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Has anyone started over? Meaning, have you gone from admin back to bedside? If so, how, and why, did you do the change? Did you feel like you were taking a step backwards?

March 12th, 2022

I left management nursing for 5 years to work on myself. For the past two years I have done travel nursing and love it. I stay within my perimeters, work my 12hrs and give my patients the best care possible. When my shift is over, I don't have to worry about holes in my staffing schedule, who's going to fill them or what am I going to do. I don't have to feel bad about teaching or using words to get something across that I don't believe in. I don't have to wonder who has my back when something happen. No frustration and I am home every other weekend and holiday. Never once did I think or feel like I was taking a step backwards.

May 16th, 2022

Yes I did. Leaving my admin role wasn't my choice (although I should have made it myself). My position was eliminated which left me without a job. It took me some time but I chose to go back to the bedside (Labor & Delivery) and was reminded how much I enjoyed just caring for my patient/s and leaving at the end of my shift . It was a huge relief not to worry about budgets, staffing, meetings, etc. I feel like some people thought it was a step backwards, but I didn't care what anyone thought. It was absolutely the best choice for me.

April 25th, 2023

I had my “dream career in nursing” I thought. I was DON over a surgery center for five years. The staff was close and proud of their job. The commute was difficult so I took on a surgery center, beautiful, three miles from home, and the staff was spoilt. They didn’t care about the ASC, was hourly versus salary and I fought for them to have employee appreciation, etc. to show them I appreciated them. I wanted them to feel special but they just continued to be spoilt and would suck you dry. I had cancer and surgery then all the sudden my administrator insisted I come in due to a issue they were having. (Infection) they had no concern for my health. It was my dream career as a nurse in the OR. I was miserable. I left shortly after, took three months off and went to work at the best cancer hospital as clinical staff. It was hard letting go even after five years but when I hunk I’m making more now as clinical staff, stress less, cancer patients hard but soooo fulfilling. I’m more fulfilled than I had been in 20 years. I’m almost concerned as I climb up the levels because I don’t want the stresses. I miss the title! But I don’t miss the crap. Someone has to be the scapegoat to hire and fire. I don’t need that to make me feel better about myself. I leave each day and say thank God for my blessings. This job was a gift.

January 8th, 2023

I recently left management and I am back to the bedside. I need work life balance. Management took to much away from my family and did not give me anything in return. I don't see it as a step backwards. I
have less stress and more time for my family. Potential to make more money because im not salary. Working 60+ hours/week and paid for 40 hours. Plus patient care is why I became a nurse.

June 20th, 2022

Yes I am actually making the decision to leave my management tole today. I will be putting in my notice when I return from maternity leave. I want to make more money and have flexibility. I will be working a PRN role for a nursing agency, getting paid more and don’t have to worry about management issues and can make my own schedule, don’t have to work weekends and holidays still, and can work less days which means I’m home with my kids more. Maybe down the road I will want to return to office type setting but for now the flexibility and pay increase and less stress i lbs what’s best for me and my family!

July 1st, 2022

Yes, I did, a couple of times. I went from inpatient ICU staff to outpatient admin for a few years. Got tired of the BS, went back to icu bedside nursing. After about 6 years there, I took an admin job in same icu I was staff in, did that for 21 years. Went back to staff on same unit for my last 2 years before retirement. Been working on cruise ships for the past 6 months, looking to take on a teaching job soon. I never felt like I was taking a step backwards, especially since it was on the same unit. Much easier that way, and since I started as a staff RN, I had credibility in both roles.

April 11th, 2023

It seems that every nursing job I've havd over the last 12 years, I have quickly advanced into an Administrative role. When COVID hit, my DON position was eliminated when the facility closed. For 18 months, I searched for DON opportunities because I thought I "had to" secure another management role. However, I took a position working nights in a Psych facility. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it is to actually care for patients again. No longer am I required to work 16 hour days, and I am no longer under the continuous stress of being in a leadership role. I'm able to go to work, do my job, and go home. I leave work at work. My home life/work balance has been re-established. My life is absolutely amazing, and I'm so glad I was able to find my true life's calling again. While psych is a new field for me, it has reminded me why I became a nurse in the first place. I'm able to help people who cannot help themselves. And that, my friend, is the best feeling in the world.

