My first year and a half out of Nursing School was spent solely in working LTC (Long Term Care). I knew I enjoyed the elderly because all through nursing school and two years before I was a home health aide. I was always one-on-one with my clients, bathing, grocery shopping, walking in the park, etc. and I truly enjoyed it. I expected being a nurse to be the same way.
The facility I worked at was top-notch. We wore all white, the residents were treated wonderfully, when you walked in you wouldn’t even know you were at a LTC facility. We received bonuses, the pay was amazing, and the food was FANTASTIC. Every supply you needed was there. There was no reason for me to complain. I had about 25 residents (which is amazing compared to what I’ve had as a travel nurse). I enjoyed my residents but I just wasn’t really happy and I didn’t know why.
About a year and a half later an old nursing school classmate asked me to come work at a local jail. It was a whole new experience for me. I was the only nurse there but it didn’t bother me, for some reason I loved it. 6 months later I got a job at one of the local state penitentiaries and I absolutely fell right into the flow of things. I couldn’t believe how much I fit right in! I was up at 5AM three to four days a week and I didn’t even care. I loved my job! I was also pregnant at the time, I worked my entire pregnancy there. That’s when I knew I was meant to be a corrections nurse.
Find your niche!
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad because your current job isn’t for you. People would say “oh how could you hate elderly people ” when all actuality I love the elderly. You have to know what’s for you. I knew from the first day of nursing school I could never work with children. All it would take is seeing one baby pass away and I’d be a total wreck. I’m not made to be a Peds nurse, doesn’t mean I dislike children.
Working in a specialty that isn’t for you can lead to burnout, and you hating your job. I see so many good nurses who hate their job just because their afraid to do something new.
It may be mean moving, traveling a greater distance to get to work, but at least you’ll be happy. It can be a little difficult to find your niche as an LPN, since jobs can be a little limited depending on your state. If it means going back to school, go back, but don’t stay anywhere you’re unhappy it’ll be bad for you and your patients. There’s nothing worse than that one nurse who’s hateful to patients and coworkers all because they hate their job.