Is a career change worth it?

Nurses General Nursing

Updated:   Published

Specializes in Oncology, NICU.
Is a career change worth it?

I have been a nurse in oncology for 2 years now. In my 20's.

I was on nights for a year and then I became dayshift. I've been days for 6 months now and although it's busier, I enjoy having a normal sleep schedule. I have a similar schedule to my s/o.

I'm also a morning person at heart.

Despite the dayshift schedule, I've been feeling pretty burnt out from my job for awhile. Going to work doesn't excite me, I feel stagnant at work, and I feel like my career isn't going anywhere. The floor is exhausting as well. I feel comfortable with my skills and as a nurse I do feel experienced on that floor. 

I debated applying for NP school but wasn't fully sure and felt that I needed more RN experience beforehand.

So then I applied for different areas in the hospital and was rejected by some other units until..

I got an offer for a level 3 NICU!

I never imagined myself to work with neonates but I'm excited to learn. I feel like it would be a good change in specialty and that the job came to me for a reason.

The only worry I'm having about this job offer is that it's for Night Shift. Like I mentioned, I am a morning person at heart, and I work a similar schedule as my bf.

I'm very worried to go back to Night Shift and change my whole sleep schedule again. I'm willing to do it because I'm going to the NICU, but I'm terrified, and I wonder if the job offer is worth the risk.

I was told that the "waiting list" for dayshift is pretty long because many nurses don't leave the unit.

I'm not sure if it's a good idea to leave a dayshift position where I have a normal life to back to working nights again.

Can anyone help me weigh pros and cons?

I'm scared of making a decision and of making the wrong one.

Is it better to stay where I am and grow there? Go for NP school with an oncology background?

Or should I take the potential risk?

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC.

These are questions that really no one can answer for you. How detrimental was night shift for you? If you were really physically sick all the time then it's probably not the best move. If you were just more tired (as I think all of us are), but able to function, then the opportunity might be just what you're looking for.

You sound excited about the NICU job in your post. You don't have much positive to say about your current position. You wrote you feel stagnant and not going anywhere, so how do you envision growing your career if you stay there? Certifications/education? 

You're never going to know unless you take a chance. Good luck with whatever you decide. 

You are only in your 20's. You have a lot of time to figure out what you really want. You have only been in the oncology position for six months. Not enough time to make a change. Surprised you feel "experienced" on a specialty floor after six months.

 I wonder  why your facility would allow a transfer, and why NICU would make an offer.

As for going back to night shift, only you can make that call. I myself could not handle nights. What does your s/o  say about the shift change?



Specializes in NICU.

Level III NICU is intense. You will have to learn a lot, as everything in the neonatal world is different from adults, and level III cranks that up even more. There will be unstable micro preemies, and long-term chronic kids that stay there for months to years. You are more likely to lose patients than in a level II, though coming from oncology, that might not be that much of a change, but they will be infants. Night shift sucks in some ways, but it pays more and is often a slower, easier shift.

Although I prefer level II, I love NICU and wouldn't work anywhere else.

Some things to consider...

It is a special thing to get a chance to go into NICU, esp. level III, from the adult world. NICU nurses usually stay in that specialty, so these spots don't open up often. Think long and hard before saying no.

If you can't move to day shift later when you want, you can take that Level III training and go to another hospital, so long as you've satisfied any time commitment you agreed to in exchange for the training.

You might decide to become a neonatal NP

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