How long did you stay at your 1st job?


Some of my fellow new nurse friends and I were talking the other day and were curious to hear from more experienced people...

How long did you stay at your first job? Do you feel it is unprofessional to leave after only a year?


16 Posts

Specializes in Home Health & Hospice. Has 5 years experience.

I left after 6 mos. First time I have ever done that, yes I felt unprofessional, but I was working an hour from home, 12 hr. night shift, etc. I left on a good note and have no regrets. There are a lot of threads about when to leave your first crappy nursing's so know if you need to leave or not, just follow your gut.


39 Posts

Has 8 years experience.

I'm still at my first job going on three years and I love it. I don't think it's unprofessional after one year especially if your a new grad. Most new grads will use their first job as a stepping stone to where they want to be.


33 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 2 years experience.

Two years, honoring the contract I agreed to (to the day).

Specializes in Pediatrics.

Depends on what you call my 1st nursing job. My 1st job was flu shot clinics, then I was hired for peds home health, I only stayed for 5 months, mainly because I wasn't getting the hours, I was hired to work in a SNF/Vent and was there for 8 months, transferred to another SNF within the company closer to home and for 12 hour shifts.

Then left that job after 4 months when the on-call job I had offered me a position which is LTC/SNF pediatrics, so I jumped on that.

I have felt bad leaving the jobs so quickly because before I became a nurse I had a pretty stable job history, my 1st job I was there for 8 years, then 2 years and 3 years, so leaving after a few months felt wrong, but I had to go where I thought would be best for me. I would like to work in acute care pediatrics and eventually NICU and so working in the peds LTC gives me some peds expereince which I can only hope help me out with my long term career goals.

I posted not to long ago with concerns regarding my unstable job history, because a Kasier facility had called me for an interview and I wasn't sure if I should have followed up and have an interview because of my unstable history, I decided I was happy with the peds place and I should stay put for at least a year to improve the resume.

allnurses Guide

NurseCard, ADN

2 Articles; 2,847 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

I stayed at my first RN job for three years. My work history since then hasn't been the most stable. =( I've still had a tendency to

stick with a job for at least a year and a half, though.

Purple_Scrubs, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 1,978 Posts

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

Just under 6 months. Yes, it felt unprofessional and on one hand I hated doing it, but on the other hand that job was seriously affecting my health and wellbeing and I had to get out. I am still at nursing job #2.


1,097 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

12 years.

2nd job - 2 months.

Lesson learned - the grass is not always greener.

Sugarcoma, RN

410 Posts

Specializes in Trauma/Tele/Surgery/SICU. Has 2 years experience.
12 years.2nd job - 2 months.Lesson learned - the grass is not always greener.
Ugh, I learned this same lesson myself! Currently looking for job #3 after 4 months at job 2. Really disappointed considering the research I put into the move. Lasted 2 years at job 1. I do not think it will be unprofessional for me to leave before 1 year, or at least not anymore unprofessional than them breaking every promise they made in writing to me. I would leave right now if I didn't absolutely need to have another job lined up.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,022 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

i stayed two years. and in the absence of extenuating circumstances, it is unprofessional to leave after only a year. (extenuating circumstances -- your husband's job just transferred him to alaska, your mom died and you have to move back home to take care of your younger siblings or a volcano wiped out your hospital.)


478 Posts

Specializes in ICU. Has 15 years experience.

I've moved about within the same hospital so have had two jobs there in the 13 years since I qualified

Flo., BSN, RN

571 Posts

Specializes in Developmental Disabilites,. Has 7 years experience.

I left after 2. After the way my last employer treated me though I would say stay as long as you care to. If they are being unprofessional then leave and don't worry about it.