What Is The Hardest Part Of Being A Nurse?

Safe space, no judgment.

 

What do you think is the hardest part of being a nurse? Is it the politics? Bullying? Understaffing? Not being able to do your job the way it needs to be done due to lack of resources and time? We want to hear from you.


Share what you think is the hardest part of being a nurse in the comments sections below. Check back to see what your fellow nurses have shared.

75 COMMENTS

  1. I have been an RN for 56 years. Presently I am finishing 38 years in personal care. I love the residents I help to care for, but get tired of all the changes on the top levels of personnel. They get promoted due to those who care for the residents. They would not be where they are today if not for all the resident assistants, housekeeping and dietary staff. I think they are the backbone of this aspect of nursing. My hat is off to them. Short staffing seems to be the big issue in all areas of nursing. No one can staff all the new health care facilities that are constantly being built around our nation. I am tired of all the constant changes in government regulations, then not oversight to carry them out.

  2. I agree on ,not enough time with patients , Nurses being understaffed ,we didn’t just become short because of Covid, they just didn’t recognize it until then and time in areas ,that have nothing to do with Nurses.

  3. I left healthcare this year to take a break after constant bullying from management, family and other nurses. The part that really lit my fire was putting profit over people, every time in every setting. It’s not health care anymore, it’s illness promotion.

    • Yes, you are absolutely correct! I have done med-surg, critical care as a RN and worked as a NP in various fields. In addition, I have worked for not-for-profit and Federal programs (VA). It is all the same-just “proposed”
      differently! I have been at it since the 1980’s and have been on various committees to
      “Improve Conditions”! Well, discussions never seemed to help…seemed to make things worse…so now after knee and back surgery along with mental health challenges-I am semi-retired at 58! They like to tell you that you do not “handle stress” “poor coping” “not enough support from other nurses, friends, family”-poppycock: It is a broken system that feeds off of not health promotion or prevention, but disease, illness, and dying! There are more “big whigs” in ivory towers than ever before. May the younger generations have the voice, stamina and power to overcome this ludicrous beaucracy.

  4. The hardest part for me is the lack of any kind of empathy for all staff from big greedy hospital chains. Always do more with less, and never, ever allow staff to be a part of any conversation that improves a process. The mind set seems to be either get over it or go elsewhere. After 42 years I still love nursing, love being a mentor to new nurses, and love my patients. I will continue to hold out hope that big hospital corporations will someday smarten up. If they only knew what their most valuable assets could do for them and the patients they claim to serve if given a chance.

  5. Unsafe staffing is real and it’s out there. Micromanaging is something that cannot be applied to a human being. Patients are being admitted with multiple medical complexities that require more attentive care that just isn’t happening. Nurses are emotionally, physically exhausted. I have never seen so many young nurses be exhausted after a 12 hour shift as I have now.
    Nurses give of themselves in ways that no other profession gives. We are also the profession that is expected to stop what we are doing, which is most likely patient care to be able to attend to another professions needs.
    Since COVID I feel nurses have been traumatized in ways we gave yet to realize. We saw fear in patients faces ,they could not breath, they we’re afraid they would be intubated, left alone without family. The nurse was their family, their supporter letting them know they can do this.
    Nurses were forced to be prepared to change care of COViD patients in a blink of an eye as more and more best practices came in. The nurse did not honestly fear for their own health but the health of their loved ones and those they came in contact with. This combined has caused trauma to the nurse in ways we have yet to see.
    Nurses need safe staffing now more then ever.
    In Massachusetts safe staffing law was defeated by a financially wealthy hospital administrators, they were able to put fear into the public that increasing nursing would actually cause more destruction to patient care.

  6. The hardest part of being a nurse??? Wow, there are so many parts that require one to be a good and great nurse. For me it is the patient who is self-abusing that is difficult for me to care for. I know they are sick and may have some form of a psychological disorder but if they continue to harm themselves then what good am I really doing??? Versus the patient who gets
    suddenly sick or has a chronic condition that exacerbates. The political stuff never goes away and I have learned to ignore most of it. The bullying also seems to permeate nursing, too bad we all can’t get along for each other and our patients. Nursing is very demanding, physically, emotionally and psychologically. No matter what type of nursing one does, it is extremely important to take time for oneself and I believe this past year with Covid has taught us to take that precious time more now than ever before. Treasure those you love and love yourself so you can give to others.

