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Feeling Bad Looking for Another Job


Specializes in Rehab and psych. Has 4 years experience.

Does anyone else feel bad when they are thinking about changing jobs? Even when I wasn't a nurse, I always felt so bad/guilty about looking for another job.

I've been at my current job for ~2 years and there is little to no chance of advancement. No clinical ladder so incentive to better yourself is limited. Little to no reimbursement for tuition, continuing education, etc. The pay is also the worst in the area, with new grads at other hospitals making more than those of us who have been with this place for 2 years.

I'm considering applying at another hospital that offers much more money, better benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc, but I feel SO GUILTY for thinking about leaving.

(Please excuse any typos. I worked 16 hours yesterday and only have about 4 hours sleep right now. Another 16 hours today)

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

Believe me, to the facility you are just another FTE. They certainly wouldn't feel "guilty" if they laid you off...


Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

Heccccccckkkkkkkkk NO! Keep looking; get ta steppin'!!!!

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

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

The days of employee/employer loyalty are long over. Believe me, they will lay you off in a heartbeat if needed and not look back. It is well known one of the only ways to advance in nursing is to change employers. No need to feed guilty.


Specializes in public health, women's health, reproductive health.

Guilty? No. I don't count myself as that important to my employer. They will replace me in a heartbeat or let me go according to what is best for them, without one bit of guilt. Therefore, I will do what is best for me as far as finding employment that suits me and the needs of my family. :-)

You've given them your time and your talents. With nothing to shoot for you would just be stagnating. At this point you owe them nothing. No need to feel guilty. Good luck in your future endeavors.


Specializes in Critical care.

It's business- you look out for yourself because the hospital sure isn't. Let your feet do the talking and walk. Find a new job, give your notice, work out your full notice, and don't look back. Good luck!

NightNerd, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-surg/tele. Has 7 years experience.

No need to feel guilty. You go to work to support yourself and have a fulfilling career. If those things can be better accomplished elsewhere, go for it! All you need to do for your current employer is provide decent notice and finish your time there. Best of luck to you!

HeySis, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 25 years experience.

I would not feel guilty at all. You gave them 2 years, enough time to recoup the money spent on hiring and training (assuming they did orient you properly, if they didn't all the less guilt).

It's time to think about you, if you can place yourself with a company that has better benefits then you should do so.

Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars!

(edited: I'm hoping you understand the phrase above... if not Urban Dictionary: Do not pass Go! Do not collect 2

I can kind of understand feeling guilty about leaving, but like others have said, they would not have a problem letting you go if they needed to. No one can fault you for wanting to do better for your career and yourself personally, most of us would do that without thinking much of it. Also, you don't have a different job yet, so worry about leaving once you actually accept a job offer. There is no shame in looking at other jobs at all, as I do it occasionally myself. Good luck!

The closest thing to a genuine revelation I have ever had is realising this:

We choose our reactions.

Take a moment, look in your emotional playbook and choose a new outlook.

Personally, I'd reccommend getting 'excited about moving on'. That's always worked well for me!

motor_mouth, MSN, RN

Specializes in Rehab and psych. Has 4 years experience.

I know you all are right. I guess I'll work on changing a copy of my resume as this organization is very specific about what they want; more details not less. If I can get it done in time for the midnight deadline, great, if not, it will be ready the next time something with them becomes available.

Don't feel bad. Like others have stated, they probably wouldn't feel bad if they let you go, unless you're in with some of the management. The hospital I'm at now has basically taken the whole ED staff of another hospital because they refused to give them incentives/raises and because their management was....eh. If there's something better and the place you work isn't going to change then go...they'll learn, or they'll train the new grads up so the rest of the market can take them!

motor_mouth, MSN, RN

Specializes in Rehab and psych. Has 4 years experience.

I listened to everyone and put in my application. If I had more time, I could, and would have, done a lot more but that's the best I could do.

At least I did it and if I don't get the job, I'll keep looking.


Specializes in CICU, Telemetry. Has 7 years experience.

I felt really guilty about quitting my old job because our staffing was so abysmal, and I got along so well with all my co-workers, and about 5 of us left all at once. I didn't feel bad for the institution or my boss, I felt bad that my co-workers were going to have another 6 months of even worse staffing, without the benefit of the 5 of us relatively senior nurses who all left at once. I felt bad for the patients being cared for by new grads who have 8 or 9 telemetry patients (we were supposed to be staffed as 1:3 or 1:4 ratios) because of the mistakes that would inevitably be made.

But you can't hold back your own happiness or professional development just because your hospital's management is weak. If your manager/institution cared about you, and valued you, they would pay you competitively and offer you benefits. If they valued nurses, they would want to support your educational endeavors. Why wouldn't you want better educated nurses? So no, I wouldn't feel guilty. To me it was like leaving an abusive boyfriend. Boy bye.

justjamesthenurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, cardiology, writing. Has 26 years experience.

I wouldn't feel bad at all. It sounds like the hospital you work for is the bare bones kind of facility. There is nothing wrong with looking out for yourself. If you want a better quality of life and the better things that go with advancement for your career then go for it.

motor_mouth, MSN, RN

Specializes in Rehab and psych. Has 4 years experience.

Just wanted to updated everyone. I ended up interviewing for the position I mentioned in this post. They were taking too long to hear from so I applied to another position, was offered it, and took it. :) Still better pay, better benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. I've decided to stay at my current place as a per diem for the time being. I really do love it there. But, I gotta take care of myself first.