Sometimes, we have to come to terms with the fact that we are not in the place we want to be in our lives. For many nurses, this realization can be difficult as they may have already spent a lot of time and effort on gaining their qualifications, only to end up getting disillusioned by the field. Others might not see themselves doing anything else in their lives. 

However, there is a world of possibilities out there for nurses who gave everything they had to the profession or others who simply don’t think that their current position is the right fit. Here are some of the signs that you might want to consider a switch, and a few tips on how to make the transition.



You’re Feeling Exhausted

If you’re coming home every day feeling completely drained both mentally and physically, then that could be a sign that you’re burning out. And that wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. About a third of all nurses under the age of 30 and 40% of them experienced burnout at some point in their careers. 

You should consider changing positions the minute you start feeling that way. Or at least consider lowering your responsibilities if possible. Then start looking at alternatives. You could also consider working in another setting or even switching states or parts of the country. Taking your service to rural areas could allow you to live a less stressful life, and serve communities in need. 

5 Signs That It’s Time to Switch Nursing Positions

You Dread Going to Work

If you absolutely hate the idea of going to work, this could be a warning sign as well. This could be because of work conditions, management, or other co-workers. Either way, staying in a toxic environment will slowly start chipping away at your self-esteem and sanity. So, consider a change of air as soon as you get that feeling.

5 Signs That It’s Time to Switch Nursing Positions

You’re Craving Change

Sometimes, you just feel like you could do better somewhere else. Or you come across an opportunity that would be a better fit for you. In other cases, it could be everything outside of work that is weighing down on you. Maybe going to a different city could be a good option.

Others might feel that they’re ready to take a greater role. For some, it could be working on policy, or charity work. If you find yourself constantly daydreaming about being somewhere else, then you might be ready for a change.

5 Signs That It’s Time to Switch Nursing Positions

You’re Taking Your Cases with You

If you find yourself taking your work home with you, then it’s a problem. Many find out that they’re having difficulty constantly dealing with loss and grief. They need to be more removed from everything or work in a role that will at least give them more stability. 

Or in some cases, they might be working with people in need like those suffering from substance abuse or mental illness, for instance. In many cases, they start forming a personal connection with the people they help and those around them that are affected by their condition. This can start taking a toll on some nurses, even after being in the field for a while.



You’re Not Feeling Safe

If your working environment is not safe and nothing is done to address the situation, then it’s time to consider a change as well. You might want to help and understand some of the financial pressures affecting your department, but you can’t stay somewhere where your safety is being threatened. 

5 Signs That It’s Time to Switch Nursing Positions

What’s the Solution?

One of the great things about being a nurse and the nursing field, in general, is that your knowledge will always be valuable and can be used in different ways that will allow you to still be of value and work in different fields, whether they’re related to nursing or not.

But one of the things you could do is to pursue your education while you’re still working. While this might seem like a tall order, know that there are tons of online courses that allow you to get your education while keeping your position. You could go for an online course during the night or the weekend or condense it to get your degree as soon as possible.

There are plenty of reputable accredited universities that could allow you to get your . You could then move to a field like family nursing, for instance, where you’ll be able to not only enjoy more responsibility and independence but a much lesser workload as well.



You could also choose to work in an administrative role or out of a clinical setting. Some decide to become forensic nurses, for instance, and work on court cases. Others may want to move to a writing career. Others use their skills and experience to start businesses for themselves or work as sales representatives for pharmaceutical companies.

In all these cases, their knowledge of nursing gives them a leg up. Nurses know first-hand how medicine works, and sometimes have even more knowledge of drugs than physicians since they have such a close relationship with them. They know their effects, new drugs being introduced, dosages, etc., which makes them perfect sales reps. This could even allow some to move into other related fields like pharmacology, for instance.

So, if you feel like you’re trapped at your current job, know that there’s always a way out and that your skills are highly valuable. Also, see if what you’re lacking is a sense of purpose. In this case, you could move into things like advocacy, teaching, or even to another country that is in great need of nurses. In some cases, that could be enough to revive your passion for the profession and go on to a new start.

5 Signs That It’s Time to Switch Nursing Positions


Feeling burned out and exhausted at work is never easy, but there’s always a solution. Whether you choose to specialize yourself or move in a whole other direction, make sure that you listen to your body and consider going for a change of pace if needed.


Have you considered making changes in your nursing career?

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