  7. Personally, I think the hardest part of being a nurse is the inequality in nursing arenas today. One goes to school to obtain a Master’s Degree but can only work in a staff nurse position. Higher ups usually have favorite nurses who are promoted and it is usually not the black nurse which is frustrating. In addition, other nurses hear something about another nurses and tend to bully that nurse to no end on every level for no current reason. Nurses at work tend to hang in cliques and have no interest in allowing anyone else in. I have experienced situations when a nurse manager named Kim was in on the antics. Nurses from an oncology floor would change the drip rate on IV’s, tell Kim that patients complained when actually the patients were giving compliments to myself and to the doctor. Those nurses were also afraid to bathe a patient who was soiled or clean the environment if the linen, tables, or garbage was overflowing. In my opinion, we are all nurses who should possess curative factors geared toward the patient. Some patients can be hurt by underhanded antics some nursing staff use to try gain favoritism from managers and directors . Where has Florence Nightingale’s charateristic of nurse/nurse manager gone?

  8. I believe the hardest part of being a nurse is the lack of time. Today, more than before, nurses are tasked with so many other tasks such as counting, checking equipment, and stocking rooms, that we have lost that precious time to spend with our patients. When I first became a nurse, I had the opportunity to spend time with my patients. I would talk with them, learn about their lives, share stories, and educate them. Today, with the shortage of staff, electronic charting systems. and organizations looking to get more for less, nurses have lost that time, and more importantly, the patients we care for have lost that as well. This could explain the constant call bells going off and the patient’s complaints of poor care. Our patients want US to give them the time they deserve.

  9. I would have to say the hardest part of being a nurse is dealing with any patient addicted to pain medications. It’s hard to juggle 5 patients when one of them is constantly on the call light constantly demanding increases in pain medications, or delivery of it early. It really overshadows the nice patients I have encountered and depletes my compassion while clouding my perspective on people in serious need.

  10. Expectations that are unrealistic to the amount of time that is allowed would be the most difficult and burnout driving part of nursing.

  11. The place that burned me out was the ER. I worked LTAC (and I cared for many chronically acutely ill young people in LTAC). Heck it wasn’t even called LTAC when I worked there it was more like God’s Hotel. I can remember the names of most of my patients to this day. I saw AIDs patients, Cancer patients, patients awaiting organ transplants that never came. I used to think they should have a sign that read “abandon hope all ye who enter here” written on the entrance but despite all that we were a family. Yes people died. Even young people died but they were part of our family. Somehow knowing they were with us and died with us made it easier. I spent seven years there and that place changed me for sure but it didn’t burn me out. Next, ICU. Interesting thing about ICU, you hardly get to meet any of your patients and believe or not people don’t die in ICU all that often. If they are going to die they don’t usually make it to ICU. I spent another seven years there and left when my dad was sick with lung cancer. Next a couple of years trying VNA (only place that ever made me cry. Enough with the paperwork already!) and then acute cardio/pulmonary rehab (spent 14 months; just long enough to get the sign on bonus but realized I was over qualified and couldn’t wait to get out). Finally I landed in the ER in the inner city. I still can’t even write about it without getting emotional. I never want to hear the sound of a mother when her knees hit the floor again. I don’t want to see the revolving door of lying drug addicts who proclaim “I’m dual diagnosis” so they can get admitted to a facility that they know their friends can sneak drugs into. So tired of pretending I believe them when I have to shake them and say “breathe” and they respond with “I’m just tired, I didn’t sleep last night” or the alcoholics (who incidentally are acutely aware they are drunks) who come in time after time only to finally show up dead. Lots of people die in the ER. Young people, people who were planning vacation that morning, people who didn’t know they were sick. The ER did me in. I mean it, really did me in. I spent 10 years there. I knew it had broken something in me. I really didn’t like the person I had become but I was riding it out, I was going to retire from there. Then one day I was slammed against the wall by a drunk and God made the decision for me. Spinal cord compression, fighting the hospital for compensation, surgery, rehab. And now here I am 60, recovered as much as I will recover and looking ahead to what will come next…..

  12. There are some very good points below and very true! Administrative agencies add more and more responsibility or documentation requirements to a nurses already overly full lists of tasks. Yet no resource is added, or other responsibilities removed, for nurses to accomplish those tasks. It is a perfect recipe for failure of the nurse and subsequently the patient. When CEOs focus on “productivity” as an assembly line of parts and pieces to be assembled, rather than a dynamic process that involves humans working with humans and not a mechanical assembly line. Nurses and patients are more than numbers on a spread sheet!