It doesn't matter what job you do in nursing, as long as you get out there and do something to serve or help someone else. Please don't ever think that you're taking astep backwards....We do the jobs that no one else can do. ❤️

July 3rd, 2022

I did! I had a baby and after maternity leave was working70+ hours a week, flipping from nightshift to days. I was told to come in, my first day back after the baby for a mid night shift and kindly requested not to. I was reprimanded in the CNO’s office the next morning. The Lord made it clear that it was time for something else. I miss, terribly, being in management and being an advocate for nurses but thankful for the opportunity to pour in to my family more

August 25th, 2023

I left work as an assistant director of nursing to return to the clincial area because I missed patient care and teaching students. Later I taught at a university as an adjunct while working as an NP. Now I work as an NP part time (I'm 76 and have no desire to retire - having too much fun!), still teach a bit, and am very glad I ditched admin. work. Wasn't my cup of tea. Find out where you sparkle and always do THAT! Life's too short to dislike your work. And if you really love it - you'll never work a day in your life.

November 20th, 2022

I left being a nurse manager over Labor and delivery unit after 2.5 years. I worked at this hospital for 29 + years My job was “evolving” into manager over 2 more departments. I could barely staff labor and delivery and I did a lot of filling in due to short staffing. I was not compensated financially due to being salary. I mentally or physically could NOT do anymore. All relationships were strained to the max. I turned in my resignation and got an in-house contract at another hospital. The amount of stress is 80% less. I clock out now and I am done. Sometimes I really miss it. But I will have a stroke, heart attack, mental breakdown if I went back to the same scenario. Healthcare is just broken because staffing is strained everywhere.

March 18th, 2023

Yes, I took a big step backwards from CNO back to bedside ER. I had over 12 years leadership experience prior to being a nurse. I had turned down many leadership positions as I witnessed several times how the leader’s literally are set up for failure. A new company came into town and had a great visions. A friend begged me to help out. So against my better judgement I took the job for 3 years. While I learned a lot, everything in my life suffered. It was a smaller Hosptial that was new. My phone never stopped ringing didn’t matter what time of day or night. Schedule was brutal. I have only worked that hard one other time when I was in the military with 24/7 responsibilities. It was the best thing I did to step down. Almost cost me everything. It isn’t worth it.

February 17th, 2022

I've actually completely left nursing for ten years (a long time ago) , did teaching, library science and then decided to back into it, got a job in Rusk Institute and worked there for 5.5 years. Really good move for me.

February 15th, 2023

This is me right now! I have been director of nursing for 13 years and am so ready to go back to bedside. Just waiting for my replacement to graduate in May.
It certainly is not a step backwards in any negative way. It is a step towards living life and loving yourself. I want to make plans I don’t have to cancel on my days off! I want to be fully present in my life, my real life, without having to answer the phone all day and all night, maybe even watch a whole movie without fielding calls and scheduling. I’m ready to take great care of patients again, and go home tired but knowing I made a difference and gave it my best.

November 7th, 2022

I recently strep

I recently stepped down from an Administrator role at a multi-speciality outpatient surgery center. As I continued to progress in my career, I realized I was getting further and further away from why I became a nurse. I was not fulfilled in meeting financial targets, reducing cost in the P&L, navigating staffing and anesthesia issues,etc. It was constant stress and impacting my mental health and family. I want to go back to focusing on patient care and not the bottom line. I just started my search for a job that I can use my knowledge in a a role that will fulfill me and give meaning.

July 11th, 2022

Is never a step backwards, you are a nurse all the way, the difference is that by being in the office you may forget your skills, that made you a NURSE. Being on the floor refreshing your skills and remembering that the main purpose of the job you is to take care of patients, will bring you back to the realty of of your service. People forget their calls and roles very easily, Power corrupts, absolute power absolute corruption. Don't have to look to far, look at your politicians, why politicians? because they mandate the Health care business.

March 7th, 2023

Did bedside and PACU 10yrs then case management/quality 10yrs then now back to bedside. Loved CM until starting to basically work for free more and more. Never regret going back to bedside. Get paid for every minute you’re there, opportunity to pick up OT, able to take a vaca without taking too much if any PTO, and I missed placing IV’s. Was so excited when I placed my 1st one after 10yrs on the 1st try. Wanted to tell my patient so bad but then decided against since they’d probably be 2nd guessing any of my nursing skills/decisions.

November 4th, 2022

Yes I managed a float pool and my team covered 15 hospitals and over 40 ancillary locations and provider offices. My position was eliminated and I wasn’t offered a role in the facility where I worked. So it wasn’t my choice. It has been a struggle because I loved being in leadership, however I am still a RN with MSN and had to realize my love for my profession and picked and started working as an RN again. So, no it wasn’t a step back. Just a comma at this stage of my career. I readjusted and kept it moving.

