How long should I stay at this job before I become undesirable to hospitals?


I have been working as an RN for 1.5 years now, and was very lucky to obtain a job right out of school in saturated California. Most of my experience was in LTC/Rehab where I practiced my nursing skills (lots of assessments, managing PICC lines, IV meds, medication passes, wound dressings, foleys, PEG/JPEG tubes, tube feedings, ventilators, etc.)

I have always wanted to work with kids, and I now work at a pediatric clinic where I do heavy phone triage, room patients, take vitals, obtain health histories/do some assessments on walk-ins, administer medications/and lots of vaccines, occas. foleys, assist with procedures, deal with all lab work/tests, and educate patients and families. It is a very busy clinic but it can be routine.

How long should I stay here before I become undesirable to hospitals? Would staying here a few years lower my chances of finding an acute care job? Thanks!


111 Posts

I'm not an RN, but I was a nurse tech on the medical, Hem-Onc, and adolescent units of a major pediatric hospital. Except for the phone triage and perhaps the vaccinations, what you're doing now sounds a lot like what a floor nurse at a children's hospital does. And what you're not doing at this clinic, such as IV meds, you did at that LTC/Rehab facility.

Working a long time at an one position can hurt your chance at getting a job at a different position. But what you're doing now is quite broad and isn't that different from what hospital nurses do, only differing in the length and severity of the illness. If anything, it's harder to see patients who're not yet diagnosed, than it is to take them up after they are diagnosed and when their treatment has become routine.

You might want to let events drive your future. Once you are comfortable with this job and have paid your employer back for your training, consider applying for those acute care positions. That'll give you a good feel for what they want and how well you fit in. You'll know well before you become "undesirable," if that ever comes.

Take care not to establish the opposite reputation, that of a butterfly flitting from job to job. You've had two Nursing Jobs in 1.5 years. Employers typically don't want to hire someone who isn't going to be around long. That's why working several years at this pediatric clinic might actually be a plus when you move on.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

I suggest that you do some PRN work in an inpatient setting - to keep your skills sharp & provide evidence (on your resume) that you have recent experience. Even if you only work one day a month - it'll do the job.


27 Posts

Thanks for the replies. I will look into per diem at a hospital, I wonder if my experience so far will be marketable?