Burnout | Guest Post

I Love My Nursing Career But I’m Having Doubts

Guest Authors: Catherine and Steven Conte

August 06, 2021
Nursing Career

“I love my career in nursing, but…”  

The “but” is often followed by the various complaints associated with the daily tasks/expectations associated with the job, however, there are times when “what if there is something else” or “I want to do something else” prompt a conversation of career choice which is often a philosophical journey.  

We are told that after we leave school, we must know what trajectory we want our life to follow. To have that expectation of one who has not yet lived, not yet truly been able to make their own decisions (or mistakes) is almost guaranteeing that there will be feelings of “what if” or “what now” further on in their lives. 

My advice to anyone at any stage of life or in their nursing career is always to consider your passions. If you like to help people, great, there are countless jobs that do so. Try things out, work in different fields and narrow it down.  

Focus your education on what you enjoy and hone your skills and experience through internships, volunteering, part-time and full-time positions.  

There is nothing wrong with trying, there is something wrong with never knowing and living with questions. 

This is especially true for a career in nursing because we must be able to put aside our petty grievances and frustrations in order to prioritize the needs of our patients.  

If you find yourself unable to do that in lieu of daydreaming of alternative careers or even working in a different department, it is best to investigate and find answers quickly so that the patients do not suffer. 

Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with starting over, starting anew, changing everything, in the pursuit of happiness. Where we fail is to deny our needs out of fear, or worse – complacency.   

Live a life that makes you want to continue living, that motivates you.   

For me, no matter what is going on in my personal life, being able to bring comfort to a patient is still a highlight of my day.  

What I have done to still achieve that is by switching the departments and states I work in. The environment may get stagnant, the tedium of being in one department may become overwhelming, but the patient care never does, so I adapt. 

Remember: the patient may come first when we are on shift, but the only way we can do that is if we are still prioritizing our own needs, contentment, and happiness when we’re not at work. 

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