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Push forward or move on, job choices are still confusing 9+ years in!

XfitRN517 XfitRN517 (New) New

I have recently switched jobs after almost 10 years with the same employer. It was (so I thought) a well thought out decision. My past experience as an RN has been in Med/surg and OR settings. My new position is DON of a small public health. My reason for making the switch was many things. Personally I felt I wanted to get away from the drama and "social work" part of bedside. My last shift I had a patient's wife cuss me over the phone and demanded to be called with every lab value/ order/medication given, etc...Talk about icing on the cake! I also made the switch to try to gain a more regular home schedule. I went from three 12hr shifts, to now five 8 hr shifts.

When I made the switch I moved from hourly pay to my first salary position. I was offered a too low amount, I accepted a yearly amount that was a little more than initially offered, in order to meet the difference in the increased babysitter days I would have to pay for. When I made this decision I referenced my past W-2 amount. I made the mistake of not figuring in my hourly increase since the W-2. I actually ended up taking a pay cut. I did not realize this until I was in the position for almost 3 weeks!

In addition to the complete job change, I came in the middle of COVID-19! (Which was not yet happening when I accepted the position.) I have received no formal training at all. Just a “jump in and help wherever you can” type of environment. It has been mentally stressful to say the least. On top of the cut in pay, my hours have increased and I am working even on weekends. There is no additional compensation for any of it. There are no guaranteed pay raises in the future either.

I also miss my work family and working in the clinical setting. The main questions I ask myself are:

Is it just about the money? Is it worth the loss of pay?

Do I just feel uncomfortable? Will this place eventually feel like home? Or is it because my heart is not in this type of work and I’m really made for the clinical setting?

Will it look bad on me if I go back to the hospital before giving this job a full year?

I considered having an honest conversation with my boss and asking for a higher pay, but don’t know if that is appropriate. I don’t want to waste their time. I also don’t want to waste mine. If I do decided to go back to my previous job, I would like to give them a heads up before I even consider it, but also don’t want to run the risk of having a red letter on my back!

I thought decisions like this were supposed to get easier over time!!

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 9 years experience.

Asking for higher pay now would be in bad form...a bait and switch, if you will. How would you feel about your employer coming back saying they didn't mean to pay you so much, so would you please do the job for less?

There is nothing wrong with trying something and finding out its not for you. The only place you will have a "red letter" on your back will be the current institution and that only if you don't give appropriate notice when you resign. It is fine to simply tell them that you aren't a good fit. You don't have to tell them where you are going. You don't even have to tell them why you are leaving.

Don't let the chaotic start here gloss over the problems where you had been. You left for a reason and all those reasons are still there. Either you got perspective and you are now good with all those things or you struck out on your first try away from the bedside but want to keep looking for work away from the med-surg unit. Only you can decide that. Just realize your old job may not be there anymore, due to COVID cutting staffing and the time you have been gone. I would suggest you make sure you can go back before you quit where you are now.

Good luck!

@Nurse SMS I agree with your advice. In whatever I choose, I would never leave a job unprofessionally or leave one without another lined up. I have been employed since the age of 13 and never a gap in employment! I would be a worried mess if I didn't have a job!

I effeminately have reflected and reminded myself why I chose to leave the bedside. Like you said, maybe this experience will help make those problem seem almost trivial, knowing what I know now about this job. It have talked with fellow nurse friends and have gotten over the guilt/disappointment piece of it not being a fit like I had expected.

Thanks for your input and advice!