Hi! I'm not sure how much your scholarship money was... but, have you looked for places that are offering a loan repayment deal? I have been talking to recruiters at some hospitals and a few have offered $15,000 in loan repayment money. This money is given over 3 years, $5,000/year. At the 6 month point of each year, you receive a check for your 5K minus tax. What if you found something like this? Then it wouldn't be a big deal to tell them that you're "out". You'd be getting the money back from your first employer. Even if you agreed to a slow repayment and then used the sign on money to repay them off faster- it's not like they'd argue and you wouldn't have to worry about how this will hurt you. I'm with you... don't work for a company that has low morale. Look at the bottom of the ladder, too. Start with techs... are they happy? If not, why? Are they treated poorly? Do they have opportunities to advance. If not... chances are that everyone above them is kinda "stuck", too. Techs may very well feel more open to discussing this with you than a nurse; at least, that's what I found with my current employer). I'm definately NOT staying after graduation. Morale stinks. People are not encouraged to make lateral moves into other departments if they are unhappy, and I haven't seen a single person move up the ladder in almost 8 months.
My family and I are planning to relocate after I graduate, so I've been visiting a lot of different hospitals, talking with recruiters, and walking in the hallways. You would be amazed by what you hear people talking about. ALSO... I have stopped nurses and said, "excuse me, but I wondered what department you work in... do you like it, how long have you been there, is there a high turnover, are they frequently using agency nurses (to fill in gaps of employees that have called out, or who have quit)". I know it probably sounds strange, but people are actually very friendly, and I think they know that I am genuinely interested, not just being nosey. I tell them something like: I have a small children, and i need to find the right fit for my situation.
I haven't had trouble figuring out which hospitals I like, but which type of nursing to do is a whole other thing!!!