I wanted to talk a little more about my own healthcare burnout story and more specifically what life looked like before burnout and after burnout. For me burnout was a difficult place, but I was able to overcome the burnout. I then created The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner and am passionate about helping other NPs overcome nurse practitioner burnout.
I was burned-out from nursing.
Here’s a quick recap on my own burnout story. I became burned out as an acute care registered nurse. I didn’t even know I was burned out until I read an article on compassion fatigue and check marked every single box.
Multiple factors contributed to my burnout including long 14-15 hour shifts that were both physically and mentally demanding, 1 hour commute to work and 1 hour home, as well as many other factors which I will discuss below.
My signs and symptoms of nurse practitioner burnout included
- Mental, physical, emotional, exhaustion
- Detachment from my work, my family, myself
- Dreading going to work everyday
- Not showing up or taking care of my husband or son like I should have
- Lack of empathy towards my patients
- Becoming irritable and stressed which alternated with feeling numb
I would spend my days off in a bad mood, tired all the time, and unmotivated to do anything other than sit on the couch all day. I rarely took time for myself, not to mention I rarely exercised, slept well, or ate a healthy diet.
I would feel jealous about other people’s accomplishments because I didn’t like where my life was.
I was terrible at setting boundaries. For example, when my floor manager would call and ask if I could pick up a shift, I would say yes. And then immediately loathe that I said “yes.”
I was burned-out from healthcare and it was destroying my personal life as well. I did not have the energy or motivation to show up for my family. I became detached from my work as a nurse. Detached from my family and friends. Even detached from myself.
After acknowledging that I was actually burned out from nursing, I made the choice to stay in healthcare and work on conquering the burnout.
How I overcame nurse practitioner burnout.
Overtime, I slowly overcame the burnout (and prevented it during the pandemic!).
I started shifting my mindset and became grateful for the positive things in my life. I implemented daily self-care. I took care of my mental, emotional, and physical health. I set boundaries both professionally and personally.
I was able to resolve the healthcare burnout!
Overcoming the burnout didn’t happen overnight. It had taken me a few years in healthcare to feel burned-out and I definitely wasn’t a quick fix. It took continued effort and work. It was not a perfect journey. I definitely had bad days along the way.
But I kept going because I wanted to regain my passion and purpose in healthcare. I wanted to continue caring for patients while also caring for myself. I wanted to get my life back!
Life can change after you overcome nurse practitioner burnout.
Here are some positive side effects of overcoming healthcare burnout
- I became more fulfilled and happier in life
- Less imposter syndrome and limiting beliefs
- More confidence and greater self-esteem
- Achieved more goals with increased satisfaction
- Better personal relationships
- Established boundaries
- Learned “my worth”
- Better self awareness and acknowledgement of when I am headed toward burnout
- Knowing what I can and cannot change
- I feel better physically, mentally, emotionally
Even though going through burnout was a low point in my life, I wouldn’t change it!
Sometimes we have to go through hard times in order to experience growth.
You can overcome nurse practitioner burnout!
Whether you are so incredibly burned-out and ready to leave healthcare. Whether you are in a toxic work environment. Whether you don’t believe you can overcome nurse practitioner burnout, I want you to know it is possible!
I started The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner to help my fellow overwhelmed, burned-out nurse practitioners create a better work-life balance. To overcome nurse practitioner burnout. And advocate for themselves.
It is possible to overcome nurse practitioner burnout!
I am rooting for you!!
I would love to hear your burnout story and what you are doing to overcome nurse practitioner burnout. Comment below and let me know!
For additional resources on overcoming nurse practitioner burnout, check out Burnout Resolution for NPs.
Also check out The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner’s blog page for helpful tips to create a better work-life balance and overcome nurse practitioner burnout!
For time management and charting tips, check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting School– The one stop for all documentation resources created specifically for nurse practitioners. Learn more at www.npchartingschool.com
**Full disclosure, this blog post may include affiliate links. I do receive a commission if any of the affiliate programs/services/supplies are purchased. This is at no extra cost to you but does allow me to continue to provide content as The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner! Thank you!