Wife, Mummy, Nurse: Feeling Burnt Out with Nursing

05 March 2012

Feeling Burnt Out with Nursing

I work PRN at a local hospital, but what many of you probably don't know, I'm feeling burnt out with nursing.  To be honest, if you had told me in nursing school, "You'll be fed up with nursing in 6 years," I would not have believed you.  I think I feel this way for a few reasons:
  1. The shifts are long.  I am away from my daughter, my husband, and my home for 12+ hours.  On Friday, I arrived on the floor at 6:51 AM and did not clock out until 9:20 PM. 
  2. I do not feel like management is very supportive of the nurses, and several nurses who are experienced, knowledgeable, and helpful have resigned.  Note: I do not have anything against new nurses and hate how "nurses eat their young."
  3. I work only 2 shifts/month.  This is both a blessing and frustration.  Blessing because I want to stay home with Charis as much as I can, but frustration because new policies come and I don't know what's new and what's old.
The above things are out of my control.  At this point, I have to work and do not have the option to be a full time SAHM.  I came across this blog post last night-How to improve nursing morale and avoid burnout.  I liked how focused on what's in my control.  It helped me realize another reason I may be fed up with nursing is because I don't have a nursing goal or more accurately, I'm not meeting that goal or have not yet met it and don't know how to meet it.
If you just go into work and complete your 12 hour shifts without a goal in mind, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’re going to be burnt out! ... It doesn’t have to be anything huge.
When I went to nursing school, I hoped to work with either children or women, not in telemetry, ICU, or CCU.  While I'm happy for the experiences I've had, I still hope to work with mothers and babies.  One option I'm considering is becoming an IBCLC {International Board Certified Lactation Consultant}.  I've read the different Steps to Becoming an IBCLC and I think Pathway 3 {Pathways} would be the best for me and my family, but have no idea how to go about doing it.  Should I do it now, while we are in Maryland?  Or should I wait until we move to Pennsylvania, whenever that will be?  There are so many unknowns, I don't know.  I told Drew about this a few days ago, but at this point no decisions have been made.


  1. That's got to be hard. I started nursing school a long time ago and after finishing 1 year of a 2 year program, realized really quickly that it wasn't for me. I still wonder if I would have changed my mind if I stuck it out, but I don't think so.

  2. NP school. We need more NPs and I know the thought of school is overwhelming but I was able to do it with two little kids at home. It is significantly different but the concepts are rooted in the same foundation. Plus, rarely does one have to work 12 hours shifts. Although, I worked 14 today but this is a rare thing. I know your patients are happy you are there and I know someone somewhere is grateful you were their nurse - probably many more than just a few someones, I'm sure.