I am sick of being a job hopping RN

Nurses Career Support


  1. What should I do?

    • Stay where you are: LTC
    • Find another job; maybe the one you are interviewing for

3 members have participated

I need advice. I am a RN with 2 years of experience. My speciality is cardiac although I have med surg experience as well. Ever since I graduated from school with my BSN in 2010, I have had this love/hate relationship with nursing. I will start with my first job.

I worked my first job as a floor nurse for a year before deciding to challenge myself in the ICU. I left my first job for a neuro ICU job that only lasted 1 month before I resigned. It was not a good fit. I then was taken back by the hospital corporation I worked my first job at (BJC Healthcare), but was hired on at another hospital of theirs which was the worst hospital ever. Too many unstable patients leaving the ER unstabilized to go to the floor, crazy ratios with it being a cardiac unit (6 patients, acuity not considered), bad management, etc. Too many safety issues. So I spoke my mind about all of these safety concerns, nothing was done to address them, and I left. Very quickly, I was interviewed for my current job.

Not even 2 weeks passed from my last job that I was interviewed and hired at a LTC facility. This place cannot keep RNs. It is so different from the hospital and not in a good way. Nurses who do not do assessments, CNAs who "fake" vital signs, no supplies, no clean gowns, unstable residents not being sent out of followed up on (except by this nurse who does assess and send them out!). Many, many safety concerns. I went from bad to worse. I an a night RN who watches 36 residents with the help of 2 CNAs (that is another thing -- usually, the CNAs have this nasty habit of calling in. With it being late at night, there is no one to come in for them. CNAs are then stretched, having 28 residents or so a piece. Crazy, right?).

I feel secure in my critical thinking. I assess my residents and keep them safe. I call doctors when necessary to follow up with abnormalities and concerns. However, I am not sure if this is a good fit for me. I have an interview with a med surg floor today. I do not know how to feel about it.

My husband is sick to death of nursing. Tired of hearing me talk about the negative aspects of nursing. He wants me to just stick to a job. I want a safe job with competent coworkers and adequate supplies. However, I am tired. I am sick of moving around with these jobs. In two years, I am on my fourth job (3 if you do not count the month I spent in ICU). That is alot for 2 years, I know.

What are your thoughts? Should I stay at the LTC where I am despite all of my concerns and the crazy high RN turnover rate? Or should I start another job for probably less pay (LTC pays more than the hospital) for a job that is farther away from home? I love my residents although I do not like how my current place of employment is ran. I see too many safety concerns.

Is there such a thing as a "safe" nursing job?! With my experiences in addition to my nursing buddies, I am starting to think there is no such thing as a safe nursing job, safe environments to give patient care. I am beyond bummed at this realization. I have really high standards of care and am very detailed oriented. I detest sloppy nursing practices.

What are you thoughts? Please help. Should I suck it up in LTC (even though I am a good critical care cardiac RN) or go back to the hospital?

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

Moved to Nursing Career Advice for more response.

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

If you don't "stay" somewhere VERY soon, you will have no choice ... you will not be able to get a nursing job. Can you financially afford to let that happen? If not, stay where you are for a while, even if it is not ideal.

Think about nurses in the past. Think about your "heroes." etc. Did they insist on perfection? No. They made the best of difficult situations -- whether it was the 1950's culture of male dominance, or the 1860's Civil War army hospital conditions, or the 1940's World War II conditions on Bataan, or the tenements of 1920's New York, etc. The history of nursing is largely the history of people doing their best to take care of people under less than ideal conditions. For our generation to expect perfection -- and to accept nothing less -- is simply not realistic.

I am not suggesting that we stop caring about working conditions -- or stop fighting for better -- just that we accept that our "starting point" is not perfect, and that it is part of our job to improve them. Few people are lucky enough to start with perfection and never have to work to achieve anything better.

Tennessee butterfly: I am from Tennessee too! Thanks!

Guide: Thanks for telling it like it is. That is what I need right now. I do very much depend on my finances. I have two little ones to support with my husband's income which alone is not enough. You bring up an excellent point that even my spouse has mentioned: Maybe I have set the bar fairly high. Maybe it is a bit unrealistic. I do realize the need to stop switching jobs. No one in their right mind is going to want to hire someone with as much movement as I have had despite the minimal training that I require. I simply feel that my luck has not been good with the Nursing Jobs that I have had so far (the first one was the best, newest, and safest place I worked in). As you said, I need to make the best out of unfavorable conditions. I am a good nurse despite my bad judgement with these jobs although I am grateful for a job in the first place. I need to persevere.