    It is also disheartening to know that there is a way to help someone, to make their life better, and to be stopped because of a bureaucratic policy and an unwillingness to spend the needed money that is already available! Whether it someone who needs an eye exam, dental care, supportive consults from dietary to social services, unable to afford their meds, a need for assistance in the home, and even the homeless. These are all solvable problems that would add great benefit to those individuals and the community, country, at large! It is truly demoralizing!

  13. Understaffing I worked for about 38 yrs mostly in the E R dept praying everyday “lord help me to make life easier for at least one person today ..“ the when things became too busy, with short staffs then my daily prayer on the way to work each day was “ lord please go with me and keep me from hurting a person today “ how can one nurse take care of 5-6 critically ill pts without causing injury or death and then we had to charge for everything so how can one give emergency care if you have to stop to make a charge for everything from aspirin to band-aids to iv fluidscan’t this be done later?
    I am retired now but not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could still be working when things were easier & the RN could go home knowing that she did a good job ad life was easier for many people

  14. After 42 years in nursing, I have found that health care systems demand loyalty, but do not reciprocate. There is nobody who is willing to stand up for the nurse who does the right thing, even if it is not PC. Admin would rather shoot themselves in the foot every time before they will support bedside staff who actually know what needs to be done. I’m so tired of hearing “You’re going to have to find time to get it done.” Having a good day at work or the satisfaction of a job well-done just doesn’t exist anymore.

  15. Nurses are reporting the same major issues today in 2021 that we were hashing out 35+ years ago when I was studying for my diploma RN in 1984: unsafe staffing, administrative issues, politics, the budget, disrespect, eating our young, overworked, underpaid, hospital cash cows. Yes, we ranted about all of it in the 80’s & 90’s. Except then, you also had sexual harassment – your word against theirs. I can still hear my head nurse in the OR, Betty, saying: “He’s Chief. They’ll believe him, not you. You’ll lose your job. I’ll move you to Ortho.” until federal laws caught up with those behaviors in 1989-1991.
    What I’ve learned from listening to myself and other nurses, hospital presidents, business people and legislators is this: Money is power, and it’s the only subject that gets anyone’s attention in the business and political domain – which is where change has to take place to correct the nursing shortage and the problems that plague the profession. Whoever has the money makes the rules. It’s not about degrees, how many letters are after your name, or your expertise. Those are just distractors to divide and conquer, put people down, keep them afraid and subservient. It’s about money. It will always be about money. Money is power. Let me say it again. Money is power. Which brings me to the most important point: without nurses, there is no hospital money. There are no short term profits and bonuses. There are defense lawsuits that cannot be won. The index falls, the stocks drop. The administrators are laid off. The board members and stockholders don’t get dividends. The doors begin closing. Wings are shut down. Systems fail. It’s a simple equation: RN’s = Money & Power in this industry.
    They won’t tell you that. They’re making book on the nurses’ big heartedness, compassion and altruism…and they’re laughing all the way to the bank. The solution? Stop. Organize. Become business owners and agents, not employees. Take control over the profession, your careers and your well being. Get political. Introduce bills and get new laws. Pay attention to groups like the National Nurses Organization. Lobby your senators, house reps and congress. Lobby on the Hill. Believe me, if people can get laws changed for the rights of laboratory experimental animals, nurses can do this. Confidence, Courage, Camaraderie, Determination, Focus, and Persistence, Good Planning & Strategy creates Change – in ALL professions, corporations and nations. Now, it’s up to the Millenials and Gen Y to keep the ball rolling.

  16. I work in Periop. I’ll never understand why the nursing profession has become responsible for physician consents. Im not referring to residents, who are learning but to attending physicians who constantly have to be told that their consent is incomplete. It’s exhausting.

  17. I think it’s the “politics” and the difference between the newer nurses and nurses like me that been around for 25 years. I don’t know everything and don’t act it , but some of the new nurses ( which some are really great nurses) but come with a chip on their shoulder. My experience in nursing school was we felt “ beat down “ then built back up – this weeded the ones that weren’t going to make it out. I don’t think we get the respect we deserve. We were here when 911 happened ( for example) and I was ready to go – if needed. I had 2 little kiddos at that time- but wanted to help as that is our nature. I can still run around an ER, work in Interventional Radiology and take care of a mentally ill patient. I don’t want to feel like there no room for me anymore. I’m afraid to get old – because I know who is out there to care for me and It’s concerning. Reading some of the below comments- definitely bullies and workplace violence!!!

