Should I stay in the unit I'm currently working in or transfer to different one?

  1. 1
    Hello fellow nurses,
    I work in Canadian hospital in Sub acute medicine unit for one year now and also start my NP online program May 7th at Athabasca University. Since I graduated I had burning desire to work in high acuity floor and learn the highest level of medical knowledge in the scope of practice for RNs.

    After I graduated in 2008 with my 4 months old baby and with great support from my husband I was able to secure a job in a long term care in 2009 ( had to take 1 year off due to baby, and didnt find hospital job due to recession). Worked there for about a year and then went off to 2nd mat leave from may 2010 to april 2011. Finally was offered a dream job (i.e. a full time hospital job) but in Sub scute medicine unit (consisting geriatric population who is too weak or unstable to go home or retirement home and would wait on our unit until nursing home bed offered).
    I applied to ICU few months ago with internal hospital posting and was denied the position as I was competing with other nurses who had experience in acute floors.So if I want to apply again I should be working on any acute floor.

    I keep wanting to leave this floor because I feel like I am not going to get ahead and be able to work in high acuity nursing ever. My floor is physically a bit heavy but very much stress free. During 12 hours night shifts, after performing my complete patient care including q hours checks on them I would be able to spare easily 7-8 hours to do my school readings (currently I read threads on allnurses.com in my free time during night shift ).

    Now, given the stress free environment of this job my very close reletives and friends are suggesting to stay on this floor while I go to school (thinking practical). But I keep wanting to move on. I also know that any acute floors I may be going to will have very crazy busy days and busy nights too. Also more chances of making medical errors due to pressure of work.


    Staying on this floor makes me wonder did I go to nursing school for 4 years so that 75% of my job would include doing personal hygene for the patients, feeding them, assisting their heavy weak bodies getting in and out of bed to chair and chair to bed for most meals and dealing with harassment and abuse due to mental disorders r/t aging...and much more? Please dont get me wrong, I do not mind what I do and I always keep in mind that when pt. behaves in certain way its due to their underlying condition. But, isnt it time to move on for me and apply in my practice what I learned in my final year of BScN rather than what I learned in my 1st year?

    Should it matter that I am starting a masters course in nursing, which itself is stressful and have 2 little girls at home who need my attention and except being physically heavy this floor is stress free? or Is it worth transfering to high acuity floor right now to satisfy my hunger of working in an acute floor, but at the same time feel a high stress of learning new skills, learing to work in a fast phased enironment, more chnces of making errors and possibly not having that extra time during night shifts to do some school readings so I can spend few extra hours at home with my daughters?

    I am not a very good writer but I hope you understand my situation. I will appriciate your input so much. flipping the coin has not helped me so far. I need practical answer. PLEASE PLEASE HELP.
    Last edit by Kookie2412 on Apr 21, '12
    LindseyRN86 likes this.
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  3. 12 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    there are nearly 700 views to my question so far without reply...somebody please care to share your opinion.
  5. 0
    I think you should keep the job you currently have. There is always time after your masters to do more high acuity work! Like you said it might take you away from your girls, and you may not have time to catch up on reading for school. Do you really want all that stress that comes with a new job and starting your masters? I say keep your job and stay sane!! Good luck!
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    I don't know how much advice I can give you on your personal situation, but it is interesting because I am finding myself in a very similar situation right now. I currently work night shift in a SICU, but it can be very very slooooooow at times. We don't do major operations - a lot of basic ortho, gi, and gu. So I monitor incisions, NGTs, and CBIs - yawn. I can't even remember the last time I had a patient on a vent! Definitely not the type of critical care patient's I was used to compared to my last job, and not where I want to be working forever. I will (hopefully) soon be starting the ACNP program at Penn, going part time while continuing to work full time. In the next few months I have the opportunity to move to day shift, which realistically I will probably end up doing just for my sanity. But I often wonder how much productive studying I could accomplish, after my patient care is complete of course, with all of my down time on night shift....OR is it better to get back on the day time schedule like normal people? I will sleep like a normal person, eat like a normal person, wake up every morning and go to sleep every night with my husband! So, like I said, that's probably what I will do, but I can't help but wonder... And then to complicate the picture just a bit more, I have considered working in the cath lab or something like that because I love cardiology and may want to pursue that as an ACNP, and at least I would be learning new things and experiencing new challenges. But should I really embark on a new job when just starting school too? Hmmm....So like I said, no advice for you because I am in a similar boat too. Just sharing experiences and maybe we can figure it out together!
    LindseyRN86 likes this.
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    I would keep your current job. You may find as you're doing your coursework that you can pick out a course of disease process in your patients to relate a face to the process. You will also want every spare minute you can get studying, and the stress of starting ICU and working on a Master's is, in my opinion, a bit much for a single person with no family - much less a wife and mom. We've got too much on our plate as it is.
  8. 0
    Part of me wants to tell you to try acute floors so that you can see how stressful and horrible nursing can be. You are lucky with what you have right now, the grass is not greener on the other side.
    Also starting a master's program is very stressful, you may need days off work. It is better to do that with a manager that already knows you and is willing to accommodate your schedule.
  9. 0
    I would definetely stay in your job, it is so much work going back to school and you are blessed to be able to study on the clock. Floor nursing is stressful
  10. 0
    Knowledge is never wasted. I would have been a career student if I could have afforded it. I understand completely the need to pursue your education. Having said that, your career choices don't point in the same direction as what you're saying. You have consistently taken a path that will make obtaining that ICU or NP job harder.
    There are two BIG reasons for continuing education.
    Personal satisfaction without a correlating job advancement or getting a "better" job. Are you sure you still want what you think you want? If you do, then you need to start getting experience in the areas you eventually want to work in. JMHO

    Life sometimes has a way of altering our dreams before our brains figure out the same. Best of luck to you.

    I edited simply because it sounded negative.
    That was not my intent.
    Last edit by imintrouble on Apr 22, '12
  11. 0
    I really agree with the other posters. Stay where you are, and focus on your schooling. Too much change, too fast can be much more added stress on you and your family.
  12. 0
    First of all, thank you all very much for your opinion. It seems like most of you would rather stay in the job I currently have. It is true that if I make an effort I could learn a lot even on my floor because my patient population do come with many chronic health issues. The only down fall is that I think being an NP would require lots and lots of patient assessment and history taking in primary health care- something we dont do on our floor. We do not admit patients from ER or ICU to our floor. usually they come from another acute floor, so its just a transfer. So we never really have to do the history on patient by asking them what brought you in, when did the symptoms start, what medication were you on at home, do you drink, smoke? I never get to practice these things on my floor, where as on other floors you get opportunity to interview patients.


    But I think I will get to learn all that in my NP clinicals. I dont have to be working on an acute floors to practice those things. And I have been told several times by my friends that I am even lucky to have a job. I think I am 50% convinced that I shoud not hunt for another job. At least for now. I will try to stay put for next few months and then see how my schooling and work is going. I will keep you guys posted. Thank you once more for all your honest opinion.


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