July 1st, 2022

Almost 5 years ago I decided to return to a staff nurse position. I was still doing a small amount of bedside nursing but my position as a supervisor was demanding more time at meetings and in my office on the computer. I didn't like who I was becoming, a person who dreaded her job. Administrative work is very important and necessary, but I realized that it wasn't my calling. Being a supervisor was a great opportunity, and I feel that I pull from that experience often as a staff nurse. I do not feel that returning to the bedside was a step backwards for me at all. The past 28 years in nursing have made me a better person, and every job has helped me build upon my knowledge. I also have to say that being in administration has humbled me, and I carry an even greater respect for my leaders because I've been in their shoes!

December 19th, 2022

I have truly considered it many times!! I have been out of bedside for over 7 years and I'm very nervous about going back. But to be able to just go to work, do my job and come home would be so awesome! Definitely NOT a step backward. Just a life and career change.

November 13th, 2022

worked as medical manager in free standing pain mgt clinic. Went back to bedside. I'm getting closer to retirement. Wanted less hours & less responsibility (no extra meetings, no evaluations, no budgets, etc) Loving it! I work full-time, 3 days/week.
Put in my time, do my best and don't have to spend more than my 36 hours.

August 11th, 2022

I will tell you that I made my move solely to have more time to care for my mother. In Upper management, I was on call 24/7, was physically in work 11-12 hours a day, and had about another 2-3 hours of work at home. I knew I was stepping back but family obligations were more important

April 8th, 2024

RN for 23 + years. I have worked in every critical care unit in the hospital. Seven years were spent in administration. I went back to the bedside 3 years ago. Do I regret it? Hell no! Ask me if I miss the endless meetings where nothing was accomplished, the 60-80 hour weeks, or pushing the "do more with less philosophy."
Returning to the bedside has been hard but that challenge fits my personality.

February 13th, 2023

I just left a management role to go back to hourly nights. Even thou my hourly rate on salary was more it actually had cut my paycheck in half to be in management. Today is actually my first day back on hourly as a CNC in house night on call for angio and cath lab. I will also be doing stroke neuro check audits and responding to all codes, rapids, and stroke alerts. I’m excited!

April 19th, 2023

I currently am looking into going back to bedside nursing. I was quickly pushed into leadership roles after graduation and though I gravitated to leadership very well, I missed out on not staying at the bedside longer. Looking at bedside nurses, I feel less important and completing more case management and scheduling not hands-on nursing as I enjoy. I say there is no 'step backward' in nursing. Nurses can fit MANY different roles. Find your passion and build a healthy balanced lifestyle, but never think going for what makes you happy is a step backward. Good luck!

February 22nd, 2023

I have done it several times. I always look at it as a way forward to my next journey in this profession. I also worked in clinical roles part-time while holding leadership roles. This provided experiences in both roles and gave me more perspective as I made decisions and advocated for my teams. This profession is rich in opportunities. When one door closes, keep walking forward through the next door. It’s not a step back to work clinically. It may be your richest experience. You can always change your mind and go back. Most nurses are willing to leave their jobs to try something new. We are never stuck. Keep going for as long as you can or want.

September 12th, 2022

I am considering it but I feel it's a step backwards considering the progress I have made over the years.

July 12th, 2023

I stepped away from director position based on all the stress, pettiness, backstabbing that took place at my facility. I loved my staff, patients and doctors but administrators did not care about the day to day needs. I worked long hours, all shifts but never felt supported.
Working bedside again has renewed my desire for my career and I’m enjoying being a travel .
Do what makes you happy

June 13th, 2023

Please, don't call me selfish. I left the role of ADON. There was politics. I don't like politics. Staffing issues, people fighting each other, being woken up at night, back biting, gossip. Nurses do indeed eat their young. I left administration. I sleep much better. I do my job and run home. Free at last! Step backwards? I feel liberated!

March 27th, 2023

I did. I was a floor manager and then manager of house administration. My mental health suffered. I was always on call. It didn't matter if I worked 40 hours or 90, the paycheck was the same. I had greta employees who I liked and worked well with, but I was burning out hard. I had the corner office, nice title, nice salary, no work life balance and terrible mental health. I went back to the bedside and do not regret it at all. My life improved in all aspects. I can always pick up an extra shift if I need more $, I have improved life balance and can see both sides of most issues and help the manager communicate tough messages to the team. I do not regret it at all.

