It turns out that nurses may not be getting the same respect and care that they give to their patients and employers. As a result, many nurses are looking for alternative ways to practice nursing or are even leaving the nursing professional altogether.
I became a nurse as a second career. Nursing called to me because I genuinely wanted to help people, and I thought that a nurse’s schedule would work better for me as a mom. Now, seven years into my nursing career, my passion for nursing is still high.
Yet I, like many other nurses, struggle with burnout. I have even started looking outside of patient care for alternative ways that I can practicing nursing to deal with my struggle.
(This post may contain affiliate links. You can find my disclosure page here.)
Reasons Why Nurses Quit
#1. Not having control over work schedules
Hospital nurses are expected to work all hours of the day and night, holidays, and weekends. And on top of that, many nurses don’t even have control of their schedules (unless they work per diem – which has been a game-changer for me). I can’t tell you how many times I have missed Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s parties, Easter Sunday, Fourth of July weekend, and so many other special events with my family.
Now that I have my own kids, missing these events is so much harder for me, especially if I have to work on one of their birthdays. This past Christmas, I was lucky enough to NOT work on Christmas Day, but I worked the entire two weekends before, the two days before Christmas, and the day after Christmas. I missed several Christmas parties, and I was so tired on Christmas day that I could barely keep my eyes open.
Thankfully I am not working graveyard shifts anymore, but if I did I would have quit being a nurse a long time ago. Working night shifts literally made me feel like I was going to explode. I felt sick all the time, I was in a constant fog, and I even started to get a little depressed.
Here is an idea that can help: Work per diem or switch to another nursing position that requires a more regular 9 to 5 work schedule such as occupational health or the Cath lab.
#2. Bullying in the workplace
You have probably heard the phrase “nurses eat their young.” That is just a clever way of saying that there are many experienced and burned out older nurses bullying less experienced nurses. It’s also a primary culprit as to why nurses quit working inpatient care.
I remember one of my own experiences with bullying very clearly. When I was a new nurse grad, a nurse I gave report to at shift change would question everything I had done for my patients that day, and drill me about why I didn’t do things differently. Her attitude was awful, and I could tell she hated her job and being on the unit. She had been there for many years, and she treated several other new nurses the same way.
There were days where my shift had gone great – until I had to deal with her at the very end. Then I left the hospital feeling defeated and inadequate just because of some unhappy, grumpy nurse. I did my best to hold my ground and keep my reports as simple as possible.
Eventually, (and thankfully) she quit and we never had to deal with her again. Things got better for me, but unfortunately, there are still nurses “eating their young” who are lurking within the hospital.
Here is an idea that may help: I took a course called “Crucial Conversations” during my second year as a nurse, and it was so helpful for me. It taught me how to deal with difficult situations with other co-workers. Sometimes addressing a bully head-on or finding a way to avoid them entirely is the best way to handle the situation.
#3. Abusive patients or family members
By and large, most patients and family members in the hospital treat the medical staff respectfully. However, that is not always the case.
In my seven years career as a nurse, I have been kicked, swung at (thankfully never hit head-on!), had a full urinal thrown at me, been cussed out, and told I should “kill myself.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are patients who, despite having full capability to execute all activities of daily living by themselves, take advantage of nurses and other medical staff by asking that everything is done for them. It’s as if we have nothing to do all day except be a personal butler. At least it can feel that way sometimes. I’d rather not be a character from Downton Abbey, though!
Often when people are in the hospital, it is because they are sick and need to be there. Nurses are happy to bend over backward to give the best patient care we can for those patients. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of the caregivers, and over time, it leads to decreased morale and, ultimately, burnout. This is another big reason why nurses quit the profession.
Here is an idea that can help: Nurse abuse is never okay and can be traumatizing for nurses. Communicate with management any time a patient or family member is abusive. Ask for help. Call security if you feel threatened. Ask for another assignment or take turns with other nurses giving care to extremely difficult patients. Talk to staff, family, and friends to help talk out your experience. All of these things can help make dealing with difficult patients and their families a little easier.
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If you are considering leaving the nursing profession altogether, here are a few ideas to help rekindle your nursing career:
I am a second-career RN who took an unconventional path into the nursing profession.
I began my first post-college career as a medical device sales representative selling medical equipment to hospital operating rooms. Then after nearly ten years in the business, I decided to go back to college and earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing.
I hear about nurses becoming second-career medical device or pharma reps all the time. But I have never known anyone who worked in medical device sales and then went back to college for a nursing degree. Not once.
