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Thinking about leaving 1st nursing job after 5 months- any suggestions

Posted

Specializes in Emergency Nursing, Clinic Nursing.

Greetings,

I just wanted some advice from some seasoned nurses. . .

I am a new grad and I have been working in a busy ER for the past 5 months. I really like it but the hospital is an hour away from my house and the commute is really getting to me. I have a 3 year old son and on the days I work I don't see him at all. I miss my little dude! :crying2:

My sister-in-law works for our local health department and they have an opening. I was thinking about applying.

I was wondering if leaving my first position so soon would eventually hurt my career later on? I feel guity even thinking about leaving, especially since the hospital was so kind in giving me my first job when new grad positions were Very hard to come by.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Go ahead and apply - then if it is offered, you can weigh the jobs against each other. If you get offered the new job and you want it - take it. New grads change jobs, it will not be unexpceted. Do not let misguided loyalty keep you from a better position.

Now, if you were to leave the next job after a few months, it becomes a pattern that may be a red flag to the next employer. But not leaving doing it once.

StephRN08

Specializes in oncology/BMT, general medicine. Has 3 years experience.

I left my first nursing job after 8 months. In the last semester of nursing school, I decided that I wanted the action of the ICU and took a position in a level III trauma ICU. I quickly found out that it was not for me. I was very close with an uncle that had lung cancer while I was in high school and had thought about being an oncology nurse well before nursing school. I still wanted to work with high acuity patients, so I took a position on an inpatient oncology/BMT unit and fell in love with the patients and speciality. Now, I worked there for a full year before I was offered a position in the outpatient department which is under the same nurse manager. I still work on the inpatient floor now and then when there is a need.

In your situation, definitely apply and interview for the health department position. If there is an offer on the table, weigh the pros and cons. Personally, I would stay casual in the ER to keep up your skills and keep a foot in the door. Most casual (or per diem) position only require you to work a few shifts a month. Just remember, you have to do what is best for you.

It is never a mistake to leave a job when you are going toward something better. You need to be careful when you are running away from one, though. Sounds like your situation is the former rather than the latter. Good luck!

I agree with kesr. Go ahead and apply for the health dept job and then make your decision on your family needs. Children grow up so quickly and your little dude needs time with you. Most nurses will have several jobs in their life time but this time with your child is once-in-a-lifetime. No chance to do it over. It's great that you feel loyalty to your current employer and you may not want to make job hopping a habit, but if you can't move closer to your job.....family ALWAYS comes first. Good luck.

elprup, BSN, RN

Has 2 years experience.

go for it, be with your kid.

I say at least get a year experience before you quit the ER, Or else if you ever go back to a hospital you'll always be considered a new grad.

Since you asked...

You're gonna do what you're gonna do, but understand that new grads leaving jobs after only a few months affect other new grads trying to get that first job.

I understand the need to work, and that circumstances sometimes change, therefore necessitating a job change. I also don't think that employees owe a lifetime of blind loyalty to employers.

However, what I don't understand is the seeming lack of consideration for the employer when they have spent thousands of dollars in trainging new nurses so they can go somewhere else and apply their newly acquired knowledge.

Nothing in your post suggests a change in circumstances that you didn't know about when you accepted your current job. You knew that the job was an hour away. You knew that your shifts would keep you from spending as much time as you wanted with your child. You knew, or should have known, that the commute would get old sooner or later. Yet you ignored all of that and took advantage of an opportunity so you could work.

Your employer made a level of commitment to you in providing you with a job and training because they had to believe you would be there long enough to benefit from their investment in you.

But now, instead of repaying that commitment with a reasonable commitment of your own, you are jumping ship and giving another employer the benefit of your current employer's investment.

When this scenario occurs over and over, as evidenced by so many new grads posting here about this very issue, it causes employers to not hire new grads so often, or even not at all. Then other new grads post how they can't get their first job and are angry and disappointed that employers won't give them a chance.

You got your chance.

Like I said, you're gonna do what you're gonna do, but I think you owe your employer a little more than what you've given.

Zookeeper3

Specializes in ICU, ER, EP,. Has 17 years experience.

All I can share with you is that I had to leave the BEST job at a TRUE magnet facility doing heart transplant because the commute was 75 minutes each way and a 15 minute walk from the parking lot to get settled in to my unit.

Add in a good North east great lakes snow and it could and did take three hours to get home and walking up at 4am to plow to get out.

