I was just talking to the HR recruiter at my local hospital yesterday (I graduate in May). They require 2 year contracts in ED, ICU, and OR. I was a dental assistant/oral surgery assistant for a number of years and I hated OR - that's just me. I too, would be hesitant to sign a 3 year contract. The penalty if you leave is 8k. I really want to leave the area badly so I've been going out on a limb and applying for new grad positions in the state I'd like to move to. If I don't get those, I think I'll just do med-surg or tele, get my year, and try again. I guess it all boils down to personal preference, but I can't stand the thought of being stuck here another 2 1/2 years. But as someone pointed out, OR is highly marketable if you'd ever like to travel.