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How long do I stay in my first unit?

Nurses   (229 Views 5 Comments)
by bhy7124 bhy7124 (New Member) New Member Nurse

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I started my nursing career right out of school in a residency program in the cardiac ICU.  I have completed the residency and have been a nurse now for about 5 months.  My goal is to get 1 year under my belt before I start applying for OR positions- a speciality that has always interested me the most. 

How much time do you owe your first unit if they took you in as a new grad?  I want to remain at my current facility to transition to the OR and don't want to burn any bridges.  I respect my unit so much and would not want to appear ungrateful for this awesome experience. Thanks!

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CalicoKitty has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-surg.

630 Posts; 15,535 Profile Views

Typically, people would stay at least 1 year. You may want a second year to gain knowledge and skills.

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AnnieNP has 20 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Adult Primary Care.

448 Posts; 3,347 Profile Views

There is a lot to learn in the Cardiac ICU, I would think two years would be  good.

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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48 minutes ago, CalicoKitty said:

Typically, people would stay at least 1 year. You may want a second year to gain knowledge and skills.

I just wanted to clarify that some people think of 'one year' as being one year off orientation, not one year since hire. I heard the 'one year mark' thrown around on AN all of the time, and assumed that it would be ok for me to give my notice at my first nursing job at just over a year. My manager was pretty upset that they'd spent so much time orienting me and didn't get a full year after my orientation was complete.

Granted, different managers will take the news differently. I've also worked for managers who were completely understanding about people leaving after less than a year off orientation and facilitated internal transfers.

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JBMmom has 6 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care.

733 Posts; 11,582 Profile Views

There will be a couple factors, although I agree that most managers will expect a year of time in order to get return on their investment. While you may be most interested in OR nursing now, keep you eyes open and see what other opportunities are out there as well. Keep learning, and as long as you're enjoying what you're doing, there's really no reason to rush out, you've got years of your career ahead. Good luck!

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