4 Reasons Why I Quit Bedside Nursing to Work Telehealth

  • Explore the reality of bedside nursing for Nurse Nancy LaCroix and how the stress of this position caused her to explore other career opportunities through Telehealth. 
  • Learn Nurse LaCroix’s 4 reasons for leaving bedside care: Bedside Burnout, Poor Academic Performance, Discovering Alternative Routes of Nursing, and her Journey to Financial Freedom. 
  • Understand Nurse LaCroix’s 4 tips for transitioning to telehealth nursing: Prioritize Self Care, Time Management, explore Diverse Opportunities, and Strategize for Your Financial Freedom. 

Nancy LaCroix


January 18, 2024
Simmons University

In this blog, I will be sharing my journey from bedside nursing to embracing telehealth—a shift that brought balance and growth into my nursing career. 

Picture this: It’s 6:45, and you just arrived for yet another shift at the hospital. You step into to the unit while it’s pulsing with activity—beeping monitors, call lights, and nurses’ chatter attending to patient’s needs.  

You receive the bedside shift report and then proceed to see your first patient for your assessment: room 315. Admitted with a diagnosis of COPD exacerbation, Mr. Johnson, always jovial, now struggles to catch a breath. It’s a reminder of the unpredictable nature of health; one minute, you guys are chatting about his grandkids, and the next, you’re racing against time.  

Oh, but that’s not the only race you run. Beds fill up faster than housekeeping can clean them, and the unspoken mantra is ‘do more with less.’ Amidst the organized chaos, you’re not just the nurse, you’re also the shoulders patients lean on for comfort, education, and reassurance.  

There’s no pause button in this marathon. Lunch breaks become a mystery, and bathroom trips are a luxury. The clock ticks, but time seems irrelevant as you navigate through every hurdle. The nurse’s station seems like the headquarters of this organized chaos.  

Within the buzz, every tick of the clock echoes the relentless pressure to juggle it all—medications, documentation, assessments, calls to doctors, and everything in between—while the clock races and charts pile up. Moments meant for documentation are swallowed by urgent calls, new admissions, and the endless tango of bedside care.  

Eventually, the shift ends, but your marathon continues. You walk out of the hospital, with a backache and burning feet, only to realize that another challenge awaits you at home: the academic hustle of a Nurse Practitioner student. 

Upon entering your home, a supposed haven becomes a battleground between fatigue and a mental checklist of pending assignments. The weight of your shift still lingers while you stare blankly at your laptop filled with exam deadlines, upcoming papers, and pharmacology SOAP notes. Each word on the page becomes a blurred maze, and focus becomes a distant friend. You check your grades and once again notice you’re barely passing due to the bare minimum work you can give. It was in this constant maze of bedside chaos and academic aspirations—a deep realization came to settle: To flourish as a nurse and thrive in education—you must seek balance. 

If you’re a nurse who resonates or empathizes with this narrative, then you’re in the right place! Let’s dive into 4 essential reasons followed by tips on why I quit bedside nursing, and what I learned along the way. 

Reason #1: Bedside Burnout 

As much as I love nursing and taking care of my patients, the demanding nature of bedside nursing led me to burnout. Both my physical and emotional well-being were being abused by the constant pressure and workload from work. I was literally coming home and feeling like every ounce of energy was being taken from me, barely having time for my personal and academic obligations. 


Tip: Prioritize Self Care 

I had to learn that self-care was not an indulgence but it was a necessity. Showing up as the best version of myself—whether for work or school—began with prioritizing my well-being. One of the biggest ways was establishing boundaries to prevent work from infiltrating my personal life.  

That meant saying no to picking up extra shifts, especially when they were requesting me last minute. The next thing was engaging in activities that replenished me, like exercising, praying or meditating, going out with loved ones, or simply binge-watching my favorite TV show. Unplugging from work is a well-deserved necessity, especially as a nurse. 

