How Burnout Causes Nurses to Change Their Career Paths

How Burnout Causes Nurses to Change Their Career Paths

How Burnout Causes Nurses to Change Their Career Paths

Nurses are a crucial pillar of the US healthcare system, particularly for their roles in service delivery and patient care. However, recent years have seen the nursing workforce face critical shortages.

In light of a nationwide nurse staffing crisis, there have been strikes to demand an increase in nurse-to-patient ratios in states like New York. When hospitals and health institutions are short-staffed, nurses are routinely put in high-stress environments. Some are even asked to work overtime to compensate for the shortfall.

However, this only exacerbates the staffing problem. As nurses become fatigued and burned out from stressful work environments. Some consider taking on new nursing roles or leaving the field altogether.

In this light, the article looks closely at how burnout causes nurses to leave their jobs and which careers they find themselves in after experiencing burnout.


Why do nurses change jobs or professions?

As discussed earlier, nurses play an important role in driving better patient outcomes, but this work is at risk due to burnout. To illustrate, a study on the prevalence and factors of nurse burnout published in the JAMA Network found that more than 400,000 nurses in the US reported leaving their position. Among these nurses, 31.5% cited burnout as the main reason for leaving their job.

The study further nuanced these nurses’ decisions to leave by associating burnout with other aspects of the work environment. These include certain aspects such as increased workloads, lack of good management or leadership, and the need for better pay and/or benefits.

Burnout alone does not cause nurses to reevaluate their career paths.

Rather, true burnout also stems from a lack of control and consistency in the workplace. As outlined in LHH’s post on the difference between burnout and dead ends in professional contexts, those who are burned out tend not to leave the profession altogether.

They only need to recharge and rejuvenate their passion for their work before seeking new jobs with greater freedom and autonomy.

It’s a different case when nurses realize they’ve hit a dead end and are incompatible with their career choice. This happens when nurses’ long-term goals — such as increased pay, career advancement, and learning opportunities — are no longer valued.

They can also feel inadequately supported by their employers and the healthcare system. These nurses thus chart new career paths where they are recognized, challenged, and allowed to grow personally and professionally.


Common Career Changes Among Nurses


Travel Nurse

As nurses facing burnout consider their next move, travel nursing is a viable option for those who want to stay in the field but with a different nursing role.

The advantages of travel nursing mainly lie in job security and competitive salaries. As the demand for nursing care persists, hospitals are willing to compensate additional staff fairly.

Beyond the countless opportunities to travel and explore different places. Unlike those in permanent positions, they are also given freedom and flexibility over their schedules and days off.

Finally, the lack of workplace politics paves the way for a stress-free experience, as you are only expected to show up and do your work.


Online Nurse Practitioner

With the rise of telehealth, becoming an online nurse practitioner (NP) also allows burned-out nurses to take a step back while still being able to provide quality health services. It’s a natural evolution for registered nurses, as the qualifications for NPs include earning a master’s degree in nursing.

They can also obtain specific certifications for pediatric care or women’s health. Among the typical responsibilities of NPs are gathering patients’ medical histories and creating treatment plans. They also collaborate with other healthcare professionals.


Health Educator

Lastly, nurses can transition from patient-specific curative care to community-wide preventive health and programming by becoming public health educators. Job career platform Joblist expects the demand for health education to grow by 17% from 2020 to 2030.

This will create job opportunities in healthcare settings, government agencies, nonprofits, and community organizations.

As observed, there are many options for nurses to address burnout and change careers without necessarily starting from scratch. On top of being paid fairly for their work, nurses deserve to be valued personally and professionally across all workplaces.


Looking for more nursing and travel nursing information? Check out these helpful links!


Steps to Moving on From Your Current Healthcare Provider

Steps to Moving on From Your Current Healthcare Provider

Steps to Moving on From Your Current Healthcare Provider

If you’ve been around long enough, you’ll know that change is a constant in life. People come,
and people go; perhaps your doctor is one of those individuals. From Cup Of Nurses, here’s
how to move on to a new healthcare provider if this is the case.

Check their credentials

Apart from checking the credentials of your next doctor to see that they have the relevant skills
and education, you’ll also want to check that their area of expertise is a close match to what
you’re looking for and need in a healthcare provider.

