and happy when I was on a normal schedule. I also realized that I would be happier if my husband and I could share the evening together on a daily basis and be together on the weekends.

The hospital provides innumerable experiences and is a great place to learn and grow as a nurse, but I have come to find out that it is not for everyone. If I kept up with the stress and putting all my needs aside, I would be probably be a patient sometime soon. My health, well being, and my relationship with my family comes first. A job should not take away from your life. I am hopeful that this role will give me the purpose I seek and the work- life balance I have been craving.

No one can determine what is best for you. Only you can!




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