Reason #2: Academic Performance 

I had to face the harsh reality: juggling between bedside nursing and schoolwork was negatively affecting me in my studies, and my grades were proof. The burnout I was experiencing from work followed me home and morphed me into a constantly stressful being, leading to poor academic performance. Pursuing my education was a priority for me. Realizing the link between bedside burnout and a decline in my grades was a turning point for me. This realization is exactly when I reconsidered my commitment to bedside nursing.  


Tip: Time Management and Seek Support 

Whether you’re a student or not, or whether you’re looking to quit bedside nursing or not. One thing for sure is the demands of a 12-hour shift weigh heavy. Outside of nursing, you might have other obligations or roles; maybe you’re a mother, spouse, or entrepreneur. Either way, the many hats you hold in your life are just as important as being a nurse.

Mastering time management and seeking support becomes essential. Prioritizing tasks and speaking to your clinical director to adjust work hours and allocate time for these tasks may be helpful. Seeking guidance and support from loved ones, professors, or mentors may also be helpful.  

Reason #3: Discovered Alternative Routes of Nursing

I had to face the harsh reality: juggling between bedside nursing and schoolwork was negatively affecting me in my studies, and my grades were proof. The

Getting a position as a telehealth nurse was one of the best decisions, I made in my nursing career. The low-stress workload keeps me balanced. I also have more time and energy to do the essential things in my life while still working in the profession I love. Oh, and my grades improved drastically too. 

Tip: Explore Diverse Nursing Opportunities  

Sure, bedside nursing is the classic route. But just in case you’ve forgotten, nursing is a very diverse field! It is okay to diversify your skillset to explore other routes that are more fitting for your well-being, and still make great income. Believe it or not, I secured my new job through an old friend who is also a nurse.

I highly recommend networking with other nurses who are in non-traditional roles, maybe even attending seminars or webinars. You never know who you’ll meet and how it can change your life for the good! 

Reason #4: Journey to Financial Freedom

As a first-generation college graduate emerging from humble beginnings, I am determined to establish financial freedom for myself and my loved ones. So I’ve also come to the personal conclusion that working as a staff nurse for 30+ years won’t do it for me.  

Let’s face it: as nurses, we are not fairly compensated for the many things we tackle. We deserve to create a future for ourselves and our loved ones that truly defines our freedom. Now, don’t get me wrong, if bedside nursing is your passion, great! But personally, I knew I needed to take more daring steps to reach my financial aspirations. For me, it’s about making bolder moves, especially when it comes to securing my financial future. And that’s where my journey toward greater financial stability truly began. 


Tip: Strategize for a Future of Financial Freedom 

Before we even talk about investing and entrepreneurship, we must first assess our personal finances, such as our money management skills—saving, budgeting, credit profile, and debt management. We must first ensure that our personal finances are intact, and if not, create a strategy and commit to it.

Reading educational books and listening to podcasts on personal finance and personal development will be extremely helpful. Once you’ve mastered your foundation, you should now move into the next steps, which include learning about investing in wealth and retirement, insurance, building your net worth, and estate planning. 

The Bottom Line

The journey through bedside nursing, while rewarding, can present challenges that extend beyond the hospital walls. The resonance with bedside burnout, academic struggles, the quest for diverse career paths, and the pursuit of financial stability is familiar to many nurses striving for balance and growth.  

Recognizing the need for change isn’t a sign of weakness but an acknowledgment of personal growth. Prioritizing self-care, establishing boundaries, and mastering time management are crucial in navigating the demanding landscape of nursing while pursuing academic aspirations.  

Exploring diverse nursing avenues, such as telehealth or specialized roles, opens doors to new possibilities and allows for a shift in pace and satisfaction within the nursing profession. The quest for financial stability is a legitimate endeavor. Planning strategically, seeking education, and aligning financial goals with career aspirations empower nurses to take control of their financial futures. 

Remember, the decision to transition away from bedside nursing isn’t a farewell to the nursing profession—it’s an evolution. It’s about adapting, growing, and finding harmony between professional fulfillment and personal well-being.  

Your journey as a nurse is multifaceted, and by embracing change and seeking balance, you pave the way for continued growth and success, both in your nursing career and personal life. 

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