Check how soon they’ll be able to squeeze you in

If you have been referred to a doctor by your current health practitioner, there is probably a
high chance that they are well in demand. And while this may be a positive thing because it
points to how popular they are, it may also be challenging for them to take on a new patient
simply because their schedule might be jam-packed. Therefore, you may want to keep your
option open, i.e., look out for other healthcare providers who can accommodate patients outside
regular office hours.

How much can you afford?

It might be a good idea to reassess your budget to see if you can afford to increase your
insurance premium if need be. If not, then eHealth notes that sticking with ‘in-network’ doctors
may be the most financially sound decision. However, if you’re a freelancer or self-employed,
you could take advantage of affordable healthcare coverage if you join a Freelancers Union or
your Chamber of Commerce.

Keeping your documents up to date

It will also be helpful to ensure your medical documents are always up-to-date and ready for
when you find your ideal match. If your documents are difficult to find because they are in
multiple places on your computer, then a tool that converts various file formats like Word to PDF
might help. With this tool, a PDF converter will let you convert from other files so you can select
only the PDF pages you wish to use and then combine them into one file, making this easier to
find when you need it.

Meet them before you make a decision

If you want to get a more accurate picture of what your doctor-patient relationship will be like,
then there’s no better way to do this than an in-person meeting. This way, you can assess
whether your interaction with each other shows the potential to progress into the type of
doctor-patient relationship you desire it to be.

Don’t feel pressured to rush the process

The National Institute on Aging points out that when it comes to choosing a doctor you’ll feel
comfortable around for years to come, you need to be absolutely sure about your final choice.
Therefore, don’t put pressure on yourself to rush the process. Instead, use all the resources
around you to help expedite the search if time is of the essence.

Apart from asking your doctor for any referrals, you could also use your own network to ask around and see who comes out on top as far as recommendations from friends and family go. Reach out to past acquaintances in the area, especially those who are around the same age as you, to see if they’d recommend their primary care doctor or another reputable physician. A great place to start is with old schoolmates.

Certainly, finding a new doctor when you’re used to your current one will probably feel a little
unsettling at first. Making sure you can afford the healthcare provider you want should help remove some
of the worry associated with this stressful search.

Cup Of Nurses is your source for current health news and hot nursing topics. Contact us today
to find out more! (708) 414-0237


Looking for more nursing and travel nursing information? Check out these helpful links!

EP 204: What Does a Flight Nurse Do with Madison Vawter

EP 204: What Does a Flight Nurse Do with Madison Vawter

What Does a Flight Nurse Do with Madison Vawter

What does it take to be in a different nursing path? Nursing is a vast field to explore. If you are not too keen to work as a bedside nurse, you can always find a different nursing field to pursue. One of these paths is being a flight nurse.

A flight nurse cares for critically ill patients in a plane or helicopter as they are transported from an accident scene to a medical facility. They also ensure their patients don’t go into code while transported to long-term care. 

Qualifying as a flight nurse is easy. You need a nursing license in your state and experience in critical and trauma care. If you’re interested in a fast-paced environment like this, you may qualify to be one. But is that all that it takes to become a flight nurse

In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Madison Vawter. Madison is a flight nurse with an ER, ICU, and Trauma background. We talk about what a flight nurse does, how to become one, and how to build confidence. 

Question for Our Guest

The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We often go off-topic, so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas, please let us know.

Looking forward to our conversation!

These are the questions you had in Calendly. We’ll go off your questions and wherever else our conversation goes.

  1. Can you give us a brief background about yourself and How you got into flight nursing?
  2. What are the responsibilities of a flight nurse? 
  3. What education is needed to become a flight nurse?
    • Is it a competitive market to find a flight nurse position?
  4. What are the keys to building a solid resume as a nurse?
  5. What are your thoughts about bullying in nursing? 
  6. What do you think is the key to building confidence as a nurse?

Ending Questions

Before we end the show, we have one last question we like to ask all our guests. If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why? 

Connect with Madison and follow her journey through her Instagram at @madrose.v.

