How many jobs have you had in your career?

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Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 9 years experience.

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Hi all, curious about how many times most nurses have switched jobs over their careers. I know millennials are considered to be "job hoppers" who switch jobs about every 1-3 years, looking to try new things or for opportunities to move up, better pay, etc. I noticed most of my older nursing colleagues have stayed in the same job for their whole career or had few jobs. The older nurses at the county hospital set themselves up well for retirement because they earn a pension and lifetime health benefits. They deal with the stress and bureaucracy because it's worth it for them. 

I left the county before I was vested in my pension because I felt it was destroying my mental health. That is also something I frequently here my fellow millennials say, whereas some older colleagues had more "suck it up" mentality. Maybe it is a relatively new thing all the discussion about mental health and "putting yourself first." I don't feel I put myself first because I have "sold out" and work for a high paying nonprofit now rather than a community clinic or county hospital where I felt better about my contributions to the world, but I am doing it to provide for my partner and future adopted kids. We couldn't survive in the Bay Area if I kept working at more "charitable" organizations = ( How many jobs have you all had throughout your careers, and what was the rationale behind changing jobs? Thanks! 

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience. 4,486 Posts

I worked one med-surg job for a year, and have been in my ICU for 21 years. I like the patient population, the working conditions and work per diem so I can work my preferred shifts and days. No reason to leave!

One reason long-term nurses might not leave is the BSN requirement a lot of new jobs require. As long as they stay where they are, they are grandfathered in from having to spend $ getting a BSN in x number of years. Try applying for a desirable job with an ADN in some job markets and the applicant tracking system will filter you out like you never even applied. The magnet status push has made this an issue.

A good number of my younger coworkers see bedside nursing as a stepping stone to something else. Lots of people here in NP school or applying for CRNA school. That limits job stays.  I don't have a problem with that; I have enjoyed working with people who do good work no matter what their future plans. 

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 9 years experience. 971 Posts

1 hour ago, RNperdiem said:

I worked one med-surg job for a year, and have been in my ICU for 21 years. I like the patient population, the working conditions and work per diem so I can work my preferred shifts and days. No reason to leave!

One reason long-term nurses might not leave is the BSN requirement a lot of new jobs require. As long as they stay where they are, they are grandfathered in from having to spend $ getting a BSN in x number of years. Try applying for a desirable job with an ADN in some job markets and the applicant tracking system will filter you out like you never even applied. The magnet status push has made this an issue.

A good number of my younger coworkers see bedside nursing as a stepping stone to something else. Lots of people here in NP school or applying for CRNA school. That limits job stays.  I don't have a problem with that; I have enjoyed working with people who do good work no matter what their future plans. 

Interesting! I didn't think of the ADN aspect, but many of my older coworkers do have their ADN only. And they are some of the best nurses I've ever worked with! They taught me a lot when I came out of nursing school with my fancy BSN that doesn't mean anything when you're starting an IV or even just trying to change a bedbound pt's sheets! LOL 

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,457 Posts

3 hours ago, LibraNurse27 said:

How many jobs have you all had throughout your careers, and what was the rationale behind changing jobs? Thanks! 

Mom & Pop Nursing Home: 1-3/84. Quit because I got a better job offer.

Weed Rover Township Hospital: Psych 3/84-10/86. Transferred to OR then laid off 8/87. Rehired for CD tx, quit 12/90 due to harassment.

St. Anomaly's Hospital: OR 1-3/90.  Quit because I didn't like them and they didn't like me.

Anomaly State Hospital: 4/91- 9/92. Quit because I got tired of the bureaucratic BS.

Buoy Memorial Hospital: 9/92-9/93 Med surg/ER. Fired due to arguing with a coworker.

Staph Boulders' HH: 9/93- 7/95. Visiting Nurse/NS. Quit, long story.

Part time nurse, Home Tech HH/De Adrian Nursing Home: 7/95-11/96; also worked as a freelance artist 1/96-3/03.

Mixed Nuts Health Systems: Psych-11/96-2/02. Fired for not meeting job responsibilities.

CCC Mental Health: NS medical services/methadone clinic-2/02-2/03. Fired, long story.

Wrongway Regional Medical Center: 3/03-3/20 Psych. Fired & Retired, long story.

Herewith is my work history, Ms. LibraNurse.

Thank you for the trip down Memory Ln.