Here is my journey from budding journalist, to corporate sales manager, to nurse – and the lessons that I have learned along the way.
As a young college grad, my priority was making money.
After graduating with a BA in Journalism in 1999, I was ready to start making money. After all, I was broke and tired of being poor. I was also passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, so a sales job in the healthcare field seemed like a natural fit.
Throughout my decade career in sales, I worked for a Fortune 500 company and a few startups. I covered vast territories and at one point even spent almost an entire year living out of a hotel. It was a lot of hard work, but the money was there.
But I got better every year, despite a gnawing feeling that my calling was somewhere else. My twenties flew by before my eyes.
One day after a lot of soul searching, I finally decided to go back to school and earn a BSN. My sales counterparts couldn’t believe I would leave the medical device industry after what most would consider a very financially successful career. I tried to explain the best I could – that I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. And medical sales just wasn’t doing it for me anymore.
At 22, my priority was making money. I knew if I worked hard in medical device sales I could earn more then most college grads my age.
I wanted to jump into procedures as a part of the medical team.
Even though I wasn’t an actual healthcare professional at the time, I got to work in hospital operating rooms and observe almost every kind of surgery. It was through those experiences that I learned I wanted to be more genuinely clinical – instead of just repeating a sales pitch with each new physician who gave me the time of day.
More specifically, I wanted to jump into the procedures where I was selling products and be a part of the medical team. Not sit and wait on the sidelines for hours until they used the product I was selling (if they used it at all).
More importantly though, I was continually drawn to help people and learn life-saving clinical skills. I was tired of going home every day feeling as if I wasn’t doing enough with my life to make the world better.
Sounds a little cliche, I know. But this little voice in my head kept telling me that one day all I was going to say about my life was that I was a “salesperson.” And I wanted more than that.
So one day, l quit my career and went back to school to earn my RN.
Nursing school is the hardest thing I have ever done in my professional life.
I paid my way through my nursing prerequisites and another college degree. And let me tell you – college is so much more expensive now then it was in 2000. I was lucky that I had significant savings from my prior career to help get me through.
In addition, I also worked as a bartender at night – sometimes until midnight – and then had to be at a clinical rotation by 0700 the next morning. I studied nonstop for three years. Nursing school was so much harder than medical sales, or my first college degree, for that matter. I didn’t even know school could be that hard.
Still, I pressed on, feeling like I was going to get kicked out at any moment for failing a test (and 1/4 of my cohort did get kicked out, its a miracle I wasn’t in that group). To this day, nursing school is the most challenging thing I have ever done in my professional life.
This photo was taken at my first clinical rotation in nursing school.
I worked as a Certified Nurses Assistant in nursing school.
I worked as a CNA during my last year of nursing school, and I both loved and hated it. It was such an honor to give care to my patients in some of the worst times of their lives. It was primary, basic care – and it was important! I tried to give my patients humility. I helped people feel human when they felt invisible.
But being a CNA was also so challenging- both physically and physiologically. This is because for the first time in my life, I was not at the top of the food chain. I sometimes felt like just a staff person boss around. No longer did I have my salary plus commissions, my company car and expense account, my catered lunches, my bonuses, and my stock awards at the end of the year. And I missed that.
I finally attained my RN, BSN title.
After three years of nursing school and a lot of sweat and tears, I finally graduated with my BSN. I began my career specializing in a neuroscience and stroke unit and earned certifications as a Stroke Certified Registered Nurse and Public Health Nurse. In 2017, I started a new phase in my nursing career as an emergency room RN.
As a nurse, there is always an opportunity to learn.
While being a nurse is exhausting and I have moments of extreme burnout, I do feel that nursing is my calling. I am a closet science geek and love cerebral stimulation that I get as a nurse. I have had the opportunity to see more disease states, complex injuries, and unusual diagnoses then I ever could have imagined even existed. It would not be an exaggeration to say I learn ten new things every day at work.
To top it off, I am surrounded by some of the most intelligent people I have ever met. Many of my co-workers have the same drive for helping people I do. They motivate me to keep learning.
I am thankful for the professional experience I received in the corporate world as a medical device salesperson.
My experiences have given me a much different perspective than many of my nurse peers. And I see my experiences as a huge advantage for my professional development.
Working in the medical sales industry gave me valuable business and communication skills. I met a lot of great friends with whom I still have close relationships with. My organizational and time management skills are much more fine-tuned, and I learned how to be a professional in the workplace.
