Am I a Job Hopper?

  1. I am currently seeking a nursing job. I have been an RN for over 22 years and have 10+ years of Med/Surg under my belt from the '90s and early "00s, then took seven years off to stay home with our kids, then returned to work in 2010. Since then, I have worked for three different companies, the first one for 10 months and left because I needed more hours than they were able to give me, the second one for only five months (it was a terrible LTC job where I felt that my license was in danger everytime I worked), and the third for fifteen months, and I just resigned from there because I have a physical condition that prevented me from being able to work at a full-time Med/Surg position without being in pain for most of each shift and because I want to get back into a specific type of nursing that I did for the company that I worked 10 months for in 2010. I have been applying for jobs left and right, and I have had some interviews that are still pending, but I am afraid that my work history over the past two years makes me look unstable and like a job hopper. I mean, it is what it is, but when I worked Med/Surg in my earlier years as a nurse, I worked for the same company for eight years. Also, I recently became certified in the type of nursing that I am now seeking employment in, and I have good work records with all of my recent employers and left each of them on good terms.

    So, if you were to interview me for a contingent position in my specialized area of nursing, would you consider me for a job or would you think that I'm a job hopper and have reservations based on the above work history? Also, what is your definition of a job hopper, exactly? IOW, how long does someone need to work somewhere to NOT be considered a job hopper?
  2. Visit westieluv profile page

    About westieluv

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 951; Likes: 2,191
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 26 year(s) of experience in Med/Surg, Tele, Dialysis, Hospice


  3. by   Nurse ABC
    I'm not a manager but three jobs in less than 2 yrs does make you look like a job hopper no matter what the reasons. I can understand wanting more hours and I can understand not feeling safe in the LTC position but leaving the third position, esp without having another job lined up, probably really hurt you. The problem is finding someone to give you an interview for you to explain. Physically not being able to perform a job is a red flag to most managers. I would tell potential employees you are looking for a position in your newly certified area. I don't know what it is but hopefully it wasn't something offered at any of the places you just quit! Good luck!
  4. by   westieluv
    Thanks for your reply. Actually, I don't put those reasons on an application. For the LTC position, I put as my reason for leaving that I needed to find something closer to my home, which is also part of the reason why I left when I was offered the other position because it actually is ten miles closer each way, and for the most recent position, I don't mention the pain, because it is not an issue if I'm not doing the heavy lifting, etc. of a bedside Med/Surg position, I say exactly what you did, that I have a very strong desire to find a position in my area of certification (hospice), and while that hospital system does have a hospice department, it is very small and is not posting any open positions right now. To tell you the truth, I often don't put the LTC position on applications at all, because I was there for such a short time.

    Interestingly, I have been perusing several nursing resumes on since I started this thread, and it is amazing how many nurses have a long string of employers where they only stayed for a matter of a year or less. Compared to most of them, I am extremely stable! I wonder why that is, if we, as nurses, feel the freedom to change positions because there are so many other positions out there, as opposed to other professions where if you leave your position, the odds are you won't be able to find another one.
  5. by   33762FL
    I was in HR before I was an RN, although not in health care. If I were a manager, I'd only call you for an interview if the job market for nurses in my area was extremely tight and I could not afford to be picky. Three jobs in 2 years is way too many. You're stating you left a job because it was too far from home - well if I were a hiring manager, my first thought would be "she'll leave this job too when she decides it's too far from her home" or for some other similarly weak reason. Good luck in your job search.
  6. by   westieluv
    I appreciate your honesty. If I don't find a job, I will have no one to blame but myself.
  7. by   lawandaluxnurse
    Don't be so hard on yourself. I have been in your boat, someone will hire you, I know its hard to be patient. Good Luck in your search. I know the disappointment is hard but don't give up. Someone will see your experience. I left jobs as I was a cg for my mom and then have had back surgeries. I am physically healthy now but have the same problem. I do believe the tides will turn and someone will see all the experience that we both have. Hang in there.
  8. by   westieluv
    Thanks for the support and understanding, lawandaluxnurse. I hope you find something soon as well. I guess one thing that I have going for me is that I did stay at a previous employer for eight years, and of the recent jobs that I have had I never left any of them in a negative way and my supervisors either wanted to try to keep me on or, as in the case with my most recent supervisor, offered to give me a good reference if I needed it. I mean, at least I didn't get fired.

    Thanks again!
  9. by   SHGR
    For a person in the situations you have been in...

    Job gives you not enough hours? Find another per diem gig on the side.

    Job too physically demanding? Apply to transfer within organization (many of the RNs I work with are at the clinic with me due to injuries, age, etc- phone triage, MDS work, case management are some things to consider- there are several threads on job ideas for less-physically-demanding nurse work).

    Job is so horrible that 1000 red flags arise the first orientation day? Never go back, but that's ok if it's a per diem gig you got on the side (see above).

    Job is so horrible you cry every night before you have to go to work and you called the state about the horrible care and even after the state inspection, nothing changed? and 13 years later you still have flashbacks to the residents pitiful cries for help at the short-staffed LTC? Quit that one and chalk it up to experience.

    Probably everyone who has been a nurse for some time has a short-stay job or two. These are just some ideas. These are things I did.
  10. by   ORnurse1883
    As a previous hiring manager, honestly, I probably would have looked at your application/resume and put it in my "not interested file" due to moving around too much. I always looked for someone with longevity in a job. I didn't want to spend the time and money on orientation, etc only for them to turn around and leave in six months or a year. The fact that you have the specialty certification may have peaked my interest, but I would have been hesitant.