Job Hopper - What's wrong with me?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I have been in the nursing field for many years - 11 years as an LPN, and now 5 years as an RN. As an LPN I worked in nursing homes and stayed at one job for many years. As an RN I have had 5 different jobs. I started out on a cardiac floor and just hated it. I stayed for 8 months, from there I took a position in a Coumadin Clinic. I stayed there for about a year, but got bored with it. It paid very good for a new nurse so transitioning back to the hospital was hard. I had to work the night shift for the shift diff. From there I was offered a job in Oncology Research. I liked it okay, not as much nursing involved as I had expected. But I did not get along with my boss. After 8 months there I decided to take a job with hospice. Hospice is turning out to be nothing that I expected. I'm finding myself frustrated almost daily when we are unable to help people that need it the most. I have only been with the company for 8 months and am starting to look for another job.

    What is wrong with me??? I just want a job that pays well and I feel that I am helping people. Is there such a job? I know that financially I can not take a pay cut. I have thought about going back to long term care, but am afraid that it will take much more time than I want to devote to work.

    Any suggestions??



    Dear Frustrated,

    This is more about you than the jobs you are fleeing from.

    Let me see if I can follow. You worked:

    • Cardiac unit and hated it
    • Coumadin Clinic and you were bored
    • Acute care again
    • Oncology Research did not get along with boss
    • Hospice and you are frustrated

    By contrast, you stayed several years as an LVN in sub-acute. You don't say what it was about long term care and one long term care job in particular that you were happy at
    enough to stay put. Maybe that's your answer- identifying what the job satisfiers were.

    There's no perfect job. There are aspects of every job that are boring, routine, frustrating. I will tell you that sticking it out when you are experiencing difficulty in your job can be a good thing. You look back and realize you learned from it and grew as a person. When you leave at the first sign of discomfort, you short-change yourself.

    This is not to say you should stay where you're deeply unhappy. But you are largely responsible for creating your own happiness.

    You are risking your reputation in the working community by job-hopping. Do two things:
    Pick your next job thoughtfully, keeping in mind what's important to you (helping people, challenge, pay). Commit. Resolve to stay and work through the challenges.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Pixie.RN
    Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the variety of amazing career paths we can take as RNs ... it can be tempting to try them all! I see this reflected in my educational endeavors as well. It comes down to picking a "thing" and sticking with it. The bottom line: choose wisely.
  4. by   ThePrincessBride
    Job hopping in itself isn't that big of deal if it isn't done repeatedly. I started off at a SNF left after a couple weeks and only three days on orientation. Did not even receive a paycheck, so I didn't count it and it isn't on my resume.

    Then I got a job on a med/surg unit. Stayed there for eight months before cutting down to PRN in order to start my dream job in NICU. I have been at it for almost eighteen months and plan to stay another year before finding another job with better benefits.

    I am getting bored and find myself unchallenged. I love my babies, but it is very repetitive. I dream of other specialties, particularly cardiac step-down/ICU or going back to school for NP.

    But job-hopping really isn't good for career development long term. You never did get pass the new grad phase as a RN and you seem all over the place. Eventually, you will be blackballed out of your current market and be forced to stay put for awhile.

    Ask yourself what it is you want in a job and what you are willing to put up with in order to get it.
  5. by   shibaowner
    Maybe you should try per diem/travel nursing. That would expose you to different things and might help you find something you like. However, there is no perfect job out there and sometimes, you just have to stick with something. At this point, if you get a permanent job, you better stick with it for awhile.
  6. by   Escape
    Agree job hopping is not ideal. Whenever I had students on the floor, I challenged each to start in a hospital setting. However, at the interview process state that your interested in all departments. State you would like to have a good working knowledge of a unit, but your intent is to expand your experience to several units. Did this help with the new RN slump? Not always, but you have a whole medical buffet to explore. Job hop your first offer. Maturity plays a big part in job satisfaction. A new RN hasn't forgotten those endless papers and cramming for an exam. That "natural high" from being on edge the majority of the time is still in their psychological make-up. Boredom is overcome by having outside activities such as volunteering, physical challenges of riding a bike, swimming, etc. Sorry for the long dissertation.
    Last edit by Escape on Jul 14 : Reason: Punctuation
  7. by   caliotter3
    Look at other areas of your life. Your general dissatisfaction with work may be a manifestation of other things in your control that could use some fine-tuning.
  8. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    Job hopping in itself isn't that big of deal if it isn't done repeatedly. I started off at a SNF left after a couple weeks and only three days on orientation. Did not even receive a paycheck, so I didn't count it and it isn't on my resume.

    Then I got a job on a med/surg unit. Stayed there for eight months before cutting down to PRN in order to start my dream job in NICU. I have been at it for almost eighteen months and plan to stay another year before finding another job with better benefits.

    I am getting bored and find myself unchallenged. I love my babies, but it is very repetitive. I dream of other specialties, particularly cardiac step-down/ICU or going back to school for NP.

    But job-hopping really isn't good for career development long term. You never did get pass the new grad phase as a RN and you seem all over the place. Eventually, you will be blackballed out of your current market and be forced to stay put for awhile.

    Ask yourself what it is you want in a job and what you are willing to put up with in order to get it.
    You deserve to get paid. Involve your Department of Labor if the employer won't, for some stupid reason, pay you. How come you didn't get paid?

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