Does this statement tug on your heart strings?
Does it make you feel guilty for spending more time at work and less time with your kids, your spouse, your friends, yourself?
As a nurse practitioner, our role in healthcare is vital (pun intended). Nurse practitioners strive to give compassionate, patient-centered care, and truly impact our patients’ lives. Nurse practitioners bring a unique knowledge base and background to our field of practice. I may be a little biased, but nurse practitioners are a key member in the healthcare industry.
Having said that, we are all replaceable.
Just because we are a nurse practitioner does not mean we have job security. Remember when the COVID-19 pandemic started? The general population was instructed to stay home while primary care, urgent care, specialty clinics, even some emergency department census dropped dramatically. Healthcare providers, nurse practitioners included, were being laid off- in the middle of a pandemic! Nurse practitioners have also been let go when budget cuts need to be made. Market saturation in some areas identifies the lack of available nurse practitioner jobs and for less and less pay. All nurse practitioners, no matter how many certifications, degrees, letters behind their name, are replaceable.
And for some reason, even though nurse practitioners can easily be replaced, we still give more time and energy to our jobs. We give more to our patients. To our coworkers. To our bosses.
We give more to our jobs than we give to our children. Our families. Ourselves.
I bet most nurse practitioners didn’t think it was going to be this way. Maybe you thought work as a registered nurse was stressful. You were tired of the patient care. The physical, mental, emotional demands. The inconsistent schedule of working nights, weekends, and holidays. Maybe you thought you would have a better work-life balance as a nurse practitioner.
Instead, you are staying late at the office or bringing charts home. You are giving up self-care because there are charts to be done. You are stressing about work when you should be relaxing with your family. It is hard for nurse practitioners to leave work at work.
It is the current status quo in healthcare to work harder. See more patients for less pay. Pick up more shifts/tasks to be a team player. Put the needs of the patients and demands of a nurse practitioner job above our own. The modern healthcare system is about profitability- see more patients, do more procedures, make more money. Don’t get me wrong, healthcare is a business and businesses have to make a profit to survive. However, this profitability game is at the expense of not only quality patient care, but also the mental, physical, emotional well-being of healthcare providers, especially nurse practitioners.
It is expected that nurse practitioners do these hard things. And eventually, it will cause nurse practitioner burnout. It feels like a vicious work-life imbalanced maze with no end point. Nurse practitioners work so hard and sacrifice time with family and friends. We sacrifice our own health and needs. We are giving more time and attention to work and for what? The possibility of being replaced some day?
We have to remember we are replaceable at work, we are not replaceable at home.
Our families need us. Our kids will only be kids for a short time. Our spouses need our support. Our extended family and friends need us. We need us! We need to shake the status quo and get our lives back. We need to learn to love our jobs and want to care for our patients again. We need to overcome the burnout for our patients, our careers, our families, and ourselves.
I’m not telling all nurse practitioners to quit their job. Nurse practitioners have to show up to work. We have to care for our patients. We have to follow clinical practice guidelines. We have to bring home an income to support ourselves and our families. Nurse practitioners should strive to give compassionate care to our patients. But nurse practitioners are sick and tired of being sick and tired. We are ready to overcome the burnout. To get our lives back.
This is why I created The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner. To help overwhelmed nurse practitioners do their best work as nurse practitioners while also developing a work-life balance that keeps us from burning out.
Check out The Nurse Practitioner’s blog page with helpful tips and tricks for time management, charting, creating work-life balance, and ultimately overcoming the 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