I just like to think of myself as being a little more well-rounded now. After all, the businesswomen in me still exists. But now I have the clinical prowess and expertise to match.
HEY NURSES! Remember to sign up for your FREE COPY of “The Nurse’s Guide To Health & Self Care” E-book in the sign-up box below! (scroll down)
I came up with this list of 101 interesting blog post ideas for nurses so that I could prove a point: there are so many things that nurses can write about. And I barely even scratched the surface with this list!
Nurses, by nature, are lifelong learners.
Nurses generally love learning. If we didn’t, we would have never made it through nursing school in the first place.
To keep our skills up to par and our licenses current, nurses frequently take continuing education courses. Many of us go a step further and become certified experts in our nursing specialties. Most importantly, being a nurse requires learning about changes in the field of medicine and being open to new challenges during every shift. Healthcare is ever-changing, and it is increasingly important for nurses to stay fresh.
Nurses have a unique perspective that we can share with readers.
This is the coolest part about becoming a nurse blogger: each post about nursing can be written about from a completely different perspective. There are so many different specialties and diverse patient populations. And every nurse has different skill sets and experiences within their career that they can share. Furthermore, some nurses can bring unique backgrounds into the mix, as many become nurses as a second or even third career.
In other words, nurses can bring a lot of life experience into their writing. We have valuable information to share.
Becoming a nurse blogger has welcome benefits
First, you’ll become a better writer. Each time you create a new piece, you improve and continue to develop your writing skills.
Second, you’ll become a better thinker. The blogging process helps you to stop and think deeper. You will find yourself having stronger opinions about nurse topics that matter. You will discover thoughts and ideas about nursing that you didn’t even know you had.
I want to see more nurses blogging.
Since I began blogging in 2017, I have read nearly every nurse blog I can find on the internet. I have seen some pretty creative nurse niches and been inspired by what my fellow nurse peers are writing about.
I especially love reading about the amazing things nurses are doing in the face of adversary. For example, I recently read about how nurses in Paradise California continued to care for hospitalized patients during the most devastating fire in modern history. At one point, some were outside trying to fight flames. Now, if that isn’t blog-worthy, then nothing is.
(I want to interview more nurses who go on medical missions and help people in need after catastrophic events. Many nurses care for patients in the face of devastation, and their stories should be shared. In time, I will get there.)
101 interesting blog post ideas for nurses to write about.
I put a lot of effort into thinking of new topics that I would be interested in reading (or writing) about as a nurse. Don’t be surprised if you see several of these topics on my blog over the next year.
So, without further ado, here it is: 101 interesting blog post ideas for nurses. (If there is anything you thing I should add, please leave a comment and I will add it to my next list!)
Advice for getting through the first year as a nurse
(You need to know by now – if your goal IS to monetize your blog you must invest in a few courses to help move you forward. Otherwise, blogging is a lonely, frustrating island.)
Nurse Blogging 101: Healthcare Media Academy – If you are a nurse or other healthcare blogger, I highly recommend starting with this one. Creators Brittany Wilson and Kati Kleber are both published, award-winning authors who are also considered the Godmothers in nurse blogging. They are especially great because they go into more detail about patient privacy concerns and other considerations that healthcare bloggers need to be aware of.
Pinterest Ninja: If you want to understand how Pinterest can grow blog traffic, you need this Pinterest Ninja Course. A blogger colleague of mine, Megan Johnson, created Pinterest Ninja to help people increase their blog pages views by the thousands. I did the course when I was on maternity leave, and I was able to increase my blog traffic from 0-1000/day in just over one month. Seriously, read some of her reviews. Her course is invaluable.
Are you an aspiring nurse blogger who needs a little direction? Drop me a message, and I can forward you some of my resources that helped get me started as a nurse blogger!
P.S. HEY, NURSES! Remember to sign up for your FREE E-BOOK “The Nurse’s Guide To Health & Self Care” in the sign-up box below! (scroll down)
(*Post updated on 3/8/2022. *Contains affiliate links. You can find our disclosure page here.)
It’s no secret that nurses are on their feet for up to 12-hour nursing shifts (or longer!).
This is why nurses must wear shoes that can support their intensive and often arduous nursing shifts – and keep them safe in the process.
Having an excellent nursing shoe can make all the difference in how good you feel after a long 12-hour shift. Foot pain, back pain, and achy joints are just a few of the side effects that many nurses deal with regularly.