  18. The politics, double and triple documenting, meetings that take us away from taking care of our patients, unsafe staffing, not having enough equipment or supplies to take care of the patients, not having the medications available at the time needed to medicate and mind u we have a Pyxis, having the worst wifi and unable to having good working computers to complete our documentation, lazy and/or hiding Pca’s, unable to find the correct doctor to take care of orders and patients complaint (“it’s not My patient”), covid and the daily changes of what is the proper rules for isolation, no communication or proper in service to new policies or medications or rules, no time to complete these inservices, no respect for the nurses and what we do as a whole for the patient and the team.

  19. I have been a nurse for 22 years. Started before computers and when the patient was top priority. When you were at the bedside. Now you have to jump through all the hoops to meet all the guidelines and you may only spend a few hours with the patient. You never have enough time,supplies, or staff. I really believe that the politics is the worst, hospital administrators put everything above the staff.

  20. I have been a nurse for many years. Currently an FNP. I was talking to my 21-year daughter yesterday saying how odd it is that none of my 5 kids went into nursing. Was it because they saw me tired and working so hard all the time?? She told me that there are a bunch of memes out there about how girls who go into nursing are the “bullies/bitches” in their high schools. I was really surprised. How sad it is that we are seen by many young people in that light. Are they still teaching compassion in nursing school? I hope so.
    I find the hardest part of nursing is working to show the patient that you really care: Today, there is so little eye contact because of focus on the EMR; It is hard to work within time constraints and difficult to contain costs for the patients while trying to make money for your employer. Somehow, we need to love and show compassion to our patients (and to our coworkers) despite these obstacles. Sad about these memes. A nurse who is solely in the profession for money, power or “control” will never be the best nurse.

  21. The hardest part of being a nurse is understaffing and poor leadership. You can run nonstop for your entire shift and they will pile more and more on until staff walk out or just stop caring and give up . It’s so sad for our poor patients who are the true victim . Nursing as far as a hospital is concerned is money centered . Unfortunately the patients come in slightly above staff retention . After 29 years I’m more than ready to walk away . Sad situation for healthcare .

  22. I understand the question is “what is the hardest thing about being a nurse” but I am shocked at the negativity of most of the below posts. I am grateful everyday that I chose this profession. It continues to ground me as a person. The hardest thing I would say is not being able to change the outcome when we lose out patients.

    • Having done all but OB and peds here is my 2 cents-between Administrators who go home every Friday after their triple Martini lunch, Management too busy watching the bottom line of GREED and the other departments that could not care less(except Custodial) and my co workers having nothing better than to Eat The YOUNG and OLD and those who do not conform to their Religion. Then one must Kowtow to MDs who are clueless and also GREEDY. You asked.

  23. The hardest part of being a nurse ,is not having the time needed to be completely on top of you assignment. Always flying by the seat of your pants……..I truly feel this is unsafe nursing practice related mainly to core staffing issues, and poor leadership.

  24. You are constantly dealing with life and death and management is only concerned about costs…
    If you are understaffed in any other job customers have to wait a little longer in line or on hold. But understaffing in nursing-time (seconds/minutes) can be painful or deadly…or both.

  25. The hardest part of nursing is the constant danger.

    Getting injured trying to help someone
    Getting injured by a psych patient
    Or a confused dementia patient.
    Or an intoxicated patient
    Or the intoxicated family member of a patient
    Getting sued for whatever a lawyer can think up
    Losing your job because you didn’t follow a blebedy bleb policy or file your gobbledegook report in time

    Covid is the least of my concerns at the point.

    • Jen,
      I have another dangerous patient for your list that is a combination of two of yours, the veteran that has dementia, psych issues and PTSD, as military they were taught hand to hand combat and how to kill. Now as confused dementia patients, the staff becomes the “enemy “.

      • I hear you. Young people don’t realize that seniors are a young person with more experience. I love my seniors, even the confused ones…but just because someone looks old and frail doesn’t mean that they are. The worst injuries I’ve sustained as a nurse have been from confused seniors and there is nothing that can be done about it. What am I going to do? Sue maw-maw for trying to break my wrist or ask that paw-paw be arrested for sexual misconduct? That’s what makes it so frustrating. It takes a nurse/aid/etc getting killed or seriously injured before anyone takes it seriously and sometimes not even then.

