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Why I Took a Break from Nursing

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Well, the title pretty much gives away what you’re about to read–so not really a surprise with what I’m about to say. This is definitely one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written. And not because I didn’t know it was the right decision, but because I was so worried about disappointing you, and letting you down.

If you’ve followed along for any amount of time, you probably know that I really don’t let what other people think bother me. I am not one to let others opinions affect me, and I am confident in the decisions I make. And while this is one that I was confident in, I agonized over it for a long time. Honestly, longer than I should have. I knew stepping away from nursing and taking a break was what I need to do for myself mentally, and for my business, but I just couldn’t get over the guilt of disappointing you.

Maybe you’re reading this and you’re like, “Claire, why would I be disappointed in you?!” I think part of it was my own insecurity, but the amount of times I would get DMs that would say something like “I’m so glad you’re not just a blogger, and also a nurse” or “it’s so nice that you still work as a nurse–you’re so relatable” really stung deep. I know they were well intentioned, and of course part of me was glad that you felt that way because being a nurse is an incredible job. But it also felt a little diminishing like blogging isn’t a real job or it’s beneath nursing (when in reality they shouldn’t even be compared), that I wouldn’t be relatable if I wasn’t working as a nurse, or you wouldn’t want to follow me or my content if I wasn’t nursing. Again, I’m sure comments like this were innocuous but I couldn’t help but feel the weight of them. I truly care about my audience, about you, and the idea of letting you down felt terrible.

But, I finally realized something. I have always said that you have to do what’s best for you and not worry about what others think of you. At the end of the day it’s your life and in your heart you know what’s best for you and your situation. I say this all the time, and apply this to every other area of my life but in this case I wasn’t taking my own advice. I knew I was feeling burned out from the ICU (I love critical care but damn could it be really depressing) and I knew that I wanted and needed to focus my time and attention on my business. Deep down I was staying working as a nurse for everyone else but me. My initial thought was going to work PRN at a plastic surgeon because I genuinely do think I would find that not only interesting but get fulfillment from working with those patients. But then I thought–why not just take a break? I can always do that if I want to. I will always have my license. Nursing will always be there. I realized that I was trying to force that option because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. So at the end of the day, I knew that wasn’t the right reason to pursue that.

So here we are. I worked my last shift in the ICU on New Years Eve ironically. I didn’t even plan for it to happen that way, but the beginning of December (2019) I just knew I needed to make the decision to leave. And honestly, it got to a point where I was probably placing way too much emphasis on it. I was feeling anxious for no apparent reason and looking back I think subconsciously it had to do with feeling stressed about this decision.

At this time, I can’t honestly say when or if I will practice nursing again. I think it’s human nature to want an answer and know what your future holds, but I honestly don’t know my plan. Maybe in 6 months I’ll really miss it, and want to try PRN at a different specialty. Or maybe I’ll feel like focusing on my business truly full-time is what is fulfilling me.

Despite taking a break being the right thing to do for me right now (which is honestly all that matters), I also realized that if anyone wanted to stop “following” me or now finds me “not relatable” because I’m not actively working as a nurse, then they aren’t “my people” anyway. And that’s okay. Never in life will you be able to please everyone. I’m telling this to myself, and to you! If you’re going through something right now, or your torn between making a choice but deep down you know what you need to do…just do it. Life is too short to be worried about other peoples expectations and reactions. At the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you. That is something I’ve always said and will continue to practice even in moments where it doesn’t feel so easy xxC

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  1. Hi! I just found your blog today and want to say congratulations on doing what you need to do for you. I think you’re right about us having to do what’s right for ourselves and not worry about what the rest of the world thinks. I’m on an indefinite hiatus from nursing. I recently just left at the end of last month. My family and other people in my life don’t seem to understand, but I finally realized I had to do what I had to do for me. I was severely burnt out after over 25 years in nursing, having been caregiver for my husband till he died (I’ve been a widow for about 6 years), and currently a caregiver again for a really close friend. I’m working on me for now and it’s helped. I don’t think I realized how much I needed a break from taking care of other people. Best wishes! And oh, I’m a blogger too. Thanks.

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