And having the proper footwear can make all the difference in the world.
What Makes A Great Nursing Shoe?
Here are a few things your nursing shoes need to do for you as a nurse:
Give good support
Protect your back
Reduce stress on joints
Be slip resistant
Be stylish (OK, so this one isn’t going to help you physically, but it is nice to look great in your nursing uniform!)
Wearing a non-slip-resistant nursing shoe is an occupational hazard.
Nurses frequently walk around on hard and sometimes wet surfaces, especially in the hospital setting. The floors are regularly being cleaned between patients, and there are occasional spills that can sometimes result in unintended nurse falls.
Some facilities even pay for nurses to receive a new pair of nursing shoes every six months! In turn, this helps protect nurses from injuries that could have otherwise resulted in an injury or even disability from work.
Nursing shoes must be slip-resistant. This is a non-negotiable when it comes to choosing a great nursing shoe.
I have been wearing NIKE shoes at the hospital for as long as I have been a registered nurse, and I recommend them to other nurses looking for excellent support and durability. After all, our jobs are highly physical, and we need all the help we can get!
The NIKE shoes that made this list are offered in several different colors, so if you love the style but not the shade, then find the color that suits you!
The best NIKE shoes for nurses
Top 10 Best Nike Shoes For Nurses
The following list of Nike shoes are supportive and can help absorb the impact of walking on hard surfaces all day. They are great shoes for nurses because they have the potential to keep nurses safer from untended injury, and to top it off, they look fabulous too.
Also, many of these styles are offered in white for nurses who prefer a more traditional nursing uniform.
When it comes to picking a great pair of nursing shoes, impact absorption, secure fit, and flexibility are fundamental aspects to consider.
The Nike Women’s Shox Enigma Sneaker is a comfortable and shock-absorbing Nike nursing shoe for anyone who spends 12+ hours a day on their feet. Brand new in 2020, these shoes also make a stylish statement.
This shoe is excellent for the cross-fit type of workout, which is why they also make a great nursing shoe. The Nike Women’s Free Metcon 2 Training Shoe provides a level of balance and sturdiness that many other shoes do not. They offer a stable heel and flexible forefoot, making moving in many directions much more accessible.
Many nurses say that these are the best shoes for RNs on the market. Not only are they durable and quality-made shoes, but when they finally do wear out, many nurses purchase them a second time.
These are great shoes to consider if your feet are consistently tired after being on your feet for 12+ hours a shift. As a bonus, the Nike Women’s Air Max 720 shoes are cute outside of the workplace as well. You can wear them with almost anything, from athletic wear to skinny jeans!
Higher foam stack heights provide a softer feel. A wider shape offers a more stable ride, helping release energy with every step.
The shape of the Nike React foam midsole is all about zonal performance, providing support for the 3 phases of a runner’s stride—flexibility at toe-off, a smooth ride at mid-stance, and cushioning at contact.
Less material in the shoe means you’re closer to the foam, creating a softer, more responsive experience.
Increased rubber at the outsole helps deliver traction and durability.
The Nike Women’s Revolution 5 Running Shoe is a great choice for active people, especially nurses! But the main reason this shoe made the list is that they have a zip pocket on the back to help your carry keys or money.
Nurses can wear these durable and comfortable shoes at work and for an outdoor run on their days off. And they come in 18 pretty colors to choose from.
Also, the cushion provides additional support for the knees and ankles. That is why these shoes are also great for nurses who often walk 15,000-20,000 steps or more in a single shift. There are over 25 other great colors to choose from.
The waffle outsoles on the Nike Women’s Reax Run 5 Running Shoesare great for durability and multi-surface traction. This feature is beneficial for nurses who are more frequently exposed to walking over wet floors and need a more slip-resistant shoe.
These shoes made the top 10 list because of their durability, supportive fit, and floor traction.
The Nike Women’s Air Max Sequent Shoe is an absolute favorite NIKE shoe for nurses. Not only are they stylish, but they have a partial bootie, which gives them a more secure feel and fit. which is essential for nurses on their feet for long 12-hour shifts.
They are also lightweight and offer great cushioning – a helpful solution for achy joints and sore feet!
The Nike Women’s Air Zoom Vomero Shoes are very sturdy, durable shoes, which are exactly what the busy nurse needs. Also, the NIKE Women’s Air Zoom Vomero Shoes offer soft, plush cushioning – which can help with sore joints and tired feet.
