New grad, how long to stay in job...


I'm a new grad PNP and accepted a job last week. I'm excited to get my career started, although the location isn't where I'd like to be forever. My orientation is about 2-3 months in a hospital setting.

I'm hoping that once I get some experience I can move back to my home state, but I certainly want to "give" my employer a decent amount of time to them since they did hire me as a new grad. Do you guys think 2 years post orientation is good enough? Or should I go longer?


171 Posts

I'll be interested to hear the response from others. I personally think a couple of years is adequate. I have recently been involved in the hiring process for a new NP and am seeing a bunch of resumes with new graduate NPs that are leaving their positions after a few months. This has been a red flag in determining who to interview.


14,633 Posts

I would consider two years to be the bare minimum acceptable.


1,698 Posts

I think 1.5 years is enough. You're under no contractual obligation.

You'll have acquired enough experience to know what you're doing and become competitive.

Don't withhold momentum in your life because you feel like owe someone. You owe the employer nothing more than gratitude and good work ethic. ?

BlueDevil, DNP

176 Posts

Specializes in FNP, ONP.

You won't break even for the costs of training you for about 2 years, so I would plan on staying that long at a minimum. It isn't about whether or not you must, it is about professionalism and respect. You are not an hourly employee that can be replaced within a week. Additionally, I'd argue that you have some commitment to your patients.

I, personally, would not interview or hire someone that left a advanced practice position in less than 2 years.


248 Posts

Hummm...I believe in free market and freedom to practice. I would say at least 1 year. Like ICUman said, unless there is contractual agreement, I would stay until you accumulate enough experience to get your job in ideal location AND enough time to get people to know you to give you good references for future jobs.

It also depends on how much they invest on you. For my first new grad job, I put in 1 year and 1 month before relocating but they did not gave me any training or any orientation except starting me on low patient load. Another thing to consider is that, financially, I think the employer might have already factored the time for training before calculating your salary.... so they may not end up losing money if they lose you early than they expect. Of course hiring new grad will be cheaper than experienced provider so they have more funds to invest on orientation time.

BlueDevil, I guess I won't be hired by you then :) Regarding commitment to patients, it really depends on where your practice setting is. In outpatient setting, you develop rapports, trusts with patient long-term and get to know them so changing providers can cause some interruptions in services. But if you have good work ethics, you will do things to tie the loose ends before you leave. In hospital settings, the relationship is short-term. In those setting, as long as they can find replacement and you give adequate time for notice, I do not see any damage to patient care.

zmansc, ASN, RN

867 Posts

Specializes in Emergency.

I think it is situational. I can think of a situation, where you get thrown to the wolves, no training, hostile environment, etc. I wouldn't even stay a full year. However, if they invest in training you, give you a decent salary, provide you with the support you deserve, I would give them at least two years. As was mentioned above, it's better form to stay longer in a more career oriented profession. Now, they should be continuing to invest in you too. I would expect a reasonable salary increase after the first year, etc. And who knows, you might find that the new location isn't all that bad, you might make some friends, establish some roots, find a new culture that you happen to like some things about, and even find that being a bit further from your family has benefits too! I suggest, you take it with open eyes and enjoy the experience. One way or another it will be a good life experience and hopefully a great start to your new career!


24 Posts

Thanks for all of your insight, everyone. I know I'll stay _at least_ two years, probably more. I stayed at my RN job for 5+ years (switched departments about halfway through, but stayed in the same hospital), so I'm not a job hopper.

Blue devil, the nature of my job is that it is acute care and the patient stay is usually 1 week or less. Of course, there are frequent fliers, but there are a dozen or so PNPs hired for this type of job, so the continuity of care is not quite the same as out-patient. But I see your point and yes, I don't want to be a burden in terms of recruitment and training costs.

allnurses Guide

ghillbert, MSN, NP

3,796 Posts

Specializes in CTICU. Has 27 years experience.

I'd say 2-3 yrs minimum. I just had a round of hiring and my specialty is very complex and requires a lot of training and orientation, especially for new grads. I would be very annoyed if they left after a year and make that clear at interview. Of course, you can't keep people, but if you want good relations and references it is good not to burn your employers. I'd rather know it's not where you want to be and plan to leave soon, so I can hire accordingly. Perhaps I'd choose a less preferred applicant who was going to be more stable and reliable.

ThePrincessBride, MSN, RN, NP

1 Article; 2,592 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 8 years experience.

The higher one moves up the ladder, the more that is invested into him/her. A new grad RN should stay with his/her first job at least one year to 18 months. NPs have double the responsibility, so 2 to 3 years.

I'm a big time job hopper, but once you reach a certain level, job hopping starts to have great reprecussions and it is not so easily done.


1,698 Posts

NPs have double the responsibility, so 2 to 3 years.

How do you figure this is the acceptable timeline?

Riburn3, BSN, MSN, APRN, NP

3 Articles; 554 Posts

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 16 years experience.

Two years seems pretty acceptable, however, if something comes along earlier in your home state that is highly desirable, I say go for it. Same goes for if wherever you are working now ends up being fairly toxic or harsh. While I know maintaining professionalism is important, and you want appear appreciative of the opportunity, life is too short. Plus, it's not like you would be holding out for two years to go to a competitive hospital across the street, it would be to return back to where your heart is. I know when I deal with my employees, it doesn't bother me at all when they move back home after a year or two, or move out of the area for family obligations. It really bothers me though when they move on to one of our rival hospitals for just a small pay raise. Context is everything to an employer.