So. I’ve gotten this question fairly often paired with “why did you leave nursing” ever since I left nursing (December 2019). When I first left, I shared about it in this blog post and I explained that I was feeling burned out (which was true) and that I wanted to focus on this business (also true). At the time though, I was also starting to feel a whole host of other emotions/reasons but I honestly was just too scared to share them, and they are the reasons I would likely not go back to working as a nurse at this point (more on that in a minute).
Over the past couple years, especially with COVID, I’ve seen RN’s become much more vocal about parts of the nursing profession that are “less than ideal” to be put nicely. But a few years ago, RN’s who either followed me or who I was following would moreso make comments like, “It’s such a hard job, but I can’t imagine doing anything else.” Reading comments like that honestly made me feel so guilty about not feeling that way about nursing – I’d always be like but I can imagine doing something else. At the time it felt super isolating. I realize that part of the issue was that I was insecure of what others would think of me if I wasn’t working as a RN anymore and if I admitted that I didn’t quite love being as nurse as much as other RNs did. The other part of me though realizes that there actually are so many other RN’s that feel how I was/do about the profession, but were just also scared to speak up.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t/didn’t dislike working as a nurse. In fact, when I started working as a nurse I really did enjoy it. However, as I continued to post on my IG and blog and saw that it was actually turning into something more than a hobby, I realized how much happier I was when I was doing that job vs. nursing. Sure, I was working more hours on a weekly basis (I feel like that is always the case when it’s your own business) and it’s not that there weren’t stressful moments, but my daily life felt so much better. I wasn’t as mentally, emotionally, or physically exhausted. I enjoyed my day to day more. I wasn’t feeling exhausted and burned out compared to coming home from a nursing shift. I was making more money. So when you put all of those factors together, it just didn’t make sense for me to stay working as a nurse. Bottom line – I was just happier when I was working on my own business in this case.
That being said – (if blogging/IG went away) would I ever go back to nursing? Most likely not. I feel like this past year, a lot of what the nursing profession is actually like has been put into perspective for a lot of people. Nursing is an incredibly hard job, and nurses deserve way more compensation and I’m not just talking about financially. I personally don’t want to work in a profession that is treated that way. I was lucky in that I didn’t have a lot of issues at my prior hospital that a lot of nurses deal with and I am so grateful for that. But as a whole, I just think it’s a difficult profession in a lot of ways so you have to really love it to work in it. Granted, one of the great things about nursing is that there are so many different specialities and areas you can work in! I’m moreso just speaking about the traditional role of being a bedside RN. Like, I could see myself working as a RN in something regarding aesthetics; every nurse I’ve met in aesthetics loves their job. However, I still think there are so many other things that I would still enjoy more or have more interest in pursuing so I still don’t think I would even consider working again as a RN regardless (but I do keep my license active for those who ask because it doesn’t hurt 😉 )
I also think over the years I’ve realized how much I do value working for myself. Of course there are pros and cons to anything, but for me, the pros outweigh the cons. I like being my own boss, making my own schedule (even if it does mean working longer hours), I like having a variable income (I’m not guaranteed anything but I like having the potential to make more), I get to me more creative, and I love learning “about business.” Branding, marketing, e-commerce is all really interesting to me so I just end up enjoying my day to day more. So even if it’s not influencing, I feel like I’d end up going into a job where I could still have that be part of my day to day. So nothing against nursing in this case, but just a totally different line of work!
I never want y’all to feel like I sh*t on nursing because that really isn’t the case. I know a lot of nurses who genuinely do love their job and at end of the day if you’re happy that’s all that matters! I just think that there can be a lot of pressure for nurses to stay working as a nurse because it is a job that your identify gets wrapped up in. So I just say all this to encourage you (whether you’re a RN or not) to never feel like you’re stuck or have to stay in a certain job/role. I wrote another blog post here that talks about staying in your current job vs. following your passion/trying something new and then I also have a blog with steps to pursuing a side-hustle into a full-time job here.