Do you have what it takes to be a flight nurse? Check out the full episode here 👇👇👇


00:00 Introduction
01:27 About Madison Vawter
03:54 What is a typical day in the life of a flight nurse like?
05:50 What tasks fall under a flight nurse’s responsibility when there are no patients?
08:01 What other healthcare professionals accompany a flight nurse?
10:48 Who makes the decisions about orders, and how are they communicated?
12:42 What does the team do when they receive an emergency call
17:42 Cases that Madison enjoys addressing
19:18 What does it look like working inside a helicopter
22:02 The most memorable experience
29:43 What is required to enter the field of flight nursing?
32:38 The very competitive field of flight nursing
37:20 Hospital vs. Company based program
38:24 How does the onboarding process look like
41:00 Does a flight nurse need to get familiar with aviation?
44:00 Can a flight nurse care for patients of any age?
45:19 Tips for building self-confidence
53:23 The challenges of a flight nurse
57:42 Wrapping up the show

Nurses Are Resilient But They Also Need Help

Nurses Are Resilient But They Also Need Help

Nurses are Resilient, But They Also Need Help

Nurses are resilient beings. Out of all professions, nurses have the most contact with the sick. They constantly face difficult situations regarding patient care, comforting families, and communicating with healthcare providers to deliver quality patient care.

Nurses are there, ever-present, and ready to help because they love their jobs. But who takes care of the nurses? What happens when nurses are battling their mental health issues? 


What Causes the Stress in Nurses?

Being a nurse is both physically and psychologically demanding. The amount of stress is always high at any given shift. All of which can affect the mental health of nurses. But what are the causes of these stresses? 


Long shift hours 

Some hospitals run short of nurses, and because of this, many nurses must extend their working hours to provide round-the-clock patient care. This includes overnight shifts, which could take around 12-16 hours.

Working hours affect the natural sleeping pattern. It leaves them feeling fatigued and exhausted even before their actual shift starts. Although nursing is a 24-hour job, there are no resources to help nurses. The expectation is to figure it out and show up. 


Heavy workload

The increase in demand for health care services and the number of nurse retirees are among the many reasons why the usual workload of many nurses doubled.

This situation has forced many hospitals and healthcare settings to function with skeleton crews. As a result, this makes the workload for existing nurses much heavier.

The lack of nursing staff leads to picking up overtime, further increasing their weekly workload and leading to burnout.


Death of a patient

Losing a patient can also take a toll on nurses. It is one of the most challenging parts of this job, especially when the nurse and patient form a bond. Although some nurses understand that they will lose some of their patients, it can still affect a nurse’s emotions. After all, nurses are human beings too.

Nurses face a constant emotional toll. They work with people in some of the worst times of their lives; no one ever wants to be in a hospital. Nurses feel those emotions, and it can be hard to separate them. While nurses are resilient, there is only so much they can take. 


Bullying at workplace

Nurses also experience bullying at work. It usually comes from co-workers with seniority privileges and even patients. A toxic workplace and coworkers can impact a nurse’s mental health.

Sometimes nurses forget that their coworkers are human too. The expectations are high, and some nurses forget that they don’t always know what they know now. 


Safety and health concerns

The lack of adequate personal protective equipment, as seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, inadequate staffing of nurses, and insufficient resources can cause safety and health concerns.

When hospitals do not provide nurses with protection during a health crisis or an adequate amount of staff, stress is inevitable. It also puts the health and safety of nurses at risk, putting the healthcare system in an even deeper hole. 


How can nurses manage stress? 

Stress will always be present no matter what we do; the key is learning to manage it more effectively.

Here are good examples of what you can do when you feel stressed at work:

  • Aromatherapy has proven to be effective in calming the nerves. It also reduces anxiety. Essential oils like lavender can help lower stress, so having a diffuser at work can help. Smelling something nice will always boost your mood, even if you are not a big believer in aromatherapy. 
  • Eating healthy can also help lessen stress. Start eating more fruits and vegetables to help increase your energy. Caffeine is helpful, but make sure not to overdo it. It would also help to keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water, especially if you have long shifts. The rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water before your 12-hour shift. But if you can’t drink all that water, bring some to work. 
  • Be sure to engage in activities that help stimulate your mind, like puzzles, crosswords, or books. It helps reset your mind and keeps it busy but healthy and enjoyable.
  • Take time out to meditate. Align your thoughts and mind to focus on what you need to do. A good 10-minute break to meditate will help shift your mind into a better place and lifts your brain fog. 
  • Lastly, get enough sleep. Adjust your sleep schedule to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night, and try to sneak in a nap during the day or your shift. It will help improve your concentration and reduces the risk of making impulsive decisions. When your mind has rested, it can help you see things more clearly. 


