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Can I break my contract if I'm homesick?

Nurse Beth   (920 Views | 4 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

18 Followers; 104 Articles; 236,021 Profile Views; 2,095 Posts

Dear Nurse Beth,

I accepted a job that is on the other side of the country in a small town and having been working at that job for 3 months as a new grad and will be off orientation next month. I signed a 2 year contract that had a bonus. I like my job and coworkers but I hate the town I live in and I really miss my family. I am not sure what I should. I feel really lonely without my family. I am not sure if I should stay the 2 yrs here or stay a year then move back home to be closer to my family. I know I need the experience that this hospital offers but I find it hard being away from home

Dear Homesick,

Congrats on landing your first job. With a 3-4 month orientation, it sounds like a residency program, which is great.

At 1 year, you are at the stage of advanced beginner. At 2-3 years, you are at the stage of competent (Benner's novice-to-expert model).

So at 1 year, you are only just beginning to practice independently and paying back your debt to the organization that invested in you. If you leave before 2 years, you have not kept up your end of the deal. They will have spent thousands on you, believing that there'd be a return on their investment.

Get involved in your unit council and shared governance if they have one. If not, there are committees you can serve on that would be happy to have your input. If there's a skills lab for the next group of new grads, volunteer to help.

Homesickness is tough, but it improves over time. To deal with homesickness, skype/facetime your family regularly. Reach out to some coworkers your age and make plans outside of work.

You are on the other side of the country, and there is much to see and explore. Plan an overnight trip to regional attractions, drive to the coast, plan a hike. 

Best wishes in your choice,

Nurse Beth

Author, Your Last Nursing Class-how to land your first job...and your next! 

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

5 Followers; 6,209 Posts; 48,787 Profile Views

Three months in a new place is only enough time to really realize you aren't where you used to be. Get out and socialize! Find MeetUp groups for people with similar interests. Find a new church to belong to if that is your thing. Volunteer. Join a gym or a yoga class or a museum group. Take local tours. Of course you are homesick if you have never been away from home before. Homesickness is painful but improves if you work at it.

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meanmaryjean has 40 years experience as a DNP, RN and specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

3 Followers; 7,596 Posts; 65,977 Profile Views

Save your money and go home every six months and in between buy someone from home a ticket to come and visit you. And Nurse SMS advice is also solid. 

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gizmojamz has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN.

31 Posts; 1,122 Profile Views

I could have written this as I too have recently moved from home to another state for my first nursing job (well the first hospital one anyway) which also has me on a 2-year contract. However, the location I'm in is a neighboring state so the drive from here to home is very reasonable. While I find the new town I'm in doesn't compare to home, it definitely could be much worse. I would try to keep in contact as much as possible with family, I'm sure they're interested in how you're fairing at your new job. It'll be tough but try to get involved in things you did at home. For example, try and go pamper yourself at the spa. Go to your local gym. Volunteer. Go shopping, to the zoo, etc. I have found more peace with my situation as I know this is temporary and I'll gain valuable experience in the long run as well. As time passes, it'll be easier! And also think about this as time passes, you're that much closer to fulfilling your part of the contract and will be rewarded with a bonus in the end so it isn't all for nothing. Remember this, the homesickness will be temporary, your stay will be temporary but the experiences and clinical skills you gain will stay with you wherever you go! ☺️

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Ashley_SF has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Dialysis.

67 Posts; 1,394 Profile Views

I relocated for my first nursing position and was also really homesick. It was a new grad program and although not required, I did stay for 2 years before moving back home. 

It was challenging, but manageable. Those 2 years of experience gave me what I needed to find a more desirable job back home. I now have over 5 years nursing experience in my specialty and am working at a great hospital doing a job I love. 

Those 2 years taught me so much and I am so grateful I stuck it out, one day at a time. 

 

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