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‘Everyone keeps telling me to quit’

  • 1 Comment

What would you do in this situation?

“I started my first job as a staff nurse on a busy acute mental health ward just over a year ago.

“At first I really enjoyed it, but the more I’ve got to know the staff the more honest they’ve been with me about what they think of nursing.

“I’ve been told to “get out while I still can” and that I’m “too nice for nursing”. Are they right? Should I pursue another career while I’m still in my 20s without any ties?

“I’m enjoying the job less and less and don’t want to wake up in my 40s feeling the way they do about my career.”


Nurse X:

Leaving nursing completely seems an extreme reaction, particularly as you clearly enjoy the actual nursing.

You don’t mention the context of these comments, it could be that these staff members are feeling disheartened at the time and simply blowing off steam, without realising that others may take their comments literally. What would it be like to ask them to explain what they mean?

It’s a good idea to try working on another ward where the culture may be completely different before leaving nursing completely. If you do decide to try another career, have a re-entry strategy ready: check with the NMC and work out what date you would need to go back to nursing to keep your registration valid.


Do you agree with Nurse X?

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • I am a nurse in my 40s who is doing a RTP course to come back. I am facing similar comments and surprise from people, that I would want to go back at a time like this. The reason I'm coming back is that everything I have tried to get into, has been thwarted. Speech Therapy, teaching, even learning support. If or when you start a family it can be made impossible for you to remain on the register. Or it was for me 6 years ago. But if you try to go elsewhere, you need to have money and a lot of time to gain experience and qualifications, in a new field.
    My advice is to get training in other things that interest you, through your work. e.g. Get your mentorship training and work towards a PGCE, which could open a door to teaching outside of the NHS in the future if you want to get out. And any courses that you can take which could be a transferable skill to another job which you could feel passionate about. Keep your options open and try to do all the lifelong learning you can.
    Having said all that, nursing won't get any better if all the good nurses leave. If people can be too nice to nurse, that is sad. Patients deserve nice nurses, to lift the standards.

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