It’s a great feeling to know you found a great nursing shoe that you can stick with over the years as a nurse. Because let’s be honest, nurses are on their feet more than any other occupation. And we need to be taking better care of our feet, joints, and backs.
These are very modern-looking shoes that make a statement for style and practicality.
(This post may contain affiliate links. You can find my disclosure page here.)
As a resource nurse who has worked in many specialties and units all over the hospital setting, I have discovered that I am an ER nurse at heart. Here are the reasons why I love being an ER nurse:
I love the camaraderie in the ER.
In between the traumas, code brains, septic patients, strokes, fast track, and other walk-in emergency room patients, ER nurses frequently communicate with each other. It’s all about teamwork. In the ER, nurses often have their own sections, but there are also many “resource” nurses on the floor to assist with additional patient care. When a patient arrives with a more serious condition, there are always nurses who come in to help.
When it gets stressful in the ER, the nurses depend on each other to get the work done. Many patients come into the ER in urgent situations where the cause of injury or disease isn’t yet known. Nurses have to work together to triage and effectively treat patients, oftentimes, without all the facts. Doctors, nurses, techs, pharmacists, and other medical professionals cohesively work together to give fast life-saving medical treatment.
On med surg floor units, nurses are assigned to the same patients for an entire day without much, if any, overlap with other nurses. At times I have often felt lonely on med surg units because I miss the camaraderie of working together with other nurses.
I start several IVs and do all my own blood work in the ER.
Before I became an ER nurse, my IV start skills were mediocre at best. Now, my IV skills are so much better, and I can get intravenous access in some of the most challenging veins. This is a result of having frequent opportunities to start IVs during each ER shift.
The very best IV nurses are the ones who are constantly challenged by patients who are difficult IV sticks. To gain valuable IV start skills, you want to put yourself in a position to have as many opportunities to learn as possible. The ER is a perfect place for that.
It makes sense that ER nurses are great at starting IVs. In emergencies, ER nurses need to be able to gain access fast for testing, various medications, pain and nausea relief, IV hydration and antibiotic therapy, among other things. Many of the nurses I work with have been in the ER for a decade, or longer and their IV skills are unbelievable. Several nurses are even trained to do ultrasound-guided IV starts on patients with hard-to-stick veins.
I love caring for a varied patient population.
Every day is an adventure. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but it’s never boring in the ER. I have had patients ranging in age from 2 days to over 100 years old. Patients come to the ER with every type of illness, injury, and trauma you can think of. Our patient loads include, but is not limited to: various types of trauma patients, septic patients, elderly patients, organ transplanted patients, patients with cancer or autoimmune diseases, psych patients, small children and babies, and so much more. There is rarely a dull moment and always something new to learn.
I love the organized chaos in the ER.
It is never boring or tedious in the ER, or at least not for long! The emergency room is a fine-tuned machine with each nurse component working semi-gracefully around one another. From the outside, it might look like craziness, but the madness always has a method.
I often struggle with the tediousness of tasks when working on a med surg unit. It is often jam-packed, but very task-based. The to-do lists can get a little ridiculous.
I love the intellectual stimulation I get in the ER.
I am a closet science geek. And I love the cerebral stimulation that I get as an emergency room nurse. I have had the opportunity to see more disease states, complex injuries, and unusual diagnoses then I ever could have imagined even existed.
It would not be an exaggeration to say I learn ten new things every day at work. To top it off, I am surrounded by some of the most intelligent people I have ever met. Many of my co-workers have the same drive for helping people I do. They motivate me to keep learning.
I maintain my sense of humor in the ER.
Sometimes things just get so odd that I can’t help but laugh. There are days when I see people come into the ER saying that they are dying, but end up having a diagnosis of constipation. Once I had a college student come in for a temperature of 99 degrees. I’m like, seriously? How do you even get through the day?
The emergency room is also a very emotional place. Patients never want to be there and usually don’t understand, for example, why they have to wait in the hallway an hour or even much longer until their test results are completed, or the medical team decides on a plan for them. They get upset and tired of waiting. Sadly, sometimes they take out their frustrations on the people working the hardest to get them the medical treatment they need: the nurses.
I have had so many “I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried” experiences in the emergency room to last me a lifetime. But that’s one of the reasons I love being an ER nurse versus other parts of the hospital. It can get weird, but I’m always learning. And I’m so grateful for the opportunity to keep learning.
What specialty do you love? If you could change and do one thing, what would it be?