Tips for Leaving an Unsatisfying Nurse Job

I think making the decision to move on from a job that you are no longer happy with is so challenging. I did so years ago and while the process to arrive at my decision was stressful and challenging, once I did I had absolutely no regrets. It was instant freedom and felt as if a huge weight was lifted. It is important to carefully examine the cause of your dissatisfaction, have a plan, and then once you have made your decision, move forward without second guessing yourself. Here are a few tips.

Write it Down

Write it down. What are the advantages of continuing to work there? What will you gain from it? Do you have any advancement goals for yourself there? On the same page, write why you would be better off moving on? Do you miss work often for a “mental health day?” Does it take everything in your being to show up each day? Is your job dissatisfaction affecting your personal life? Do you show up positive and leave dampened?

Look Around You

Does your unit have a difficult time with employee retention? Is there a revolving door of new faces? How do others feel? Is there a lot of complaining that goes on in your unit? Chances are if you are unhappy, there are others that feel the same exact way. You are not alone. You are never alone.

Talk About it

Talk with your friends, family, and/or trusted coworkers. Do not talk expecting an answer from them. Your answer is within you. You do not need someone else to make it for you. Sometimes just talking about it can help you rationalize and come to your own conclusions.

Make the Decision

Once you have gathered everything you need in way of making your decision, make it. If your decision is to move on, do not beat yourself up. This can be the hardest part. I remember feeling like a failure because I was not tough enough to deflect the hazing and bullying on the unit that was thrown at every new nurse. In retrospect, the strongest thing I did was move on. I respected myself too much to have another nurse rolls her eyes at me in report or look through me as if I was not even there.

Have a Plan

If you are not ready to take a permanent position elsewhere, consider a travel contract to give you the time you need. If you are committed to staying in your area, line up that new job before leaving this one behind. Try not to say anything negative (as hard as it may be) about your current job. When asked for your reason for leaving, try using the desire for “personal growth” angle. This puts the choice to leave on you and shows that you are looking to learn something new.

Move On

When you put in your letter of resignation in, try to do so without burning any bridges.

Take the best of that unit with you and move on. Leave it behind. Do not allow your dissatisfaction there carry over to any of your other jobs. When I finally made my decision I moved on to a place where I was much more respected, embraced, and appreciated.

Know you are not alone. There are plenty of nurses out there going through the same thing. Those that moved on would likely tell you it was the best decision they ever made. Best of luck with your decision.

Lori is an American nurse and yogini living in Gothenburg, Sweden. She contributes regularly to Mighty Nurse, AWHONN, American Nurse Today, and has been featured in The Huffington Post. Follow her adventures through her blog, Neonurse, or on Instagram.

, ,

Skip to toolbar