  26. Everything mentioned in the article. Our elderly deserve so much better than the little care they get from 1 nurse and 2 nursing assistants for 45 residents and that’s on a good night when no one calls off. I retired after 35 years of nursing and I pray every day for all the caregivers who battle this awful pandemic. Including dietary and housekeeping,etc. God protect them all..🙏

    • You are absolutely right Lorrie and Cynthia, I work long-term care and 14 out of 16 patients are total care and everyday I pray for enough help, if it’s scheduled then someone will be pulled to another unit because of our census. I have begged them to staff by acuity.
      Another pet peeve is the excessive meetings, I may get 10 minutes notice that I have to do Care plan meetings or do Gero-Psych rounds, or daily grand rounds not to mention twice a week huddles. These are meetings that the manager should be doing but never does. I have to be charge, do assignments, make sure the next shift has enough staff, do all the skin assessments, nurses notes, pass medications and treatments for half the unit. I hate huddles, they are a waste of time, they pull all the staff off the unit including housekeeping into the huddles and always at a time of the day when we are busiest, no matter what we discuss or suggest we are overrode by the quality assurance nurse who has never worked long term care before. Her opinion on dealing with a very confused patient that frequently falls is to explain to him that he will get hurt if he keeps falling and should ask for help.

  27. What is saw in 20 years of nursing is a top heavy administration that micromanages and doesn’t spend enough time on the floor to see what’s really happening. Budget over safety was the reality. Supervision with 1:1 sitters was denied despite notifying the nurse manager of the need. Then when something happens, it’s the nurses who are to blame. As I understood it, the budgets were structured to give a large bonus to the managers who stayed within the budget or kept costs down. Now how does that improve patient safety? Staffing issues and patient to nurse ratios are probably the biggest complaint of nurses. Bare bones staffing is the general rule. “Magnet”status is a joke. Administrators pick and chose which practices and policies they will adopt. Nurses need to band together to get legislation in place for safe ratios. Imagine how much money they will save in lawsuits alone if the nurse had time and resources to provide the care she/ he knows is best.

  28. One of the hardest part of being a nurse is when you have a high nurse patient ratio or supervisor floor ratio and you know you are giving 110 percent caring for your patient with limited supplies and an administration who doesn’t give a “rat’s rear,” if you have lunch. It is true that the health care has become so commercialized and that profit motive is top on the agenda.

  29. Management Never manages. They are always in meetings planning without input of Line worker’s. They don’t appreciate anyone. They fail to do exit interviews.

  30. The hardest part for me was dealing with ‘hyper-educated’ nurses that acted that the letters after their name made them better than everyone else.
    The nurse who told a new employee that I was orienting to be careful around me because I don’t know how to ‘cover up’ Med errors and actually report myself if I make one.
    Or a head nurse that wrote me up because l ‘ordered a co-worker to page the MD & lab stat’ when she admitted in shift report that she gave 3 doses of insulin to a patient who was too sleepy to eat. You know as well as I that he wasn’t sleepy. That nurse was not written up & I had to call a union rep to get that DA out of my files.
    Or the head nurse that I tried to discuss the lack of using aseptic techniques by staff changing UAC lines. Her routine response to me ‘just because you worked in a big time medical center up north doesn’t mean you know more than we do.’ ‘That’s why we have one of the lowest infection rates, what’s your score,’
    Or the time back in the 80’s when several doctors who noticed that wounds healed faster on patients I cared for on a regular basis, asked me what I was doing. They then said, tell me what you need & I’ll write the order. They also requested a new position for a wound care nurse, encouraging the position for me.
    Administration thought I didn’t have enough letters after my RN & hired someone who had an impressive amount of letters to her credit. Her first week she came to me several times for info & advice on particularly nasty wounds. I made a few suggestions, but when she continued to ask me I referred her to the manager that hired her. ‘I did, she said to ask you.’ ‘THEN SHE SHOULD HAVE HIRED ME FOR THE POSITION. Don’t come to me again. I have my own patients that need my attention.’
    I loved caring for & helping my patients and their families. But I got burned out too soon.
    ‘Where is the satisfaction that nursing used to bring… Maybe some day I’ll find the rest of the words to my poem.

