Changing jobs in the pandemic?

by macaroni macaroni (New) New Nurse

Specializes in L&D. Has 4 years experience.

Hello Everyone!

I am very satisfied with my job except for two aspects: pay & commute. I work on days and in my specialty it is very hard to break into day shift, but I have longed for a shorter commute. I drive over 30 miles but with traffic that can be 45min-hour each way. I make within a couple of dollars of a new grad but I'm a solid nurse who also does charge and triage in addition to the basic bedside role. With the pandemic I noticed day shift spots are appearing and lo and behold, a hospital in a good system has opened up day spots 7 miles from me.

Is it foolish to take the opportunity of day shift spots opening up to get something close to home (and hopefully leverage a pay increase that it would take me years to get at my current job)? I'm not a risk taker by nature, but the drive makes for a very long day with a 12 hour shift. I'm not willing to go back to nights to be close to home, body didn't like that phase at all.

I know two nurses that work at both this hospital and mine, and they love it. I just worry because my hospital has been very fair about PPE and I would also be the least tenured person if hired...aka first on the chopping block.

Would love thoughts and opinions from people who have BTDT

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

Why not interview for a new position (without telling anyone at your current job) and see what they say? Check them out. Ask questions about the things that are most important to you, etc. If you think the close job is just as good or better than the one you currently have, then I see no reason not to take it.

But as you explore those new opportunities, you might find that there are problems with them that make them less appealing than your current job. If that's the case, stay where you are and endure the long commute.

You won't know anything of value until you talk with people at the more local facility.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

Not at all foolish. In fact, it would be foolish not to investigate! You will likely get a tidy raise and a faster commute. Just keep a good eye on the culture/vibe. You want a good fit. Good luck!


Specializes in L&D. Has 4 years experience.

Thanks- I just remembered another person who works there that I was good buddies with when we worked together and I reached out to her to ask about the culture and PPE situation ( I don't want to work someplace that is not taking care of their staff, no matter how prestigious, close to home, or how much money...and I do think my director has done well with that).


Has 1 years experience.

I think your peace of mind (travel time), is the most important. Take the job. You can say you tried it. Be sure to leave on good terms. Get a reference if possible. Take care.

Reds5588, BSN

Specializes in Medical-Surgical. Has 6 years experience.

I faced a similar situation a few months ago. I liked my job/co-workers, but after moving to a new state I was then commuting an hour each way. I applied in March to a new hospital (with better pay/benefits) 10 minutes from my new house. Literally, the day after I submitted my application COVID went crazy in my area (New Jersey). My floor was converted to a COVID unit. Meanwhile a had a “virtual interview” and ended up getting the new job. I spent 6 weeks on the covid unit of my former hospital and then started my new job.

The health system orientation and training was very tricky because everything was virtual! But once my actual in-person orientation on the floor started, things started to fall into place. I dearly miss my old co workers but I’m starting to meet more people at the new hospital. I would just say be prepared for an unorganized hiring/orientation process. I feel like I’ve had to take initiative and follow up with a lot of people about all sorts of things. So many people in HR, education and the nurses union were working from home when I started, so I really would have slipped through the cracks had I not been on top of everything.

I say go for it!

OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 6 years experience.

You would be foolish not to look into it. My floor (the only specialty floor in the hospital) was converted to the covid floor and still is the covid floor even though we usually have a low census and the CDC recommendation that a negative pressure room is not needed unless aerosol procedures are performed (which they are not on that floor); the floor was converted to all negative pressure rooms. Anyways, we haven't heard anything about getting our floor back and tbh it's up in the air so I've already updated the resume and prepared to apply to other jobs in the hospital.

Do what the other posters said and check out the culture, management, pay, etc. If all come back positive I would say go for it.


Specializes in SCRN. Has 7 years experience.

yes, you will lose seniority.

but, so what? I hope PPE is not distributed based on seniority. :))

also, acute unit is pretty much a job security in the pandemic.

Interview and take the job.

On 8/10/2020 at 6:54 AM, macaroni said:

Hello Everyone!

""...... I drive over 30 miles but with traffic that can be 45min-hour each way........""

😂 This is called a dream commute in the Los Angeles area 😂

Edited by Mergirlc


Has 43 years experience.

In my 40+ years experience, the nurses who changed jobs a couple times typically made more money than those who simply rode the seniority ladder expecting annual pay increases. Loyalty to self is a high priority when it comes to employment, in my opinion.

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

If you think this will be easier for your life, then go for it while the jobs are posted and available. You can always turn down the job if you go through the interview, ask some questions, offered the job, and then decide there are some details that may not work well for your life. There are plenty of people changing jobs in the midst of the pandemic - some because their current nursing jobs are just not giving them enough hours per week.

Just because its a pandemic doesn't mean you can't change jobs just as before....