How soon is too soon to leave first job?

  1. Hi, Nurses.

    I've worked as a new RN for 6 months on my inpatient unit. I live in a big city saturated with nursing schools, so it wasn't too easy to find this first job. Although I'm grateful to the unit for giving me a shot as a new RN, I'm ready to move on. There are a lot of reasons I want to work elsewhere, but the primary reason is our atrocious health insurance. I have a couple of health issues, and this insurance leaves me unable to afford the care I need.

    I know every job has its problems, but the hospital system I want to reapply to is the same system where I did my clinicals and where I have several friends working currently, so I know that many of the problems I have with my current job-- including insurance--are non-issues there.

    Does anyone here have an opinion about how soon is too soon to apply to new jobs, in the eyes of recruiters and nurse managers? On the upside, I'm definitely more competent than I was 6 months ago, and my new employer wouldn't have to pay for as much orientation as if I were a brand new RN. On the other hand, I know most recruiters look for at least 1-2 years' experience, and there's some obvious experience I lack: working as charge RN, precepting, involvement with shared governance, etc. I also know that leaving after 6 months doesn't reflect very well on my work ethic, loyalty, etc, especially since I won't want to reveal in an interview the real reason I'm leaving.

    Is it worth it to try applying to my dream job now, or should I tough it out for another 6+ months? Thanks in advance!
  2. Poll: Is there a minimum amount of time that a new RN should spend at his/her first job?

    • No, it depends on varying circumstances.

      37.50% 6
    • Yes, at least 3 months.

      6.25% 1
    • Yes, at least 6 months.

      18.75% 3
    • Yes, at least 9 months.

      0% 0
    • Yes, at least 1 year.

      37.50% 6
    • Yes, at least 18 months.

      0% 0
    • Yes, at least 2 years.

      0% 0
    16 Votes
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    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 1