  31. The number one problem is staffing, If the work load is balanced and not a burden then the agency, doctors, patients and nurses all come out ahead. Everyone wins! 1. The agency wins because the product they are selling (healthcare) is delivered at a higher standard with less likelihood of mistakes occurring, less turnover,and repeats in costly new orientations. If the agency maintains a large enough work pool then when illnesses, etc. occurs there will be someone available to fill in without exhausting staff and pushing them into overtime. 2. Doctors get better assistance and more through information regarding their patients from nurses if the nurses are given adequate time to provide it. This then allows the doctors to provide better care. 3. Nurses who are not overworked provide better care, are a positive experience for patients, are happier because they are allowed the time to be their “best” Resulting the nurse being more satisfied with their salary and less likely to leave a good working environment. The nurse that works for a well staffed agency has a better home/personal-life because they can schedule time off without fear of cancellation. Cancellation of requested time off often lead the nurse to loyalty stresses between the work vs home commitment. So…having more staff than what today’s “numbers” call for will improve the work situation greatly.

  32. I think sometimes the hardest thing about being a nurse is all the criticism that happens either by your co-workers, family or patient. I know that I have a very strong personality and sometimes when I say something the way I mean what I said depending on who is there can be completely taken out of context. An example would be. I have a new grad nurse that has been a care partner and actually has been a nurse now a year. When I do charge this individual has a very flat affect and is very hard to read. When I round to see what is going on and ask this individual how her patient’s are, is there anything going on and do you need something. This individual’s response is usually no. Their facial expression says “BUG OFF”. But what they really need is help. After this response you leave and go to the next person. I work on a Intermediate unit, we have vents, trachs, drips very sick patients with a ratio of 1:3. The next thing I know leadership is wanting to talk to me because I did not assist this individual when they needed help and walked away. As a person when you ask what they need should they not tell you. Not this person. What this person wants is for you to guess what is needed and just do it. This is one of the most frustrating things. Another is you have a patient that every other thing that comes out of their mouth is how he has had so many things wrong with him and how no one cares. Rings the call bell every five minutes and gets mad when you do not go right in the room. Mind you the nurse is usually in another room and when they finish in their they do go in their room but this individual feels like they are the only person needing care and we need to spend all your time in their listening to him complain because there is not much he needs other than hold the urinal between his legs or give him pain medicine. I love what I do and love the patient’s mostly that I care for. Those patients and families that actually tell you thank you make the difference but those one or two individuals that want it to only be about them and can not see the light hurt your day.

  33. Hello fellow nurses, nurse to patients ratios vary related to specialty, in hospital those ratios are remarkably lower than skilled and longterm care. As a nurse in longterm and skilled nursing our ratios can be and are 15 to 25. Our patients are medically complex , we do med surgery, wound care , many chronic conditions cardiac, iv’s, picc lines, diabetes , post op conditions etc. The acuity can be surmountable.. long term now and has been more complex with each passing year. Quite frankly the odds of error increase significantly, somedays I am truly frightened.. the acuity in the hospital is obviously very significant. My hats are off to the hospital nurses. Having been a patient myself, nursing is the most important part of healthcare!!!!!!

  34. Toxic administration . Lots of good talk but Very hypocritical.
    Little care for staff or protection from bullies.
    HR works for organization not the staff . Would never ever trust again

    • Call me lda. This is not my complete name. But I want to agree that there are administration are toxic. They don’t care about you. Working for profit? That is true. When I got my interview, I was told I will be treated like family and that I will get the orientation that I need. From the first day, I was doing ok, with the technology, took my 2 subjects that I need to finished that moment and the number given to me was a number that belongs to someone. But I was able to finish those classes. I mentioned this at that moment that my screen was not my name and the one giving us the orientation said” we will give your number”. Now comes the technology, why I cannot log my password? I don’t know. I tried and I tried and it just doesn’t work. I am getting frustrated that I have to go to the office and the one in charge tried to access it. i have to show my own password, got into another tablet got into the office computer and there and it just does not work. Someone has to check into it and gave me the right number. I felt so broken, that I was perceived as the person who is slow with technology and indirectly felt I don’t belong and I don’t meet their expectations. I just don’t feel right with this company. I don’t feel welcome, not oriented to anyone, working and visiting patient without an ID. I read the whole manual, finished all the modules, took all the test, lost so many sleep, I felt traumatized. The one who hired me never gave me or showed me support and I don’t work with them anymore. I praise God! and thank
      GOD. But I have learned so much. I am still the great nurse I know I become. Giving the best treatment and care to my patient for looong years!