April 27th, 2024

I left management about 5 years ago to be at the bedside. It was my choice and was fully supported by my family. Now I’m off Omeprazole and Zoloft. I punch in, work 12 hours and punch out. No phone calls at 2 am the. 4:30 then 5 am… No endless meetings to discuss facility quality measures or emergency staffing needs. I love it. I never should have left. My home life is better. My work life balance is as it should be.

It was clearly a step forward, not backwards

January 1st, 2024

Yes I went from managing several units to working in a NICU again. At first I felt like I stepped backwards but I have found I am much happier and have better work life balance. I am very glad I made the change.

December 11th, 2023

I was an Asst Nurse Manager for 10 years and then a Nurse Manager for 2 years. I came to work one day as a Manager and was told that we had several sick calls and I would need to take a team of 5 neuro patients. I had not been at bedside for 12 years and did not even fully know the computer charting for the staff since the admin charting was different. I had no choice so told them to put me near a nurse who knew the charting well in case I had a question.

At the end of the shift my patients were clean, medicated and alive so I was happy. Needless to say it was a wake up call since I had been away from bedside for so many years.

I gave my notice as Manager and returned staff at a different facility and in Women’s Health. I felt the need to return to bedside and practice what I was trained for. No regrets and I love Womens Health. I don’t miss the admin burocracy or the middle of the night calls.

I never felt like I took a step backwards and have been offered other positions in Management and turned them down.

Management can be rewarding in its own way, however nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment when you are directly involved in saving a life or just making your patients day better no regrets.


August 22nd, 2023

Yes, was out of the hospital and worked in a corporate setting for 16 years. I was then laid off during Covid. I decided to go back to bedside. Called a head hunter and she found a hospital that retrained me in Critical Care. The hospital was gracious and gave me plenty of time to shadow another nurse until I felt comfortable on my own. I was able to get back in the swing of things pretty fast. The main thing that was different was charting, now computerized from the hand written notes I was used to. I have since learned 3 major platforms. My corporate friends who were also once nurses in the hospital, thought I was crazy for going back, but I missed it. It was scary at first, but when you’re with the right hospital and you have a manager that wants to see you succeed, it becomes easy. I took a pay cut below my corporate pay once Covid pay was over, but I don’t care, I love it. It also keeps me healthier than my prior corporate job.

August 7th, 2023

I managed a facility of 105 beds for 4 years. I left because I knew technology was advancing and I wasn't. Also when you actually did the math in relation to hours on job and being called when off. It wasn't worth it. I left to travel. Looks good on resume. That's all

September 11th, 2022

Yes I did recently as my promotion took away the bedside of nursing and my passion for the way I felt that the facility should take their nurses to provide a high level of care. I definitely felt like a step backwards but looking for similar positions I realized that the opportunity is one that definitely is tough to find without traveling great distance

September 4th, 2022

Yes and I love it I do both actually, the best decision ever

June 2nd, 2024

Went from being DON for 13 years back to staff nurse. It was a step forwards def not backwards. I took back my free time, my sanity, my physical health and especially my mental health. I’m no longer getting calls 24/7. I leave work at work now!! And at 50, I am too old to work shift after shift as a CNA due to no staff.
Best thing I did for myself and no regrets.

April 14th, 2024

It is humbling to be both nurse leader as well aa bedside nurse. I love both roles for different reasons. It is without a doubt more fulfilling to be at the bedside.

I am not good with politics so leadership is a constant battle and challenge of what others perceive you to be - not who you really are. Choices are made without your knowledge or awareness and playing behind the proverbial 8-ball is standard in most leadership positions.

I never regret working with patients and their families and I never feel that I am not skilled to do so.

March 26th, 2024

I recently started over. I was a DON, MDS, ADON at several different SNF for 10 years. Now I’m a bedside nurse at an acute care hospital and I love it. I work less hours and get paid for the hours I work. I’m home more with my family. I don’t feel like I took a step backwards it’s more like I’m taking my life back

January 30th, 2024

Yes. I went back to bedside after years of management. Going from salaries back to hourly and not having to fix everything is soooo worth it. Definitely did not feel like I went backwards.

January 25th, 2024

After being an RN for 40 years and going up and down, I thought I'd finally found the position I'd retire in. Supervisor - then promoted to Manager of a Regional Outpatient Diabetes Education Program. I worked my tail off and also worked as a diabetes educator in my programs right alongside my other teammates.

