i'mjust looking for reassurance that i'm not making a mistake in leavingmy job after only 10 months.
i'mcurrently working days on a busy med-surg floor. i'm good at what i do (at least that's what i'm told), and i'm confident that i'm doing most things right. however, i have only been working as a nurse for 10 months so i understand that there's about a million more things for me to learn and do.
i also constantly feel that i'm forgetting to do things (charting, dressing changes, walking patients, etc., etc.) and am just handing out pain meds all day. leaving on time is a luxury for any one (including seasoned nurses). i knew in school that i didn't want to do med-surg, but this was the job i could get and i figured, if i'm not 100% sure on what i do want to do, getting some basic acute care isn't too bad.
i realize now that i'm drawn to educating and empowering people. i barely have time to hand out meds and assess my patients, let alone discuss their medical problems/concerns or meds with them.
in addition, the politics and disorganization of the hospital leave me feeling underwhelmed at how they treat their nurses. (i was told if it would make me feel better to spend an extra 10 minutes with my patients to talk and educate them, i should do that, and just leave a little late. i didn't point out that with 6 patients, i would be looking at an hour of overtime a night.)
i have applied and interviewed for 2 public health nursing positions that would allow me the time to really spend with patients to educate and holistically help them. (and i'll be honest, the no nights/weekends/holidays helps too.) i know that i would not be doing the same skill set as i'm currently using (although for one of them i would actually be doing blood draws, which i currently do not do!). and it concerns me that if i did ever want to return to acute care that i would be at a disadvantage. i don't think i would want to go back to floor nursing full time, but i'm having a hard time convincing myself that that is actually the case (especially only having 10 months of floor care).
if my hospital would keep me, i would stay prn and do 1-2 weekend days amonth for several reasons. one being that i absolutely adore everyone that i work with. and two, being that i could maintain some of the skills that i would be concerned about losing. three, i think being able to better manage my shifts/simply have less shifts as prn would greatly decrease my stress related to acute care.
so,would i be making a mistake to change full time jobs? am i out of my mind making the decision that i don't want do acute care with less than a year's experience?
May 4, '12
I don't necessarily think you're making a mistake if you are changing jobs into one you like, and already have a job lined up. If you were just quitting without having another job in the works, I would recommend that you stick it out for just another two months while you continue to search. Most places want at least a year's experience, and with that year, you become more marketable. You're at 10 months, what's two more? However, by all means, don't pass up that job you want, if it's offered just because you don't have the year's experience.
Just MHO... Take care and good luck.
May 4, '12
I also agree that you should add the next two months, if not three.
May 4, '12
Do know though that once you leave acute care, it can be really hard to get back in if public health isn't your cup of tea either. Especially if you do not have a BSN (which you probably do if you are applying for public health). I would agree with other posters and at least get a full year in before you leave. I left acute care and it was the worst mistake of my career! I would do things completely differently if I had to do them all over again...
May 4, '12
Luckily, I do have my BSN. Ideally I would be able to stay for the full year, but I'm concerned that the next public health nursing position will not be available after my year mark. And honestly, I have no desire to stay in med/surg past that year mark at most.
Thanks for the advice so far! It's really a rock and a hard place.
May 4, '12
I recommend try and staying for a year... you staying for 10 months is better than my 7 months! I had horrible stress and anxiety at my med-surg job and the hours killed me and affected my family a lot, so I had to leave ASAP... was offered a job at a peds clinic, trying to gain experience for school nursing (my passion!). Med-surge taught me so much, but I honestly wish I could have stayed for a year. I was really good at my job, and thinking about it .. I enjoyed all the hands on care I was giving. I was able to do quite a bit of teaching which was awesome. However, the job that was offered to me was not going to be there forever, and I could not pass it up to help me pursue my dreams. Good luck
May 4, '12
I would say to check out the public health position and if you really think that it is something you will enjoy, then go for it. Staying per diem in your current job is a good idea to stay current and "in" if it doesn't work out. However, if you are looking at public health nursing for the working hours don't be fooled. I did 6 months home care and really loved it before having to leave for health reasons. Luckily I had stayed per diem at my previous job in psych acute and had that to fall back to (also realized with this experience that mental health is exactly where I want to be so it was all good). The thing with home care is that there is A LOT of documentation. Now, I know that doesn't sound bad and it isn't, but it is very different than at the hospital with what medicare and other insurances require that it is VERY time consuming. I was surprised to find that more of my time was spent linked to my computer documenting late into the night and early every morning before work (since the laptop comes home with you, the work is always there....not necessarily a time clock to punch in and out which can add up to way more than 1-2 hrs of overtime) than actually with the pts. If not on the computer, then on the phone trying to verify orders and update the MD, etc. usually playing phone tag. Also, if case managing then fielding calls and follow up for entire case load. The perks are that it is flexible, but that also means flexible sometimes on the end of when the pts can be seen and this can make the timing of the start and end of your day be different all the time. Some places require on call time in the evenings and on the weekend so be sure to ask about that as well as compensation for extra hours. Make sure that the orientation is one that will allow you time to adjust and definitely ask about turnover rates. As with any specialty, it seems like home care is right for some and not for others. Also, you will still have your hand in quite a few skill areas such as PICC lines, wound care (wound vacs), IV, blood draws, etc. as well as lots and lots of education on diagnoses (which is a good part) Good luck!
May 4, '12
I agree with the other posters here. I work in Home Care and my company requires at least a year experience. You will maintain a lot of your skills plus do a lot of teaching if you try Home Care. Be forewarned, there is a lot of paper/computer work and a lot of people end up leaving because of it. If you find your nitch, which I did, you will love home care and not even worry about being re-hired at a hospital. (When I started I did stay on as PRN at the hospital I worked at, just-in-case...., but left 18 yrs ago to do home care exclusively!)
May 4, '12
OP, if the public health job is a good one in a stable company then do it. I think you are tracking right.
May 5, '12
Good luck fellow nurse. I say go for it. I work med/surg as well and I'm feeling the same stress. I do finally have a little over a year under my belt. Only thing keeping me at this particular facility is my love for what I do, my crew and my patients. I'm looking into home health myself. I think you'll regret in time in you don't go for this new gig. So jump!
May 7, '12
I don't know why the previous responders are thinking public health nursing = home care, I didn't take it to be that. I am assuming it's more of a health department or maybe clinic type job. I would stay a year in your acute care setting. I didn't realize when I began my first RN position that the one I was leaving as a nurse tech (student) after only 11 months would cause a snag for all the positions I apply for now that ask for minimum one year experience. Didn't think anything of it and now I am bummed I didn't stay at least another month (was working contingent and could have). I hope that you find a new position that suits you better than med-surge, it isn't an easy floor to work, especially days.
May 7, '12
Stay at least a year.. and always PRN if you can.. Also once you get report you should make a list of what you need to do for each patient so you can check off as you go.. That helped me alot while I was working in LTC. I work home health not public health and the paperwork is a lot and i am weekend baylor. I also work Hospice PRN(but i have a daily schedule) but once I put this on my application I have 2.5 years of LTC and 2.5 Years of hospice, and I will also have about 2 years of home health after I grad with my RN. That looks like i am more stable that just saying 10 months. Also I have held these job all at the same time.. I don't think they ask if i was PRN or weekend or not. My one year of LTC, earned me a spot at hospice, my one year of hospice earned me a spot in home health so it does come together
Last edit by prettymica on May 7, '12
: Reason: more info
May 10, '12
If you stay with acute care per diem I think you will be fine.
Must Read Topics