How long do you stay at a job?

Nurses General Nursing


I have worked at my current job since Nov. and I am now thinking about making a switch. I have gotten a poor attitude about work. I love working with the residents(LTC) but feel the need to go try different types of nursing.

Just curious as to how long others stay in their jobs?



I stayed at my first job out of nursing school for 1 month. My second job lasted 1 1/2 years. Both of the LTC. I am on my third job and gaining alot of good geriatric experience. I am in supplemental staffing. I go to 3 or 4 different nursing homes to help fill in for short staffing. It is wonderful for me because I have only been a nurse for about 2 years. Each LTC facility has it's own unique residents. I get to deal with trachs, feeding tubes, and other interesting things without the pressure of being in a hospital. The facilities where I work have staff that are very understanding and appreciative to have an extra hand that they can call when needed. I would say to keep looking. My experience was that they were not as interested in how long I had been in my current job but more interested in what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go in my career. Keep trying you will eventually find your niche.

Specializes in Pediatric Rehabilitation.

same job 6 it!!!

I went to Long Term Care immediately after nursing school. I loved my residents and was quite satisfied with my job there until last spring. After almost five years in the same job on the same shift, I felt like it was time to move on to something a little different. I'm glad I did. Although I wasn't really burned out before, I am now actually excited about going to work each day.

I graduated in 99 and have worked in the same hospital, however I recently left my home unit (tele/step down) and joined our resource pool. I wanted to learn some new things and was eager to get away from my old unit--lots of issues within the unit. I also joined a staffing agency & work prn at a different facility.

Till I can't take it no more. Then I leave. I have had nursing positions that lasted 6 plus years and others that lasted less than 6 months.

My history (LOL)

2 years med/surg

3 years psych

6 month LTC

12 years Labor and Delivery (all on same unit)

2 years House Manager 3-11

My advise to you--if you are not happy and do not look forward to going to work--it is time to change jobs

Specializes in ICU/CCU (PCCN); Heme/Onc/BMT.

Worked in hematology/oncology for 7.5 years at a big hospital.

Worked in a MICU for 4 months at the same big hospital.

Took a job as a State worker . . . totally non-nursing for 6 months.

Now working for a small community hospital in a ICU/CCU going on two years . . . and loving it!

Five months prior taking the MICU job, I was in an emotional turmoil. I lost four wonderful friends and co-business partners to a dreadful car accident (they were all nurses!). (May 1st, 1998 will forever be etched in my memory as one hell of a suck-day!!!) I was once told that if there is ever a huge change in one's life (like a death), the best thing to do is not make any huge life changes for about a year and allow yourself to heal. I can honestly say that the short "job hopping" I experienced just: 1) initially masked the pain and anguish I felt regarding the loss of my friends, and 2) increased my stess level because of the new jobs/responsibilities that I faced.

Hind sight is 20/20, but I wish I stayed on the hematology/oncology floor (because I knew my job/responsibilities well) and allowed myself to grieve and heal. The decision to take the MICU job came just five months after the accident! I remember feeling extremely anxious and nervous during this time (as if in grief) . . . I thought I could use the change help better my nursing skills and to "help make things better". Although I learned a lot, it didn't help make the pain go away. My decision to take the state job was very impulsive (partly because it was a 9-5 job with weekends and holidays off, and it was completely new and different). Because of my grief, I almost had a nervous break down during this job . . . on top of "grieving thing", I took a position where I had absolutely no prior training and experience!!! I was totally miserable with this job!!!

It took counseling to guide me through the pain and grief. I also used the counseling to help me figure out what I wanted to do with my life career-wise. After much soul searching, I discovered that "hands-on" nursing was for me (along with my music . . . but that's another story). So . . . here I am, working for a very small ICU/CCU at a very small hospital. . . and it's great!! The nurse/patient ratio is wonderful and I feel like I give quality time to my patients.

There were a number of things that I learned during the period of my life (which wasn't so long ago). One major lesson was that if and when a huge life change event happens, I aint' going to add fuel to the fire by changing jobs. Healing will come first.