  35. During my 15 years, the thing that’s hardest is bullying and toxic environments. It’s like many individuals never bothered to read the Values & Mission statements of their facility, let alone recall any part of why they went into nursing. The other thing that is hard, is watching the countless changes being implemented (pick a subject, task or dept) by higher ups that don’t do the work – have failed to involve those that do the work in any of the change process. Only to make the new change 2-3 times longer to complete or problematic…..then after so many months of problems, to then trickledown the chain to “gather feedback” as to changes needed or inquire why staff are having problems. Involve people that do the work from the beginning, and lots of time, energy and staff morale will be saved. Of course, being asked to do more with less……tale as old as time, can be found amongst any occupation or job – setting up a facility or employer for a potential serious adverse event.

    • Been a muse since 1984. Seen many changes. Worse thing a nurse can encounter is a bully environment. I have been the target of work bullying and if you complain. Then you are the problem. This one of the main reason why many nurses are leaving the profession. I realize that the so called statistic may report a different result but todays numbers speaks volumes. Just remember as a nurse in any department. The goal is to help not to be bullied.

    • Administration has to justify their existence. They should ask someone who has been there for a few years. It was probably tried years earlier.

  36. I so appreciate your comment, Hi I’m Kim I too have been discriminated against my entire decades of Nursing, even by family (of course I no longer still talk to those LOSERS!) I am a Divorced Caucasian Female with 3 boys (one that I wanted and had outside of marriage) that I am very!!!! proud of, I dont toot my own horn but they are all successful kind men. The most recent discrimination happened at Bel Air Health and Rehab in Bel Air, Maryland. I was a Nurse Manager there and the DON and ADON clearly did not like me and they both were uneducated stupid nurses, seriously the ADON was sooooo stupid and she did not like me correcting her or my intelligence and the DON Danielle SUCKED!!! We had meetings 2 times a day for hours of wasted time each and everyday, neither DON or ADON would help a desperate Nurse “IN the weeds,doing a code” We had our usual 3 hour long morning meeting, waste of time I never got anything done 6 hours a day in a Closed meeting. One morning after I talked, pep talk and all the ADON was killing me with DAGGERS I said out loud ” I am dying someone is killing me with a knife” I not only got written up I was FIRED,,, Never in any of my Careers. WTF???? Be proud to be a Nurse, man woman heterosexaul, homosexual we are kind and devote our lives to taking care of others…God Bless

    • Interesting Kim, I am very sorry to hear about your terrible experiences. I’m retired from Sinai Hospital now but did have my mother in that facility in 2018. It was an uneventful and fairly decent stay for my mother after a fall and FX sacrum. Fortunately for her, both she and her roommate were retired RN’s (my mother 93 at the time and her roommate was 78). They truly looked after each other, walking each other to the bathroom, getting help when needed! 😊

  37. The hardest part for me is Being On Call! I have been a nurse for 12 years, the staffing in long term care is always an issue and it seems we are always overworked and underpaid. I dread the on call Friday, Saturday, Sunday, till Monday morning. I am so burnt out covering all positions that I question even wanting to be an RN anymore.

  38. After 14 years I have seen time and time again that administration does not care about staff or patients. They care about money. This is clearly evident based on the increased workload with fewer staff members. The lack of appreciation is very apparent as well. We had a patient code in the parking lot and after all the emotional trauma, the only concern the managers had was some missing documentation, like a pulse, on a dead patient. I for one, am done. I’m walking away from nursing because my health and well-being are just as important, at least to me and my family.

    • Walking away from nursing isn’t the answer especially if your reason for choosing this career was because you felt in your heart this was what you were suppose to do. The great thing about this profession is you don’t have to settle on where you are. You can venture out, explore other specialties, or walk away from a toxic facility and not look back. When you start thinking, “I’m walking away from nursing”, change you thought to, “I’m walking away from this place!”. Trust me, you can even without all the “letters” behind your name. That’s what I did and still doing and my health and well-being is no longer compromised. Not all facilities and managers are that way. I’ve been a nurse for 20yrs and I still love what I do because I know I don’t have to accept that type of treatment because I am good, no great, at what I do.

  39. The fact that they keep adding more and more rules and documentation. Most of these are not at all helpful to the patients or their safety. We all know that low nurse to patient ratios are the best indicator of safety and good outcomes, but the administrators think that if we staff with just enough and add a box to check then it will be fine. Plus the push to go back and get a zillion letters behind your name, I find it does nothing to create a better bedside nurse but only lines the coffers of the universities

      • I couldn’t agree more, when you have non healthcare people making healthcare policies is when we start having so many problems. People and their healthcare issues don’t fit into a nice check box. Most of the time it is a waste of time and resources.

