Job Hopping- need advice


  • Specializes in ICU, L&D, Home Health. Has 2 years experience.

I've been a nurse for a year and a half now and am now applying for my 4th position as a nurse. I can say that every move had its own logical explanation. I started off in ICU where I had planned on staying a year to really hone my skills in hopes of working in Labor and Delivery. I did well there and was well liked on the unit but really felt the urge to do L & D, so I moved there after a year in ICU.

I was miserable from the first weeks but thought it was just adjusting to being a newbie all over again and having clashing personalities with my preceptor, who frequently undermined my confidence and devalued my nursing skills despite the fact I had worked in ICU for a year already. Halfway through my orientation I had the devastating diagnosis of unexplained infertility. That definately made it harder to be around babies and made the only joys of that unit full of bitterness. I saw an employee assistance counselor and after several sessions with her (who recommended leaving) my husband and I decided that we could handle my leaving that job and letting me find part-time work. I had started writing a novel right before leaving ICU and we decided it was the right time to pursue my dream. I would also concentrate on losing weight before trying any high-tech stuff.

When I left a coworker told me she and her husband were starting a homecare agency and really needed help organizing things and getting ready to open for patients a couple days a week. I agreed to work there and found it nice to work 2-3 days a week, no weekends or holidays. They, however, were really unprepared for the time and money it takes to start such a business. Because my coworker was still working full-time, I ended up seeing all the patients. Not so bad, really, considering I really enjoyed being one-on-one in the community (I used to be a caseworker in a previous life). I have just had to leave there 5 months later after they tell me they don't have the money to pay my mileage, and I started fearing my paycheck would bounce. I learned a lot about the industry from the experience but am now looking for another part-time homecare job and am worried about how unattractive my resume now looks.

Would you tell a prospective employer about a medical issue that made you decide to leave? This is not something I'd want everyone to know- in fact, I didn't tell the previous manager the entire reason for my leaving, just that it wasn't a good match.

Has anyone else had such a patchy resume and what did you tell prospective employers? The longest jobs I've held before this are 2-2.5 years before I was a nurse.

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

You just havent found your niche in life. I job hopped often. But after many tries Ive found my place of happiness. I work I golf Iwork I golf who can ask for more

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

4,482 Posts

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

I would just say that you learned OB wasn't for you and not mention your medical issues at all. Then just talk about how you loved homecare and that you had to leave that company due to their financial issues.

I don't think people would hold your record against you. It is normal for a new nurse to take a liitle while to find her niche.

Specializes in Med Surg, ICU, Infection, Home Health, and LTC. Has 35 years experience.

sounds like you might want to try working for an agency until you find the place and the area that you might really like while at the same time holding a more steady position as an agency nurse. it's a thought anyway.

hope3456, ASN, RN

1,263 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Psych, M/S.

I empathize with your (OP) situation, I am pretty much in the same boat, only b/c I did get pregnant shortly after finishing nsg school - unplanned. Long story short, I stayed working in a LTC even though I was planning to move and get a job in acute care....after DD was born (10 months ago) I didnt have much of a support system or a babysitter so i figured I needed to be working part time around my DH job...the LTC gave me this for a couple months but then I got another part time job - great schedule - on a psych unit where I have been working for the past 6 months. I dont mind the job...but want acute care experience. Am I screwed??

gonzo1, ASN, RN

1,739 Posts

Specializes in ED, ICU, PSYCH, PP, CEN. Has 20 years experience.

I don't think your resume looks bad at all. I would just say that L and D didnot turn out to be the "spot" for me. I have a girlfriend who worked 6 different places her first 1.5 years out of school. Wasn't happy anywhere, tried all the hospitals in town. Finallly wound up at my hospital in the ICU and loves it. Been there over a year now. Who would have thought? I wouldn't even give her a recommendation she was such a hopper. But she kept getting hired and hired again. She didn't even give more that a few hours notice in most cases.

I think your resume could look pretty good. ICU and home health shows good flexibility.

Good luck and have a nice day

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