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Quitting without notice?

Updated | Posted

Specializes in Labor and Delivery.

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Some background, I started a new job about a month and a half ago on a L&D unit in the city I recently moved to and I am ready to leave. This is not my first L&D job so I have some understanding on how units can run, that staffing isn't always compliant with AWHONN guidelines and that some OB/GYNs can be a bit demanding. But when I say this unit isn't safe I mean I am genuinely concerned for my patients safety every shift. This like my last job is high risk L&D and I've had 3 patients at times, all requiring either mag, insulin, pit, or all of the above, preterm etc. This unit also has very poor equipment, very basic L&D supplies are missing such as foley catheters, FSEs, SCDs every shift. I just came off of orientation and had a meeting with my educator and manager about how I'm feeling and when I expressed all of my concerns they seemed very receptive but were also forthcoming that the primary issue is staffing and that, they've had about 20 nurses come and go within the past year and are struggling to find new hires. They asked if I was planning on leaving and I told them I would take it day by day.

I've always known I didn't want to do bedside long term, and I recently interviewed at a outpatient clinic and they want to move forward with me. It's my ideal job, better hours, the same pay, and far less stress. Unlike my current job which I interviewed for remotely (big regret), I was able to visit this new job and meet with staff and tour the facility. I definitely want to accept this new job but not sure how I should leave my current. I am still in the probationary period, and per hospital policy I don't have to give any notice and I have no accrued PTO as of yet so I don't need to be paid out. My fear is obviously burning a bridge by leaving without notice although I don't plan on returning to this hospital at any point, I feel done with bedside nursing. On the other hand I'm worried that if I put in a customary two weeks that I may be retaliated against by getting the worst assignments and as I mentioned earlier I fear about my patient's safety and the mere thought of anything bad happening scares me the most. The rest of the staff who are understandably tired of people coming and going have been open about doing this and I know my fear is unfortunately based in reality. I'm really not sure what to do. I know that if I put in 2 weeks they could let me go anyways which would be ideal for me but I doubt the management would, they've expressed they'll keep me as long as I want to stay. Thanks in advance for reading and providing your input.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

Quit without notice only as a last resort. You never know when it'll come back to bite you. Even if you don't apply to the same system again, things are only a couple of degrees of separation away from everything else in this field.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 42 years experience.

I have quit during my probationary period without giving two weeks notice, merely saying, "This is not working out". I immediately got another job at another facility.

I have walked out on a position because the DON wouldn't support me. "If you won't support me, then I won't work here" and let her take my MN shift at an LTC facility. I had been working per diem at two HH agencies and a full time position resulted at one of them.

I have been terminated a few times, and ironically, found better positions thereafter.

So, overachiever, you can probably see what I would do if  I were in this situation

Good luck & the best to you.

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

I think the more conventional wisdom is that quitting without notice carries the possibility of negative consequences. However, there are many nurses that have done so for a variety of reasons without difficulty. Hard to know exactly how it may or may not impact you specifically, good luck with your decision. 

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 29 years experience.

13 minutes ago, JBMmom said:

I think the more conventional wisdom is that quitting without notice carries the possibility of negative consequences. However, there are many nurses that have done so for a variety of reasons without difficulty. Hard to know exactly how it may or may not impact you specifically, good luck with your decision. 

Pretty much this.  

The demand for nurses is so high right now here in my town you can tell your employer you quit and have a job the next day easily.  

I do feel for the staff and for the managers who acknowledge and care about the way things are.

But those who have the power to allow changes, provide additional resources, take advisement from nursing leaders (the good ones)--have had options for a long time now. Their refusal to invest in nursing care and maintain professional relationships with nurses is on them. I fear this will continue until they find some slimy way to get around doing the right thing.

Anyway. Try not to quit without notice. When giving your notice it wouldn't be bad to express empathy for your manager's situation. Other than that be extra vigilant and take the best care of your patients that you can until you get out of there.

Ovarychiever, MSN

Specializes in Labor and Delivery.

46 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

I do feel for the staff and for the managers who acknowledge and care about the way things are.

But those who have the power to allow changes, provide additional resources, take advisement from nursing leaders (the good ones)--have had options for a long time now. Their refusal to invest in nursing care and maintain professional relationships with nurses is on them. I fear this will continue until they find some slimy way to get around doing the right thing.

Anyway. Try not to quit without notice. When giving your notice it wouldn't be bad to express empathy for your manager's situation. Other than that be extra vigilant and take the best care of your patients that you can until you get out of there.

I definitely agree, I do feel a certain degree of appreciation for my current managements ability to acknowledge that there’s an issue versus my old managements dismissal that anything was wrong at all. However acknowledgement and action are two very different things. I too worry about the future of this profession and most importantly the patients. Thank you for your advice.

EDNURSE20, BSN

Specializes in ED, med-surg, peri op. Has 4 years experience.

Normally I’m the first one to say give notice, leave on good terms. But in this case, if the hospital policy states you don’t need to give notice while on probation, and have another job lined up, then quit. Do it nicely though, talk your manger, and maybe even finish the week off. 

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

The only time I would recommend not giving notice is if you're still on orientation. If you're already numbered in the staff, and they're counting on you, then the respectful thing to do is give 2 weeks. Don't leave tomorrow's charge nurse high and dry without a nurse with 12-24 hours notice.

Others here are focusing how it might affect you and your future employability. I'm thinking about how it affects your coworkers.

On 10/4/2021 at 1:00 PM, Ovarychiever said:

Have a heart to heart with whoever you spoke to before. Or better still, send them an emai explaining you don't feel you can perform the job safely. You should get a reply. Save it. It may turn out they may let you go before2 weeks. don't mention this job on the next application.

Kilbourn Word Slinger, BSN

Specializes in 29 yrs nursing, Health Content Writer. Has 29 years experience.

As I have told my employees and colleagues in the past, no one will look out for you but YOU!  It is your license on the line, as well, if you stay and something goes awry.  RUN!

ppfd, BSN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED, Critical Care. Has 12 years experience.

Place I work now, is small and 2 people have quit, one by facebook messeger and the other over the phone, no notice. Both had new jobs. 

Doesn't effect me either way, I go to work and go home. Seems the way adults do things now though. 

Last job was a busy ED that was a regional trauma center, heart and stroke center. Busy as hell, never enough staff. I'll give the manager credit, she seemed to try and could never get ahead. Female staff constantly fighting with each other, calling off, just miserable. 

The kicker for me was registration just brought people to your room, and most times never told you they were there. Triage was a nurse sitting out front with registration BSing and playing on a computer. 

Anyway, just a screwed up system with no enough help. I made it 6 months and put in my 2 weeks as I got another job. In those 6 months I watched at least 20 maybe 30 people quit this ED or transfer to different depts. 

Day I turned in my resignation, the manger turned hers in as well. 

Couple of things- you mention probation, I too quit a job 2 weeks in and was placed on the "no rehire" list for a few years. So if you ever think you may go back keep that in mind. This outfit said I didn't have to put in a notice and still black balled me. 

If you could stomach another week or 2 weeks just drop a notice, maybe with days off if you work 12's it won't be to bad just knowing you're leaving.