I wanted to chime in because (a) I love to over-simplify things, and (b) I am on the verge of becoming one of those nurses they refer to – the kind who works 2-3 years after school and then quits.
The reasons aren’t complicated. Here’s why I’ll probably end up quitting:
- The money sucks.
- It takes its toll on you physically.
- I don’t want to work nights, weekends, or holidays.
Sure there are many peripheral issues – nurses dumping on each other, lack of autonomy, lack of time and resources to get the job done right. But other than that it’s a personally rewarding, and (at times) intellectually challenging job. It feels good to help people when they are sick. I love being the voice of calm in a storm. I love working as a team and saving lives (sometimes.)
I just don’t love it enough to get over the three points that I listed above.
It’s that simple. If I became a nurse when I was 22 I might have gotten a few more good years in, but sadly, I didn’t. So if there’s any constructive advice springing from this negative view of nursing it would be this: Get ‘em in while they’re young. The earlier you start your nursing career, the later your burnout will be.