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New Nurse - unhappy with first job


Specializes in New Nurse. Has 2 years experience.

Hi everyone,

I know this is probably something most new nurses say, but right now I'm conflicted about my job as a new nurse. I worked at this facility (small 50 bed LTC) as an aide for 4 years and was offered a job as a nurse once I graduated, which was May 1st of this year. It wasn't what I really wanted to do, but I didn't have any luck with the hospitals in my area, so I accepted the job there and started working back in mid May. My issue isn't the job itself - I love that I know all the residents and staff already - but what I was offered was a full time position. I got three weeks of full time training (72 hours/pay) but now that I'm on my own I'm only getting 48 hours/pay. I talked to my scheduler and she said she would work on it, but I'm so frustrated I'm not for sure getting full-time experience (and pay!). Another thing was that I know RNs make 29/hr, even when they first start out. Since COVID is going on, my state is allowing nurses to practice without taking the NCLEX for a time, so I have my RN license, but I'm only getting paid 25/hr until I pass NCLEX - something else I wasn't aware of until I got my first check. I'm not scheduled to take the NCLEX til august so that's two months from now. Part of me wants to find another job that's guaranteed full time hours, but I would feel awful leaving a facility after they trained me for three weeks. I know this is long but I don't know if I should stick it out at my current job and hope things get better or look for something else. I appreciate anyone's help!


Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

I think you should stick it out. Just because your state is temporarily allowing pre-NCLEX practice doesn’t mean the facility has to hire you as a pre-NCLEX nurse. If you leave this facility, you might find your $25/hr pay plummeting to $0/hr.

Don't snub your nose at a gift horse, know what I mean?

Your immediate problem would most likely be solved by a probable lack of job offers. More new nurses than usual can’t find work during this crisis. Stay where you are, learn what you can, be thankful for each paycheck, then move on when the time presents itself.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Get over "feeling awful" about leaving ANY job. In this case, you received a very short orientation, and did not get the full time hours you were promised.

You definitely have to keep looking. They broke their end of the agreement.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

Use the extra time that your part-time status does to do extra prep for the NCLEX, as well as formulate a job-hunting strategy and work on interviewing skills. Pick up as many skills as you can in your current setting.

Be glad you've gotten an opportunity to work as a nurse prior to becoming licensed! Between the recession and the virus, a lot of people are in serious trouble, employment-wise...

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

Stick it out until you have passed NCLEX and have another job lined up. You're lucky to be able to work before NCLEX.

Hopefully soon the economy will get going. The hospitals will be inundated with post-op people from all the surgeries that have been delayed. Bide your time and wait for a door to go through.

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

It seems odd that you would be getting fewer hours since these types of facilities are almost always in demand for more staff. I would ask you if there are extra shifts you could pick up, but I imagine if they wanted you to do so they would have scheduled you full time. One thought I have is that while your state is allowing you to practice without passing your NCLEX, you technically do not have an RN license. You have a degree but not a license. I am not trying to diminish your accomplishments at all as graduating nursing school is an incredible achievement. With that said, without having passed your NCLEX, they may view you more as a liability, and thus, the resulting fewer hours and lower pay. With that said, if you have only been there three weeks, I feel it is too soon to be seeking out other jobs. Any employer will be looking for commitment on your end. Also, if you enjoy this position and the residents and staff members you work with, staying may also be worth it because the time to accept more hours might come sooner than you think. Good luck and welcome to nursing! :)

1 hour ago, Flashsomefang said:

Since COVID is going on, my state is allowing nurses to practice without taking the NCLEX for a time, so I have my RN license, but I'm only getting paid 25/hr until I pass NCLEX - something else I wasn't aware of until I got my first check.

This is off-topic to your question, but make sure you understand exactly what is allowed in your state at this time and make sure you and your facility are following it. You are brand new so now's a good time for a reminder to always independently verify any such information that comes through your employer.

Get well-prepared for your NCLEX and continue to apply to positions that interest you this Summer. Learn all you can at your job while you have this opportunity.

Don't even get started with mindset of being beholden to an employer. Employers do what they do (such as giving you position when you don't have a license) because they want or need to, not because you are individually special to them. That is not even a criticism; just a fact.