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.

I'm in the same boat somewhat, except I've been a nurse quite a bit longer, 9 years. In those nine years, I have had six full time jobs. Too many in my opinion. Right now I'm in a situation in which I have had to accept a horrific LTC job out of despirate need for a job with benefits; however I do have a chance to, in the next few months, land a job with

a facility which I would gladly RETIRE from. So, here's hoping that that happens.

If I were you, I would try to stay where you are for as long as you can... honestly, 36 residents at night with the help of two aides doesn't sound THAT bad; I have 54 residents at night with two aides. You probably aren't crazy about your job, but not too many people are, let's face it. You'll eventually find yourself in a place in which you are

content enough to stay. For right now try to stick out your current job for a while; maybe you'll eventually decide hey, THIS is the place where you would just as soon stay, as leave and have to go on the Job Search yet AGAIN.

Job searching sucks.

I think maybe you should try agency nursing for a while you can handle 13weeks if you like it you could hire on but don't give up.

Keep looking and trying new things then you will find the kind of nursing that suits you. If you are not happy at work it will cause trouble at home. DON'T GIVE UP.

I wanted to update everyone on how my job interview went!

I was very honest about the jobs that I have had so far and why I left them. The nurse manager that I interviewed with respected me, and was thankful for my honesty. We then proceeded to talk about our high standards for nursing care that is safe, each expressing their dislike for shortcuts in care that are not safe. In a nutshell: I have found a nurse manager with the same value set as myself and it is awesome. The interview went so well, in fact, that she told me within 15-20 minutes that she wanted to hire me for her floor although we talked for 2 hours! Nothing intense, no grilling: just talking about various issues/concerns/thoughts within nursing.

I am excited to go back to the hospital because that is my home no matter how crazy and dysfunctional it may be. :banghead: I know that is where I belong. I start NP school next month, and will be doing that for 3 years and a semester part time. My new nurse manager said that she could see me as a good fit for a NP, and said that she wants to help me (and all of the other nurses on the floor) accomplish their long term goals. This is such a sharp contrast from my other nurse manager who never expressed an interest helping anyone with their long term goals, and blocked people from transferring from the floor.

To you all, and to myself, I will say this: Good or bad (because I am sure there will be both as always), I will remain at this job. I am going to do my very best with my patient care as I always do, and work with what I have. A job hopping RN no more will I be. :rolleyes: I believe I have found my work home! :redbeathe

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

Good luck to you. Congratulations -- and thanks for the update.

You never mentioned what your ultimate goal is for your nursing career. I would say establish a goal of being away from the bedside within a few years. I am also a 2010 graduate, and I haven't been in love with either of the two jobs I've held since I graduated, though I didn't hate the first, and the second is okay. Moreover, I know that I want to be away from the bedside within the next couple of years--it is exhausting, the pay (in the South at least) is a joke, and you're saddled with great responsibility while holding little power. I know that the work I do is a means to an end. Write out your goals. I would also say, if feasible, get as far away from LTC as possible. I was a supervisor at a facility that sounds similar to yours for a couple of months last year and the workload for nurses working the floor was outrageous. It was privately owned and they also had issues with supplies and staffing. The director was possibly in need of a psych eval, and it was a bad situation, hence my resignation after about 8 weeks. You've gotta have a plan.

I think you should establish some longevity before you start looking again. At some point the job hopping is going to work against you.

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

I agree with Caliotter.

Speaking from the perspective of a nurse who's held 13 Nursing Jobs in 15 years, I have to say that for some people, job-hopping is a symptom and not just a search for the "perfect" job, as it was with me (undiagnosed bipolar disorder). Your situation is probably vastly different from mine, but the process of discovering where the problem lies is crucial to your success.

I'm suggesting that you look deep inside to see where your restlessness and dissatisfaction are coming from; ask friends and family what they see; maybe even have a few sessions with a therapist. Believe me, it's worth it.......you don't want to ruin your chances at landing your dream position by demonstrating that you are quick to change jobs.

I wish you the best. Nursing is a very stressful occupation, and more often than not a job change works out to be SSDD (same 'stuff', different day). Just saying. :hug:

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