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First Nursing Job Timeline

millerdj millerdj (New) New

Hi, I hope I am posting in the right subforum. I am currently a senior nursing student and will be graduating this coming May. My boyfriend and I originally planned to move out of state as soon as we graduate, but it looks like he will have to stay an extra semester (until December 2018). We both reaaallly want to get out of our state as soon as possible, so I was curious how short is too short to work your first job? I want to get my nursing career started as soon as possible and save up some money to be able to move, but I don't want to just up and leave if I have a job. I'm guessing about 6 months or so is acceptable to work and then tell them I am moving out of state? Also, I know the honest thing to do would be to let them know in an interview, but I'm guessing I shouldn't say anything in order to get hired. Any advice on this topic would be greatly appreciated!

3ringnursing, BSN

Specializes in ICU; Telephone Triage Nurse. Has 25 years experience.

Get your first job and then play it by ear from there - you never know what the future holds.

It may be more forthright to tell a prospective employer about your plans, but you may not be hired if you are frank about intending to leave on or after January 2018.

First things first: concentrate on getting your first nursing job, then worry about everything else later. And welcome to nursing - best of luck in your career.

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

I'm guessing about 6 months or so is acceptable to work and then tell them I am moving out of state?

Nope nope nope. I guarantee you this is an excellent way to seriously piss off your manager and possibly get yourself on a 'do not rehire' list (a status which HR can then pass along to potential future employers).

New grad orientation is very expensive for an employer. The entire time you're on orientation, they're paying two nurses' salaries (preceptor and preceptee) to do the job of one. Your unit will be investing tens of thousands of dollars into training you. If you left after six months, you'd basically be leaving soon after your orientation and they'd get no return on their investment.

From what I understand, most people seem to recommend one year as the minimum tenure for new hires. That said, I left my first new grad job after a year, and my managers were still pretty vocally ticked off that I was leaving so soon (much to my surprise); apparently they had expected me to stay for a year from the time my orientation ended.

Furthermore, you may be shooting yourself in the foot for future jobs by leaving after six months. In nursing, many 'new grad' jobs won't consider nurses with experience, and most 'experienced nurse' jobs won't consider nurses with less than a year of experience. If you have only six months of experience, you run the risk of not qualifying for new grad jobs or experienced nurse jobs in your new location. People write desperate posts on AN about this precise situation all of the time.

If you do choose to move after only six months, I would highly suggest not leaving your current job until you have a nursing job offer from your new location in hand, even if that means that you and your boyfriend have to be long-distance for a few moths. I'd also be absolutely sure that you do not have any interest in working for the hospital you're leaving (or their affiliates) in the future.


Specializes in ICU.

I completely agree with adventure_rn about being stuck in the weird position between "(brand) new grad" and "experienced nurse" if you leave before at least your first year. I had to change jobs within my first year because my husband got transferred at his (non-nursing) job out of state. My manager was very understanding and helpful as a work reference, but I did find I was limited to being an inexperienced nurse applying for jobs looking for experience since I no longer qualified for new grad jobs with a history of paid work experience.

By the way, if you already know where you want to eventually move to, I suggest starting the licensure endorsement process as soon as you're licensed in your current state. I moved to CA for my husband's job last summer, and, at that time, it was taking some people up to 6 months before they got their CA licenses. It took me about 3 months to get licensed, but it delayed my move as I stayed behind to keep working while my husband started his new job.