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Resignation, relocation, and getting a new job in the US?

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ThinkerBelleRN is a BSN, RN and works as a Nurse.

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I am an international nurse who recently just migrated and started working in the United States. So I am not familiar with the hiring process and timeline involved, as well as the timeline and process for resignation here in America. Overseas, where I am from and other countries I previously worked in, we were just asked to submit one resignation letter addressed to manager, director of nursing, and HR, and I just had to give the letter to my immediate manager and she starts the process. We were also required to give 3 months notice and within that time frame, we get through with clearance forms, getting our employment/experience certificates, getting written recommendations, and attending an "exit interview" wherein HR and other bosses would ask about reasons for leaving etc. With the hiring process, it also takes a couple of months for interviews, background checks, and medicals.

Currently, I am employed somewhere in the Midwest and just not happy in my facility and area of work I was assigned in; while my fiance is a thousand miles away in another state. I signed a 2 and half years contract with hospital, but I am just so miserable here which starts affecting my health, so I am currently saving up to pay for the breach of contract fee. My fiance and I both agreed about moving to a different city where we can finally settle, start our lives together and build a family. Given our plan, I would prefer to not be unemployed for a significant amount of time and would like to make sure I can secure a job in the new city we plan on moving to before I give my resignation in my current hospital. I just need to somehow figure out the realistic timeline and logistics of moving to a different state, getting a job and endorsing my RN license. I'm sure 10 months will go by quick so I am trying to gather as much information as I can to make this move possible. 

My question is, how is it usually done here in the United States? I understand my question seems a bit too general, since maybe it does differ per state, city, or facility. Specific to my situation, If I plan on leaving after 1 year of working here, I am not sure when I should start sending out applications, and if I should even let my manager know I am moving to another city and not going to finish my contract. I'm sure the prospective employer will call my current facility and inquire about me, and I am not sure how that will affect my situation even before I give my notice. With regards to the license, should I try and obtain a license in the state I am relocating even before sending out applications? Also, what other things should I try to get before leaving my current facility (certificates, recommendations, etc)?

I would appreciate any advice or input as I am just completely clueless at this point, as it turns out its just so different here.

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Professional Development Specialist.

285 Likes; 4 Followers; 42,877 Visitors; 5,169 Posts

It definitely can differ from facility to facility, but there are a few general tenets to American employment that you can take under assumption.

Two weeks notice is the standard requirement for most non-management/non-salaried positions. This should be done in writing to your manager. Many people also send a copy to Human Resources. Sometimes you are allowed to work out your notice; sometimes you are told you do not need to and that you can be done right then and there. It is common enough that you should be prepared for it financially should it come to pass.

As far as finding another position, you will want to look at the requirements for your license as well as the strategy of looking for a job. Not all states have a license that transfers (compact vs noncompact), so you will want to figure out where it is you want to go and have your paperwork and such organized and ready to submit.

Applications can be processed both slowly and quickly. It just depends on the employer. Some are more organized than others. Some are in more of a hurry than others. My current job, I applied in June and didn't start until October. That, in my world, was an uncommonly long amount of time between application and hire. I would say six weeks is more common.

If you know you want to leave your current job and you know where you want to move to, as soon as you are prepared to deal with the penalty of breaking your contract you should start exploring where you wish to work and applying. You can move before your significant other if you are both in agreement about where you want to go. I would never leave a job without having another one lined up with a firm start date and negotiated wages.

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