Job-Hopping in Nursing...How detrimental is it?

  1. I have been a nurse for ten years. I loved nursing school and all the clinical areas that I was exposed to. I have a broad background in nursing, ranging from inpatient to home care, OR to the insurance industry. I've cared for NICU babies, 100 year old patients actively dying, and every dynamic and age group in between. I helped develop a palliative care program and have educated coworkers on palliative/hospice practices.

    I currently work in the insurance industry, doing case management. It's challenging only because it's all about making quotas and metrics. The salary for this job is the most I have ever made, I never work weekends or holidays. And the health benefits are awesome. I pride myself on the fact that I got this job on my own merit, and did not know anyone in the industry or any "connections" on the inside. I struggled with people saying I'm "not really a nurse" since I'm doing telephonic case management and not out in the trenches. (I recently talked myself out of grad school to advance my education because if I'm going to stay in the insurance industry, it doesn't do me any good to pursue an advanced clinical degree).

    A previous supervisor/mentor of mine recently reached out to me about a job opportunity for a team lead position at a local branch of a home care agency. I'm not too sure what all the exact details are (on-call, holiday requirements), but I know the salary is competitive and they have a thorough training program. The commute is way better, too with this position. I'd be getting back into clinical issues/teaching. (Let's also remember that I still have to apply/interview for this position, but I'm being very optimistic...)

    My siblings and I are all nurses. There was a time where my "job-hopping" was a joke. I know that all my jobs have lead me to where I am today...I have no regrets about any of my jobs or leaving them when I did. However, this one opportunity is causing friction with me and my husband. He is of the school of thought that all the "job-hopping" is not a good thing and that I am running away from any commitment and that I should just stay where I'm at because it's good pay, a good company that will not go away anytime soon, and it's not hard work. He knows I've wanted to do clinical management/education, but says at this point in my career I should just be happy with what I have.

    Is job-hopping really bad in the nursing field?
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    About NurseRoRo, ASN

    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 104; Likes: 79
    Case Manager; from US
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in Med Surg, Case Management, OR


  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    There is more than one school of thought on this issue.

    Personally, I'm an ADN with 14 years under my belt, and I've held 8 different jobs during that time, never staying in one place more than 30 months (and I left a couple of them after only a few weeks). I'm hoping that my current job is the one I retire from in another 15 years or so, but I've learned not to say "This is my forever job," because I don't know if it will be or not. And I think it's not just the fact that I've had a series of bad jobs (actually, I've had a few that were pretty good), but because I seem to get wanderlust.......after a year or two, I'll start checking out the Help Wanted ads just out of "curiosity" to see what's out there, and next thing I know I'm polishing up the resume and off I go.

    I'm not saying this is a good way to manage a career, but I have been largely successful, and not ONE potential employer has ever said to me, "Well, you sure job-hop a lot". I've kept my earnings on an upward trajectory throughout the years, and with each position I've gotten bolder about stepping outside my comfort zone and trying new things. So, I can't see where job-hopping is that big of a negative, unless of course you're changing jobs every few months and constantly finding fault with your former employers. Good luck to you!
  4. by   ruralgirl08
    I was wondering the same thing about nursing and job hopping. One happy well rounded nurse, I have talked to was notorious for job hopping, and she was able to make a career out of it. She possess lots of experience, and is generally happy in her career. I think nursing might be a bit different then other fields, where this is usually frowned upon. But I don't know. I too am thinking about changing unit/area after 2.5yrs, so I wondering the same thing.
  5. by   westieluv
    The thing about nursing that makes it different from other professions, is that many nurses work on a contingent basis, or for agencies, or just in any capacity where they aren't accruing any benefits or a pension. As a result, it's much easier to leave a job for greener pastures if you know that you aren't walking away from your future pension and you haven't accrued anything towards a future retirement date. I know people in other professions who hate what they do, but they stay at the same job with the same company for years just because they are earning time and money towards retirement. I am a contingent Med/Surg nurse working in the float pool of a local hospital. I happen to love my job, but if I hated it, there would be no extra perks to make me stick around, since I am not eligible for benefits or a retirement plan. I do have a 401K, but I could transfer that to a different job if I wanted to. My dh, OTOH, worked for 30 years for an international soft drink company and, while there were many times when he hated going to work, he wouldn't have even considered quitting, because he was accruing a pension and paid vacation time.

    All that said, I think that as long as you don't job hop more than once every couple of years, it's not really a big deal. Nurses are notorious for going wherever the best opportunities are, and since the majority of us are still women, many of whom are married and rely on our dh's benefits, we have a lot more freedom to job hop that people in other professions.
  6. by   irlandska
    Hello Everyone,

    As a CNA, I was hired and trained by a hospital system to be a Patient Care Tech. more than ten years ago. I really loved my work and stayed at that hospital for several years (this was 2000-02 when the job market was good.). However at the time, my job was in a medium sized Southern town and frankly as an outsider, missed the cosmopolitan life style that I grew up with.
    To cut a long, self-centered story short, I moved away and even though I had a number of CNA, HHA jobs since then in 3 other states , nothing was as interesting or as fulfilling as my PCT. work which is one of the reasons I am presently in Atlanta.
    Any Recruiters, Nurses, CCP's , is it really a long shot to get hired again as a PCT/Clinical Care Partner?
    Any advice would be appreciated.