Recent hire... feeling trapped in current position

  1. I have been working in my current position for a few months now and I absolutely hate it. The floor I was hired on has no senior staff, with the longest enduring nurses being there for only three years. The ratios are insane due to poor staff retention and the work morale is really bad.

    When I was hired the manager told the group of us she expected most of us to leave the unit within six months or a year. Upon working and talking to the current staff, this manager is known to not release you into another position and will hold you indefinitely citing that it is too dangerous to patient safety to let you go, even though she is not actively hiring. There are currently 5 people on my unit hired into the ER, and are still working here since management won't release them. I hate thinking I'm stuck here, and would stay if I knew I would eventually be released but I worry that I'm simply wasting my time here and could just apply at another hospital with a different union where I could be actively pursuing my dream. I spent 4 years studying nursing and being at the very top of my class and feel as though I'm stuck in a dead end job. I want career advancement since I want to specialize before obtaining my NP and it seems like this is not the place to be, should I cut my losses now? I'm really upset since knowing that I may be stuck on this unit will affect my long term career plans if I don't get out soon.
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    About 0ldsoulss, BSN, RN

    Joined: Sep '18; Posts: 6; Likes: 2

    14 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    I cant tell if you're a new graduate, or not. in any case, another hospital is probably a better bet if you're looking to switch specialties. If you've only had one job and are bailing after a few months, you may not be a strong candidate for another position, though.
  4. by   RNperdiem
    I think you already know the answer to your question. If you are a new grad, you might decide you are better off staying a little bit longer. Start scouting out other places to work outside of your hospital since you know how the manager refuses to grant transfers.
    When that other job offer comes in, give your 2 weeks notice and resign.
  5. by   JKL33
    This is not meant harshly: Your scenario/story would be a little more compelling (to me, at least) if you had concerns mostly about safety rather than worrying that you're not pursuing your dream. I'll grant you it sounds like a rather miserable place to be and it makes sense that you might not want to put up with it. But for the sake of your career - is there anything you can learn in this current position? There are a lot of less-than-ideal situations out there; the questions are 1) whether you can provide reasonably safe care at this place and 2) are/aren't being nitpicked with write-ups and constant petty critiques. If 1) yes and 2) no, then my advice would be to think about hanging in there and see what you can learn.

    Out of curiosity, were there any red flags during your interview and/or initial on-boarding steps?

    I guess you'd be justified in leaving a position where things are up in flames to the point that they have managers welcoming people in that manner.

    Caution is advised, though, if you're thinking about leaving mostly because you envision getting on some fast-track to pursuing your dream. You say you'd stay if you knew you'd eventually be released. You WILL eventually be released - either via an in-house transfer or else through having some good experience to hire into a preferred area somewhere else. If they play games with releasing you when the time comes, you can always leave.
  6. by   0ldsoulss
    Quote from JKL33
    This is not meant harshly: Your scenario/story would be a little more compelling (to me, at least) if you had concerns mostly about safety rather than worrying that you're not pursuing your dream. I'll grant you it sounds like a rather miserable place to be and it makes sense that you might not want to put up with it. But for the sake of your career - is there anything you can learn in this current position? There are a lot of less-than-ideal situations out there; the questions are 1) whether you can provide reasonably safe care at this place and 2) are/aren't being nitpicked with write-ups and constant petty critiques. If 1) yes and 2) no, then my advice would be to think about hanging in there and see what you can learn.

    Out of curiosity, were there any red flags during your interview and/or initial on-boarding steps?

    I guess you'd be justified in leaving a position where things are up in flames to the point that they have managers welcoming people in that manner.

    Caution is advised, though, if you're thinking about leaving mostly because you envision getting on some fast-track to pursuing your dream. You say you'd stay if you knew you'd eventually be released. You WILL eventually be released - either via an in-house transfer or else through having some good experience to hire into a preferred area somewhere else. If they play games with releasing you when the time comes, you can always leave.
    I am a newly graduated nurse. It's not that I don't worry about patient safety- I do, but with the understaffing on this floor and the fact that the manager is still not hiring for new positions when we need more nurses makes me feel helpless at what I can currently safely do as a nurse. The most senior staff member on my floor is three years.

    I'm more than willing to stick it out for a while (6 months to a year). I live in an extremely rural area where nursing jobs are in abundance. I'm actually planning on speaking to management in the area I want to eventually transfer into as to what courses I can take that can help ease my transition down the road. The only negative being the fact my current manager will not release you, and most employees leave for the bigger city to join a different union in order to break the agreement. My current preceptor has been held for over a year. She has had her position in ER for over a year, a permanent spot but the manager continues to hold her there, which you can tell makes her frustrated. She even has the critical care course/ACLS training and is ready to go advance her skills in her preferred area.