Did I pass the audition?

amoLucia

Specializes in retired LTC. 7,495 Posts

2 hours ago, LibraNurse27 said:

........  I don't feel I put myself first because I have "sold out" and work for a high paying nonprofit now rather than a community clinic or county hospital where I felt better about my contributions to the world, but I am doing it to provide for my partner and future adopted kids. ! 

Over my 36 yrs, I worked many positions too numerous to count. My departures were usually because of the conflict with admin, altho I did select diff ones for advancement or school.

I have worked Civil Service and it is a 'weird bird' to say the least. Either you have the mentality for CS or you don't. I wish I had stayed on, or that my CS tenure had come later in my career.

I don't fault you for doing what you feel best for yourself now at this time in your career. But I wonder how things may play out for you in some 5 or 10 years. Those pensions, lifetime benefits with CONCRETE job security and seniority in a union environment will mean a lot.

We used to call them 'lifers' in CS. Many employees could retire at 20 years which would make them 45 y/o-ish. Then they would get a second job, sometimes in CS or PVT industry which would pay soooo much better.

Lots of factors, like living in San Fran, influence decisions. As long as you feel 'good' about what you're doing, just answer to yourself, no one else.

Good luck.

 

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU. 536 Posts

I have had 3 jobs in my nursing career. The first lasted many years and I left because I felt the job was set up for very unsafe conditions for patients and even staff. The second lasted less than a year because it was in a toxic department and I was dealing with health issues I couldn’t control. Right now, I am pretty settled in my third job but would change jobs if I finished my MSN in a few years - for better money, work hours, and just in general better for my life. 
 

I honestly am not one that thinks someone is stronger or better for staying at a job for years. Yes, job hopping every 6 months looks bad and definitely undependable. However, I don’t see anything wrong with making a change to make your life better - for health reasons, family reasons, better money, safer working conditions, simply just a need for a different environment, or because of a change in education status. I honestly have seen some nurses resigned to stay in a department because of the ADN thing or because they just don’t recognize a need for a change.

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 1,906 Posts

I've been a nurse for nine years. Five in long term care, including per diem for a while. Two months in case management- hated it! A little less than a year in med-surg full time, still pick it up per diem. ICU for a little over three years. I'll be there full time probably another six months and then I'll have my NP license and see where that takes me. I think I'd like to find a 20 year career and be done with it, but even in my first career I moved around a bit, so maybe that's just my personality. 

dream'n, BSN, RN

Specializes in UR/PA, Hematology/Oncology, Med Surg, Psych. Has 29 years experience. 1,149 Posts

Got my licence in 1993 and I've had 11 different employers.  28 years/11 employers=1 job per 2.6 years or so.  That seems like alot to me, but most of my moving around was earlier in my career and few bad employers. Shortest job 2 days and longest 8 years.

Left job because: 

1st job: horrible insurance, horrible hours

2nd job: moving across the country

3rd job: angry about the treatment of medical staff versus administrative staff

4th job: employer closed down

5th job: toxic, toxic, toxic environment

6th job: lack of support and training, unsafe ratios

7th job: unsafe ratios, too long of a commute

8th job: sick of working the floor, wanted a less stressful position

9th job: CRAZY town and physical unsafe, non-medical administration overruling the medical personal

10th job: Got an awesome new position, horrible insurance, administration was like a cult running the place

11th: Current position

 

sevensonnets

975 Posts

In 42 years I've had three jobs (been in this one 30 years). I'm no job hopper. 

Neo Soldier, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 7 years experience. 412 Posts

This will be my sixth year at my current job. I worked as a CNA and when I became an RN, I stayed.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 16 years experience. 14,116 Posts

I've been an RN for 15 years. I've held 9 jobs in that time. Wow, that sounds like a lot. Two jobs as an L&D floor nurse, one in perinatal research, two jobs in ambulatory clinic leadership, and four in inpatient hospital leadership (two of those were interim positions).

Three of the job changes were for out-of-state moves. One was because I was fired. Two were due to boredom with what I was doing. Two were to advance my career. And one was because that is the nature of interim work - it's meant to be temporary.

AdobeRN

1,275 Posts

Became an LVN 2005, RN (ADN) 2007.  

County Jail ( ~6 months)  - LVN

Urgent Care Clinic (~6 months)  - LVN

Home Health PRN (~1 year) - LVN (did this while in RN program)

Pedi Acute Care in Hospital (~ 2 years) - RN

Currently - School Nurse and do some HH on the side (~ 12 years this year) - RN.  As a school nurse I started as the district Float nurse for 2 years then was able to get my own campus and have been here since; at this point in my career don't plan on leaving until I retire.