So Yes, I've had to leave a job, the best one of my almost 16 years because I couldn't do it. I had to take an offer for less $$ at a hell hole.

artistnurse

Specializes in Well baby nursery. Has 2 years experience.

Since you asked...

You're gonna do what you're gonna do, but understand that new grads leaving jobs after only a few months affect other new grads trying to get that first job.

I understand the need to work, and that circumstances sometimes change, therefore necessitating a job change. I also don't think that employees owe a lifetime of blind loyalty to employers.

However, what I don't understand is the seeming lack of consideration for the employer when they have spent thousands of dollars in trainging new nurses so they can go somewhere else and apply their newly acquired knowledge.

Nothing in your post suggests a change in circumstances that you didn't know about when you accepted your current job. You knew that the job was an hour away. You knew that your shifts would keep you from spending as much time as you wanted with your child. You knew, or should have known, that the commute would get old sooner or later. Yet you ignored all of that and took advantage of an opportunity so you could work.

Your employer made a level of commitment to you in providing you with a job and training because they had to believe you would be there long enough to benefit from their investment in you.

But now, instead of repaying that commitment with a reasonable commitment of your own, you are jumping ship and giving another employer the benefit of your current employer's investment.

When this scenario occurs over and over, as evidenced by so many new grads posting here about this very issue, it causes employers to not hire new grads so often, or even not at all. Then other new grads post how they can't get their first job and are angry and disappointed that employers won't give them a chance.

You got your chance.

Like I said, you're gonna do what you're gonna do, but I think you owe your employer a little more than what you've given.

I find it commendable that someone puts their emotional/physical/mental well being above loyalty to an employer who would fire them to save a few bucks if they saw the need. There's nothing wrong with leaving an environment that's unhealthy for you. The OP as well as I have to take care of ourselves or else we're no good taking care of anyone else. I applaud people who recognize their limits. It's best for them as well as the patients they have to care for. EVERYONE is having a difficult time finding a job. I say if an employer wants to not waste time/money on a new grad, listen when they cry for help and provide a better working environment, allow opportunity to move around if a unit doesnt suit them. A person's well being is more important than loyalty to a company that, at the drop of a dime, won't be loyal to them.

I find it commendable that someone puts their emotional/physical/mental well being above loyalty to an employer who would fire them to save a few bucks if they saw the need. There's nothing wrong with leaving an environment that's unhealthy for you. The OP as well as I have to take care of ourselves or else we're no good taking care of anyone else. I applaud people who recognize their limits. It's best for them as well as the patients they have to care for. EVERYONE is having a difficult time finding a job. I say if an employer wants to not waste time/money on a new grad, listen when they cry for help and provide a better working environment, allow opportunity to move around if a unit doesnt suit them. A person's well being is more important than loyalty to a company that, at the drop of a dime, won't be loyal to them.

I don't necessarily disagree with any of this.

But look at how many new grads come here and complain that they can't get a job, posting that they would give anything just to get a chance to work. Many are willing to make the long commute, work undesirable hours, work the undesirable unit, and sacrifice family time. They say that employers are wrong not to hire new grads and will not be sorry if they would just give them a chance.

So when the new grads get a chance to work, KNOWING that the job requires a long commute, undesirable hours, undesirable unit, and sacrificing family time, I think they need to commit to a bare minimum of 1-2 years with that employer.

I'm not talking about those who find themselves in unsafe work environments, or someone who has had a substantial change in their family life that makes it necessary to leave one job for a different one. These aren't the only examples, but just a couple, that would justify a change in employment so soon.

My only point with this specific post is that the OP KNEW what she was getting into before taking the job, but she took it anyway, and is now complaining about it.

I almost forgot to mention that there is nothing in the OP that suggests that the current work environment is unhealthy, that she is not getting requested help, or that she is not being allowed to move to a different unit. While this may be the case with some others, and could well justify leaving a first job so soon, the OP did not even hint that this is true in this situation.

Edited by GM2RN

Butterfly0328

Specializes in future OB/L&D nurse(I hope) or hospice.

I find myself having to agree with GM2RN. At first I also thought, do what is best for y our family, but GM made some very good points. I am not a nurse yet, but will be one of the "new grads" looking for a position in a year or so. Since it was known prior to accepting the position exactly what the sacrifices would be, I believe you should stay at least one year. That way you have your one year acute experience and your employer won't get a bad image of new grads. It will only be another 7 months and time goes so fast. I guess what I am saying, even though many may disagree, is that you owe it to your future "nursing siblings" to stay and complete your end of the bargain. This employer stuck his neck out in taking you on as a new grad. At least show the appreciation by committing to one year. You are almost half way there. Now, I am not saying this because I don't have children. I have 2 children. Jump ahead 20 years and ask yourself what your son would probably want - 7 months of maybe having an extra few hours a week with mom, or my mom showing loyalty to someone who gave her a chance in this horrendous economy to gain the priceless experience needed to excell in her career; and at the same time providing a positive image of new grads. By staying you could potentially be paving the way for many more new grads at this hospital.