After 8 years of management, I had been milked dry. Why did I "step down?" I grew weary from some of the medical staff's ego. But more than that, I grew tired of the whole HR aspect of being a manager. Why adult professionals couldn't do their job was beyond my comprehension. Disciplining, corrective actions, documenting, stretching budgets, justifying resources, etc. was too much for me. Finally, one day I decided my pool position with a different wing of the company looked like it would be a great full-time job. I've been in my current position in telephone triage for 7 years now and love it. Sure, I'm making my way up the ladder again, but my sanity is more important. I was even awarded Ambulatory Nurse of the Year within my organization last year! Lifetime nursing high.

As I enter my 48th year being an RN I'm thoroughly enjoying my professional life. I will work until my body or my mind wears out. This is the most fun I've had yet! Don't give up looking for your dream job. It's out there.

November 27th, 2023

I was stepped up from the bedside but still working on the bedside and I love to deliver my services to someone who needs I enjoy it as a nurse. Proud movement when someone appreciates your bedside services.

October 8th, 2023

I absolutely did! I wasn’t top brass, but I was the Director of Staff Education and Development for 3 years and House Supervisor for 2 years at the Psychiatric facility I still work at. I thought I knew what I wanted, and even was in the process of completing my MSN in nursing admin. Honestly, during that time I didn’t feel supported by the big dogs and wasn’t permitted to use the resources that someone of my position should have been able to. It’s a state run facility so budgets were constantly being cut and the hospital went through some downsizing which put more and more responsibilities on myself until the performance expectations just got too unrealistic. I transitioned to Nursing Supervisor in hopes of better job satisfaction and less stress, but a sudden change in leadership at the top brought about a dark cloud of staff morale and negativity that led to staff turnover that we’re still feeling today. I also found I missed I missed the patients. I missed providing direct patient care, and working with a solid team. I also felt too out of touch with what the nursing staff go through due to the massive tsunami of changes that had occurred to policies, and procedures, not to mention the paperwork in a relatively short period of time. I voluntarily demoted, and even though I took a cut in pay, I’ve never regretted my decision and that was 8 years ago!

September 13th, 2023

I’ve been a RN for 39 years. I was a nurse manager of 2 med/surg tele units for 7 yrs and went back to the bedside 4 years ago. I got my life back! I work nights in L& D and love punching out and not having to be responsible for 2 floors and 120 team members 24/7. If I want to work OT I do, and if I don’t want to I’m not obligated. And I get paid for all the hours I work!

July 2nd, 2023

Yea I did 2 years ago and decided to go back to bedside nursing, in particular PACU, but no one will hire me despite 20 years experience since it is not “recent” enough. 😏

July 2nd, 2023

I left administrationo to return to school for my second MSN as an adult/geri NP. First MSN was in adult psychiatric nursing. I found that dealing with paperwork, schedule, etc. in addition to having to jump through hoops for a lot of suits (who had no idea of what went on at the bedside and with staff) held no interest for me, but I love patient care and independence so my CNS and the additional NP were able to open doors for advanced practice that gave me both. Always so glad I made the change back to patient care.

November 13th, 2022

After 9 years as a float, I tried an admin job at an ALF for a year, my first salaried position. I was on- call 24/7 and at work 10+ hours a day… I loved working with my residents, but found work life balance was off amongst other things. Pay wise I am willing to take a cut to find better life balance. I don’t feel it’s a step backwards to start something new- or go back to something you once enjoyed! It’s just a change!
Best wishes!

June 5th, 2024

I echo Sandra',s response verbatim. How ever in my case I find some persons in administration keep trying to use my knowledge and experience of being a nursing administrator when ever it is convenient for them. I have been successful in not taking the bait. I often state that it is above my pay grade and apologize that I don't want to have that task or role anymore.

May 11th, 2024

I’m starting over and never feel so blessed for the decision that I made, I work when I wanted and do my own schedule, I’m also doing clinical instructor work which so far has been a blessing. Look for something that brings meaning to your life despite of the title. Admin, director, management and so on can be rewarding but with that, nights without sleeping , frustration, backstabbing just to name a few things that often happen. Go for it, sure it does not hurt to try new things, be satisfied with what you do that’s your reward.

April 11th, 2023


February 16th, 2023

I have done it. But doing 12 hour shifts was brutal on my 58 yr old body. I went back to supervision in case management now and work remote so its a trade off as far as not having as many days off and having some extra responsibility. Leaving the hospital setting for the first time in 35 years has been eye opening. Management in non hospital case management is quite less stressful than in the hospital. Pay is less too.