    I'm just worried if maybe I should just cut my losses here? I'm planning on staying at least six months while I seek out other jobs but it's frustrating since I also want to advance my skills and job prospects and the area I want to break into (Nephrology) eventually, this area is huge in my area and is always hiring. It just worries me that I'm going to eventually be offered a position a cannot take due her not approving my transfer. I was told that once you gain a permanent position in the hospital she has to let you go, but she still finds ways around this. Is there ways to go above her within my hospital? Especially if I have education in the other area I want to get into with a job offer waiting... I also plan on calling my union and just inquiring about all this, this week...
  7. by   not.done.yet
    Personally, in all honesty, I would cut my losses. It isn't where you want to be and sounds incredibly toxic. If your portrait of the situation is at all accurate, you really don't have anything to lose. Just don't quit until a new job is firm.
  8. by   Workitinurfava
    Most nurses have been through similar things. You will earn your stripes/badges and one day move on. You will have to toughen up. That is the reality, especially if you want to survive in this field. I am now a case manager but I had to go through some things to get here.
  9. by   FeliciaRNCPN
    My advice is keep up the job for 6 months. Until then work on your resume and be ready to apply when that time is up.
  10. by   Kallie3006
    My first flag would have been the manager expecting staff to leave between 6 months and a year. That says a lot about the unit itself and the way it is being managed. Next flag would be the truth of her words when the most senior nurse is 3 years. It makes sense the unit moral is down, with staff retention low, lack of experience in abundance, and high patient to nurse ratios. Good gravy!

    I understand those that say stick it out, and "pay your dues" ect, and I am one to normally say that as well. This situation though, if what you are describing is accurate and without exaggeration, does not seem like a unit conducive to learning, especially with the lack of seasoned nurses to guide you.

    I would look for another job, if it were me.
  11. by   0ldsoulss
    I'm planning on talking to Human Resources today. The contract I signed for the unit says that I can remain there for a year, while applying to other positions within the hospital (permanents or temps) but it's just the fact that the manager doesn't allow this. I'm considered "over" complement on the unit (although this is not the case) and at the very least will decline a permanent on this unit and reduce myself to casual if it comes to that in the meantime. I'm not sure if the other employees are permanent here, but I already told myself I'm not signing anything else from the manager going forward. I don't think she can force me into a permanent spot without me signing something?

    She waited to tell us all this during our orientation so it came as a shock. I am currently applying to all the things that come up, since I'm relatively new I should be no big loss to the unit if I obtain an internal position, but again I'm talking to HR today. I don't want to be stuck here. As mentioned, I want to specialize in nephrology and the RDU is always hiring and loves new grads. I was told by an educator there to apply since a lot of the older nurses are retiring and they need fresh blood and people who are passionate about this speciality desperately. I'm just scared when I apply or get offered a position there my current manager will find a way to keep me. I think I will stay the six months OR until I secure another job, but I am applying everywhere right now just to get out of the unit and this toxic environment.

    All the nurses on this unit are young, so I'm wondering if a lot of people on this unit are scared to go above the current manager's head and ruffle feathers and are simply letting her bully them into remaining. My best friend works in the big city hospital and told me to get out, and she'd help me get work at her hospital. I would hate to leave my rural community since they are crying for my speciality and NP's (something I want to be in the future), but I feel like it's going to end up coming to that. It sucks because I LOVE nursing and want to go places with my career eventually and feel like I was trapped into this position. It's really disheartening and I could see myself burning out if I stay long. If I knew I had the option to transfer internally (like ALL other units) I would be fine but it's the thought that I'm stuck here forever.
  12. by   0ldsoulss
    double post.
  13. by   TriciaJ
    You're not really trapped. This is your first RN position and you can spend your first year just learning how to be the best nurse you can be. After the 1 year mark you can start applying for in-house transfers and positions in other hospitals. If your manager blocks the in-house transfer, then you can jump ship altogether and seek employment in another facility.

    I'm really surprised that the rest of the hospital lets your manager keep getting away with this nonsense. If they can't make use of the nurses they've actually hired into their respective departments, they must be working short. It certainly must be costing money for the hospital to keep on having to recruit and orient new staff.

    As was already mentioned, the only good reasons to leave before your year is up is if you cannot provide safe patient care or if every day is a complete misery to the point where you're becoming ill. Staying on for a bit will not hurt your chances of advancing your career in whatever direction you want it to go.
  14. by   1fly
    You are the er charge nurse

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