  40. Exactly right! I often feel anxiety because I cant spend the time I would like to with patients. Feel like I am running around like a dog chasing the tail. Corporate USA now wNt more for less. If I could retire I would do it in a heartbeat., but I absolutely love being a nurse.

  41. I have never understood why policies, best practices and even schedules are designed (and enforced) by our “superiors”; every RN learns so much more from the environment and fellowship of those whom precept/teach/support through their vast experiences…I learned more by observing day to day practice than I ever learned from a book. I even learned what NOT to do, especially working off shifts when decision making was so very critical.

  42. No one measures the amount of work you are doing that day and makes assignments to reflect the load. After you send your patient to the unit who you prevented from coding you know that you will get a new patient since now the room is clean.

  43. The hardest part of being a nurse for me, as a Black woman, is the jealousy. Other Black women are jealous because I am an RN, and they are not. White women in my town see me in my scrubs and sneer at me, viewing me as the “uppity Negro”. African nurses in the nursing home setting will help each other, but not me, because I am African American, not a continental African. It is treacherous waters, and daggers coming for you at every turn.

    • I so appreciate your comment, Hi I’m Kim I too have been discriminated against my entire decades of Nursing, even by family (of course I no longer still talk to those LOSERS!) I am a Divorced Caucasian Female with 3 boys (one that I wanted and had outside of marriage) that I am very!!!! proud of, I dont toot my own horn but they are all successful kind men. The most recent discrimination happened at Bel Air Health and Rehab in Bel Air, Maryland. I was a Nurse Manager there and the DON and ADON clearly did not like me and they both were uneducated stupid nurses, seriously the ADON was sooooo stupid and she did not like me correcting her or my intelligence and the DON Danielle SUCKED!!! We had meetings 2 times a day for hours of wasted time each and everyday, neither DON or ADON would help a desperate Nurse “IN the weeds,doing a code” We had our usual 3 hour long morning meeting, waste of time I never got anything done 6 hours a day in a Closed meeting. One morning after I talked, pep talk and all the ADON was killing me with DAGGERS I said out loud ” I am dying someone is killing me with a knife” I not only got written up I was FIRED,,, Never in any of my Careers. WTF???? Be proud to be a Nurse, man woman heterosexaul, homosexual we are kind and devote our lives to taking care of others…God Bless

  44. Nursing has been a rewarding career, but there have been several difficult issues encountered over past 35 years. Pediatric deaths, people not being able to afford their medicine, chronic pain.. not properly addressed is heartbreaking. Unexpected, sudden deaths. Homeless/ mentally ill being discharged back to the street. There are so many positive outcomes, but the above issues stick in my mind and heart

  45. Scheduling = Majority of Nurses are mothers or sisters that is also care givers among families that have aging parents.
    If Nurses are flexible where they are assigned any services where they are needed they also have to have flexibility in their schedule. As a manager I found it very helpful when I introduced self scheduling. Outcome moral was higher,Nurses were happy and I had a very low rate of calling sick.

  46. Getting all Team members to work together to get the job done. If you have a nurse that won’t help CNA turn or clean a patient then everyone suffers. It is a trickle down affect. The CNA can’t get to your accucheck because the other nurse wouldn’t take 2 minutes to help turn her patient. Then it snowballs from there!
    We need to work as a team to give ALL patients great care.

    • Watching those incredible Nurses in the ED sometimes breaks one’s heart as they exceed by far all the last nerves that I ever had in my decades of Nursing and still they drive on. Nursing really is an evergreen profession that will only expand it’s scope in the coming years
      and I assure you those holding the title Nurse are certainly up to it! If you see a Nurse, tell them “Thanks” and wish for them “a great day”.

    • Absolutely! My very first Nursing job was at a Nursing Home, where, as an EMT, had to respond at that facility at least three times to take patients to the ER for heat exhaustion!
      Working the “Graveyard shift” I was the only RN on in the entire building!
      When I first started, the nursing assistants would hang around the Nurses station not getting their assignments done! I was not at all liked; however, When I worked with everyone; helping each and all of them with their patients’ care even assisting them with all ADL’S!
      When I became a VNA RN; I, totally enjoyed doing joint visits with all of the patients caregivers! It’s like “Getting the Big Picture”! Extremely helpful and rewarding!

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