Good luck with your decision.:)

Unless she signed a contract to stay, she is within her rights to move on. 7 months of a longer than necessary commute - not to be morbid, but accidnets happen. Any employer that judges all new grads by one person is a fool, and any large hospital deals with constant turnover, even in this job market. Not to mention the lack of committment any employer would have to OP if they needed to cut heads. A more suitable job has appeared, I still think she should at least try for it.

Unless she signed a contract to stay, she is within her rights to move on. 7 months of a longer than necessary commute - not to be morbid, but accidnets happen. Any employer that judges all new grads by one person is a fool, and any large hospital deals with constant turnover, even in this job market. Not to mention the lack of committment any employer would have to OP if they needed to cut heads. A more suitable job has appeared, I still think she should at least try for it.

Of course she has the right, but that doesn't make it right.

Accidents can happen anywhere, not just on a long commute.

This would not even be an issue if the OP were the only new grad to do this, so employers are not judging on one person alone.

You say that an employer shouldn't judge on one person, but you are judging the OP's employer based on what another employer may have done.

I said before that I don't believe that anyone owes an employer blind loyalty forever and ever. But I do believe there should be some give and take that goes both ways between two parties when an offer of a job is made and accepted. So far, the OP's employer has given and she has taken. In my opinion, the employer in this case has kept their end of the bargain but the OP has not yet fulfilled hers.

And yes, I know, there is no written contract. But some people still have enough integrity to understand that in the world of professionals, the unwritten expectation, barring any egregiously bad behaviour by an employer, is that an employee should give them at least a year of his/her time.

OttawaRPN

Specializes in acute care med/surg, LTC, orthopedics. Has 5 years experience.

All I'm going to say on this subject is after having worked for several employers who as quick as a whip would not hesitate to throw their staff under the bus sometimes, seemingly, for no other reason than they just didn't like ya anymore well... let me go on record saying that I hold no loyalties to any of my employers, past or present. I'm there for the patients and to pay my bills and feed my kids, so if a better opportunity came up for me to succeed professionally or personally I would be the first one to hop on that train.

Look out for Number One, because you can bet your employer is doing the same thing.

You are obviously one who is concerned about the effect of your decision on your current employer, and have no desire to leave on bad terms. Sometimes we cannot fully understand the entire impact until we get into a job and start seeing the "real world" impact. I have also "chosen" to leave a postion that I was given right on the spot after getting my license, but as life unfolds day by day my wife and I found it better for our children at this point to withdrawl and place our children first. The management understood completely, and had no problem hiring another RN or even a New Grad to take my place. They have allotted postions set aside for new grads, because they have students they desire to hire. Hospitals who dont hire new grads will just lose out on the new talented RNs that will go elsewhere where they are appreciated, and wanted.

Nursing will always be there in one form or another, pay will fluxuate, economy will ebb and flow, but you only have one chance to spend time with your child. The reality is that just a couple more hours at home that you would normally be commuting will be priceless time spent with the greatest blessings in life, your children. God bless.

Butterfly0328

Specializes in future OB/L&D nurse(I hope) or hospice.

I feel what I feel, but I have also always felt that one needs to do what their heart tells them. If you feel in your heart of hearts the best choice is to leave, then by all means do it. It is you that must live with your decision, not me. I have worked for the same company for over 21 years now and have had thoughts many times to leave. But every situation is different and I get that. When the time comes for me to quit this job it is going to be hard, but my dream has always been to be a nurse. Perhaps once I am in the profession I may have a different opinion, but for now I still believe at least a year shoud be given. The world has turned to a horrible place because of the me, me, me attitudes. As long as I win in the end who cares about the other party. So what if such and such hospital gave me a chance. So what if they spend a whole lot of money through the hiring process because after all they could ditch me too. These thought processes are just horrible. I prefer to go to bed each night knowing I acted with integrity and stood firm on my values. It's just how I feel.

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

Keep in mind that if ever want to return to acute care it would be much better to have had at least 1 year experience in it.