Nursing Job Change: Jump Ship or Sit Tight? 5 Things to Consider - page 2

As we walked around the track together, my friend shared some of her nursing job frustrations with me. She had been in her current position for a little over 2 years. Long enough, she felt, to know... Read More

  1. by   jeastridge
    Quote from Britt-RN
    I was at my first nursing job for two years, and I loved my unit, the type of nursing I was doing, and my coworkers, but we worked frequently with very limited resources, making the overall job very stressful and unsafe. The patient to nurse ratio was always greater than it was supposed to be, which is very scary especially considering it was an ICU. I tried to wait it out and see if it would get any better, but I agree with Daisy that it will never ever get better. It never did. It got to the point where I dreaded every day I had to go to work, and on my days off, I worried about going back to work. It started ruining me mentally. I left that hospital and started working at another hospital, similar type of unit, and I am so thankful I did. It was scary leaving my amazing team behind to go to a place where I knew no one, but it had to be done. I now am able to go to work and actually enjoy being there, and when I go home, I don't think about work. Overall, work and life in general are now much better. I have been there 2 years now and no plans to leave any time soon! Sometimes it is better to leave. Don't let fear of the unknown stick you in a rut. Take that leap. It can better your life.
    Thank you for sharing your story. You will certainly guide others that find themselves in a similar situation. I'm so glad that you are content in your new position. Joy
  2. by   Truth_be-told
    changing jobs.......could mean saving your mental and physical health. I worked mostly in nursing homes for the last 20 years, then the last place broke me. They are all the same. People basically come in and want to do as little work as possible, try to dump their work off on others, especially new admits. Most places you have to pass meds the whole time when not getting diverted to take a phone call or do this or do that. Taking a 30 minute break means you will have to stay over that amount of time and when you leave exhausted, sore. and tired you still don't have all your work done. Management people are lazy and refuse to row with the rest of us slaves and work the floor. In my humble opinion, they should be mandated by law to work the floor so they can actually know what is going on in their buildings. I keep that opinion to myself at work, as that is one of 2 ways to get yourself fired, the first being if you suggest that management vultures help out and the other sure fire way to get fired is to ask to be treated fairly. The management slave drivers know loathe working the floor, they get that cushy office job or they pop a video into a player once a week and get paid to be some 'inservice director' and do nothing all day long but yet have shame in writing you up for work that they full well know they can't do and could not handle. Threats and intimidation, non stop. So you leave that nightmare scenario for a few years and take a huge pay cut to get into homecare. You will eat cheese sandwiches and take turns getting your cell phone, internet, and electricity shut off because the pay sucks but you don't feel like gargling razor blades at the thought of going into work. But here's the catch 22 about changing jobs. Apparently in my state the government decided to butt its nose into private industry, essentially siding with management over labor by requiring that you have to have 2 positive letters of reference from previous abusive, sadistic slave drivers. So that means that all that time they harass, threaten, and torture you to the point of having stroke level blood pressure and peptic ulcers you have to sit back with a smile and take it. If you reach a breaking point and just decide not to get out of bed because your back is blown out and your legs, knees, and hips are slowly being destroyed by running up and down hard floors for 8-12 hours then they like to get even with you, because that usually means someone in management has to take the cart. So keep that in mind when you can't take the antics of the lazy, sadistic slave drivers, they will fire you if you suggest they help out and you are toast if you are the reason they have to take the cart and actually do some work for once. The most important thing to consider when you are changing jobs.
  3. by   jeastridge
    Quote from Truth_be-told
    changing jobs.......could mean saving your mental and physical health. I worked mostly in nursing homes for the last 20 years, then the last place broke me. They are all the same. People basically come in and want to do as little work as possible, try to dump their work off on others, especially new admits. Most places you have to pass meds the whole time when not getting diverted to take a phone call or do this or do that. Taking a 30 minute break means you will have to stay over that amount of time and when you leave exhausted, sore. and tired you still don't have all your work done. Management people are lazy and refuse to row with the rest of us slaves and work the floor. In my humble opinion, they should be mandated by law to work the floor so they can actually know what is going on in their buildings. I keep that opinion to myself at work, as that is one of 2 ways to get yourself fired, the first being if you suggest that management vultures help out and the other sure fire way to get fired is to ask to be treated fairly. The management slave drivers know loathe working the floor, they get that cushy office job or they pop a video into a player once a week and get paid to be some 'inservice director' and do nothing all day long but yet have shame in writing you up for work that they full well know they can't do and could not handle. Threats and intimidation, non stop. So you leave that nightmare scenario for a few years and take a huge pay cut to get into homecare. You will eat cheese sandwiches and take turns getting your cell phone, internet, and electricity shut off because the pay sucks but you don't feel like gargling razor blades at the thought of going into work. But here's the catch 22 about changing jobs. Apparently in my state the government decided to butt its nose into private industry, essentially siding with management over labor by requiring that you have to have 2 positive letters of reference from previous abusive, sadistic slave drivers. So that means that all that time they harass, threaten, and torture you to the point of having stroke level blood pressure and peptic ulcers you have to sit back with a smile and take it. If you reach a breaking point and just decide not to get out of bed because your back is blown out and your legs, knees, and hips are slowly being destroyed by running up and down hard floors for 8-12 hours then they like to get even with you, because that usually means someone in management has to take the cart. So keep that in mind when you can't take the antics of the lazy, sadistic slave drivers, they will fire you if you suggest they help out and you are toast if you are the reason they have to take the cart and actually do some work for once. The most important thing to consider when you are changing jobs.
    Dear Truthbetold, I'm sorry things have been so rough for you. This sounds incredibly hard. Prayers and good thoughts to you. Joy
  4. by   samm11
    I am a recent new graduate nurse (May) that started on a med/surg unit at the end of August. I have always known that I do not want to do med/surg nursing but felt like many of the nurses I've talked to over the years encouraged that was the best place to start as a new nurse. I do like the hospital I am at and the people that I work with. I feel supported and comfortable asking questions, however, I get extremely anxious about going to work and worried about something going wrong, missing something, or not knowing what to do. I want to explore my options in other nursing areas but feel like every job I look at requires at least 1-2 years experience. I am worried leaving my job after only working 4-5 months would make it very difficult to find work elsewhere but also fear staying at my job now will burn me out. Help!
  5. by   jeastridge
    Quote from samm11
    I am a recent new graduate nurse (May) that started on a med/surg unit at the end of August. I have always known that I do not want to do med/surg nursing but felt like many of the nurses I've talked to over the years encouraged that was the best place to start as a new nurse. I do like the hospital I am at and the people that I work with. I feel supported and comfortable asking questions, however, I get extremely anxious about going to work and worried about something going wrong, missing something, or not knowing what to do. I want to explore my options in other nursing areas but feel like every job I look at requires at least 1-2 years experience. I am worried leaving my job after only working 4-5 months would make it very difficult to find work elsewhere but also fear staying at my job now will burn me out. Help!
    Dear samm11, It sounds like you have landed in a pretty good starting place for your career. The way I am reading it, the anxiety you are experiencing will diminish over time as you gain mastery, but it will never go away because, as a nurse, no matter what field you are in, you are always at risk for making a mistake. This risk goes with our profession and with many others. The treatment is to recognize that we are not infallible, do the best job that we possibly can, and continually offer ourselves and others the grace of forgiveness. You might consider staying where you are a bit longer to give yourself time to overcome the high stress level that comes with every new job and to get to a place where you can focus better and feel less overwhelmed. Once you have been there a few more months, if the anxiety persists, then it might be time to look elsewhere. I hope this helps! Bless you, Joy
  6. by   ThePrincessBride
    I'm going to have to strongly disagree with the OP.

