Time off after nursing school?

Nursing Students General Students


Hello all,

I have been a lurker of this site for quite some time but this is my first post. I have found a lot of info very helpful and was hoping for some direct assistance.

I am currently in an accelerated bsn program with a graduation date next of summer. With this in mind I am considering taking some time off after graduation to move to Japan for a year or possible more, most likely working in a non nursing related field (however I will be searching for a potential nursing job out there at a military base hospital).

My question is if I decide to do this will it be terrible difficult to find a nursing job later down the road? Will I be shooting myself in the foot if I do this?

Any words of advice or personal stories would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time

My question is if I decide to do this will it be terrible difficult to find a nursing job later down the road? Will I be shooting myself in the foot if I do this?

Yes, and yes. Tempting as it may be to take a long break after you finish school, it's a really bad idea. Nursing is v. much aware of the "use it or lose it" principle, and going a year (or even six months) without working (or, at least, doing your best to find work) will make you a v. unattractive and uncompetitive candidate for new grad jobs. You will forget a lot more during that year than you think (now) you will, and potential employers will assume you've forgotten a lot. You will be at a big disadvantage when you do start looking for work.

Best wishes for whatever you decide -- :balloons:

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

Yes and yes. Big time. Don't do it if you can avoid it.

When you graduate, you will not be a competent nurse. Competence requires some actual practice as a professional nurse. You need to get that initial experience to make the complex transition from student to professional. If you interupt your development as a nurse before you become competent, you will be sabataging your chances of ever making that key transition. I'm not saying it's an impossible career route, but it certainly hurts your chances of ever being successful as a nurse.

Thanks for the replies. It really makes a lot of sense in many ways.

Hey There,

I'm thinking of doing this same thing, taking a year or 6 months and moving to Jerusalem. I've heard both sides, that it's a bad idea and that it's a good idea, because you should enter nursing when you're ready. Once you have your nursing license you'll always have it. It will just be like being a new grad. You'll get trained. Nurses are always needed. I talked to a nurse today at the hospital i work at and she said she took 6 months and moved to Nicaragua to be a volcano tour guide. She said it was the best decision ever. That was five years ago and she's been working as a nurse ever since. She even went to Africa for a year and came back and got hired right away at a good magnet hospital even though she hadn't been computer charting for a year.

I say if you have the opportunity GO! you'll never know if you'll be able to do it later if you put it off.

But whatever you choose, good luck!

Also, if someone tells you not to do it, as them if they ever took time off. Likely they didn't.

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

Look around at the economy. Its a terrible idea. What happened five years ago is no longer even remotely applicable - its a different job market now. You do NOT want to be an "old" new grad with no experience. What other people did really has no bearing on your current situation.

It'd probably depend a lot on the demand of nurses in the area you'll end up living in and the specialty of nursing you want to get into.

Around here in Arkansas, it seems home health and nursing homes will take any licensed person that breathes so I don't think you'd have a problem honestly. However, if you wanted to wind up in critical care it some super-urban trauma center as seen on Trauma: Life in the ER you'd probably have difficulty, lol.

You're not alone. I've experienced this twice already. When I finished paramedic school I wanted nothing to do with patients or healthcare. I never did find a lot of joy in that job, by the way. It was my side gig to make extra money and prevent boredom. When I finished the police academy, unlike all the other recruits, I wanted to distance myself as much as possible from the uniform and thugs since I'd already completed most of my field training prior to the academy and knew what to expect. About a month out though I was hip deep and having the time of my life. Right now, I'm in a BSN program, and this is also my second B.S. degree as well. Right now, I think when I get out I don't want anything to do with nursing or healthcare, but I've got to get a sizable return on my investment and settle down. Yeah, I move around a lot. Don't judge.

You just get your fill of stuff when it encompasses so much of your time.

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