When Should Nurses Seek Help for Their Mental Health?

Stress is almost synonymous with being a nurse. It comes with the job, and while many can adjust, some find it difficult to ask for help. So, when should you ask for help? Nurses are resilient people, but burnout can also take a toll on them.

Nurses should seek help once they’ve developed these signs and symptoms:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches or frequent migraines
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Having nightmares
  • Trouble sleeping for days
  • Quick to anger or irritability
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Confusion or trouble concentrating or staying focused
  • Have difficulty remembering instructions
  • Being forgetful

Nurses with more pronounced mental health issues may also experience depression, inability to cope, and social withdrawal. They may also feel compassion fatigue or experience burnout, leading to a lack of empathy for patients.

When you’ve experienced these symptoms, seeking professional mental health assistance or support would be best. 


Looking for more nursing and travel nursing information? Check out these helpful links!

EP 203: 10 Tips Every Nurse Should Know

EP 203: 10 Tips Every Nurse Should Know

10 Tips Every Nurse Should Know

Do you know the tips every nurse knows? A nurse’s job can be challenging. We deal with different people and patients and work with other healthcare professionals. We execute our nursing care plans with knowledge and skills, and even though we feel pressured, we always smile no matter how demanding the situation is.

Indeed, nurses are the nurturers and healers of healthcare. But how can a nurse last long in this profession? How can we overcome every obstacle that comes our way? 

This episode will discuss the ten tips every nurse should know. Being a nurse is no easy profession, but these tips can help you make it easier to overcome obstacles that nurses face in healthcare. 

10 Tips Every Nurse Should Know

1. As a nurse, know how to eliminate negative self-talk and remain calm. 

  • Are you aware of internal dialogues, how you speak to yourself, and your worries/fears/concerns?
  • If you need help, ask, don’t whine about it. No one likes a complainer. For example, during floating – stay positive and try to have a good shift; your energy helps the unit.

2. As a nurse, you should learn to prioritize. 

  • Prioritize the things that you must get done.
  • Learn to delegate when you can. 
  • Write a list of things you need to do – color code your notes if you need to. 

3. As a nurse, know how to ask questions and when to ask for help.

4. As a nurse, you should know how to prioritize when you need your self-care 

  • For those that don’t work in California, take your break! Don’t be that nurse who never needs a break during your first year.
  • When if it’s just 15 minutes to recharge, accept the break. Who’s a fan of minute 15 min power naps? That mental clarity also helps you improve focus.

5. As a nurse, you should know how to Establish a routine. 

  • Figure out and establish the best routine in your current unit/contract. Get to work early if you need. Get the supplies you need. Look up your patient prior. 

6. As a nurse, you must know how to take notes and be organized. 

  • You can be pulled aside and overwhelmed with demands and requests from your patient and co-workers at any second. It’s unavoidable. Have your favorite report sheets. Eventually, you can ditch taking notes and remember things on the go.

7. As a nurse, you must know how to care for yourself!

  • Hydrate from start to finish of your shift
  • Nutrition matters; plan your meals and carry healthy foods/snacks
  • Strive for a balance between all your pursuits, and make time for things you enjoy to have fun. 

8. As a nurse, you should know how to listen to your patients.

  •  Listen to your patients; they know their bodies better than the clinicians or the knowledge that you know about their disease process. Pay attention to what they tell you.

9. As a nurse, you should know how to ask for feedback.

  • You can’t improve if you don’t know what to improve. Your IV skills. The way you perform a duty. Be receptive and grateful when a colleague gives advice or offers a suggestion. 

10. As a nurse, you should know how to Become efficient at charting. 

  • Learn the charting system as soon as possible. Time is valuable in nursing; it should be utilized in patient care, not sitting behind a computer. 

To learn more about these tips, click here to watch the full episode 👇👇👇


00:00 Introduction
01:53 1. You should know to eliminate negative self-talk and remain calm.
03:01 2. You should learn to prioritize.
04:50 3. You should know how to ask questions and ask for help.
07:30 4. You should learn how to prioritize yourself.
10:08 5. You should know how to Establish a routine.
12:29 6. You should know how to take notes and be organized.
15:20 7. You should know how to take care of yourself too!
18:06 8. You should know how to listen to your patients
21:01 9. You should know how to ask for feedback
23:58 10. You should know how to Become efficient at charting