New nurse - want to get out of my contract.


Hi everyone,

I need some advice. I am a new nurse they started my job early this year. Anyway, I hate where I work and it’s constantly getting worse. I signed a 2 year contract in order to get a residency program, which I didn’t fully get. Because of COVID, I didn’t get the classes promised to me. I think that would mean they technically broke the contract, right? I’m going to request a copy of it soon in order to review it with a lawyer.

Anyway, my job is terrible and it’s just getting worse. I’m on a Meg surg floor which by itself is hard, but now (after only being on my own and off of residency 1 month), they’ve started allowing us to float to covid units as well. I’m not even comfortable on my own unit! And the covid unit I floated to had unsafe conditions. I really felt like my license was in jeopardy. I’m starting to feel like I’m just a body there - that I’m expendable. I really don’t feel cared for. After working the covid unit I came home and had a breakdown. I feel like my mental health is in jeopardy.

Has anyone ever attempted to get out of their contract? What was the process like?

Sour Lemon

Has 12 years experience. 5,016 Posts

We don't know what's in your contract and can't say if they "technically broke it". Your plan to look over the actual contract with a lawyer is a good one.

Keep in mind that things are a bit crazy everywhere right now, and if you do leave, you may end up in a similar situation or even a worse one. New grads don't usually get the "plum" jobs ...and a new grad who left their first job after a few months would be even less desirable.

Do you have specific concerns or questions that you'd like to discuss? You might be able to get a better idea of what's "normal" right now in the real world (as opposed to what's normal in NCLEX land).


6,183 Posts

Conditions are never going to be perfect anywhere at any time; they never have been. When I was a new grad there was a lot of getting pulled to other specialty units, getting "mandated" (finding out 2 hours before the end of shift that you would be staying for an additional block of time), and found myself performing the charge nurse role sooner than would have been ideal. It's a little scary to be the most experienced nurse on duty when you have only a year of experience. When not in charge, my assignment was 12 acute care patients with an assistant. All of this occurred at what is now a Magnet hospital. Other nurses have faced far worse. I learned a lot and it might sound strange but it's all just part of what I consider to have been a pretty solid foundation. I did have a very supportive manager and was trained/preceptored by excellent nurses...if it weren't for those two things it probably would've been off.

OTOH, do I think large corporations should be held to their word? Definitely. As often as possible with rare exceptions. They have every advantage (namely decision-making power and resources) over the individual worker. There is no good reason that only the less-advantaged of the two parties should be expected to keep their word or face damaging repercussion.

Hold them to the contract if it's in your best interest to do so. But you should really consider whether it might be in your best interest to power through, learn as much as you can and then be well-positioned to look at other opportunities.