I am a fairly new nurse who graduated last December from an ADN program. Because I could not find a hospital job, I took a position in an allergy practice. I don’t feel that I am learning anything here and would really like to do something like public health nursing or home care. Will it look bad on my resume if I quit this job after six months?
Wants to Quit After 6 Months
Dear Wants to Quit After 6 Months,
If you are unhappy and don’t feel you are leaning anything, then it is definitely time for you to move on. No one will hold it against you when you describe that you took the position during a time when new nurses were having difficulty finding work especially in hospitals. Also mention to a prospective employer how eager you are to grow professionally and your interest in public health or home care, depending on which job you pursue.
I suggest that you contact local public health departments and do an informational interview with any nurses who work there. You also can inquire about openings. If nothing is available, offer to volunteer even if just for flu shot clinics, which you can usually get paid for, and health fairs. Volunteer work is a great way to gain recent relevant experience, expand your professional network and get a foot in the door somewhere as a means to ultimately get a job offer.
I also encourage you to contact home care agencies directly. Many of them hire new nurses and have orientation and preceptor programs available, especially those agencies that are affiliated with a hospital or hospital group.
The good news is that the job market for all nurses, both new and experienced is opening up. So while there were limited openings last year, there are many more opportunities now, even in hospitals for new nurses.
Be sure to join and become active in your state chapter of the American Nurses Association. This is an important part of being a professional nurse and is a great way to stay abreast of ideas, information and trends in the profession. You can also find role models and mentors through an association. You may find the article, “New nurse, new job strategies,” helpful.