Changing jobs before 1 year's stay:Anyone else done it?

Nurses New Nurse


Hello fellow graduates,

I'm just curious to see if anyone else has taken a similar path as I. I started working on my med-surg floor during NCLEX testing and stayed there about 7 months before getting my license. Then, after 6 months on the job as an RN, I have moved into a specialty area that always interested me during school and work as a PCA...hospice.

Is there anyone else out there that either left for want of a specialty or because Med-surg just was too much to take for full time? Other reasons are certainly welcome :p

Interested to know,


Hellllllo Nurse, BSN, RN

3 Articles; 3,563 Posts

I think almost every nurse I've ever met quit her first job before one year, myself included. Although my first job was rehab, not med-surg.

I didn't work med surg until I'd been a nurse for 8 years- and I quit that horrible job in three months.

Since you're an RN, why are you working as a PCA? :confused:


160 Posts

i left after 4 months of a 6 month temp FT position Ortho to go to another unit... some would say that looks bad... i just tell them that i took what i could get until i found a job that i really wanted...

Hellllo Nurse,

I wrote that oddly, I am working as a nurse now; what I meant to say was that while in school I worked as a PCA for 3 years and some of that was with hospice patients.

I had 7 months experience as a PCA on my med-surg floor before passing the NCLEX. I already had my RN job lined up.

Hope that clarifies :chuckle

Also, I think that working there as a PCA was both helpful and hurtful; helful to me to see what the nurse went through and I would soon be going through, and hurtful to my employer for that exact reason I chalk it up to experience and I'm thankful that I have those skills under my belt, even if it isn't for the full 1 year that everyone and their mother suggests to new nurses.

Overall, I believe I will be a nurse who LIKES to change jobs; I like learning new things and overcoming challenges. Any new skill is welcome to me and I don't think it should be looked down upon that a nurse likes trying new areas. Heck, isn't that one of the perks of being a nurse: opportunity?

Thanks for the replies,

I'd love to hear more people's experiences,



1,104 Posts

Yes, Jacel, I have changed jobs during my first year as a nurse. 3 times to be exact! LOL Circumstances are strange, but here goes. Started work as an RNA (RN applicant= GN) in an intermediate nursery. Knew I didn't want to only work intermediate. Moved out of state to work, was the worst job ever. I don't think I could have found a worse job even if I had tried!! Stuck that out for 8 mos, then moved here, working in NICU. And I still don't know what I want to do with my RN career, but I have enjoyed doing different things.


114 Posts

Specializes in tele stepdown unit.

I am considering leaving my job on a med surg floor after 6 mths as a RN. I find it difficult and too task driven for me to ever get organized the way i want. There are too many days that I leave and I feel like crap. I will try to stick it out another 6 mths. I am exploring other areas in nursing now.


928 Posts

I did the same thing. I worked Med-Surg for 8 months and then went on to work for Hospice and couldn't be happier!

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I know many that have done it, especially when it is med/surg. I have been a nurse for 10 yrs, and have probably had that many jobs. My first was home care, which I stayed in for 4 yrs because I couldn't get a hospital job. When I went to med/surg, I only planned on sticking around for the obligatory 6 months. I wanted to transfer within the hosp, but saw nothing I was interested in or qualified for. Then i got pregnant, and made my grand exit when i went on maternity leave. Ended up there for 1 1/2 yrs.

Some will say it takes at least 6 mos before you know if the job is right for you, after you get over figuring out how to do the job. I tend to agree. Your first job will never be easy. But if you know there's something else you really want to do, then go for it.

Specializes in Behavioral Health.

I worked 8 months in the ICU as a new grad. I was miserable. Didn't like the hospital. Didn't like my coworkers. Didn't like the ICU at the hospital I was at. Who knows though, I may have liked the ICU better somewhere else...

I left and went into L&D. I love the unit, my coworkers, and the facility. Best decision I've ever made. I can't lie though...I find myself looking into other kinds of nursing all the time. I have so many interests :coollook:

Specializes in Pediatrics.
i can't lie though...i find myself looking into other kinds of nursing all the time. i have so many interests :coollook:

that's what i keep telling myself, to justify my job-hopping. but it's true. what's wrong with wanting to experience it all?? i'm actually looking into mother/baby now. so (if and) when i interview, i have to remember to quote you, instead of my normal "ah, well, ah" (when they comment on the # of jobs i've had :chuckle ). i can also try the "i just haven't found my niche yet. luckily, you found yours pretty early!!

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

I remember resigning from a nursing (clinic) job the same day I started orientation due to the vulgar language used by the nursing supervisor DURING orientation, and how she put down the "less fortunate". :rolleyes:

I made a formal written complaint regarding her UNprofessionalism to the top guns over the clinic. She was given a choice to resign or "be let go". She resigned. :)

Quickbeam, BSN, RN

1,011 Posts

Specializes in Government.

I feel like I've had a million jobs....but I did leave my first RN job at 11 months. DH got the job of a lifetime in another state and we had to move. Unit was ultra annoyed and it was a scramble to get references. No career implications, however.

I did once quit in orientation....they made us take our classes in an unheated unit (in WI in the winter!). The orientee next to me was third trimester pregnant and shivering. We were told we could not put the heat on but I did it anyway. Later, as we handed in our evaluations (supposedly anonymous), the administrator grabbed mine and removed it from the pile. The second day I was told I was a trouble maker. Day three, I was out of there. Ah, good times!

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