Leaving a unit of many years for a new job

  1. For 7 1/2 years I've been working on a very small ICU/CCU for a very small hospital. We've grown quite close as a unit. We're small but mighty. We know our strengths and we know our "weaknesses" (which, in my mind, is a strength). For example, any patient who is really, really sick should not be on our unit. They should be, and ARE, shipped to our bigger "sister" hospital to receive the care that they deserve. We simply do not have the medical resourses; there exists only a couple of part-time cardiologists and even a more part-time pulmonologist. So, if a person seriously crashes, away they go, as it should be.

    I am proud of our unit, I am proud of our hospital. Again, we may be small, but we are "mighty". We have our place in providing needed healthcare for many people throughout a large geographical region. Recently, our ICU/CCU provided a public educational lecture titled, "The Heart Truth: Women and Heart Disease". It was part of heart month (or was it heart week, I really don't remember). Despite being a small staff, we all did our assigned part of the lecture. We kept in communication with eachother via email, telephone calls and lots and lots of post-em notes. The public that attended seemed to learn from us. They also seemed appreciative of our effort to provide this public education. We had fun developing and presenting this lecture. The public seemed to enjoy themselves too.

    So. . . there exists a long and positive list of reasons for me to continue to work at this small, happy ICU/CCU which is a part of a small, happy rural-community hospital.

    But. . . yesterday, I FINALLY made a decision to leave. I accepted a position for a larger ICU/CCU which is a part of the larger "sister" hospital within our health system.

    I am still torn with this decision and with the whole decision process.

    I spent the past two months weighing the pro's and con's of staying or leaving. I feel like I am leaving a small community of friends, which I am. It is not just the ICU/CCU staff that work well together. I work nights and I can proudly say that the entire night staff (which is small in number but mighty in deed), work well together. It will not be easy leaving this night crew. I will miss them and the whole small, rural-community hospital atmosphere.

    What am I gaining in accepting the ICU/CCU at our "sister" hospital?? What are the positives?? Well, I will FINALLY will be able to experience the higher accuity of an ICU/CCU. I will be challanged in a way that is not possible at present. I eagerly look forward to this. The interview with the manager and assistant manager of this "bigger" ICU/CCU went quite well. They have worked together for many years and seem quite tight as a team. This is one huge positive. Finally, if in five years I become tired of ICU/CCU nursing, there will be ample opportunities for growth and trying out different units and different nursing positions. This does not exist where I currently work.

    Still, leaving this fine, small rural-community hospital will be quite emotional for me.

    What do I ask of you as you read this ever-growing post? Honestly, nothing. I thank you for just taking the time to read my ramble. But if you want to, please share YOUR story of when you left a unit for another working situation. How did you deal with it?
    Last edit by kontakt on Feb 16, '07
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Dixielee
    I do not have a similar story to share, but just want to tell you that as a travel nurse and a nurse of 34 years, I have worked at a wide variety of hospitals. I have been in large teaching hospitals, transplant centers, regional burn centers, 200 bed community hospitals and a rural ER with 6 beds and 2 RN's.

    I have learned something from each one of them. They all have positives and negatives. I have a long list of e mail friends that I have accumulated over the years. Everywhere I go, I meet memorable people, both patients and staff.

    One of the strengths of nursing is it's versatility and variety. You will never be bored, even though sometimes you long for it.

    All I can offer is a wish of good luck. You can always "go home" again after a while, but you will never regret the things you learn, the people you meet and the places you go.
  4. by   tkhayman
    First of all congrats on your new job. I do know what it is like to leave a place and have done so a few times. At least you have good positive memories, where i have had a mix of good and bad. I only work night shift through a registry and have found in general night shift staff have better camaraderie.

    In October i quit my M-F 9-5 job hated nursing and had right frozen shoulder. I did not know where my next paycheck was going to come from. All the while wondering if i had made the right decision. But fast forward to now.I am much happier. I can dictate my own schedule and have figured out what makes me burn out. So i now have 3 different jobs, 1 Registry 2. per diem clinic nurse 3. teacher for LVN students.

    Don;t worry you will be fine, starting over at a new job is hard because you have to learn new things and proove yourself to new staff. Don;t doubt yourself accept that you have made the right decision for yourself and go with it. Also on the other hand it you don;t like your new job and want to go back, you would already know what you are going back to.
  5. by   Kim O'Therapy
    Good luck with your new job! It sounds like if you don't like it, you could always go back.
  6. by   kontakt
    First, I want to thank you for your thoughtful responses.

    I guess I am caught off-guard with the mixed emotions that I am feeling. I am very excited to be starting this new job. I feel prepared for all the learning. I equally feel prepared to share all of the modest 15 years of nursing that I've experienced (including the 7+ years on my happy little ICU/CCU). But I am very sad to be leaving good people where I currently work. It is a small hospital. From a staffing point of view, one person leaving is exceedingly unpleasant for those who remain behind. I will also simply miss working with these good people. As a small unit and as a small hospital, we've gone through a lot of "ups and downs". Having shared all of these "ups and downs" has drawn us all closer together and made us tighter as a healthcare team.

    I look forward to meeting new co-workers, making new friends, learning new stuff. But I will miss this teeny-tiny unit within this equally teeny-tiny hospital.
  7. by   DebbieRN45
    I worked in a small hospital like the one you describe for 10 years as an LPN. When I got my RN, they were not going to pay me anything over starting wages for a new RN (which I was, but they weren't going to even give me credit for years of service), so I decided to leave and go to our sister hospital. I went from a hospital that employed 350 to one that employed 10,000. It was quite a shock, but a good one. I learned so much more, and there is so much opportunity to move around and experience different areas. The pay was much better, too. I am very happy with my choice. Although I do miss my co-workers, I will take those relationships with me. In the end I did what was best for me and broke out of my comfort zone. Good luck!
  8. by   oramar
    Let us know how it goes. For better or for worse I wish you the best of luck.

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