How long to stay at a job??

  1. I need some advice on how long to stay at a job that isn't all that great... FYi, I am a LPN as of last June, so not that long... I am currently taking pre-req's for RN and waiting to get in the program. It will be probably two years before I'm done with RN.

    My first job was at a horrible facility and I got out of there in two months. It was on a sub-acute unit. I still use this job on my resume because I did learn a lot there in the short time i was there...

    Then I did a season of flu shots in addition to my other jobs, no big whoop, but at least something to fill my sparce resume.

    I have been at another sub-acute/transitional care unit for 7 months. I like the nursing part of my job a lot, however, this place is so disorganized it is starting to drive me crazy. It is a facility that is less than a year old. They are ultra-consumed with saving money. We are almost always short-staffed (1-2 aides for 25 pts). They have cut kitchen staff to save money which means I end up doing it --they have a fancy dining room where huge pans of ingredients are brought to the dining room and we put the meals together. Last weekend I made 25 eggs benedicts with a broken toaster... Our linen service is horrible and every weekend we are out of linen--no washcloths or towels but always lots of bibs to wash behinds with! Our DON is there onsight about 6 hours per day at the most. We have no charge nurse, it's just us regular old nurses trying to do all this...

    I see no change in sight for this place. They are now only taking admits who need very little cares that cost money, like IV's, special bandages or expensive injections. We are getting more and more dementia patients who have fallen and are waiting for nh placement and don't need much other than supervision and a clean ABD to their hip everyday. Gosh, I'm getting really good at changing hip dressings!! ha

    On the good side, the place is gorgeous and new, a nice shower in every room, it's close to my home, and the pay is better than most places. And I am learning something everyday I work.

    Oh I forgot to mention, not many housekeeping staff, so our new energy saving toilets that get plugged up continually after these huge Vicodin-inspired constipated BM's are plunged by ME! (yes, and then I go cook...)

    My husband is frustrated with me because he thinks I should just bite my tongue and get some job longevity and worry about school. The job is not that hard, especially when most times I'm doing aide work...

    There are so many LPN jobs out there, it's tempting to just try a different one... But aren't there rotten things about every place???

    Any advice? How long should you stay at a job? I remember one of my teachers say you should stay somewhere a year.

    THANKS!!!!
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   NewEngland-RN
    Hi...

    I have been told and used the one year employment rule as a baseline for whether to stay at a job or move on as well as for purposes of continuity on a resume/CV.

    I have averaged about four years at any given site during my nursing career,usually moving on to strengthen skills,increase pay or new environment.
    I remember a couple of times comments about my past employments and actually being told that i may get a reputation as undependable- Im not sure where the" dependable" baseline starts!

    That said, If you can find comparible work with better environment,wages etc..then give it a try.It appears you are in the process of building your skills base. Also consider,if you are to continue your education a site that will be supportive to your academic needs and schedule.

    Good Luck!
  4. by   Agnus
    I understand you dilima. You seem to be going though a spell. Particularly because of your receint history of short term jobs I would suggest that unless this job is intollerable stick it out so that you can show 12 mo. continious employment in at least one place.

    Then when you start looking for something else. Be very discriminating on where you pick. Really check the place out. Do your homework. Find out what it is like and what conditions are before you hire on. Ask tough questions at interviews. Interviews are two way streets. Talk to staff that are not part of the interview team. Find out what stresses the nurses there are under.

    With the right questions and listening and watching carefully you can learn a lot.

    When you come in the door are you stopped from walking around on your own? Do they rush to "help you". Do they restrict you walking down a hall or talking to people who are not administrative. Now do it and see what you can see and hear and smell etc.

    If you are required to have an escort a la tour guide. and you are confined to non patient areas when you are left waiting then they are hiding something.

    I am not saying you should be wandering in an out of patient rooms. But if you can't even get past a receptionist without a constant escort there is a problem.

    If they stop you when you do walk down a hall by yourself under any pretense there is a problem.

    If you are asked if you need help and then left alone after you says no that is not what I am talking about. That is a good thing.

    Are all the people there smiling and happy. Are people overly quiet?

    You get the picture.

    You might consider getting another job before this one ends. Take someting partime or perdiem that you think you might like to do full time. Try it out. If you find it is really what you want and can arrange full time if that is what you need then put in your resignation where you are now and and transition into the better job.
  5. by   LaShell
    Thank you both for your thoughtful replies. This is what my gut is telling me, that I need to stay put somewhere and gain experience. Sometimes I feel like even though I have 8 months experience, I haven't been properly trained while working at two crazy places and I just want to start completely fresh somewhere...

    I guess I shouldn't take it too seriously and just try to do a good job while I'm there. I'm only there three days a week due to my school schedule and you can handle anything three days a week, right??

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