    Boredom is a legitimate reason to look elsewhere. I have been in my current job almost two years (next month) and feel as though I am not being challenged. My brain is turning into mush even though I've asked for more acuity and have sought learning opportunities. The same group of nurses continue to get the acuity while the rest of us aren't getting the experience. So many nurses have left in the past six months (and we are losing four in this month alone).

    For those job searching, make sure to look at the interviewer's staff turnover. I work in what some may consider to be a highly-coveted specialty (NICU), but the turnover on this unit rivals some of the most poorly managed med-surg floors. After under two years, I have more seniority than 50%+ of the unit. People are getting day shift positions right out of orientation (also another BAD sign).

    Also, while I agree that long-term satisfaction *can* be a result of long-term work, I have found that it behooves people to stay at the same spot more than a handful of years. My job gives piddly raises and is the lowest paying hospital system in my area. New grads are starting off in other places making more than a nurse with three or four years experience at my hospital. The 401k match is a joke (I still haven't received any employer contributions and I am in my 23rd month), and the PTO is laughable (I accrue 4.7 hrs per paycheck). Employers are not making an effort to retain workers, so why should they benefit from our loyalty?
  7. by   ThePrincessBride
    Quote from samm11
    I am a recent new graduate nurse (May) that started on a med/surg unit at the end of August. I have always known that I do not want to do med/surg nursing but felt like many of the nurses I've talked to over the years encouraged that was the best place to start as a new nurse. I do like the hospital I am at and the people that I work with. I feel supported and comfortable asking questions, however, I get extremely anxious about going to work and worried about something going wrong, missing something, or not knowing what to do. I want to explore my options in other nursing areas but feel like every job I look at requires at least 1-2 years experience. I am worried leaving my job after only working 4-5 months would make it very difficult to find work elsewhere but also fear staying at my job now will burn me out. Help!
    I stayed at my first job for eight months before going contingent.

    If you DO leave, make sure you have another job lined up and stay at your next position for a few years to remedy that job hop on your resume. However, I think four to five months is too soon to really be thinking about leaving. You literally just got orientation what, a couple months ago?

    Expect to have a bridge burned. Even I felt that eight months was pushing it, but at least I gave a solid six months out of orientation and still work there casually. Be prepared to be blacklisted.
  8. by   cpepper
    I read a book recently called Cracking the Nursing Interview by Jim Keogh. You can get it on Amazon or B&N. But it's a pretty thorough reference for anyone looking to change careers within nursing or to get into nursing from another career. It really helps with the interview process. But it also helps you know what to expect in general. I found the best part of the book is the cheat sheet in the last two chapters. It really outlines what you need to know to be a nurse.
  9. by   NurseNinja1990
    I jumped into psych right out of school and haven't looked back Not for everyone, but I love it.
  10. by   needlesmcgeeRN
    I've been at my current position for a couple of years. In all honesty, it is not a bad job - no nights, holidays or weekends, work with some truly great people. In spite of it all, I am not happy where I am at. I know it could be MUCH worse, so I'm just riding it out, occasionally scoping out other opportunities.
  11. by   jeastridge
    Quote from needlesmcgeeRN
    I've been at my current position for a couple of years. In all honesty, it is not a bad job - no nights, holidays or weekends, work with some truly great people. In spite of it all, I am not happy where I am at. I know it could be MUCH worse, so I'm just riding it out, occasionally scoping out other opportunities.
    It sounds like you are being realistic about the situation all the while scouting out something new in the future. I hope it goes great for you!

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