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new rn hire, how long should they stay in that job?


Specializes in Med-Surg/Telemetry. Has 6 years experience.

I'm just curious. I'm reading different threads online, and I completely understand that the cost of hiring/training new nurses is expensive. So when managers hire new nurses, they are hoping the nurse will stick it out and work for the hospital for a couple years at least. But Where I work (on the floor in an acute hospital), they are always hiring new nurses, because most of the new nurses who are fresh out of school only work for 1 year, sometimes less before going somewhere else or they move to another department. I've seen new hires only work for 4 months before going somewhere. I've seen new hires go through orientation, but decided to leave just after 4 weeks into it because they got a job offer in another hospital with higher benefits. I've seen new nurses work for 6 weeks, and move to another department. In other words, it's very high RN turnover where I work. I've been there for 13 years now, and I'm looking to work somewhere else also.

I don't have anything against the decisions made by those nurses to move to another hospital. That's their decision.

So I'm considering going to another hospital. But I just want to work in a new setting before moving on. How many months is ideal to stay in 1 job/position as a new hired nurse before considering moving to another hospital? 8 months?, 12 months? 18 months? 24 months? without it looking like it's a negative thing. I know managers love to ask "where do you see yourself in 5 years" how can i answer that question when I don't even plan to stay for more than 18 months. I'd like to work somewhere else less demanding.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

It takes a new nurse about two years to become competent. If you're an experienced nurse changing jobs in a similar specialty it probably won't take that long, but staying anything less than a year will cause hard feelings and possibly a poor reference. And experienced nurse in a new specialty, I'd say one to two years to become competent, and another year or two to become expert. I had the hardest time going from oncology to hematology, and you'd think that those two specialties would be relatively close. Perhaps a lot of it had to do with culture of the unit.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 8 years experience.

this just saddens me. Nurses are coming out of school with very unrealistic expectations of what the job is about. You can change jobs every month (not literally) and still be unhappy. Like Ruby said, anyone that job hops that much is eventually not going to hireable. I changed jobs once for a great opportunity. I love my job and have been there 4 years now. I am in school, so I will be changing again, within my organization, to fit my new training, but I don't understand why no one wants to stay at a job long enough to be good at it. It makes a difference.

And really, most places the benefits/pay is/are minimally different. Those with jobs should be happy to have them and get involved where you are, be a part of something. Be the reason people want to stay.

This is what is killing nursing.