Afraid of Being Labeled "Do Not Re-Hire"

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    After I received my license, I had a very hard time finding a job. I looked for months but kept getting rejected because I was not a right fit, the hospitals were not looking to hire a New Grad at this time, or there were other internal employees who were prioritized over me. As a result, I ended up interviewing at a Postpartum unit, received a job offer, and accepted all in the same day. However, I knew I was not currently interested in postpartum and wanted to work in other floors before eventually moving to this specialty later on in my career.

    Fast forward four months and I have received and accepted a job offer for a unit that I am very interested in at a nearby rival hospital. I understand that my record with my current hospitals will most likely include a "Do not re-hire" note because I am leaving so abruptly. I am also leaving after my nurse manager and shift charge nurse have worked so hard to allow me to travel overseas to see family for 3 weeks despite just barely having enough PTO time to make it happen.

    The questions I have for all of you are the following:
    1. Would I have a better chance of not having a "Do not re-hire" note if I offer to stay per diem at my current job while working at my new job? Is is a good idea to offer or even stay?


    2. When I talk to my manager and charge nurse about leaving, I am going to say "Due to the stress and pressure my current job is causing to my family, I will not longer be able to stay full time." I am debating if I should tell them I have already accepted a position at another hospital at this time or wait for some time to pass, almost giving the impression that I am currently looking for another position. While this story is partially true, it's not the whole truth. What do you think about this story and what kind of push-back might I receive from my manager and charge nurse?


    3. What else can I do to leave my current job on good, professional terms so that I do not burn this bridge with a hospital that employed me even before I became a nurse and gave me so many great opportunities?


    Thank you so much in advance for any feedback you can provide! I greatly appreciate it!

    Dear Conflicted,

    You took a job out of desperation which is understandable. But now you have an offer to work in an area that is your first choice, and you have a dilemma.

    1. Would I have a better chance of not having a "Do not re-hire" note if I offer to stay per diem at my current job while working at my new job? Is is a good idea to offer or even stay?
    If you are going to move on, just make a clean break and move on. Offering to remain per diem out of guilt is not going to redeem the situation. You cannot control whether or not they choose to give you a “Do not re-hire" status.

    2. When I talk to my manager and charge nurse about leaving, I am going to say "Due to the stress and pressure my current job is causing to my family, I will not longer be able to stay full time." I am debating if I should tell them I have already accepted a position at another hospital at this time or wait for some time to pass, almost giving the
    impression that I am currently looking for another position. While this story is partially true, it's not the whole truth. What do you think about this story and what kind of push-back might I receive from my manager and charge nurse?

    Your nurse manager will know why you are leaving regardless of what you tell her. I would tell her the truth. "I have been offered a position in a speciality I've always wanted and have decided to accept it". Being truthful will make you feel better than not being truthful and is more respectful to someone who has treated you well.


    3. What else can I do to leave my current job on good, professional terms so that I do not burn this bridge with a hospital that employed me even before I became a nurse and gave me so many great opportunities?

    To leave a job on good terms, give 2 weeks notice in writing. Thank your manager for the opportunity she gave you.

    As far as quitting and not burning bridges, you cannot have it both ways. There are consequences to decisions. Leaving an entry-level nursing job after 4 months for another position is not a way to build bridges in nursing. At 4 months, you are still an investment that is not yet paying off in terms of being a fully productive employee.

    It's not always best to make decisions based on the short term.

    Best wishes in your decision,


    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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