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  • Writer's pictureShaleigh Rae

Groundless Burnout, & how I'm tackling it

Updated: Oct 8, 2022

An Instagram ad introduced me to the world of health journalism, but I'm pretty sure that was an olive branch from above. Seeing that ad made me think the Universe was saying "I'm sorry we put you through the wringer this year, but you've grown into the kind of woman who could do something with this,". I hope this post finds a nurse out there who's facing a similar dilemma as I was-- groundless burnout (i.e. your dream job, that you absolutely love to do, is stressing you the f*@% out!)


Like many of us, this year brought changes to both my personal and professional lives. Ironically, my Pattern app called this cycle "beginnings and endings" and they were right about that. This year brought me a lot of exciting beginnings and some painfully hard endings. One of those being my decision to leave my position as a labor and delivery nurse.

Go back in time with me for a few paragraphs before I spill the tea on how I'm breaking free of burnout.

From barista to baby-nurse

The year is 2018; I had just graduated nursing school and passed my NCLEX. I was eager to start working as a nurse, but I knew I'd have to wait for a new graduate position in women and infant services (WIS). So I did the only thing I knew how to do. I put my barista skills to use again by getting a job at my local coffee shop. Looking back I am so thankful for my time as a barista at Ebb&Flow. Karlie and Liz were great bosses, and both of them make an amazing soy latte. They're definitely a source of inspiration now as I start my own business, and in 2018 their job offer saved me from two months of complete boredom. So if you're reading this, thank you girls! Keep killin' the coffee biz!

The process of securing my first nursing job was pretty lack-luster. I think it was only three or four weeks between interviewing with the recruiter to actually accepting a position, but it felt like an eternity at the time. The wait was so worth it because in April of 2018 I traded my apron for navy blue scrubs and started my first "day" as a night-shift postpartum nurse.

In May of 2019, I started working in the Stork's Nest. Hindsight, that was my favorite position in the hospital. While some of my nights in the Nest felt like a baby-filled circus, the nights that I was able to sit in the dimly lit nursery, rocking a newborn and listening to piano nursery rhymes are comforting to reflect on. I jumped on an opportunity to work in labor and delivery after their unit suffered a mass exodus in December of 2019, and switched to day shift after another wave left day shift severely short-staffed. I absolutely loved working in labor and delivery, but holy cannoli what a stressful job! To all my girls still working in L&D, please make sure you're using healthy tools to recharge yourself after those nightmare shifts, talking with a therapist regularly, and prioritizing your health over the corporation's demands. The job you do is so important, but you have to find a way to balance the wacky schedule nurses endure. For me, that balance came from leaving the bedside.

From babies to Botox

Surprisingly, there's a lot of similarities between my job as a labor and delivery nurse and my job as an aesthetics nurse. I was more of a track-and-field kind of girl in high school, but the amount of cheerleading involved in both nursing gigs would lead you to think differently about my athletic choices. It all boils down to women supporting women; and I am damn good at that.

I am so thankful I followed my gut in May of 2021 and ventured into aesthetic nursing. While there's no feeling like helping a woman bring new life into the world, I've felt many genuine moments of joy helping my clients achieve their aesthetic goals. The amount of work-life balance I've been able to find in this role is unbelievable. I'm no longer ashamed to admit that I'm addicted to chaos and prone to prioritizing work above my own needs. Removing myself from a high-stress job in labor and delivery allowed me to see how often I was viewing safe, peaceful, and sane life-moments as "boring".

The medspa is a significantly less chaotic work environment. That switch alone allowed me to begin focusing on myself and healing all the things I'd been using my busy career to distract me from.

Then Botox to a business

Entrepreneurship was the only career path that could check all the theoretical boxes for me. Remember the Instagram ad I discussed at the beginning of this post? I genuinely believe stumbling upon that was an answered prayer. I was stuck- I knew my skills, passions, and limitations but I had no clue how to translate all of that into a business. Elizabeth Hanes with RN2Writer was the creator of that fateful Instagram post. Her resources are priceless. If you're curious about health journalism like I was, I suggest you start your research on her website.

RAEdiant LLC is the result of my months of self-discovery; it is the combination of my skills, passions, and work-life boundaries. I can't wait to share more of my process navigating entrepreneurship, but I felt a little background information was necessary for you all to feel how intentional this career move is for me. Stepping into a leadership role with my own business is the best way I can practice self-compassion and put an end to the groundless burnout I was experiencing.


Shaleigh Rae

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