Should I Stay or Should I Go: When is it Time to Find a New Nursing Job?

by Howard Gerber on May 19, 2016

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nursing burnoutSome nurses stay at one job for their entire career, but for the majority of nurses, at one time or another, will ask themselves if it’s time to look for a new job. Maybe you have been at your job for a number of years and are ready for a change, or you might be a new grad and realize your current job is not the right fit. Either way, you might be considering whether or not it’s time to move on. Leaving a job is a big deal, so how do you know if you should stay at your current job or if it’s time to go?

Is the Grass Greener?

Sometimes it’s easy to think the grass is greener somewhere else. But is it? Maybe or maybe not. Maybe you dream about what you would do if you won the lottery or have days when you want out. But before you jump ship, take stock of your current situation.

There are several important factors to consider about your current job. Consider your wages and potential earnings. Are you due to get a raise every year, or have you maxed out? Think about whether you want to move on from the job or the entire profession. If you’re experiencing nursing burnout, changing jobs may help temporarily, but it might not solve the problem.

What’s Your Motivation?

If you’re considering moving on to a new job, consider your motivation. There are several great reasons to pursue a new job. For example, you may want to learn something new or work a different shift.

But there are also other cases where finding a new nursing job may not be your best bet. For instance, if you’re thinking of quitting your current nursing job due to a bad couple of shifts or out of frustration, take a moment and think things through. Reacting out of emotion may not be the wisest choice.

Ask yourself what motivates you to look for a new nursing job. Do you want to switch gears and do something else in the field? Maybe you’re looking for a new challenge or a job closer to home. Only you can decide if you’re looking for a new job for the right reasons.

Don’t Burn Any Bridges

If you do decide it time to move on, make sure you exit the right way. Quitting on bad terms, such as failing to give adequate notice or calling in sick for the remainder of your shifts, is never a good idea. Be sure to speak to your supervisor and give a minimum of two weeks’ notice.  Submit a respectful resignation letter, and always be respectful to the facility staff or your co-workers when you work your last few shifts. It might seem like common sense, but it’s a good idea to leave the door open. You never know when you may need a recommendation. Plus, leaving on good terms is just the right thing to do.

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