Debating a transfer vs finding a new job or staying put


I've been a nurse for 18 months on a telemetry floor and enjoyed it. Before becoming an RN I worked there as a CNA and monitor tech so I've been there for years and know everyone really well. However, we haven't seen a pay raise in years and won't be getting one this upcoming year either. I've also hit the point where I'm frustrated with staff/pt ratios and feel like I'd really benefit from a change. I applied for a position at the other local hospital in their ER in the hopes I'd get a little bump in pay and could also stay PRN at my current position to keep my foot in the door. Sadly, I didn't get the job and it will be 6 months before I can reapply--assuming there is a position open at that time.

My current hospital just posted an opening for our ER. Transferring will get me into the ER like I want but it won't come with a pay increase and we aren't allowed to have PRN positions on one unit while working full time on another. I love the people I work with and had hoped to not give the place up entirely.

Ideally, I would like to work at the ER at the other hospital as I think it would be a good experience to see what other hospitals have to offer and how things are done elsewhere. What I'm not sure about, is how transferring to my facilities ER would impact my chances. Initially I was thinking that ER experience would probably help but if it's only 6 months, is that enough to be significant in any way? Would being willing to leave after just 6 months be considered negative by a hiring manager?

I'm having a really tough time deciding and ER positions tend to fill quickly so I need to decide soon if I want to put in a transfer bid. Which brings me to my other concern, I have to put the transfer in through my manager and I don't think she'll be pleased. We've been short staffed for months and she's got several new grads in training but I know she'll be upset I'm looking to leave. I don't know that she would hold it against me in the event I didn't get the position in the ER but I am a little worried about it.

The other option is of course, to suck it up and stay where I'm at and cross my fingers I'll get an ER position with the other facility in 6 months. My manager still wouldn't be happy if I left but her new grads would at least have some experience at that point and if I stayed on PRN that would help her with scheduling. Since she's the only manager I've had, I am kinda relying on her for a future reference.


60 Posts

Specializes in emergency.

I would apply for a transfer. You gain er experience and you can see if you like the flow of the er. It is a huge change from working the floor. If questioned by your manager just say that you like working on the telemetry unit you want to expand your knowledge and skill set. Most managers know that new nurses want experience and then transfer to icu or er nursing and won't fault you for finding the type of nursing you truly love! And if you love er nursing will the extra 20 cents an hour you don't make due to a raise be that big of deal?


827 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics, public health.

If you want to work in an ER, then apply for the transfer! If you still want to reapply to the other hospital in 6 months, I'm sure some ER experience (even if it's only 6 months) is better than none. I don't think you should let fear of displeasing your manager keep you from applying for a position that you want.

Good luck!


5 Posts

Thanks for the advice. I think you guys are right. I do want to try the ER and if I want to change jobs in 6 months, I'll worry about that in 6 months!

allnurses Guide

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

2 Articles; 6,840 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 12 years experience.

I agree, apply for the transfer. If you do this well/professionally and the ER transfer turns out not to be your cup of tea, it sounds like your manager may jump at the chance to get you back if still short staffed at that time.

Unfortunately nobody is getting much of a pay raise these days. That one I would put behind you for now.


5 Posts

It would be a raise because that hospital pays more than mine does. Even though I don't have much experience, it would be about $1.50 more per hour. That's a pretty significant pay bump for me.

allnurses Guide

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

2 Articles; 6,840 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 12 years experience.

But that hospital didn't hire you if I understood you correctly. I meant in terms of staying at the current hospital. :) It will make you unhappy to focus on it, and it sounds like you have a good opportunity right in front of you even without the pay raise. Good luck!!

Imafloat, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,289 Posts

Has 13 years experience.

I was in my first job for 5 years, I was also getting frustrated with staffing issues and a little bored, I was ready for some new experiences.

I put in for a different job in the same hospital. My boss understood that I was ready to stretch my wings. I was fortunate and was selected for the new job out of 10 applicants.

I worked 8 weeks in my old unit after accepting the job because of staffing issues. I stayed positive, didn't complain or talk about leaving. I shared my enthusiasm for the new job, but that was it. I picked up extra hours, just the normal stuff.

After my last shift, my boss called me in her office. She wanted to let me know that if the new job didn't work out that I would be welcomed back.

I guess this big ramble is to say, follow your dreams and keep going. You sound like you are looking for the right reasons and a good boss will want you to be happy and develop your nursing practice.

This is your career, your life, and it it's up to you to do what makes you fulfilled.