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How long did you stay at your 1st job?

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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?

intermediateRN

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 job...it's so individual...you know if you need to leave or not, just follow your gut.

AshleelRenee

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.

awheat

Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 2 years experience.

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

LoveMyBugs, BSN, CNA, RN

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.

NurseCard, ADN

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

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.

Biffbradford

Specializes in ICU.

12 years.

2nd job - 2 months.

Lesson learned - the grass is not always greener.

Sugarcoma, RN

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

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.)

MaryAnn_RN

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

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.

I Am ReadyRN

Specializes in Ortho, Med-Surg.

I'll let you know when I finally get one. After waiting so many years for one though, I assume I'd stay at that first job as long as possible.

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?

I stayed 1-1/2 years, and have remained at jobs an average of three years since then ('79). I am the Director of a Home Health Agency and do not consider it unprofessional to leave after a year. It's YOUR career, do what you like. What makes leaving after a short time a problem is what it says on your resume when you do that time after time.

rnfostermom, BSN, RN

Has 14 years experience.

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?

I personally think that unless you are horribly, awfully, excrutiatingly miserable, you ought to try to stick it out at least 2 years before moving on. This is for your benefit, as the first year of nursing is really just not fun and years later you will look back on it as a mixture of feeling overwhelmed, difficult situations/patients, goof-ups you made that thankfully didn't hurt anyone, etc. It's really in the 2nd year that things start to "gel" a bit and you can breathe. At that point, you will be in a better spot to evaluate the job, your skills and what plans you have for the future. Because employers put so much effort into new nurses, I suppose you could feel a bit guilty about leaving after only one year, but that need not be your main concern, unless you have some kind of advance agreement.

One thing to consider, also, is what options you have within the same employer. If you are working in a hospital, consider changing units, or shifts, or cutting your hours and getting a PT position somewhere else to build up a skill area you are interested in. I have been at my first nursing job for almost 7 years, but I only stayed on my first unit for 2 years, then worked on another for 3 1/2 and have been on my current unit for 16 months. A few years ago, I took a PT job in home-based infusion therapy that I quit after 6 months because I hated it (still I learned good stuff there that I still use). Recently I took on a casual job in LT acute care and I'm still deciding whether I like this, although it's a good job for keeping my skills well-rounded, their employee education is really excellent, and the pay is good.

Good luck in your decision.

traumarnrodney

Specializes in ER/Trauma. Has 13 years experience.

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?
I stayed at my first employer 13 years in different positions. I know this is rare, but I never stopped learning so it was always interesting. Love a teaching hospital with the highest level of care for all specialties.

I stayed at my first job where I had been employed prior to being an RN for 1 month as they had no RN positions. I went to work at the hospital where I got my RN after that and stayed about a year and got a new job with a fifty percent pay raise..Not that much in the seventies. I then left after another year fleeing urban crime in Trenton NJ. I statyed at first job in Louisiana 1 year and got an evening supervisor in moderate sized hospital where I statyed for 3 yearrs. I could go on and on but I think if you look around you will find that very few nurses stay at one place for a very long time anymore.

plumiegirl

Specializes in pediatrics. Has 16 years experience.

I hear from other nurses about the grass not being greener so I have been in my first job for 16 years now. I am a school nurse and there are days where you run out of the office at the end of the day but there are good days too. Lessons learned: suffering is a choice (both for patients and nurses), you can only advise since no one can be told what to do (but chart like mad in case they come back because they did not do what they were suppose to do). Find something to balance out the bad days like a fun place to forget it all.