‘Counting On’: Abbie Burnett Duggar Quit Her Nursing Job But She’s Not Thrilled About It

Anyone who’s seen at least one episode of Counting On knows the deal: things are unique in the Duggar family. Everything from the movies they watch (or don’t watch) to the way they dress is seriously different than most of society. One important way Duggar women stray from modern practices? They rarely have jobs outside the home, and never work full time.

The Duggar religion preaches a strictly patriarchal family structure that relies on the husband to be the head of household and primary breadwinner. Women are left to the duties of homemaking and raising children (plus cooking questionable meals for the family). While not every Duggar child follows every rule that they learned at home, this is one they all abide by.

Then came Abbie Burnett with a legitimate career that she seemed to enjoy. Fans speculated that she might keep her career after all. That idea all came crashing down recently, however.

What was Abbie Burnett’s job before she married John David Duggar?

While many Duggar wives have vague-sounding or strictly part time employment such as “pianist” or “midwife assistant,” Abbie Burnett must have spent a large amount of time earning her degree. That’s because before she married John David in November 2018, Burnett was a registered nurse.

As Abbie Burnett explained, it’s not like she always wanted to be a nurse – she fell into the profession after her grandparents became terminally ill. Her interactions with the nursing staff and hospice workers who cared for her grandparents helped spark her interest in the profession. Abbie was a nurse for at least one year before she got engaged.

Why did Abbie Burnett quit her job?

Fans thought that maybe the Duggars were annoyed by Abbie having a career even if she met John David and married later in life than most other Duggar wives. While she never admitted that they forced her to quit, no doubt the familial pressure had some effect on her decision. A recent episode of Counting On revealed that Abbie Burnett quit her job during the whirlwind time of wedding planning.

“I just love taking care of people. But I left my job a couple of months ago so that I could plan for the wedding,” Burnett says in the show, “I do hope to go back to nursing one day, especially so I can keep up my license and my skills.”

Will Abbie Burnett ever go back to nursing?

When producers ask Abbie if it was a difficult decision to leave nursing, she answers that it was. But that doesn’t mean she’ll be going back to her former life anytime soon.

Assuming Abbie Burnett and John David get started on baby-making right away, it will be easy for Abbie to fill her time with a new form of caregiving: motherhood. The longer Abbie stays home and the more kids she has, the more difficult it will be to go back to working full time.

Of course, there’s a chance that Abbie Burnett will pick up nursing again once the kids are grown up a bit. And her medical training is sure to come in handy with a bunch of children running around!