Ted Fiebke

Ted, were those the nurses from (I think) Nursing Jocularity? I remember reading about that horrible accident. So sorry for your pain.

I took a job two years ago that I thought would be the job of my dreams, but it was the job of my nightmares. It certainly didn't help that three weeks into the position, my father died, and that I left his bedside the day before he died because I thought I was expected to be back at work (I live in a different state). I lasted less than three months at that job. I learned from that never to put any job ahead of the things that matter....

Ted: It's a wonder you're still able to work anywhere. One of the aspects of nursing that makes it such a great profession is that if you find yourself in a job that no longer brings you joy, you can change. I do so every couple of years, my longest continuous stint was 5 years in home health and it is still my fav, but periodically I need a change. When I finish school, I hope to do some travel nursing.

Specializes in ICU/CCU (PCCN); Heme/Onc/BMT.
Originally posted by catlady

Ted, were those the nurses from (I think) Nursing Jocularity? I remember reading about that horrible accident. So sorry for your pain.

Doug Fletcher, RN was from the Journal of Nursing Jocularity.

Doug along with Bob Diskin, RN, and Georgia Moss, RN and myself owned a small company called Narc Keys, LLC. We were also all co-writers and performers of the first nursing musical titled Who's Got the Keys? Diane Rumsey, RN was also a performer in the musical.

They all died on the day the musical was to have opened. YECH!!!

One great lesson that I learned out of all this mess was Heal first, Job hunt later!

Ted Fiebke

Ted, I know the words I am sorry never really express to the grieving person much. When my dad died I heard I am sorry so many times, and while it was appreciated, it is truly inadequate. I wish I had a way to express to you better the grief for your loss. When I worked Neuro ICU several years ago my Journal of Nursing Jocularity was one of our favorites. One sees so much tragedy and loss in Neuro, so many young people harmed for the rest of their lives because they are out doing stupid things because they have that belief bad things only happen to other people. The ability to laugh at ourselves and the sometimes innane aspects of our profession is something we needed many nights. Your friend did a wonderful service with the journel. All of the people you spoke of where wonderful and talented people, I think to have been able to work with and enjoy the company of people like that would be a blessing, and I really am terribly sorry for your loss, as inadequate as that is.

As I am sure you know the pain of losing someone may lessen, but it never fulls goes away. I miss my dad I think everyday of my life. Parents divorced when I was 8 and he was all over the world with the Navy. It was not until years later that I was able to put a relationship back together with him as an adult. He became my biggest cheerleader and the best sounding board I had. He was a Christian Scientist, yet was as proud as any parent could be for me to be doing what I do. I too learned that it was important to take time to grieve. I had to quit my job to be with my dad when he was dying because the facility I worked at felt it was more important to be there for survey. After my dad died I didn't work for 4 months. I could not do it. He had died after a series of medical errors, and it was a soul wrenching decision for him to even take any medical treatment because of his religion. I was extremely angry at the healthcare professions after his death, and did not want to be a part of it ever again. It was only through pushing and prodding from an extremely good friend that got me back to work, and I love where I am now and what I am doing. Sometimes as nurses we forget that we also have to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, we take so much time and energy caring for strangers that we shove our emotions for ourselves and our family to the side in the name of duty, or because as nurses we can handle anything. It is not acceptable to do otherwise. I think sometimes we also use our jobs to bury feelings, as way to run away from what we are experiencing ourselves. Ted, I know you are talented beyond your nursing practice, blessed to be able to do things you love with people equally talented. I am sure you keep your friends close to your heart because then while they are physically gone, they never really are fully gone. Inadequate words again I think, but it is what I live with when I still go to pick up the phone to call my dad when I want to be able to get some perspective on something going on in my life. He died in September and there really are days I still pick up the phone to call. I can't bring myself to delete his email address yet. I still draw on the lessens he taught me. And no job is worth losing out on time with family.

So original poster if this job is not right for you, look for one that is. I have been nursing 10 years, the longest I was in any one job was two years. Finally I think I have found a long term home to work in. Do what is in your heart. It is much more satisfying to you and frankly to those around you. Good luck.

Sorry for my rambling.

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